Here’s my idea of a great vacation. First of all, it has to be a hotel with an outdoor pool, which means it’s a summer vacation. We get two adjoining rooms, one for me and my husband, and the other for all the kids. I wake up early and go down to breakfast, ALONE. My husband can come if he wants to, but it isn’t necessary. What’s important here is that there are no kids, at least for a while. I get to the dining room and eat to my heart’s content. No preparation. No clean-up. I am ecstatic just enjoying the quiet and yummy flavors of the various breads, cheeses, spreads, fish, salads, fruits and juices. The perfect end to this complete this feast is a delicious cup of hot coffee with a wonderful, scrumptious pastry to go with it.
Now that I’m happy, relaxed and satisfied, who should join me but my youngest, cutie-pie son. We walk around the buffet together, and I help him put together a plate of food that he will eat for breakfast. Then the rest of my children join me, and I watch them proudly as they politely and with dignity gather huge amounts of food to eat happily, without fighting, spilling or yelling. Its already10am and I haven’t had to use almost any of my parenting techniques. It’s amazing and life is good.
The rest of the day is spent engaged in only two activities. The morning half of the day is dedicated to either a hike or some kind of sightseeing touristy thing, and the second half of the day is spent in the pool. My husband and I tell the kids where we have planned to go, there is no voting or arguing about it; and whoever wants to come with us is welcome, and whoever wants to stay at the hotel is allowed. They can watch T.V., go to the pool, sleep, whatever. I don’t care; it’s their vacation, too. Since the hike our trip is limited to only those who really want to go, we usually get good cooperation, good behavior, and enjoyment.
When we get back, we all relax together at the pool. We all love swimming, diving, jumping, and playing games in the water, so this is a great way for us to all be together. The perfect length for this kind of vacation is about 4 days, and we all come back feeling really relaxed and with great memories of being together as a family and having a good time doing it.