13 October 2010

just beachy

(Picture disclaimer: I've got more pictures on my camera phone but uploading those is not quite so simple; and I was apparently the main photographer, therefore you are denied the opportunity to see a 3rd trimester belly in a swimsuit. So there.)
We had our first true vacation in over three years this past weekend. We indulged in four nights at the beach - the hotel was clearly a bit older, had horribly lumpy mattresses (hello sciatica that was almost all gone!), one 5am little roach critter that I chose to ignore once he was dead and gone, and not so great free continental breakfasts (canned juice and so-so bagels, though the brand of blueberry muffins they served were dairy- and nut-free, making for two superbly happy kids, so that redeemed itself at least a bit); BUT it was clean, it had amazingly wonderful hot showers (I think this is my favoritest thing about hotels in general - their massive amount of scalding hot water), and a kitchenette (a specific need for us since we didn't need nor want the stress of eating out every meal with so many kids and all the allergies).
And tying for first place with the hot water heater (okay, maybe the hot water is second, but only by a hair) - we were beachfront. NO sand in the van. Just in the swimsuits (ick). We had a little balcony overlooking the pool and ocean, we had enough beds for all of us, and we just went down and walked out onto the sand each day. That made my beach experience exponentially better than any other I've had. (Whereas I loved going up to the room to get something I forgot with no worries, frustrations, or tears...as well as simply arriving at the beach when you get to the back of the building you're in.) Conversely, I loathe loading a car with sandy toys and towels and bodies to driv a mere mile or two to the hotel. Of course, it's a little hard to get sand in the van when the van is not with you anyway.....
We left several hours late for our trip (10pm instead of 6 or 7pm as we'd planned). Which put us arriving at our destination just after 4am. Lots of coffee and Grandparents who came to play with the kids while I packed and napped made all the difference in the world that day. (Or I might have given up trying to go on vacation altogether.) As we arrived in town, a mere 15 minutes from the hotel, I turned a corner and suddenly the check engine light came on and the transmission would not find the right gear. It took at least 20 minutes, maybe more, to arrive. The engine never stopped making it's horrible revving sound.
After a few hours of sleep and once the kids were awake and fed, we took them down to the sand for a few minutes - sans swimsuits because John desperately needed to find a mechanic. As pregnant as I amI was NOT chasing kids on the beach. No way no how. Once we got back into the room I implemented the endless handheld games and TV and coloring rule. Which is still not as fun as the beach you can see outside your window. Such a mean mommy. Who was stressed out because the first mechanic sent him to Mr. Transmission who said we definitely needed the transmission rebuilt pronto. And it would not be ready until Tuesday (we were set to return home early Monday morning . . . ha! It was almost the end of business on Tuesday before they were done). So, we arranged to stay an extra day - nothing like the extended vacation. And there were absolutely NO rental cars available in the city, even at the airport. Thankfully, they were able to dig up a loaner for us - nothing like a tight squeeze in the back seat for the kids, but they were champs. And at least we didn't have a lot of driving to do. The lack of rental cost was a real blessing, though.
And I must say that in all of it, I saw God's hand: we broke down arriving in town, not halfway, and not before the trip. We got to stay an extra day. He knew all along that this was going to happen. And how much it would cost. He even pushed us to on the trip in the first place - and do it where we didn't have to drive to the ocean each day! No, I have no doubt His hand was upon us during the entire experience. (In spite of the hormonal stress and tears of the third trimester.)

I guess that we won't need that transmission fluid changed before the end of the year like I'd been told when I had the car checked out two days before the trip. . .

1 comment:

Hannah said...

Ah, the perils and triumphs of the Great Family Beach Vacation. Sounds like it was not without its bumps (including your belly, ha ha), but very worth it. Your kids will remember this for sure!