Here are some of the ‘highlights’ of our family’s vacation earlier this month - we spent a week in VA at a condo, relaxing, and then two BUSY days in Washington, DC, seeing the sights. We had a great time, but it is very nice to be home as well.
On the way to our resort (about a 7-hour drive for a normal person…slightly longer with a 7-month pregnant woman and an antsy one-year-old), we had been driving for about 4 hours, Z was getting tired, and VERY bored of being in his car seat. We had been talking all weekend about ‘vacation’ and how exciting it was to go on ‘vacation’, and how we were driving all this way to go to ‘vacation’… Well, Z decided that he had had enough already, and let out a wail: “All done vacation!!!” Hubby and I have been laughing about it ever since. :)
The next morning, as we were eating breakfast, Z was ready to get down from the table, and he came up with even a new excuse to be done eating…a rather good one at that. “My belly SO full” he informed me, and then followed it up with a loud belch. So I assume he was telling the truth. :) But don’t believe that he won’t use THAT one again. :)
We went to a little ‘rescue zoo’ where they take in animals that are abandoned & then either keep them or give them to individuals who will keep them for life. They had all kinds of neat animals - lemurs, lots of snakes, wallabies, monkeys, and even a tiger! They had a petting zoo with goats, deer & a camel, and Z was excited about petting the goats…until one of them popped out from in between the fence slats & came to join us on our side of the fence- that was a little too scary for him! When I asked him later that day what his favorite thing was at the zoo, he said, “Man”. Apparently the zookeeper, who came and talked to us for a few minutes, was the highlight of his day. :) He did talk about the tiger again later, though.
Zachary made up a new word in the last week - “arounding”. It means turning around. When we’re going around a curve in the car, we’re ‘arounding’. When he’s running around in a circle, he announces that he’s ‘arounding’. It’s pretty funny, and it actually makes sense. :)
We have seen many deer wandering around on our resort, including several right off the back porch of our room. Zachary asks to go out on the porch all the time, saying, “Look for deer.” At some point, I must have exclaimed that it was ‘fun’ to see the deer right there, and so now he calls them ‘fun deer’.
Out of the 8 days that we were on vacation, we visited our favorite consumer wonderland, Wally World, at least 4 times. One trip was solely because our baby monitor broke, and we had to get a new one (which ended up working for approximately 24 hrs before petering out…don‘t get me started on that). Z always gets excited about shopping and enjoys riding in the cart. One day, as we were driving to the store, Z was talking in the backseat, and let out a contented, enraptured sigh: “Wal-mart…” We’re raising a future WM shopper. You’re welcome, Sam Walton! :)
We visited a small children’s museum in the area - Z’s first time at one of these, and we had a lot of fun there. I had a lot of fun watching Z enjoy it, and I think his favorite part was either the lawn tractor that you could sit on, or the little plastic slide…rather like the one he has at home… :)
After getting all relaxed for a week, we headed down to Washington, DC for a couple days. I will recommend to ALL pregnant women, if you’re going to see DC when you’re 7 months pregnant, DO NOT WALK IT. Your hips and back will hate you for days. Also, I can recommend many great public restroom stops around the city, as well as a comprehensive tour of each park bench in the vicinity. Take a tour bus between the sights or something - it would definitely be worth it.
Also, if you take a rather active toddler with you, who is unhappy being stuck in his stroller all day, your recounting of the trip may go something like this: Hubby taught Z to sing several fun silly songs while I toured the Holocaust museum. I sat with Z while he slept in the food court at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum, then fed him lunch, and we walked through the room with the big ‘spaceships‘ and walked through an airplane exhibit twice. After torturing Z by making him sit in his stroller and sing silly songs while we waited in line & then toured the exhibit of the First Ladies’ dresses, Z & I played on a bench in the Smithsonian museum of US History, eating goldfish crackers and making friends with every person who came to sit on our bench. Disclaimer: My son is NOT shy. Especially if you have a phone. Or if you’re wearing a hat - he really likes hats, and will exclaim, “Man! Hat On!!” He went up to seriously every person, and one sweet foreign lady was even hugging him & cuddling him & he didn’t even mind.
I think Z would say his favorite part of Washington, DC was riding the ‘train’ (the metro/subway). Every time the door would open or close, the train would beep & announce, “Door opening” or “Door closing”, so Z started saying that, too.
All in all, we had a great time as a family. I remember when Hubby & I used to take vacations before we had kids, they mostly consisted of sleeping in late, lounging around, and then taking naps, and going out to eat. So last year when we went on our first family vacation WITH Z, it felt less vacation-y to me - since, you know, I still had to get up early, nurse & make baby food for him, and change diapers & all. This year, I adjusted my expectations and my goals for vacation, and Z pleasantly surprised me by sleeping in until 7:45 a few days, and Hubby watched him so I could take several naps. Our condo had a dishwasher, too (I’ve never had a dishwasher in any house we’ve lived in yet), so I took FULL advantage of that rare perk. Also, I took full advantage of the Jacuzzi tub - it was wonderful. :)
It’s always nice to be home, though, to our own beds, our own cozy home with fogged-up windows and falling leaves (and today, snow!) outside. Being away from home is nice for a few days, but it’s even nicer to be home again, and more appreciative of all we have here.