2nd Annual Family "Vacation"

If you know me then you know my feelings about vacation-ing with small children. I don't. If my kids are with me, it isn't a vacation. It's "traveling with kids" or a "trip," or my favorite, "parenting in a different location." Because let's face it, I'm going to do exactly what I do at home, just somewhere else.

We took Luke to San Diego last year for a night. It was our first overnight trip as a family and was completely and utterly exhausting. But also tons of fun. It turns out I was totally exhausted because I was also 5 months pregnant. I was expecting the worst again this year and it turns out it wasn't that bad. Sure, I was tired. But the fun totally outweighed the little tiredness I experienced Sunday/Monday morning.

We had so much fun we decided to make it an annual trip. We like to do "big" vacations every other year and since our kids are still little those big trips involve zero children. But San Diego for a night or two every year is totally do-able. And since we are done having babies, this year was the hardest in terms of littles running around. Hard to believe it, but Em will be almost 2 this time next year. Wahhhhhh!

Chris and I were really looking forward to this past weekend. Not for the relaxing part (because there wasn't any) but more for the "making memories" part. Luke is 3 now and thanks to my good friend, Les, I am well aware that that is the age when children can remember things on their own. And I have a feeling Luke will definitely remember this trip.

He was so excited to go to "Sandy Eggo" and couldn't wait to hit the road Saturday morning. We left in our swimsuits so we could head straight to the pool if our room wasn't ready. Which it wasn't. But we were prepared!

Luke had a BLAST at the pool. He went down the water slide with dad, hung out at the "stand up pool" aka beach entry pool and well, just lounged around like such a big kid.

Auntie Jenn and Olivia met us for the day while Uncle Wes worked. The babies loved splashing in the water!

Grandma and Bampa offered to stay with the girls while they napped in the room so Jenn, Chris, and I could all enjoy the pool some more with Luke. Chris and I decided to let Luke skip his nap and when we came up to the room at 3pm, he asked, "Is it time for a nap now?" When we told him he missed nap because he was playing at the pool, he exclaimed, "But I need a nap because I'm tired!" Totally his mom's child. He laid right down and slept for 45 minutes straight! Which also lets me know that he isn't ready to drop nap any time soon.

After nap we had dinner at a fun pizza place in Pacific Beach and then came back to the hotel to roast "smars" as Luke calls them.

Both kids went to bed about an hour late which isn't too bad. I'm a stickler for sleep and schedules so vacation definitely throws a wrench in all that. But Luke did awesome and Em was such a trooper. I think we did a good job of keeping their routines in tact, but also being a bit flexible since we were away from home.

Sunday we woke up early and headed out to the zoo. Grandma and Bampa stayed behind so Emilee could get one good nap in for the day. (Notice a theme here? Must take grandparents on every family vacation from here on out!)

The three of us walked around and saw monkeys, gorillas, orangutans, and hippos. Uncle Wes, Aunt Jenn, Olivia, Bampa, Grandma, and Em met up with us about an hour later. Once everyone was at the zoo, Luke was adamant about riding the zoo bus. And out of everything we did and saw Sunday his favorite part was riding the bus. Silly kid.

We had lunch with the elephants and right around 1pm (aka nap time) both kids had kind of had it so we decided to head out. I had hoped they would nap the whole way home (yah right) but they did both snooze a bit.

All 4 of us were in bed early Sunday night. I know what it feels like to be nice and comfy in your own bed so I'm sure the kids felt the same way. It was the best kind of tired.

All in all, it was a great trip and I've still got the "our trip is over" blues. I would go back and do it again in a heartbeat. Several times throughout the trip I teared up just thinking about how much fun Luke was having. I'm already counting the days until we go back next year!
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Jessica Knight said...

hey Ashlee! what hotel did you and your family stay at in San Diego?

Ashley Richards said...

I love that you told the truth about taking kids on trips. It is all about them and that's okay. I think you have inspired me to take a little trip with our 19 month old. My only fear is that he doesn't sleep very well in places other than his crib so I'm not sure how well he'll do in a hotel. We are use to putting him in his crib, closing the door, and he falls asleep on his own. I'm afraid of being somewhere different and having us in the room with him will cause him not to fall asleep. However, we might can do so many things that he is so tired that he just passes out.

Ashlee @ Growing Up A Thomas said...

We stayed at the Hyatt Regency Mission Beach - it's our second year staying there. We LOVE it!

Ashlee @ Growing Up A Thomas said...

Luke sounds just like your little one! I was really worried about him sleeping somewhere "new" last year. We kept all other aspects of bedtime routine the same and he did great! The pack-n-play is your friend. And you're right, they are so tired from all the fun they sleep well once they get to sleep. I hope you go!

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