Can you vacation in your hometown?

Updated 8:36 AM EDT, Fri August 23, 2013

(CNN) — I went home.

Sort of.

For our summer vacation, I traveled to my hometown of San Diego, California, for a week’s stay. I went back to a Navy town that shaped me in lots of ways I understand and plenty of ways I don’t.

My child had just turned 5 when I realized she had never seen my childhood homes, schools and most importantly, the Pacific Ocean beaches that served as my backyard.

She has no idea of a place where blond people dye their hair lighter, where people slather on barely-there SPFs, where beauty rules all — the kind of values that made me want to leave at age 18, hoping for more elsewhere.

No matter that no one town is as any one teenager sees it. For me, it felt like the bleached version of “The Stepford Wives.”

What is home, anyway? Is it a childhood home, over which we have little control? Or something parents give their children, regardless of where they live?

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