It always begins with our obligatory argument about how many bags we are bringing. I have actually become much better at packing light, but we also keep adding family members, so the number of bags has stayed about the same. My husband gets upset that there are too many bags, noting (repeatedly) that he is the one that has to load them into the car and then unload them once we arrive. I retort that we have two children and it is what it is; we have to bring a lot of stuff. Plus, I can’t pack everything into larger bags (hence fewer) because we don’t have more large bags. Then he says I am a bag lady. Then I threaten to make him do the packing next time and I will happily load and unload the luggage. And then I remember that this scenario will result in us bringing a single back pack for our little family of four to spend a week at the beach. Okay, I take back the ‘let’s reverse roles’ threat.
Then we get in the car, smile at each other, and hit the road.
By this time it is about 3:30 AM.
Yes, we have taken to embarking on our family adventures between 3:00-4:00 AM. The driver (husband) is much more awake than at night and we arrive at our destination early in the morning – it is fantastic!
When the boys woke up, around 6:30 AM, we stopped at a diner in the middle of nowhere.
By 9 AM we had arrived on Cape Cod, ready to greet the day and see Grammy and Papi, Grandparents Extraordinaire.
We have spent the last 4 days swimming in ponds, sunning at beaches, eating lots of ice-cream, doing puzzles (mostly Carlitos and Papi), reading lots of magazines (some, even, that don’t have Kim Kardashian on the cover), eating fried clams and lobster rolls, drinking beer, swinging in hammocks, loading up at Ocean State Job Lot ($2 jars of blue cheese stuffed olives? Yes, please.), and playing Monopoly Deal.
And there is so much more to do! The boys still need to go fishing with the rods I got the three of them for father’s day, I haven’t bought Xavi his first Cape Cod sweatshirt, we haven’t gone mini-golfing, and haven’t gone on a bike ride.
It amazes me how much life can happen in four days of vacation. So much more than four months even of regular life. Carlitos is basically swimming on his own. We tie a noodle around his torso and he swims yards and yards by himself in between his Daddy and Grammy, Xavi is talking (cooing) and laughing way more than he was a week ago, Carlitos hears Old Cape Cod and immediately says “Patti Page! Patti Page!” and I swear, for a second I saw my husband even learn how to fully relax.
Plus, Xavi is working on being even more laid back than usual (which is hard to do).
And Carlitos is figuring out how to ride a scooter.
But maybe my favorite thing so far this vacation has been watching my husband and Carlitos play (for hours!) together in the same pond where I went to camp every summer. There is just something so sweet and comforting about these ‘life coming full circle’ moments.
I am so ready for the next four days of vacation…