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Vacation Withdrawal

caboTwo weeks ago, my husband and I went on vacation. Just the two of us.

It was a perfect, perfect time in Mexico. We spent our days eating tacos, drinking coffee, talking about theology and walking along the beach. So, it was basically the same stuff we always do, with a lot better scenery. And a lot less children.

We came home to the busyness of Easter weekend, followed by the big kids’ spring break. Two weeks ago feels like two years ago.

Guys, we have never done a vacation like that before. So I didn’t know.

I didn’t know how bad the withdrawals would be.

When I look at my pictures, I feel a nostalgic ache in my heart. When I open my cupboard and see the bag of coffee from the coffee shop we discovered, a twinge of sadness passes over me.

I unpacked my luggage (two weeks later, because I’m a stellar housekeeper). One of my shirts smelled like the aroma therapy lotion from the spa we visited and it was just TOO MUCH.

Yesterday, I was watching a TV show set in the Caribbean and the scenery… I couldn’t even handle it!

I left my heart in Cabo.

But it’s OK. We have plans to go back.

In like 10 years.

Sigh.

beach

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Husband Vs. Wife, Vacation Style

My husband and I have very different approaches to vacation.

I like no plans, no agenda, and the ability to sleep in and lay around reading. So basically, I want to relax!

He wants to do things. All the things that can possibly be done. He wants a schedule and every second maximized for ultimate productivity.

The kids? Typically, they just want to swim in the hotel pool.

Last week, we took the first actual family vacation we’d had in 6 years. The last time, the kids got diarrhea. On a road trip. So you can see why it took us awhile to try again.

But we wanted to take the big kids to Disney before they were too old to care. And we’d been promising Isaiah a visit to Legoland for years, and the “don’t care” ship had almost sailed there too.

So we scheduled a vacation to Orlando.

husbandorganizedvacationIn the weeks leading up to our trip, Chris repeatedly went over the itinerary he was planning for us. This was not so I would know what was going on. No, he was trying to wear me down by repetition, so that I would just accept the busyness.

His PLAN was no joke. He had apps to predict crowd flow and weather and wait-time on rides and who knows what all. He scheduled our Fast Passes to harmoniously coincide so that he could ride roller coasters while I took the kids on baby-safe rides.

As he went over the proposed schedule, I refused to commit to anything. I mean, how am I supposed to know how I’ll be feeling by the next Thursday and if I’m going to want to go to the beach and then back to Disney for the Electric Parade? I can let you know on Thursday. I might just want to lay around that day (That was not even an option).

So I guess we kind of compromised when we got there.

Our first day, the park opened at 9:00, so I suggested we leave the condo by 10:00. He agreed, but said, “You know this is really hard for me, right?” Because if the park opened at 9:00, he wanted to be there at 8:45.

And I just had to find ways to get my relaxing reading in, in spite of the schedule.

babysleepingvacationI’m not a huge fan of rides anyway, so as soon as the baby fell asleep in the stroller, I was like, “I’m out! Park me in some shade.”

Chris kept offering to sit with the baby so I could ride stuff. I wanted to be like, “Are you crazy?! Why would I leave my book, this bench and the shade to go stand in line in the hot sun?” But instead, I just said self-sacrificingly, “No, that’s fine. You go ahead.”

I mean, I still wouldn’t say it was exactly a restful trip. But I got a few moments in. And Chris was able to keep our itinerary organized. So we were both happy.

Of course, the kids’ favorite part (as always) was the pool at the condo. We flew all the way to Orlando so they could swim in a pool…

It might be another 6 years until the next “vacation.”

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Family Vacation, A Comedy of Errors

If you know my husband, you know he’s an overachiever.  Chris never does anything half way.  He doesn’t even do things 100%.  He goes above and beyond, every time.  Of course I should remember that this applies to family vacations as well.

We had a few days off and I wanted to go see my best friend and her new baby.  So Chris paired this with a visit to another family we’re friends with and a trip to DC.   This still sounded manageable, but a couple days before we left he called up our friends in NYC and added the Big Apple onto our trip as well.  Now, I should have been alarmed, but that man can talk me into anything.

(To preface this trip, all of us had been sick with some kind of stomach bug the week before.  But it seemed to clear up in 24 hours, so it shouldn’t have affected our trip in anyway.)

We set off with great excitement on what Isaiah dubbed a “Family Adventure”.  First stop was New York.  We did a whirlwind drive through tour of the city and caught up with our friends.  The next morning, as we were about to hop in the car, my son developed a bought of diarrhea.  Mind you, this is a good 4 days after his “24 hour bug” had been all cleared up. We got that situation as under control as possible and set out on the next leg of our journey.

I had already nixed DC from our trip, since I wanted to relax and didn’t think two major cities in two days counted as relaxing.  So all we had to do was get to our hotel in Maryland, where we could rest, swim, hit the mall, etc.

Chris had specifically chosen a hotel with an indoor pool… which turned out to be closed.  Four-year-olds only have two emotions: elated and devastated. So it took awhile to calm Isaiah down, but we promised him that we would make sure the hotel for the next night had a pool.

At least we still had the mall, right?  Yeah… no.  This was what we call a “po’dunk mall”.  I have no idea what that means, but you get the idea.  Still, there was a play place and pet store.  We were finishing up with the Thomas Trains in Barnes and Noble when the diarrhea hit again.

We made it back to the hotel in sort of one piece.  Chris got on the phone with the friends who were supposed to be our next stop and it turned out their whole family was sick in bed too.  So they weren’t so sure about a visit.  And then Leah decided to stay up all night with an upset stomach.

After our sleepless night, I started to think bringing my children around my friend’s baby was not a great plan.  All we wanted to do was pack the kids in the car and head home.  But we had promised Isaiah a pool.  So we loaded our apparently sick children into the car and set off for a hotel Chris had booked outside of Pittsburgh.

And it was fun!  Surprise, surprise, something started to go right!  Not only did the hotel have a working pool, they also had an indoor jungle gym and game area.  The kids actually slept through the night.  The hotel breakfast wasn’t too bad.  And kid Imodium?  It works!

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