Are We Ready For A Family Vacation?
Family vacation. The term itself scares me. Why? Because we have done a couple of weekend trips with the kids that were way more work/headache than they were worth. The girls are going to be 3 in August – the same age Ethan was when we swore that our lives would get easier – and we think we might be ready to try to take them on vacation for a week.
Well, let me rephrase that. “We” really means me. My husband is working a crazy amount of overtime this summer, and his employer put what amounts to a moratorium on taking off any vacation time. This means that the things we had all planned to do as a family will probably still happen, but several of those things may happen with just me and the kids. And the idea of going away for a week is one of those things.
Every year since I was a kid, and since my mom was a kid in fact, her family has had an annual camping trip to King’s Canyon in Sequoia National Park. Aunts, uncles, cousins, and kids all camp for a week in one of the most beautiful parks in the country.
I haven’t gone every year…not even close! The last time I went was a few years before Ethan was born. Every year since Ethan was born, we have thought about going. Now that the girls are potty trained (yay!) and more independent, we think they are ready for the experience.
I am not worried about not having enough help – we’ll be camping in a tent on my mom and dad’s camping spot. My parents love having all the grandkids around, and the kids love hanging out with Gramma and Pops. My mom is actually encouraging me to make the trip with them.
To be honest, I really can’t wait to take the kids because going there when I was a kid brings back some of my favorite memories. Like singing around the campfire at night. Playing with my cousins all day (hide and seek, bike rides, badminton, chase…). Hiking to Mist Falls. Running from campsite to campsite. Making s’mores. Hanging out and swimming at “Party Rock” – a HUGE flat rock near the base of King’s River. And of course going “bear hunting”.
Bear hunting was basically all of us kids piling into the bed of an uncle’s pick up truck (not anymore though – now they pile the kids into everybody’s cars and trucks and roll down all the windows) and winding through the dirt trails in the dark looking for bears. Yes, we did see lots of wildlife, but I don’t remember ever seeing any bears. We have seen bears there before, but never on an official “bear hunt”.
I am looking forward to it, but still haven’t decided if I’m ready to take on a week of camping with the kids sans the husband. What do you think? Should I accept the challenge? Any words of advice?
Photo Source: Flickr.com