Family Vacations!The Good, (Great)...Bad and fun!

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January 25th 2013
Published: January 25th 2013
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"A vacation frequently means that the family goes away for a rest, accompanied by a mother who sees that the others get it".

Well I couldn't stay away from you all for too long. TGIF is all I can say.

Boy it seems to take longer & longer to acclimatize to being back home after each trip away, and it sure doesn't help when it's -40C with the wind chill. Jaysus Mary & Joseph, it's only around 80 degrees difference from Playa to here, no change at all, yep just taking it in stride BRRRRRRRRRRR 😉

Literally and figuratively in every sense it's painful to be back home due to that freezing cold bitter wind chill & frost bite warning. MOANday (er Monday) our first day back was brutal; get up early while it's still dark outside, fix lunches all bleary-eyed, it's cold, no pretty sunrise, no ocean sounds and no warm breeze...Reality gave me a slap down and a hard one at that.

How cold was it for those of you in warmer destinations? It was SO cold that Ottawa drivers gave each other the "mitten" instead of the "finger" (smile).

So the sand in the suitcases has been shaken out, 50 loads of laundry's almost done and the girls helped put their clothes away (which means they stuffed them into their closets & drawers in some tangled mess), luggage is piled up in the basement like a deathtrap, we're still looking for souvenirs we brought home with us, and the routine of lunches, dinners, homework, projects is back on the menu for lucky "moi". Sigh...

The blender calls out to me every day around what would be "happy hour" time in Playa (who the heck am I kiddin', it's happy hour round-the-clock in Playa!), but I remain strong, and refuse to give in and make a margarita. No need for applause but thank you for your support. At home I probably would only drink one or two margaritas a year; it's just not the same as those frothy ones in Playa.

As I was doing the laundry (and grumbling about it), I smiled to myself thinking back to the fun times & special moments we had this past vacation...Having Blaine & Greg sure brought a different vibe to the vacation (in a good way guys!)

Traveling as a family and as a group as I've said before can be challenging, and we all have done a great job of adjusting to it. And frankly it's worth it...We can all experience trying moments, & minor irritations but they also go hand in hand with the fun times too.

I think that we could all agree on & which also ended up being our biggest joke, that nobody could be ready at the same time to go out! We'd name a time we were leaving the condo, and not one time were we all ready to go on time. It was like herding cats; or maybe herding turtles given the tropical area we were in!

Always at the stroke of 6PM, when ready to leave, someone would decide that that was THE perfect time to jump in the shower (Ava). Or someone couldn't find their shoes and the “who took my shoes they were just there under the table” accusations would fly. times!

Or someone was on their laptop or someone was eating, and then when we would all get out the door, someone would forget something like a) sweater b) umbrella c) wallet, d) watch e) pet iguana (trust me we heard them all) Or we'd all leave at the same time finally & one would get lost.

You really have to learn to have a sense of humor, and exude patience (sometimes I'll admit, not my forte!). As mothers, we wear many different hats; mother, organizer, nurse, teacher, chauffeur, secretary, accountant, cheerleader, head cook & bottle washer, laundress, comedian, and because of that, it seems everyone looks to us mothers to make decisions and answer all the questions in the world.

Let's be frank (or Sally), mothers don't really get a vacation, they get a 'change of scenery' with usually better decor, cleaner fridges & no vacuuming. All moms know & accept that when they go on vacation, they are still on the job. So they just deal with it & when no one's looking, they throw back a few extra martinis or margaritas 😉 When you are a mother, there's no pause button on life, you're still on the job 24/7 and pretty much there's only "play" (in the moment) and fast forward which is "your bedtime has been moved up so get to bed NOW". We have to remind our kids to put on their sunblock, do you have a towel, where's your hat...did you brush your teeth?

Even if I'm not your mother, people still ask me, "what are we doing today", and "where are we going", "where's the towels" etc. I'm even sure a Mexican lad asked me in Spanish what he was supposed to be doing that day? 😉

The girls will ask me questions, and their dad is standing right there, quite capable of answering too. I tell them, "he's your father why not ask him"? Al is just not a pretty face I tell ya, he's a willing parental participant. (hear that Al? I just sung your praises...again. Where are the flowers?) Again he is their dad & he wants to be helpful (I know he's their dad because the DNA tests came back and it's confirmed, Al is their father...haha hee hee hee...OK why isn't Al laughing?) Al it was just a joke, I really never got around to doing those DNA tests...yet... 😊

But in the end, we come home with warm fuzzy memories that you can laugh about later.

Which brings me to sum up family vacations by describing it by "The good (great), bad (really no bad at all!) and the ugly" (flu is the ugly part) all mixed into one as per the following.

And I am not just talking about our family vacations, most family vacations are anticipated with glee, and then met with some frustration or snafus. It's part and package of it all..This applies to most everyone I know who's had the same experience with family vacation whether it be to a cottage, camping, to a hotel, roadtrip or to a resort.

"You know you're on a family vacation when..."

Good say one word or joke and everybody gets it! (cause you're family)

Bad say one word or joke & everybody's offended (cause you're family)

Good suggest a place to eat and everybody’s in agreement & you are credited with having a brilliant idea!

Bad suggest a place to eat, food's too expensive, service is slow & who thought this was a good idea anyhow? 😉

Good give four hours warning we're going out at 6 PM & everyone appreciates the notice

Bad give four hours of warning and then five "we're leaving soon" notices & you're blamed for not giving people "enough notice"...

Good are the loudest group in any public place, laughing & kicking up your heels & people are looking at you...who cares we are on VACATION!

Bad are the loudest group in the place & people are looking at you wondering if you're actually having fun or bickering (and sometimes yep it's both at the same time!) Cause that's what families do.

...every smart thing your kids say or do on family vacation, is evidence of your terrific & hands-on parenting skills...

...until they track in loads of sand, are dripping wet leaving the floor slippery & a potential insurance claim, and eating chips with wet hands and then you say, "well they clearly got that behavior from the other side of the family" (wink wink)

Good think to pack the sun block, water bottles, & insect repellent for a daytrip & you're told you're a “genius & how do you always manage to think of everything"?!!!

...UNTIL sunblock, water bottles or insect repellent gets forgotten & then you're no longer a genius and all you hear is “how could you forget the sunblock of all things? For god sakes don't you know it's Mexico & now we're going to fry to a crisp” 😞

Good walk into the kitchen in the morning with no make-up on, in your frayed Mickey Mouse PJ's and nobody cares. You eat off anyone's plate not caring what it is or whose it is (cause well you're family).

Bad walk into the kitchen & are met with finger pointing & laughing about your bed-head & the bags under your eyes. And who the hell just ate my scrambled eggs? (cause your family)

Good congratulate yourself on telling your kids to "speak their mind", and "be yourself" & the world gets to see how brilliant they are...😉

Bad curse the day you told them to "speak their minds" and wish they'd keep their thoughts to themselves cause you're on holidays...For the love of god let me just rest on this lounger please?

Good nurse everyone through the flu after collecting an ancient medicinal cure from a palm tree. And you give yourself a pat on the back for being so kind & patient...

Bad & UGLY
...within hours you're vomiting into your suitcase, passed out on the floor, licking the pool of water your kids left on the floor, & meanwhile everyone's "conveniently" down at the pool (wah)

…you comment that the ocean view is spectacular & you love the smell of the ocean air (sigh...)

...Then it's "ewwww, what is that disgusting fishy smell coming from the ocean…is it the seaweed? Good grief!


"Wow what a warm day; we are so lucky to be in this tropical paradise"!

…"Will that wind never stop? There's no way it's 37C today. I am freezing, that's it I am going back inside the condo"

GREAT're looking at a beautiful sunrise or sunset & all you want to do is share it with someone special and tah dah...those "someones" special are right there with you & you couldn't be happier. The only thing better in that moment is having all the rest of the family & friends to share it with too.

I truly cherish our family vacations, the ups, the downs and the in-betweens. Every vacation has its moments, and the abilitity to rise above it is key. And every family member/friend that has joined us, we'd be glad to share another vacation with in a split second. The funniest TV shows are about families. Modern Family and the Middle to mention a few where in the end, there's no one you'd rather spend your time being irratated with 😊 heh heh...

If you are going to go out into the big bad world, best to have a good understanding of how life works, to be able to go with the flow, to be able to negotiate, to be able to be patient, to be able to laugh and make fun of things.

And I tell you, nobody but family can give you that running start. And nobody can challenge you or push your buttons like your own family. If nothing else it keeps you honest, and well, humble. Now I did take poetic license here; hardly any of the above happened...well maybe some but all in fun & innocent ways! Gotta add a dose of humour folks! My kids would NEVER think of eating chips with wet hands (just the adults do that!) And nobody was rude, the complaints were minimal & overall everyone appreciated the surroundings & enjoyed their trip (so they tell us?!) 😊

Ahhh family vacations, not for the faint of heart, but for those with an open heart...(and a shut mouth) 😉

PS A few people asked about the company I write the travel blogs for, Playa Beach Condos & Villas & I thought I'd include her link. I met Tonya back in 2009 when trying to book accommodations through her, and we had an instant connection. Tonya Sarina, is the owner of PBCV who is from Denver Colorado and is wonderful to work for.

For the past two years writing this blog, I don't think I've really gone into detail about the company or posted her link. (Just my blog link of course!!) I try not to mention my connection to Playa Beach Condos very often as this blog was set up to chronicle our family trips. However many of these trips are courtesy of her.

Tonya manages & owns luxury condos & villas that are ideal to share as a family, group, with friends, reunions, weddings etc. She will alway work to find the best rental suited to you based on your budget.

We stayed at a villa, Casa Callaway, oceanfront with private pool, 4 bedooms, 4 baths, and it was heaven. When you split it 3 or 4 ways, it is a fantastic & very affordable option. Once you stay at a condo or villa, most people never regret choosing it as an option (based on the feedback of clients through Playa Beach Condos). Our dollar goes much further, we have more space, more luxury, less crowding & noise, we aren't confined to a resort setting & we don't have to cook, trust me...if you read my blogs at all you'll know what I mean.

She's the very very best at what she does and what she offers is the best. And well heck, I do work for her, so that counts for something doesn't it?? RIGHT?

TGIF friends & family & thanks for the ear. Now where's that blender that's been calling me all week??? It'll soon be the 6 o'clock (er the 5 o'clock whistle. 😊


26th January 2013

Club med
Ahhhh! If it isn't a vacation for everyone maybe it's time to try Club Med. No choice but to relax. No cooking. No decisions to be made. Of course, ther is that big decison as to whata bathing suit to wear. Maybe what chaise lounge to choose on the beach. It's a rough life.
26th January 2013

The Good Bad and the Ugly
Well I would still pick a condo over Club Med, but that's us. We can take 2 weeks at a condo for the price of one week at a resort & that was prior to my work for PBCV. And I know Club Med is good. We love the more quiet part of a condo, the extra space, the ability to walk out our door every morning for something different & most of all...not stuck with a bunch of drunken idiots at a resort; just our own idiots :) Wait till we get you there, you might be awfully surprised :) xo

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