Ahh. Vacation. There should really be another word for “vacation” when they are experienced with your kids. No offense, kids, but you kind of ruin vacations. If it were called something different, maybe the outcome would be better because you wouldn’t be expecting all the wonderful things that vacations have to offer.
My favorite things about vacations, in no particular order:
Sleeping/Sleeping in: This one is great. When you’re on vacation, not only can you go to bed as late or early as you want, because there’s nothing you have to wake up early for, you get to wake up at your own leisurely pace, lounging around in bed as long as you want. If that wasn’t great enough, vacations are really just a vehicle for naps at will. Big breakfast? Nap. Sun wearing you out? Nap. Too tired to go to dinner? Take a nap first! The beach entirely too quiet and relaxing? Just take a nap.
Sleeping/Sleeping in with kids: Hahahahaha.
The Food: I love trying new restaurants on vacation, and thanks to things like Yelp, it’s almost hard to go wrong with your new discoveries. If hundreds of people tell you to go eat the brisket tacos or the almond-crusted french toast with chantilly cream, you listen.
The Food with kids: “Do they have chicken fingers? But what kind of chicken fingers?” Look, I know what some of you are thinking. I should teach my kids to eat better. I should give them no other options. I should force them to discover the beauty of kale. I get it. I screwed up. My kids are fairly picky eaters, despite my efforts of feeding them everything under the sun as babies. One day they were happily gumming an avocado and the next they only ate macaroni and cheese with the correct creaminess to noodle ratio and preferably the color of nothing found in nature, and God forbid there be anything crunchy or delicious on top of it. What’s done is done. The fact is it’s easier on vacation to not spend the extra cash on something they’ll probably hate because then the “cool new restaurant experience with the ah-may-zing potstickers” becomes the “Hey, remember that time Mom started crying at that place that had that weird ravioli because we refused to eat our fifteen-dollar meal when the ketchup tasted weird?”.
Doing Cool Stuff: While I’m definitely not one of those people that craves wild adventures like scaling a mountain or windsurfing on vacation, I do like to get out and and see what new places have to offer. If there’s an interesting sight, I want to see it. I’m a sightseer.
Doing Cool Stuff with kids (is really just a list of complaints):
“How much longer?”
“Does this place have snacks?”
“Do they have popcorn?”
“Why is it so (hot/cold/sunny/cloudy/rainy/windy/perfect)?”
“Why are we driving this far?”
“Why do we have to walk this far?”
“Is there a playground?”
“Can’t we just go back to the hotel?”
“Why are there so many people here?”
“Why aren’t there any people here?”
“This is stupid”
“When are we eating?”
“This food is gross”
“Is there a Wendy’s?”
“My legs hurt”
“My feet hurt”
“My arms hurt”
“My stomach hurts”
“Why are you in such a bad mood, Mom?”
Ahh. Vacation. Remind me again why I try to make memories?
Paula Brown is a mom, writer, currently spring-breaking in the apparent South Carolina monsoon season, and is probably going to age 40 years in the next four days. She can be reached at email@example.com.