The Braden family -- Political insider and public relations executive Joan, columnist Tom and their eight children--have shared many vacations over the years. The family's foibles and fun formed the basis of Tom Braden's book, "Eight Is Enough." With eight children finances often dictated that compromises be made on vacations.

Favorite spots the family has enjoyed together include Aspen, "winter or summer," and nearby Bethany Beach, where they've vacationed the past three summers.

Other favorite places which Braden has enjoyed without her children are spots she wishes the whole family had been able to visit:

* Spetsai, off the Greek coast: It's pure pleasure. You are far away from all that concerns you everyday at home. You dive into deep, blue-green water, or you sail to nearby islands -- and always there is the glorious siesta from which you are awakened with thick black coffee. And afterwards, a taverna with ouzo, fresh fish, and Greek folk dancing -- who cares about going to bed?

* Cruising up the Nile from Luxor to Aswan: You learn that Egyptians, even before the Greeks, knew how to build magnificent temples with spectacular columns. And you learn about poverty and wish to do something about it.

* South Africa, Zimbabwe and Kenya: If you could forget human rights, politics, and racial conflict, you could simply enjoy the beauty of Capetown, the sea and mountains, the flowers of Zimbabwe, and the animals of the game parks in Kenya. What child wouldn't like to see a lion with its cub, a kangaroo, an elephant or a zebra, all living as they always have?