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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

on vacationing with young children

So, we just got back from a lovely vacation up north - yes there is still north to go from where I live. HA.

This place was funny. Not ha ha funny. Like ironic strange funny. Huge. Cheesy. Dated (but clean!) Inhabited by snowmobilers who apparently snowmobile simply to go from bar to bar (and who also walk around the lodge carrying 32oz travel mugs full of beer!). It was also sweltering. Our room was 80 degrees the entire time. The AC unit in the room didnt work. Why? Because it doesn't work when its below 20 degrees out, the repairman told us. Oh. Right. Well, that makes sense I guess. Unfortunately there was no window in the unit so we had to make due with box fans. We walked around in T-shirts and boxershorts sweating.

For all the quirks of the place (and the long car ride up) it was strangely perfect.

Vacationing with little kids is a tricky thing. You can't expect too much. You have to factor in naptime. But once you slow down from daily life (and recognize that it would be impossible to snowshoe with a four year old and two year old in 10 degree weather - well, without an Ergo with us anyway) then it really can be great.

The key, we discovered, is to do what THEY want. The whole time.

That means, you should not drive 25 minutes to a Chinese buffet when they just wanted to stay in the nice little condo and eat hot dogs. (Also, I highly recommend being leery of $8 Chinese buffets in the Great North. Not. Good. News. At. All. That is all I will say about that.)

It means you will have things on your agenda like...
-two hours at the 25 cent video arcade where half the games are broken (I am gonna play Galaga mom!!)
-MANY, MANY trips to the pool (heated and indoors of course!) and no, you won't get a chance to sit in the jacuzzi. Kids aren't allowed in. If you go in they will want to follow. (Simming? No, not now. Yater? Yater mama, yes? Ohtay. Not now. Yittle yater.)
-watching one of two kids DVDs for rent at the gas station as your nightly activity (Igor. Ugh.)

But, it also means things like...
-an excuse to lounge around the condo doing nothing (NAPTIME!)
-an excuse to go get ice cream in the middle of the day (only to find out it was closed, but Skittles and licorice worked nicely!)
-being able to read while they watch cartoons all morning. (It's vacation! No TV guilt!)

So, all in all it was the most successful vacation our little family has experienced yet, on our own that is. There is something special about taking your little family somewhere for an adventure (outside of the realm of visiting grandma and grandpa or other relatives) It is rare when you have a young family. But, when pulled off successfully it can be quite wonderful.

Especially when dada takes pity on tired mama and insists she sleep in, spend an afternoon writing (while the kids napped!!) and soak in the hot tub while he braved the pool with them alone. What a guy!

As a side note: Little misses latest thing? Throwing back her head when she is bored and howling like a wolf. And yes, you have to do it too. Little man? His favorite new exclamatory remark, aw, nuts.

More June later this week. As lovely as it was I may need a few days to recover (insert smiley face guy)


  1. That is the CUTEST picture of the kids watching tv (I'm assuming)!!!
    Sounds like fun family time.


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