The girls are at amazing, fun, engaging and independent ages: 8 and 4 years old, so we’ve (finally) started to go on big family vacations together. Last summer, we spent two weeks at the Jersey Shore; for Christmas we spent eight days in Paris for our first HomeExchange; then we traveled to Arizona to visit family (post on this trip to come).
Going on vacation has always been a gift, a luxury that families are able to do; a way to get away from it all, see some family, learn and experience new things, and be together. We are always surprised at the new things that we all learn on our vacations. At the Jersey Shore, the girls had become comfortable enough with the Atlantic Ocean that they were able to dive under the waves. Also, on that vacation, we learned how resilient the family can be when faced with natural disasters: an earthquake and hurricane (Thanks Irene). Our trip to Paris made all of us realize that we can travel to Europe — on a red-eye flight, deal with the time change, and see all the sights with an 8 and 4-year-old — all for under $4000 (Thanks HomeExchange.com!). And our last trip to Arizona, in which we visited family, we learned how to take it slow, enjoy nature, hike up mountains, and walk through the desert (well, ok, the Desert Museum).
But the best part of going on vacations that we didn’t expect? Just how close the girls became through all the trips. Without playdates, guitar lessons, dance lessons and art classes pulling them in different directions, they were together 24-hours a day. They learned how to play and appreciate each while learning how to successfully negotiate with one another.
For the girl’s spring break, we are headed to the family friendly waters of the Gulf Coast of Florida. We are going there with two other families – the girl’s oldest friends and their mommies and daddys. Although the girls won’t be alone, I know there will be a lot of growing on this trip. This will be the first time we’ve ever rented a one-room hotel room, where the girls will sleep in the same bed. Perhaps they’ll get too close? This will absolutely be a learning experience for ALL of us. Can’t wait.
For those who celebrate and for those who don’t, have a wonderful, peaceful weekend and week!