There comes a point, when you are getting ready to go on vacation, when you wonder whether the actual fun of the trip is enough to offset the effort and expense of getting there. I like to think it’s all in the planning, if I could just anticipate every situation and need, and have a plan for it, all will be well. I have learned, however, that there are so many elements that cannot be controlled, such as the weather, and airplane schedules, and sickness, and crowds, and then I’m back to why are we doing this? all over again.
So it’s been a while since we’ve attempted a major family vacation. Specifically it’s been since 2005 when we did the obligatory trip to Florida and Disney World. I would like to say that we look back on that and recall the beauty of the state, the hospitality of our hosts in Ft. Lauderdale, and the thrills of the rides at the amusement parks, but not really. Although we do remember those nice parts, whenever the trip is mentioned by the boys it is with references to “that time Mommy got really mad at the people in the airport.” Let’s just say there were a lot of problems with flying. I did do a lovely scrapbook highlighting our wonderful activities, but it’s not as much of a constant reminder as the varicose vein on my leg that popped out when I tried lifting a too-big-to-lift kid up so he could see the light-up parade.
So here we go again, but we’re driving because I’m not quite ready to deal with airports just yet, and we’ll be at a beach which hopefully doesn’t involve standing in line as the main activity. Still, I wonder, so to help myself along I have made a list:
Ten Reasons to go on Vacation:
To get away from the bad weather
It has been a difficult winter, and even if it rains where we are going, at least it will be green, and warmer, and maybe all of that snow with the dirt around the edges will have melted by the time we get back.
To have fun
Beaches are fun, right? And we can go to shows, too. Maybe some golf for Larry.
Change of scenery
Sometimes just looking at the same old view, no matter how good it is, just gets boring. Looking at a different view, that includes something grand like the ocean, kind of re-sets everything. At least I think it does.
Family time together
Sometimes it seems like we are running in different directions all day long, and there’s nothing like thirty-two hours confined in a car, and 24-hours a day togetherness to….well, I hope it results in something good. Isn’t there some saying about “the family that plays together…” I’m sure the parenting books say we should do vacations.
Experience the culture of a new location
I’ve never been to South Carolina! I’m not sure what their culture is but I’ve had a fascination with the “old south” ever since I first read “Gone With the Wind.” Even if we’re just going from chain hotels to chain restaurants, the people working there will be speaking with a different accent, and that’s culture!
Jeffrey just got assigned a project that is due in late April where each kid got to pick out a state to do a report on. He got to pick last but he managed to get Virginia, and we’ll be driving right through that little skinny part of it that sticks out to the west. Maybe we’ll get a picture of him next to the “Welcome to Virginia” sign and he can stick it on the poster board. That’s A plus stuff.
Get a tan
OK I know all about the risks of ultra-violet sunbeams and have stocked up on enough SPF to shield our skin and probably stop global warming too. I still plan to be outdoors with the sun shining on me for at least a moment while we’re there, which is a sure cure for the Seasonal Affective Disorder that I have been so obviously suffering from this winter.
Everyone else is doing it
I know, and if everyone was jumping off a cliff, well, eventually after looking at all of their cliff-jumping pictures, and everything getting quiet during school breaks, and all the advertising for places to go, I start to feel like I should be going somewhere too. Can’t help it. So going somewhere every so often tends to cure that feeling, at least temporarily.
Last year when we didn’t go on a trip I said that it was because I wasn’t working and we were saving the money it would cost, and implied that it was better that I was home more often and therefore worth it. So now that I’m working again and not home so much but making money, I have to go on a trip so if there are any complaints I can say that if I wasn’t working we couldn’t afford to do great things like this.
Maybe something interesting will happen
This is probably the best reason to get get up and go somewhere, anywhere, which is to shake us out of our daily stupor and do something different and new. To take pictures to fill up my scrapbooks, and get stories to tell, memories to recall (good or bad) and…you know, blog about it!
If I can get it to work, I'll send some pictures from my phone to the blog.