We just returned home from a wonderful vacation at the beach. We went to the Wild Dunes Resort in the Isle of Palms, SC. This place is amazing! If you have never been, you have got to go.
Sun, sand, and surf. Afternoon drinks on the balcony looking out at the ocean. Waking up to a leisurely breakfast then sauntering down to lounge by the pool or the beach.
Sounds blissful, does it not?
I forgot meltdowns in the midst of Cheerios, attempting afternoon naps with unwilling participants and having my bathing suit pulled down to flash everyone at the pool.
So…not quite the vision you pictured initially, is it?
See, there’s a difference between vacation vs. vacation with kids.
Vacation: Wake up around 9am. Take your time enjoying breakfast. Maybe sipping your coffee on the balcony looking at the ocean. Leisurely strolling to the pool around 10:30am.
Vacation with kids: Woke up at 7:00am by little tiny people climbing on you. Stumble to the kitchen to chug down coffee and get your kids cereal. All the while, kids are bouncing off the walls to get to the beach and the pool. Spend thirty minutes getting sunscreen and bathing suits on your kids. Make it to the pool by 8:00am.
Vacation: Lounge pool side. Basking in the warmth of the sun and smelling the salt air. Occasionally, getting into the water to cool off. Read a book or magazine.
Vacation with kids: After dumping out 42 pool toys in kid’s pool and finally getting settled in a lounge chair, you get to relax for, oh let’s say 10 minutes. Then your toddler decides he will run to the big pool and dive right in like some sort of deranged Michael Phelps. You hastily get out of your chair to catch him seconds before the catastrophe and spend the next hour in the pool making sure said toddler doesn’t sink to the bottom, whereby he pulls down your suit to flash your boob to everyone.
Vacation: Headed to the beach with only a towel, a red solo cup and your significant other. Soaking up the sun and listening to the ocean. Taking a walk on the beach with your significant other. Holding hands. Gentling splashing in the surf.
Vacation with kids: Head to the beach like some sort of Sherpa carrying an umbrella, chairs, 36 beach toys, towels, snacks, drinks and kids swim shoes. Attempt to set up your things on the beach while your kids run out into the ocean. Keep trying to reel them back in so you can finish setting up. Give up. Dump things in a pile. Play with kids in the ocean. Then play with kids in the sand whereby assuring sand will fill every crack and crevice you possess.
Vacation: After making yourself an afternoon drink, sit on the balcony in the shade and watching the waves crash on the shore. No real agenda. Just relaxing and enjoying your significant other’s company. Maybe you’ll take a nap. Or read a book. Or just relax.
Vacation with kids: After several hours outside, manage to get kids back into condo. Get them lunch. Give them baths. All the while keep them from destroying everything in the condo because they have to touch everything. Try to get them to take naps because they are exhausted. Spend 30 minutes trying to get them to sleep but they fight it like something fierce. Finally, they pass out.
Vacation: Head to dinner around 7:00pm. After dinner, go to a bar on the beach. Have a few drinks, listen to music and head home late in the evening.
Vacation with kids: Go out to dinner at 5:00pm. Spend the whole time trying to get kids to behave and stay in their seats. Scarf down your food (and maybe your one drink) so you can get the heck out of there with your unruly children. Upon immediately entering the condo, give the kids a tubby, and get them to bed. Spend 30 minutes wrestling your kids. They finally pass out and so do you by 8:30pm.
Vacation: Just you and your significant other. No real agenda.
Vacation with kids: You, your significant other and your beautiful, sweet, crazy kids. You have to make sure you have a plan in place everyday so the kids are occupied, exercised and entertained.
Yep, it sure is different with vacation vs. vacation with kids.
But, seeing the joy on your children’s faces as they experience the beach for the first time, listening to their laughter as they splash in the ocean and watching their smiling faces building sand castles, it makes it even better.