Welcome back to Finish the Sentence Friday, where today’s prompt is:
The last time I went on vacation…
(Play along! Bloggers, link up, regular readers, jump in on the comments below!)
The last time I went on vacation, I realized that I never want to go on vacation without my parents ever again. (Well, unless I am going without my kids, in which case, they can stay home with them!) In March, the whole family went to Disney World. I figured that was our last good opportunity to go for a year or two, as Sophie was barely six months and was in that delicious stage where she smiled, laughed, and interacted, but could not move. This is a beautiful phase.
Izzy was five, and right in the thick of Princess-Mania. This trip was one of the few times where I haven’t been slightly sickened by her obsession (which by the way, appears to have ended. And now I’m sad. Stupid greener grass on the other side.) as Disney World is pretty much the most fun place in the world for a five year old girl who likes princesses.
It was one of the most fun vacations I have ever had in my life, and hands-down the most fun I have had with children. Pay attention- this was the key to our success: Grammy and Papa came with us.
I know that vacationing with one’s parents is not for everyone. But it is most definitely “for me”. I adore my parents. They are so much fun. Truth be told, someday I would like to take a vacation with just me and my mom. We are vacation soulmates: we would spend each day lying in the sun, reading and drinking cocktails. We would spend each night eating and drinking wine. And reading some more. And probably laughing a lot.
My dad is one of my favorite people to spend time with; he may not be a big talker, but when he does open his mouth it’s either breathtakingly wise and important or gut-bustingly funny. In kind of an understated, didn’t-see-that-coming sort of way. And the lovely thing is, My husband genuinely enjoys my parents too.
So take this fact and combine it with the fact that they are helpful beyond belief, and you have the equation for the perfect vacation. With the brilliant 4 adults:2 children ratio, nobody was ever frazzled, flustered, or freaking out. We all got a turn being off-duty, and the kids were constantly doted on and taken care of.
Disney World can be kind of an overwhelming place, and during the entire week we were in Florida, I rarely felt stressed. This is really saying something, especially considering that I spent a portion of every day breastfeeding the baby who never took a bottle on the toilet seats of various public restrooms. (Oh, then there was the time we stayed late at the park for the parade and fireworks, and Sophie fell asleep nursing and I walked out of the the park amongst the bewildered throngs of tourists with a sleeping baby actually latched onto my boob and covered with a blanket. OK, that night wasn’t the most relaxing, come to think of it.)
Anyway, when I look back on that trip, one of the prominent impressions is, we had two extra people to share the burden of child-watching, and we had two extra people to laugh with. And we always laugh a lot when we are with them. Sometimes you can gloss over family memories by inadvertently blocking out the bad parts, but in this case, I think it was honestly the best family vacation ever. I hope we can take many, many more vacations with my parents. Cheers, Mom and Dad!
Big thanks to Kate of Can I Get Another Bottle of Whine… and Janine of Janine’s Confessions of a Mommyaholic for hosting Finish the Sentence Friday #3!
What did you do on your last vacation?
Oh your parents sound amazing Stephanie and I feel so much the same about my mom I could very much relate. My dad is more old fashioned, but he means well. But I could so understand and even crave needing those extra hands when going on vacation with little kids. You need them and when it is your own mom and dad, it makes all he better. Seriously, thanks for linking up again and loved all your pictures, too. Hope to take our girls to Disney in the future, because they too are princess obsessed!!
That sounds too good to be true, but I KNOW it’s true because you always keep it so real! You have awesome folks. I can’t wait for a family trip to Disney World (It may happen… in 2020 perhaps..) I’m working on getting my Brit family to come to Florida…. Wish me luck.
Oooh, that would be great! There is such a narrow window of when to go to Disney without making yourself insane. For instance, I would not enjoy taking my crazy 15 month old there.
Definitely agree with the benefit of extra people to share the burden of child-watching, especially in a crowded place like Disney World! Glad you guys had such a great time!!
Aww, what a beautiful tribute to your parents. I wanna go on vacation with them! I love going to Disney – everything is just so pretty and fun to look at. We thought about going this February, but after our trip to CO we decided to hold off a while – not to mention it’s expensive as all get-out! And I love your hat. I have one like that that I wear all summer, but it’s from 1989 and not nearly as cool as yours – mine actually makes me look like a dodo, where as yours makes you look hip. Where’d you get your hat? (and is there supposed to be an apostrophe in yours? I have no idea.)
i have a confesion to make! we haven’t taken a real, over night family vacation since we had kids! but, maybe this will be the year for us. don’t think we’ll start out with a big one like Disney, but I’m thinking an overnight trip to a great zoo may be just right for us!
An overnight at the zoo would be perfect! A “real” vacation with kids is often more trouble that it is worth!
Funny enough, we are trying to plan a trip to Vegas with my mother this year! We LOVE Vegas, and there are actually lots of things to do with Kids, so our thought is that we can do some kid-friendly stuff in the day, and then at night my mom can babysit while we go out and remember what it’s like to be a couple again. As my parents don’t live here, it’s a win-win – she gets time with The Kid and we get to be adults.
Now, if only my husband could find the time to actually take a vacation…
Yes, it is definitely a win-win; I know my mom loves it when she gets to spend alone time with my kids and give me and hubby a break. I have heard that Vegas with kids is actually great- so enjoy your trip! Whenever you get to take it…. 🙂
I just love that you love traveling with your parents. They sound so absolutely lovely. LOVE IT!
I am also seriously jealous that you look so good in hats. LIKE MODEL ADORABLE in hats. I look like a troll in a hat. My children won’t even stand next to me. (and who could blame them).
Oh, what an unexpected compliment! I am glad to hear that, since I worried that I looked kind of lame in my hat, but I was too terrified of having a sunburn to ever take it off! And, yes, my parents are extremely lovely!
Now THAT is the way to vacation! I wonder if I could rent out ‘grandparents’ for my next vacation…. 😀
I agree- renting grandparents seems like a great idea! Can’t wait to read your post about Mickey!
I don’t know the last time we went on a vacation without one of our parents. We even took both my mom and my husband’s mom to Disney last year. Can’t say that it’s easier to have grandparents with us, but they and the kids have so much fun together, we always invite them.
You are so blessed to have such wonderful, helpful parents. I’m sure they feel like they are the blessed ones when they see what you write about them. 🙂
Love all the happy positiveness in the post.
I am so intrigued to read your post- the title looks like it will be an interesting fit considering what I just wrote about! (I am loving this comment luv thing) Nice to know other people bring their parents on vacation, and yes, we are very lucky that they are actually helpful!
It’s rare that someone actually likes spending time with their parents in later years. (About 3 hours with my father is max limit for me.) Good to see it though! As my wife and I have always taken separate vacations (her with the oldest daughter and son-in-law for the most part) the group thing could be fun, but somewhat limiting as I usually seek out things most don’t. Great Post!
Thanks Rich! I am very grateful that we genuinely enjoy my parents’ company…can’t wait to check out your FTSF post today!
I agree bringing family along is the way to go. We haven’t ventured to Disney yet. Maybe next year when the boys are 4&6. I can’t even imagine flying anytime in the near future with my three year old. That’s the only reason we haven’t gone yet. It looks like a great trip!!!!
I think 4 and 6 would be great ages to go…Traveling with a 3 year old was not my favorite!
What an absolutely lovely blog. As the grammy in the bunch, papa and I had a fabulous time. You can be certain we would enjoy being included in another vacation …….or many!
Thanks Grammy! We love you!
very good Post, the sense of what family can be (and often is not) and how it is necessary to seize the opportunity as life moves way, way too fast.
That’s the truth…Thanks, Clark!
I agree that the stage when our babies can’t move is the perfect time to take a vacation! And adding Grandma and Grandpa to the mix is fantastic! We too have taken many vacations with my parents and it was beyond great to have their help with the kids when they were young. Just to have two extra sets of eyes and hands was so helpful. The last time we vacationed with my parents, all three of my kids came down with head lice. Needless to say, Grandma and Grandpa left two days early after that episode. 🙂 But all in all, we have very fond memories of vacations with my parents along.
Head lice on a family vacation just doesn’t seem fair…but kind of funny in hindsight, I bet!
Pure genius! Too late for us now, I’m afraid, as our little guy is 14 months and *extremely* busy, but I wish I had thought of it. We took several trips with him when he was younger, some good, some a little more stressful. But I do miss the “sweet spot” of babyhood, as you mentioned, when he was cute, smiley, easily portable and unable to crawl away on his own. 😉 We naively tried a mobile nap when we were visiting my sister-in-law in Chicago this past November when he was nearly a year old and I ended up nursing him in the carrier on a public bus to stop the screaming. I leaned over as much as I could to shield us, but he kept pulling the blanket off there was a creepy male passenger standing over us who stared a bit too much for my comfort. *shudder*
Oh, man, I have so been there! We have had a plethora of less than desirable public nursing experiences… And I’m afraid now that the “sweet spot” is over, we won’t be too anything terribly fabulous for awhile.
Oh man. I love Disney World so this post made me soooo nostalgic. I agree- vacationing with parents can be completely awesome – EXTRA HELP!!!! 🙂
NO, NO, NOOOO, hehe. Not for you guys, you guys sound like you get on amazingly. I went on holiday with my mother when my oldest was 8 months old, not as bad as I thought but she has become worse with age.
My mother tells me what the kids “need” even though I was a typical “kick ’em out til teatime” kid. She also tries to soften it when I chastise my kids with ” Aww they’re not naughty!”…Erm ” Shut up because they have been!” ( No, I wouldn’t dare say that). She just forgets and then she winds me up, like she did this morning, which is why my opinion is slightly weighted one way, ha.
Yeah, we are pretty lucky…I have heard so many stories from friends of mine who have parents or in-laws that are the opposite of helpful. That would drive me *crazy*!!!!
I’m late to the comment party but I barely got my post in on time last night. I am SO JEALOUS that you had such an awesome vacation with your parents. I love how involved they are with your kids. I wish I could say that my husband’s and my parents were that involved – to the point where they’d be…you know…helpful if they traveled with us. Sounds like such a fun trip. Can I come on the next one, too, please?
Sometimes I just wish they would move in with us. They are so helpful, I feel like an inept idiot when they leave sometime. I am late to the party, too; I need to go read yours now!
I love your post! And it was perfect timing because we are going to Disney World with my parents in about a month … and I’m hoping our trip ends up as fabulous as yours!
Oh yay! Have so much fun…I can’t *wait* to go again! Good luck!
What a wonderful vacation story. Traveling with my mother would probably result in physical harm to someone (likely me, with an ulcer from repressing my fury). You’re very lucky to have such a warm and supportive relationship with your parents.
Yes, it’s something I try not to take for granted, and I can only hope my girls feel the same way about me someday!
What a wonderful praise to your parents!
I don’t know that I could ever, EVER vacation with my parents – they are married, but the two do not vacation with each other, lol.
No, really, this all sounds wonderful and it sounds like everyone had a great time! 🙂