Sunday, July 24, 2011

Vacation: Let's Relax or Let's Go!

How do you spend your vacation, or as they say across the pond, your holiday? How do you handle everyone's wants and needs?

Example: My family - a mom, a dad, and three daughters (a tween and two teens). We're on a spring break, "tourist-type" vacation in Atlanta, Georgia.

It's 6:30 a.m. My bladder alarm is ringing. No need to get up, though. Everyone else is in their second round of REM. I decide to "hold it" and to go back to sleep. Besides, where can I go? We're staying in one room; not a three room suite, complete with kitchen, that we sometimes get. The only other "room" is the bathroom.

Okay... I "can" go to the fitness center, but...

Now 7:30, my hunger alarm is ringing. Lucky to be staying on the concierge level, complimentary breakfast is available in the lounge for guests on my floor. It ends at 9:00, sooo... I do a quick wash of the face, hands, and teeth; check out the hair to make sure it's not too scary, and off I go with Nook in hand.

At 8:45, two of the natives (my kids) are coming through the doors of the lounge. Having missed this treat on day 1 of the vacation, they realize the value of getting up for the free breakfast, because it will be much later before we can all be ready to leave the hotel.

After eating, the girls take a plate of goodies to their daddy and sister; this way we all have a bite to eat, which lessens the chance of grouchiness visiting our room.

For the next two hours, the girls and I shower and dress. The husband goes for his walk, reads the paper, has his coffee, reads his email, answers his email, and makes a few phone calls. "Why rush?" is his attitude. He's been known to say, "I'm on vacation, plus you all are not ready. It only takes me fifteen minutes to shower and dress."

The girls are thinking the same thing, "No one else is ready."

Except me.

Sooo... I straighten the room, map out the plans for the day, go to the lobby to mail my postcards, watch the planes take off from the airport, etc. - anything to keep from just sitting and waiting.

When we "do" get out, we're hungry again, so we have to schedule a lunch within our touring time. With museums and attractions closing at 5 or 5:30, we get to see one per day, or we shorten each visit and see two.

Some of you may ask, "What's wrong with that? You're having family time, lounging in a hotel, and eating in restaurants. And, you get to do something fun during the day.

True.

BUT, want to see as much as I can!

Okay, so I'm whining... just a little.

On many of our "touring" vacations, this has been the pattern; except for our visit to New York City, where I emerged victoriously. I made everyone get to breakfast early and had them out of the hotel soon after. Was it the excitement of New York that put a little pep in our step?

I think I'll always be antsy when I'm ready to go and no one else is; however, I'll always be appreciative and delighted, too, regardless of when I get "there" and of how much I see.

The beach trips are a story for another time.

Are you traveling out of town, having a staycation, or using your time off to relax at home? Have any stories to share?

Image found here.

32 comments:

Karen said...

Like you, I like to see as much as I can when I'm on vacation. We had a long weekend at the beginning of the summer for a local vacation, but that's about it for the summer:(

Aubrey said...

Me too, I like to see as many places there are and try as many things as I can. But I guess that can happen only when I'm with my girl friends, not with the husband and the kids. In the end, what matters is that we get to bond with each other and have fun. But I like to "get as much fun as I can." lol!

Midlife Jobhunter said...

We took a three week trip with three teen age boys. Every morning my husband would say, "Get up, take a shower, put our stuff in the van."

Same line every day. Same prosession every day. Keep em moving, keep em moving. Like herding cows.

I'd head off with that Nook as often as you can.

Judy Thomas said...

It depends on the vacation. When we go to the beach or a resort (the latter is rare), it is to laze around and relax. Mountains we hike as early in the day as we can. When we go to a new city where we seldom go or will not likely go again for a long time, it is up and out early for all three of us, teen included. Maybe to a cafe for caffeine and a small breakfast, then on to the museums, parks, historical attractions as soon as possible! Though some time to relax inevitably occurs in the afternoon!

Tess @ Pro-tography 101 said...

We are just taking a mini vacation this year but I like to see as much as I can as well!

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

I sure could use a vacation but the closest we'll get to one is our postponed honeymoon when we go to a B&B and relax for the weekend. It can't come any faster!

Abby said...

This all sounds pretty familiar - except for the gender of the kids! We did a sort of staycation - a couple of hours away from home.

Personally, I'm the "relax, we're on vacation" type while my husband is the one eager to get in as many tourist traps as we can. We usually meet in the middle and that suits the kids pretty well as they've each got their own speeds too.

Mari said...

I like to see as much as I can too. I usually plan our vacations and cram as much as possible into each day. Then my husband says "we don't have to be going non=stop every day!"

Just Two Chicks said...

The stress of being crammed into one room is something I can relate to. We had that problem when we went to New York one Spring Break. Talk about cranky...I was the worst! Plus we went with a friend whose husband and kid made it hard. I can't blog about that though, because they read my stuff ;)

Beach trips are the best, because you know what you'll be doing every day... relaxing on the beach. :)

myletterstoemily said...

goodness! you should be wearing a medal
for all sharing the same room!

vacations are wonderful but can be very
taxing on familial relations. gary smalley
says that the worst vacations provide the
most memories.

anyway, have lots of fun!

Tabor said...

Both my husband and I usually like to greet the early morning and experience all that we can in the area. When we are with kids or relatives we have been lucky to have those that are movers and shakers. HUbby never slows down in the evenings, though, and that can be a bit of struggle.

Hilary said...

Oh I'd want to be up and out of there at a decent hour every day too... whether to sight see or lie on a beach, if it's that sort of vacation.

Shanda said...

I'm like you. I want to get out and see everything. My husband is a 'go spend an hour at a coffee place drinking coffee' and my opinion is you can drink coffee at home!

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Buckeroomama said...

Pre-kids, I was like go-go-go, but now I am much more relaxed. I have a general idea of the things we'd like to do, places we'd like to visit, but no rush... can't anyway with kids. :)

PⒿ @ $ € € ₦$ ₣®0₥... said...

When I could still travel, I wanted to see everything...even things literally off the beaten path. So, I understand where you're coming from.

You will get some fun memories and stories from trying to get the family ready to do something, anything, on time, during vacation. Any little frustration will later pay off in spades when you add them to journals, blogs, genealogy and share them with friends and other loved ones.

We have staycations because I can no longer travel.....but, without exaggeration, I live somewhere that staycations are preferable to going and staying anywhere else.

Diney said...

We like to see as much as we can of a country usually, but just come home from 2 weeks in Cyprus where is was too hot to do anything but sit BY the pool and then roll INTO the pool when boiling over!

Sharon said...

We just got back from the lake. We always get a house, and it seems to work. We stayed in a hotel when we went to Disney several years ago, but had to get two rooms...four kids is too much for one room. We had fun, but I much prefer going away to a nice hotel with just my hubby. Things are so much more relaxing! :)!

Jen said...

I like to take my time and enjoy whatever I'm doing. No rushing around on vacation for me.

Arlee Bird said...

I thought I was going to be home for the rest of the summer, but now it looks like I'm going to Tennessee in a couple weeks. I'll be there for a week and get to see my mother, my daughters, and other family. It should be a nice visit.


Lee
Tossing It Out

Carrie @ Cottage Cozy said...

Just enjoy the time together...

Rebecca S. said...

Hello Anita!
My husband would competely sympathise with your point of view. I'm generally the one that takes time to get going, along with two of my kids. The other two are like their dad, up and at'em, raring to go. Somehow, though, when I go to see my parents, I am the first one up, then I sneak into my mom and dad's room (they are always awake, sitting up in bed and drinking the tea my dad makes for my mom every morning of every day)and talk to them before anyone of my kids stirs. I guess the time is precious with my aging parents...but museums and beaches will always be there.
It's all about compromise, I guess. When we are camping, my husband is always up first making the fire and boiling the water. All he has to say is 'coffee's ready,' and I'm up. He has learned over the years :)

yonca said...

I can't spend all day home..If I don't have anything to do outside,
I hace my coffeee outside:)Or just take a walk.xx
Have a great Sunday Anita!

Julie Magers Soulen said...

Now that sounds like a familiar story! Typically we are slow movers on vacation. It's usually just hubby and me and we've been known to hunker down and not do a lot of anything. Getting to a lot of destinations is not our style.

Can't wait to hear about one of your beach visits. ;)

Cheers!
Julie
Julie Magers Soulen Photography

Hilary said...

Oh, I am definitely with you on getting out the door early. When we travel with the girls, it's a must. I don't want to be confined in a hotel room with three extra bodies. Besides, we're there to see stuff, not be in the room. When it's just me and the hubs or me and my friends (if that day ever comes), that's the time for lounging around.

Kristeen said...

I like to start my day early and get as much as one can in a day, before ones legs give out!
Just got back on a 6 month stay in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.. went to beaches and walked on sand until I got my fill and now back - good to back in the US...hugs

Farila said...

Have nice time.
I don't have that kind of problem with my kids and husband who are always ready ahead of time for an outing.. but that happened back at my Mom's place. I would wait for at least 3 hrs before we stepped out.

Eileen Astels Watson said...

No plans this summer. We did Maui in the winter and that has to hold us for a while.

I hope you have lots of family bonding time, Anita!

Tracey said...

My kids are still little, so we get out the door as fast as I can move them. They don't see the sights very fast either. I am beginning to wonder why we travel at all...

I don't usually plug my blog in comments, but I have just posted a whole series about "What I Did This Summer."

Tracey said...

Not much a plug if I don't tell you to go to http://www.unodostracey.blogspot.com/

Jenny said...

Gosh, I need to go on vacation! I don't care if I see anything or not! I just want out of this ridiculous Arizona heat!

Accckkk!!!

Hope you're having a great summer.

SuziCate said...

Oh the joys of getting everyone on the same page on family vacations! Only on beach time or camping are we all on the same schedules...unless the place we go has something we are all equally interested in seeing.