Thursday, August 28, 2008

"Vail: Come Here If You Don't Have Children."

We are home from our long-awaited vacation to Vail, and we couldn't be happier. Trevor and I keep passing each other high-fives, Berit insists that everything is new ("Mom, come see our new sink! Look at our new oven!") and is so pleased to play with her toys that one week ago were boring her to tears, and Marta is literally laughing at everything in our house. I don't want to get all complain-y that we went to Vail for a week, so I'll just say this: You live, you go on vacation with your kids, you learn.

Things I've learned from our trip:
1. Always book a seat on the "airplane" (small jet) for the "lap child."
2. Always bring your children's carseats, because they'll relax in them in the plane and the rental car company's carseats are sketchy at best.
3. Wal-Mart will take anything back, even after your child has made it her own for a week.
4. Always pack toys for DURING the vacation, never assuming your kids will be so engrossed IN the vacation that they won't need material possessions.
5. Ice cream makes or breaks a vacation, especially if it's green ice cream.
6. In Vail, in the middle of the mountains, you will not see the animals you thought you'd surely see, unless you are on top of the mountains, which with kids you won't be. So don't tell your kids you will.
7. Even though you won't get a wink of sleep, don't let your children "cry it out" on vacation, because really they're just scared. But once you get home, cry, cry, cry. (The kids, not you.)

A few trip highlights:
1. Trevor and I shared a bed for about 2 hours during the entire trip, since both of our kids decided they weren't comfortable in their beds alone and Marta (our good sleeper) refused to be set down in her shabby-mattressed rental crib for even a minute, let alone for the night. (I made a nest for her in my bed and Trevor either slept in a twin bed in Berit's room or in a different room.)

2. On the plane ride there, I sat in a tiny seat with Marta on my lap next to a very kid-unfriendly man who kept saying, "It's FINE. It's FINE."

3. On our whole vacation, Marta pooped once.

4. On one particularly lovely day, I boldly put Berit in the stroller and walked the two miles into Lionshead, a village near our house. There was a detour on the bike trail that took us to the bottom of the village, and the Imagination Station (a little room set up for kids to play, which was the highlight of the children's activities in the area) was at the top of the village. Fine. However, Lionshead has no ramps, and all stairs. Determined as I was that my child would have some toddler-based fun on her vacation, I pulled the double jogger up about two hundred stairs. (Really; I'm not exaggerating to sound heroic.) Once we were done with the Imagination Station, Trevor was supposed to pick us up in the car, but he never showed up. Several hours later, I was sure he had overdosed on his cold medicine (yes, he was sick) and that Marta had drowned in her own vomit after screaming so much she threw up in her crib because he wasn't alive to hear her wake up. So I ran the two miles (hello, 8,200 feet elevation) back to the house on the highway to avoid the stair situation, in sandals, no running bra (hello, nursing breasts), up a crazy hill, adrenaline pumping to save my baby and husband, only to find out that they were gone, had just left, had somehow missed me on the road, and were completely alive.

So we're home, and it feels so good. We think we'll skip a vacation next year, and after that take the kids someplace where they'll have fun, instead of hoping they'd conform to an adult vacation. 

We're especially looking forward to the long weekend, because Trevor will be around and maybe we can make extra-special memories right here at home, where we don't have to over-pay for chicken nuggets that no one eats, where sleeping, while sketchy, is enforced, and where everyone poops regularly. 


Ryan said...

Come on, it wasn't that bad. There was a hot tub...

Lisa said...

The best part about it was that you guys were there! I love hanging with you in the hot tub. :)