Our Vacation Situation

A post by Indiana . . . 

We mention at the top of episode 03 (our fitness episode) that we haven't been on a vacation together, alone, since our honeymoon 11 years ago. Don't get me wrong: we go on a lot of trips together as a family, but Chris and I haven't been alone on a trip in over a decade! It. Is. Time! 

I don't know what I'm more nervous about- being away from the kids for so long (we're going to St. Lucia for seven full days) or wearing a bikini! Ha! 

While I'm thrilled thrilled thrilled to be going to the Caribbean for the first time, I do want to say that I love our family trips. Growing up, vacations were a cornerstone in both of our families, and it's something we definitely need to budget for and make a priority. 

CHRIS: Did your family take a vacation, together, every year?
INDIANA: My family loves vacations. They love vacations so much so that after all the kids moved out, they moved down to Florida for a permanent vacation! 
C: Where did y'all go? 
I: The big vacations were always beachy; various places in Florida, Virginia, South Carolina... 

Note: I grew up with my grandparents, but my aunt and uncle, with whom I'm very close, took me on family vacations with them every year, something that I'm still so grateful for. They have two kids of their own, and for them to willingly add another to the bunch and treat me like a daughter, still amazes me.

C: We usually went to Hilton Head or St. Augustine. 
I: At least you had some predictability! I don't think we ever did the same beach twice. My family would do this crazy thing where we'd wake up one morning over Christmas break or spring break or summer break and they'd say, "SURPRISE! We're going to Daytona (or wherever)! Today! Right now!" And the night before they had packed our bags and the van, and we'd eat breakfast and hit the road. 
C: That's intense. And fun!
I: It was a lot of fun. They'd have new swimsuits and sugary snacks and car toys waiting for us. My aunt would truly try to surprise and delight us for the whole trip. 

Ryan, Shelley, & Indiana. Please note that the girls have on matching swimsuits. That was a family vacation requirement, people. 

C: That's where you get it from. 
I: When I was a surly young teenager, I hated it, though. I'd whine and be like, "I had plans! To see my boyfriend!" which is so lame and embarrassing now that I think of it. Gah. I hope our girls don't have moody boyfriends when they're in high school. 
C: Yeah, our girls won't have boyfriends in high school. 
I: No misguided affection for some boy will taint our family vacations! Ha!
C: Our families vacation very differently, which means that you and I have very different ideas about vacation. 
I: Yes. Yes, that's true. 
C: My family likes to sit at the beach, relax, leisurely eat meals, swim in the pool, nap waterside, and in general just chill
I: Whereas my family likes to go go go go. We want to see all the things! Do all the activities! We want to treat the hotel or rental house as a pit stop instead of it being the hub of the action. 
C: What was a typical week at the beach like for you all?
I: One of the trips that really stands out to me was St. Augustine, my freshman year of high school. That was one of the years where on Christmas morning my family said, "Surprise! We're going to the beach for a week today!" and I complained. But once we got there, man. So much fun! We did the beach only a little bit because it ended up being gray and cold that week. But I remember we did a bunch of touristy things, like visit Ripley's Believe It or Not, doing go-carts and putt putt, swimming in the hotel pool, eating at beach restaurants, shopping. I was getting into photography at the time, and I have all these silly photos somewhere of my cousin Ryan and I jumping on the hotel beds, trying to get a photo that looks like we're levitating. I'm wearing my high school boyfriend's Pearl Jam shirt. But see? My family made it so fun for us (and this was pre-cell phones, thank goodness) that I didn't even miss him. 
C: If our paths ever crossed on vacation, I wonder if we would have hung out.
I: Probably not. You'd be at the beach, wading around in the ocean or running sprints on the sand, whereas my family would be on a boat, trying some new weird water sport or something. 
C: Vacation is for relaxing. Unwinding. Doing nothing. 
I: No way! Vacation is for exploring and doing all the things you can't do at home.
C: We've got to resolve this before St. Lucia. 
I: Oh! I already have it planned out! They offer excursions to a volcano, we can do day trips to the other resorts, there's a catamaran we can take or there's four wheeling and horseback riding-- 
C: Whoa. Whoa. I had it planned out, too. There's lounge chairs by the pool we can nap in, there's hammocks we can try, we'll have a big, comfortable bed... 
I: Oh my gosh! We're not going to sleep the entire time. 
C: We're going without the kids! This is it, babe! This is our chance to sleep. 
I: Oh, man. Good point. Whoa. Very good point. 

This post was written as an entry to HomeAway's "Postcards from the Past" contest, but is not a sponsored post. Fingers crossed that we win so that we can take our kids on a family trip that's both exciting as Indiana wants and as relaxing as Chris wants. Is that even possible?