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Family Vacation: Part One

As I write this, I am currently on vacation. It’s not exactly white sand between the toes and coconut breezes. Nor is it alpine morning mists and Douglas fir shadows. Not quite. It’s more like the weird feeling you get when your thighs are slightly scalded from your laptop, yet your buttcheeks have become all...

0802JoshAs I write this, I am currently on vacation. It’s not exactly white sand between the toes and coconut breezes. Nor is it alpine morning mists and Douglas fir shadows. Not quite. It’s more like the weird feeling you get when your thighs are slightly scalded from your laptop, yet your buttcheeks have become all Pink Floyd-ed (come on, Comfortably Numb?) from the cold bathroom floor tile. It’s dark and cold, and there’s a lingering smell in the air. Hmmm, what is that? Jasmine trees? Lavender in bloom? Nope, wait, I’ve got it—it’s dirty diapers.
Sound familiar? If not, then you’ve probably never been on vacation with an infant.
It’s 10:30 in the morning, but oddly enough, I’m in nearly an identical position that I was twelve hours ago, only then I was watching a George Carlin special on Netflix (headphones on, of course). It’s funny how your definitions and expectations change with kids. This is vacation, and we’ve got a full week of it ahead.
Way back when, before the arrival of HP, I remember the first time we traveled with Bub. And by travel I mean we went to a new place, just the three of us, with no familial aid. We rented a car and a hotel room and everything. We brought diapers and hats and sunblock and the pack and play. Ohh, we were so on top of it.
And then naptime rolled around. We tried, the first day, to just put him in the pack and play in the hotel. Yeah. Wrong answer, try again. It was too bright, he could see us across the room, and we didn’t feel right just leaving the room, even to just sit outside. It just wasn’t working. But he needed a nap. So, out of desperation (and lack of creativity), we drove. Every day, on our vacation, from about 1 to 3, we could be found in the rental car, driving everywhere, yet nowhere, until he passed out. Sometimes we took a chance and stopped, for food or fuel. But mostly we just drove.
That’s the moment I realized traveling would never be the same. Well, it was either that moment or putting him down at 7:00 at night, then literally diving into the closet of the hotel room so he wouldn’t see us and would fall asleep. Then sitting there in the dark, with my wife, playing gin rummy. It’s hard to say.
Anyway, this one did not start off too hot. I’m not exaggerating when I say it took us FIVE HOURS to get ready. Just to prepare to leave. There was laundry and cleaning and lunch and packing and directions, and so on. We timed it to leave at naptime (old habits die hard), but what should have been a three hour drive took five. Not a good start.
But they did fine sleeping last night. And this time we DO have plenty of back-up. We are going on a huge family cruise adventure. Yes, there will be naptimes to contend with, but HP seems to already be adapting pretty well and we have numerous people to hit up for babysitting. So it should be fine, fun even. Oh, crap, she’s awake. This is gonna be awesome; gory details next week!

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