- Don’t take the kids – Boy do I love my kiddos, but seriously, if you want a “vacation” do not take the kids. Vacation with the kids is like normal chaos at home on steroids, x 100!! The kids are off any “normal” schedule, sleeping in a new environment (which for my kids results in zero-sleep… for everyone), we stuff more activities in one day than I would in one week, and the sun sucks any and all energy from all of us. The list can go on, but I think you get the point. On vacations my kids are either the happiest they have ever been as we embark on new activities or we see some of the worst sides to them as they reach their 12th wind from pure exhaustion. I am not saying never take a vacation with the kids (well, maybe I am), but if you want a “real” vacation that includes relaxing, naps and lounging by a pool, then don’t take kids.
- Don’t purchase a new house days prior to your departure – We signed the dotted lines on our first home three days before leaving on vacation, see here. I remember saying to Geoff, “what a blessing this is to not have to worry about house-hunting while on vacation.” Boy was I clueless!! Signing the dotted lines was the easy part of this entire process. The hard part and work really was just beginning. We spent more hours than we anticipated and wanted calling our bank and underwriter, gathering necessary documentation, talking with our home inspector, negotiating with the current home owner (we are also doing this sans any realtors… a different post for that story), writing up post-inspection addendums, etc. We have learned so much on this home-purchasing-process, but I would not recommend having that learning curve and process be while on vacation.
- Don’t wreck your parents/in-laws car – Yep, that’s right. Poor Geoff!! All week we were both so busy and stressed about our recent purchase (see #2 or post here). We were trying so hard to push all our stresses and anxieties away and enjoy our time with family and our children. But, this was totally the ‘icing on the cake’… the kids were both taking naps Thursday afternoon, I went to the pool and Geoff had to make an errand (don’t worry, my mother was watching the kids). I get a call, “Things just got worse. I just got into an accident.” Another car turning left slammed into Geoff while he was driving through an intersection. His car spun around and created a hefty amount of damage. Geoff walked away from the accident and is doing well (he is like a magnet in a car; see post here from last summer). We spent the next couple of hours with the Sherriff, getting the car towed, talking to insurance companies, and apologizing to my parents (it also happened to be my mom’s new car – less than 2 months old!). Let’s just say, this was not on our bucket list.
All-in-all we had a fabulous vacation!! We were able to spend 10-days at my parents in sunny Florida, soaking up the sun every day by the pool. Though it has been stressful, we are so blessed to be down the path of home-ownership. And last, but certainly not least, we are incredibly grateful for Geoff’s safety during his accident. But, if you are looking for a relaxing, stress-free vacation, I would do without the above three!!
^^Tate had his first popsicle(s) while on vacation. Let’s just say they will not be his last! They were a hit!!