At our last session with our family counselor, she asked "Daddy" and I when was the last time we went on a vacation. To our amazement, we were both shocked by the question and had no idea how to respond. I remember that he looked at me at the same time that I looked at him almost as though both of us were hoping that the other would remember when the last time was. It was as if we had some sort of brain cloud that prevented us from remembering our last vacation. Surely we'd been on vacation as a family, right??? One would think, right??? I mean, doesn't everybody go on vacation sometime??? Of course, so surely...wait...oh no...crap. No, in the 3 years daddy and I have been together, we've never gone away on a vacation.
I can only speak for myself, but man was I embarrassed. I still don't know why I was embarrassed, but I was and still am. When she asked us why not, I immediately defended myself by running down a list of all the "To Do's" in my life that prevent me from even thinking about peace and relaxation. Not to mention how much work it is to pack 5 kids and 2 adults just for a day outing, much less what it takes to pack up for several days! As I went on my rant I suddenly found myself wondering the same thing...why haven't we ever planned a vacation??? Don't daddy and I deserve a little fun??? I know the kiddos do. Wouldn't it be nice to get away from it all, even if only for a day, so we can concentrate on spending time and enjoying each other's company.
For the next 2 days, I could not get the thought of a vacation out of my head. Considering the amount of stress going on in our lives right now, getting away from it all was sounding sooooooooo incredibly wonderful!! On Saturday morning, I woke up and the first thought that rushed through my head was...today is the day!!! We are leaving and getting away from everything...just for a day!!! As soon as the thought made it's way into my sub conscience, I felt a huge sense of relief come over me. I felt so happy and all the tension and stress were pushed into some far corner of my mind...just until after our mini vacation. I was at peace and excited for the first time in a long time.
When I shared the news with "Daddy" and the teenagers, I knew right away that this was not going to be easy. All of us have a different definition of what is fun and what isn't, and I quickly realized that I was going to have to make clear to everyone what the goal of this outing was...to get away from everything that is normal and usual to us. We were going to do something that we had never done as a family.
We packed ourselves up, and were out the door by around dinner time. Yes I know...from morning to dinner time is a long time, but if you have ever packed up 5 kids, you would understand. It was a crazy couple of hours and I felt like a director of a bad movie. Let's just say that packing was by far the worst part of our trip, and I'll leave it at that.
We headed out to Ocean City, NJ were I was able to find a wonderful hotel that accommodated all of us in 1, yes I said 1 room. It was a Days Inn hotel and the rate for a Saturday night was only $258, so I wasn't sure in what kind of condition the hotel/room would be in. When we arrived we were pleasantly surprised by how nice and clean the hotel and room was. The room was actually more like a suite, with 1 full bath, a living room area, a small dining area with a microwave and fridge, and a separate bedroom with 2 Queen Beds. We set up the teenage boys on the sofa couch in the living room and then put "Desibelle", "Bugsy", "Lilly", "Daddy", and I in the bedroom.
After setting up the beds for the night (we knew we'd be coming home with at least 2 sleeping little kids, and 3 very cranky older kids), we headed out to Ocean City to explore the town. The hotel was conveniently located about 10-12 minutes from the beach. By the time we got to the board walk the crowds had died down, but it was still quite lively and fun. I remember feeling completely relaxed, with not a care in the world. It's the most relaxed that I have felt in a long time. After about 2 or 3 hours of walking the boardwalk and visiting the shops, we decided it was time to head back to the hotel.
When we arrived, the kids were still in great moods, and we were able to get everyone into bed and asleep within about 20 minutes. The next morning, we went downstairs to enjoy the complimentary breakfast buffet, then headed back upstairs to get ready to check out. I remember feeling sad that I was leaving such a wonderful space. A space where I was not responsible for cooking, cleaning, or making the beds. : )
When we left the hotel, we headed back to Ocean City to enjoy more of the board walk. We shopped, ate, spent lots of money, and "BINGO"...enjoyed each other tremendously. No fights...you heard right...not a single fight amongst the siblings! They were being kind to one another, laughing at each other's jokes, they looked out for each other, and there was not a single unkind word spoken!!! What??? You mean to tell me my children do and actually can get along???? Here I am, 3 days later and still in shock!
This mini-vacation was exactly what we needed. It brought us closer together and showed us just how much we love spending time with each other. Everyone of the children made comments like, "Let's do this again soon!" and "Can we come back before the end of summer?". Let's just say, I'm sold. I will make it my goal...no my mission...to get at least 1 family vacation in every year. I'm now making plans to get my kids back to the beach in August for a full 7 days of fun in the sun as a family!!! : )
Here are some memories from our mini vacation.
|Sunday Morning and "Lilly" and "Bugsy" |
can't wait to get everyone up.
|"Daddy" being awaken by our precious |
babies, "Lilly" & "Bugsy".
|"Desibelle", just after being woken up by her baby brother and sister.|
|The 3 little kids riding on a ride at the Ocean City Boardwalk.|
|Another ride! : ) This was "Lilly's" first time on rides, and let's |
just say...she wasn't too impressed. Lol
|Here the older boys, not wanting to be left out, also get on|
the baby rides. They are too funny!
|"Daddy" and the little kids.|
|Here are my little ones at the beach in Atlantic City.|
We had so much fun in Ocean City, we decided to stop
by Atlantic City on the way home! We had a blast!!!
|Here are my 5 babies and I. This is definitely not one of |
my most flattering pictures. Let's just say, I joined a gym
2 days ago, and started a new diet program. I'll probably
be blogging about that too in the near future! : )
|Here is my 14 year old "Doodle Bug", with his|
baby sister "Lilly".
|My two handsome boys, "Doodle" & "Diji". They don't let|
me take too many pictures of them, so I was thrilled
when they posed for this picture! : )
|Our two oldest, and "Daddy". In the background are some |
of the Atlantic City Casino's.