The day of departure came and went — the day we headed out to our first real vacation of the year. Ok, so technically part of the first vacation of this year will also be the first vacation for next year. Which makes me think — this is my husbands way of not doing a vacation next year. Anyway, I have to say real vacation to clarify the difference (in case you aren’t aware).
We have gone away this year, twice so far. The first time was an impromptu two-day trip to a place called Holiday World (yes, the Griswold’s came to my mind as well). It was fun because we surprised the kids — we woke them up, told them to get in the car, then listened to the squeals as we drove — (Yes, all three hours. We will plan that better next time). The hotel we stayed at was… well, let’s just say it had a distinct odor that made me think the reindeer had frequented it. This, is my mind, can not be categorized as a real vacation (this is where my husband and I don’t see eye to eye). My reasoning is that a real vacation has to be planned. This was merely a whim. Whims with smelly hotels are not vacations.
The other trip we took this year was to visit relatives in Texas. We did actually plan this one. It was really fun (I have the best cousins). This, in my mind, can not be categorized as a vacation because we did not stay in a hotel. Therefore, visiting relatives without staying in a hotel is not a real vacation.
Which brings us to — a real vacation. The first real vacation in over a year and three months (yea, I was keeping track). This vacation a) was planned b) will make my financial life creepy for a few months c) will involve several nights at (hopefully) an awesome hotel d) Ok, I’m not sure what d is but I’m sure it will come to me. Therefore… real vacation.
Here is one great thing about this first day, I’m awake and everyone else is asleep. These moments on vacation are few so I am really taking this in. Especially since we are all crowded in to this one last remaining hotel room we found at midnight.
You know, when I was a child and we would go on family vacations, I never remember the joy of a hotel room being involved. I distinctly remember being in the sixth grade the first time I ever stayed at a hotel. It had a courtyard in the middle of it loaded with fake vegetation and a swimming pool right in the center of everything so that it was surrounded by all the rooms. I was in high school before I stayed in a hotel again — it was in Hawaii (rumor had it Elvis stayed there). After that, my memory gets a little shaky — but, the adventure of a hotel still brings a smile to my face.
When we first got in the car yesterday, my youngest immediately asked when we were going to get to the hotel (umm, yea… we’re going to Disney — could she at least be excited by the final destination). By last night, all of my children were asking where the hotel was. The relief on their faces when we found a room was priceless — the long day, the cramped car ride, the lack of a good meal all vanished.
Hotels are magical places for kids. I think because there’s this whole big slumber party feel to it — and who doesn’t love a slumber party.