We made it! After a tumultuous pre-vacation week and a traffic-logged travel day, we had finally arrived at our resort condo, ready to start enjoying our vacation. With Lenten promises all but broken, we were ready to overindulge and enjoy ourselves. But could we survive a full week of 24/7 family togetherness? Honesty, I wasn’t sure we could.
We all had different ideas of how the week should go. I would have been content reading by the pool each day. My husband wanted to play golf. And the boys wanted to do it all, from swimming, biking and golfing to go-kart racing, zip-lining and playing games on the boardwalk and at an indoor facility called WonderWorks.
After some tense negotiations and even a few tears, we managed to hit many of the activities on each person’s “To Do Wish List,” including attending a minor league baseball game one chilly night (the Myrtle Beach Pelicans rock!) and meeting up with some old friends who were vacationing nearby in Charleston. All in all, it was a good week, as the smiling faces in these pictures will attest.
But let’s be honest. Nearly 200 uninterrupted hours of family time did take its toll. For different reasons, we all had our cranky days (some of us had more than others) and by the end of the week, the love was fading. Does it make me an evil person to say aloud that I missed my alone time? Am I a bad mom or just an honest one when I admit that I relish the hours when the boys are in school so I can go to the gym, write and do errands without anyone nagging me? I like to believe that absence makes the heart grow fonder … that way I don’t feel so guilty saying this.
As always, I had high expectations. There were a few times when I felt disappointed and that made me crabby (yea, that’s probably an understatement). I tried to lower my standards, but as a recovering perfectionist, I struggled. That said, I can look back now and say that I learned a few things from this trip that will better prepare me for our next family vacation in December. Some of these apply only to warm weather journeys, but I think you get the point:
- eight days of total togetherness is too much for our family … carving out separate kid/adult time is a sanity-saving must
- the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray
- meltdowns and arguments still happen, no matter how much you plan
- long lines suck, but Lifesaver candy lives up to it’s name
- vacationing in a condo means there are dishes to clean and clothes to launder, just like home … boo!
- crashing in a go-kart hurts
- wearing jeans with flip-flops makes me happy
- showering is optional … chlorine kills germs, right?
- allowing iPads in the morning is the key to getting quiet “adult alone time”
- it’s vacation … ice cream every day is perfectly acceptable
- dinner served on a frisbee is awesome!
- every boardwalk needs an Elvis impersonator … or better yet, a “fat Elvis” impersonator
- a bad vacation day is still better than no vacation day
- I love my family, even on the days when I don’t like them very much
So after eight days, we were all packed up and ready to go. Thirty-six more hours (because of a stop-over in Virginia again) of total togetherness … would we make it? Stay tuned for Part IV to find out if we survived the long road trip home.