Monday, May 9, 2011

Concluding Thoughts on Family Vacay 2011

I know y'all are probably getting so tired of posts about our vacation, but this should be the last one! I just wanted to record some final thoughts on our first official family vacation. We talked about and planned and looked forward to this trip for a LONG time, and some things were easier/better than expected, but there were a few unexpected kinks, too. So, here are the things that were unexpected and/or stressful about the trip and the things that were better than expected, in no particular order:

Unexpected Cons:
-Jude got sick the day before our vacation. This was the biggie. For a while leading up to the trip, Rebekkah and I had joked that unless our kids were puking, we were still going! I honestly never expected one of the kids to actually get sick right before the trip, though. Thankfully, he wasn't puking, so we could still go :) I hated that Jude wasn't feeling his best, though, especially for the car ride. He ended up crying a good bit in the car on the way there, and that was unexpected and sad. I felt so bad for him, but I know he would have been fussy and upset whether we were in the car or not.

-Aubrey got sick the first day we were at the beach. This wasn't unexpected after Jude was diagnosed with Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease and our doctor told us that it was highly contagious, but it was still a bummer. Being sick made her more irritable (of course) than she normally is, but we gave her medicine, and she thankfully still had a ton of fun. And the good news is that Aubrey and Jude both recovered pretty quickly, and Carver never got sick.

-I'm not usually one to share TMI on the blog, but this is really too funny not to share. So don't read if you don't like TMI. Because I was pregnant for 9 months and have been breastfeeding for almost 10, I haven't had my "monthly friend" for over 18 months!! Well, guess what decided to show back up on the FIRST DAY of our beach vacation?? Yep, my lovely "monthly friend." :-/ I could not believe it! I don't believe in back luck, but if I did, I would sure say that was some rotten luck! It wasn't that big of a deal, it just sure wasn't the timing I would have picked ;)

-I had been SO nervous about the sleeping arrangements for the kids. They both slept in pack n plays while we were there, and they actually slept pretty good! However, Jude would wake up in the night a few times, and I know it was because he was sick and in new bed in a new room. When he wakes up at home, we can usually give him is pacifier and let him fuss for a minute, and he goes back to sleep. It wasn't so easy there. I didn't want to let him cry since he was in an unfamiliar place, and I didn't want him to wake anyone else up. So, I ended up feeding in the night to get him back to sleep. Well, that started a bad habit. Now he wakes up around 3:30-4 every morning wanting to eat. I hate to just cut that feeding off cold turkey since he has gotten used to it, but I'm kind of at a loss as to what to do. I know he doesn't NEED to eat in the middle of the night at almost 10 months old, but that's where we are right now. I'm PRAYING that he just goes back to sleeping through that feeding on his own soon.

-I bought a little beach tent for Jude, and I had visions of him sitting happily in there playing with toys, sheltered from the sun, while I laid on in a chair beside him. Umm, no. Didn't happen. That thing was the biggest waste of money. We set it up the first day, and it promptly blew right away. I thought it would at least stay in place if Jude was sitting in it. Wrong! It just blew right over and knocked him over, too. I really hope we can get our money back on that. I'm sure there are some beach tents that would actually work, but I guess I just got the cheap-o dud.

And now for the Unexpected Pros:
-I mentioned this earlier, but Aubrey and Jude both slept much better than we had feared they would! David and I had visions of being up literally all night with two screaming children who refused to sleep in strange beds. That wasn't the case, and we were so grateful and happy to get some sleep!

-Aubrey LOVED the beach even more than I thought she would! I thought she would like the sand, but I worried that she might be afraid or weirded out by the ocean. She had a BLAST playing in the ocean and wasn't scared at all. I enjoyed playing with her even more than I expected. I usually like to just relax on the beach and read a book, but I loved running around with Aubrey. I didn't end up reading at ALL while we were at the beach.

-Neither of the kids got sunburned. Aubrey and Jude are both extremely fair, and I thought it was pretty much inevitable that one or both of them would get at least a little pink since we would be spending so much time in the sun. They didn't, though! That was a huge blessing, because that would have been miserable, especially since they were getting over being sick.

-Taking a babysitter with us was even better than I thought it would be! I would definitely recommend this if at all possible. It was even better since we were going with another couple. It was fun to be able to go out without the kids a few times, and we were able to split the babysitter's cost. I would NEVER take a "nanny" on vacation and just expect her to take care of my kids while I laid around. That's not my style when I'm at home, and it's not my style on vacation. But it WAS nice to be able to maintain the kids' nap and bedtime schedules without one of us having to miss out on beach/going out time. I feel like it was best for the adults and the kids. SO worth it!

-And this wasn't unexpected, but I have to mention that going to the beach in late April/early May is PERFECT! David and I went the same time last year, and it's just a great time to go because the beaches and restaurants aren't crowed at all. It's warm enough to enjoy being outside in the water, but it's not miserably hot yet. Perfect time to go to the beach!

Finally - and this isn't a pro or a con - I have to talk briefly about Rosemary Beach. We all LOVED Rosemary. The town was beautiful, the beach was amazing, there were three great pools, as well as some good places to eat, and cute shops. However, we all (us and the Arants) agree that we thought Seaside/Watercolor was more family oriented. (I'm using Seaside and Watercolor kind of interchangeably here since they are right beside each other and seem to be very similar.) When David and I were in Seaside last year, we both thought it seemed like a GREAT place to go for a family vacation. We kept seeing parents with kids everywhere, and there are several really casual/laid back places to eat. Rosemary was perfectly fine for the kids, too, but it just seemed more formal and "adult-ish." The restaurants were more fancy, and the town just had a different feel. Seaside is really colorful and "beachy" while Rosemary is very pretty with subdued colors and a lot of brick. I think I would definitely LOVE to go back to Rosemary, but if we were going back with the kids, we would almost definitely opt for Seaside or Watercolor. That's just our opinion, though! I don't think you could really go wrong at either place! :)

I think that about sums up my thoughts on our Family Vacation 2011. It was SO fabulous, and I really am so thankful we were able to get away and have some good time together as a family and with our great friends!

1 comment:

The Niemeyer Nest said...

I love all of your posts and you helped me a lot. Carl and I are already thinking of our next trip. I wanted to go to Seaside after everything you had told me about your trip there. We waited too long to book so we chose Navarre. I have a friend here who LOVES Rosemary Beach so we looked into it and it looks gorgeous. Family friendy is the name of the game these days though so Seaside may be a better option!