Ozark, seven years old, New York City

Where do you go on vacation?

Ozark, a seven-year-old boy in New York City, vacations in California and Pennsylvania.

“I alternate between holidays that aren’t Jewish,” Ozark says. “Fourth of July is in Pennsylvania. Christmas and Thanksgiving are either in Pennsylvania or in San Francisco and Napa.”

About Napa, Ozark says, “The family business by my grandpa grows kumquats. There’s a blackberry bush, and I pick wine grapes in big fields.”

“I look forward to picking some strawberries,” Ozark adds, but “the strawberries only come out in spring.”

“In Pennsylvania, I visit Grandma and Granddad’s house,” Ozark continues. “There’s a tractor there, and I go hiking in the woods and playing tag, and there’s a little motorcycle that I ride. Also a miniature dirt bike, a three-wheeler.”

How does Ozark get to Pennsylvania? “I usually take Amtrak,” he says.

Ozark says the Bay Area is different from New York.

“There are more plants and little houses, palm trees.” He says his family drives a lot in California, unlike in New York.

How about Pennsylvania? “They live in a big house that’s a lot more like a country house,” Ozark says of his grandparents. “It’s in a place that’s not so hot as the Bay Area.”

Insights from the Urban Playground

Vacations are fun, especially when they get city kids out into grapevine fields and the woods. These are places where kids can run around—unlike cities, which often have busy streets with lots of cars and tall buildings, a bummer for a kid who wants to roam free.

Amtrak runs through many cities. Easy train rides from the city to the country are a thrilling part of city life. It’s fun to escape to a whole new world different from your own … and on a train, you can look out the window and watch the scenery go by.


1. Where do you go on vacation?

2. How is this place different from where you live?

3. How do you get there?

4. What are the people like where you take vacations?

5. Do you ever want to move there?

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