Vacation, n., a period of time dedicated to rest or relaxation. Or so says my very old dictionary; definitions in newer editions vary. But this is the definition I’ve stubbornly clung to for years.
Having just returned from a 10-day excursion that included a nine-hour drive to a beach, followed four days later by another nine-hour drive further south to the in-laws, followed the next day by an hour-and-a-half drive to Orlando for a two-night stay at a condo and visits to Lego Land and the Magic Kingdom and then an hour-and-a-half drive back to the in-laws, then a two-hour drive the next day to the auto train station, followed by an unexpected 10-hour wait for a delayed train, followed by an 18-hour ride to Virginia, followed by a three-hour drive to our home, I’m ready for our “period of time dedicated to rest or relaxation.”
Then again, I now have an appreciation for the phrase, “half the fun is getting there.”
My husband, upon our arrival home, asked our kids which part of their vacation was their favorite. My son, loving roller coasters, said Magic Kingdom. My daughter, loving smaller, calmer rides (and Legos), said Lego Land. My husband then turned to me. Aside from the long delay to board, the auto train won hands-down. Ever since my college days, when I’d travel to Providence from Baltimore, I’ve loved the train. My daughter now loves it, too.
Over a 10-day vacation spend mostly packing and unpacking and traveling in one form or another, here are some random observations:
- Now it’s my husband and I who have to stop to use a restroom more frequently than the kids; they could have made it nine hours straight if permitted, I think.
- DSi’s are worth their price for road trips alone. Now if the manufacturers would just invent a car charger for them, we’d be all set.
- On our long drives, we started extending our estimated arrival time whenever my daughter asked, “When will we be there?” She eventually asked why. “It’s freaky, Honey. The GPS is adding five minutes each time you ask.” She stopped asking so much.
- Perhaps because we *gasp* don’t have flat screens in our home, my kids judge all condos, hotels, etc. by the TVs they have. Roaches could be having a picnic, but if there’s a flat screen, “This place is SWEET!”
- Hotel pools are always more fun than our community pool at home. Always.
- Never start reading the same book series as your child. I got The Hunger Games trilogy for my son to read on our trip; he quickly read the first book and gave it to me to read (which I did) while he “started” the second. He never read past the first chapter—too busy having fun. But he held the book hostage “just in case.” Stinker.
- Kids can get spoiled by ordering off a menu for 10 days. Now it’s back to rude reality and that dreaded question, “What’s for dinner?”
- Moms can get spoiled by ordering off a menu for 10 days. Now it’s back to rude reality and that dreaded question, “What’s for dinner?”