It’s that time of year again.
I am planning the “big” vacation. Not our mountain weekend trips or mini last-minute romantic escapes. This is the big one, where we coordinate days off, convince the kids they will love the destination and then convince ourselves we will love spending a week in close proximity … all together in one place …. for a week.
For a family that stays as busy as we do, formally getting together for anything longer than dinner is like herding kittens in a yarn store. Nobody has the same sleeping habits, food preferences, hobbies, athletic ability or desire to leave the confines of their bedroom and personal electronics. Did I mention the kids are pre-teen & teen-aged? Good times.
This is how things generally go:
2 minutes from home – “I need to pee”
10 minutes from home – “I’m bored”
30 minutes from home – “I’m hungry”
5 minutes after pulling into the parking lot of the hotel we intend to stay at – “I think I forgot to pack underwear”
30 seconds from opening the door to our room – collective bags drop and everyone falls into the beds for napping
Then there are activities:
“Let’s go to the pool!” … blank stare “but we have never explored this area, there are bike trails, museums, shops, historical monuments ….” blank stares, holding swimsuits. Same swimwear they always wear .. to the pool we can go to back home … for FREE.
“Let’s go visit this lighthouse! We can climb to the top and take family photos and read all about the people who lived and worked here a long time ago!” My families typical response? “Can you just take a picture, from the car, so we can go get ice cream? We passed the shop just back there.”
“Mountain trails? uhhh … hiking? That sounds like it will be hot and there will be bugs. Is there even wi-fi?” Where did I go wrong with these kids?
“The sun is in my eyes.” … “where are your sunglasses?” … “I lost them.” We bought them this morning!
Shivering in July sun …”The water is too cold”
“I don’t like sand.” Just spent 2 hours digging a giant hole … in the sand.
“I want to go to the room, I’m bored” 100 people on the beach, books, snacks, football, waves perfect for boogie boards, random friendly dogs. Definitely nothing going on here. Nothing at all.
or my favorite – random activities from the hotel booklet things we either didn’t budget for or would cause at least one of the family members to have a panic attack. It seems the kids know just how to push my mom buttons… “Skydiving!” No.
I’m on the hunt now for someplace affordable, where nobody will be left out, or bored, or too frightened to enjoy the experience. Where there will be places to eat that everyone likes and in an area family friendly enough to be safe but not resemble a nursery rhyme.
Maybe a stay-cation is in order. Somehow I don’t think we will all agree on that either.