Thursday, April 2, 2015

Vacation with Kids

This year, we bypassed our annual trip to Florida.  Instead, we opted for a closer (more budget-friendly) destination.  We landed on a vacation to Atlanta and Huntsville, Alabama.

After driving for over eight hours, we stopped at Berry College in Rome, Georgia to pick up my packet for the Berry College Half Marathon.

Berry College is a beauty!  The boys had a blast running around the rocks and tiptoeing around the water (inches away from a good soaking!).  

I have no pictures from the race, as I got totally lost driving to the starting line.  Then, thing after thing happened.  It's a story.  I didn't start until 12 minutes after everyone else, but finished a bit frazzled (and with a second place age group win!) and with a cautionary tale of what not to do before a race!

Am I the only one who likes to indulge in a Diet Coke post-race?  Fortunately, we found just the place to satisfy my cravings!  We hit the Coca Cola museum in Atlanta.

For the boys, the highlight of the museum was the tasting room that featured all-you-can-drink coke beverages from all around the world.  I wondered if the boys would cut themselves off at some point.  They did.  Some even claimed to feel ill. Wonder why?

Next day, the weather warmed and we traveled up to the top of Stone Mountain.  Here I'm featured with my hiking buddy!

And why not celebrate when we reach the top?

Lunch followed at a picturesque picnic area.  After dining, the boys engaged in a pinecone war.  I tried to halt the flying pinecones, but Chris insisted this is what boys do with other boys.  I agreed to the pinecone war, if Chris explained to the ER doctor why our sons sustained pinecone lacerations and concussions.

The boys loved the amusement area at Stone Mountain the best.

Note to self: do not let my six-year-old tell me he can do a rope obstacle course two stories above the ground...alone.  As a surprise to no one, he became hysterical during the process and a sweet southern dad grabbed his hand and escorted him to the nearest exit stairwell.  This mom needs a good slap on the hand after that one!

Trip Day #3 was spent at the Atlanta Aquarium with the Tomeney family (former neighbors and Atlanta transplants).  Pam said it had been seven years since our last meeting.  You know those friends you don't see in seven years and then you can pick right up where you left?  That's her and her family!

We left Atlanta and traveled to Huntsville, Alabama for the US Space and Rocket Center.

Four future rocket scientist?  A mom can dream!

It's been less than 24 hours since we arrived home from our spring break excursion to Atlanta and Huntsville, Alabama.  A heap of dirty clothes the size of a mountain has set up camp in my laundry room.  Mail and catalogues are strewn all over my kitchen island.  Suitcases litter the hallway.  This scene is unsettling to me.  I prefer order and cleanliness.  Our home is anything but.  It's the price one pays for vacationing, and so I'm willing to have a day to regroup amid the chaos.

This spring break was different than our previous years.  We bypassed our annual pilgrimage to Florida opting instead for a road trip to the South.  I've heard people say that a vacation with kids is no vacation.  I agree in part.  I shed any expectations of leisure dinners and sleeping late.  But, I think a vacation with kids allows me to really see my kids (without the distractions of laundry mountains and mail piles).  I'm completely present with my children, uninhibited by the demands of schedules and home.

When I'm there with them, listening to what they have to say (Whale sharks are the largest fish in the world!) and what they feel (I'm afraid to climb Stone Mountain.), they provide me little glimpses into their world.  We add little blocks to the foundation of our relationship that hopefully stands firm when we travel back home.

And for that, I'm happy to live among the remnants of a vacation with my boys.

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