At least most of the time. A vacation implies relaxation and minimal responsibilities. When you have small kids, those things don't happen. At least not for me.
I love the beach. Before we go on that hour long drive we make sure everyone pees and then grabs a snack before we get in the car. My hubs has loaded the car with chairs for us, the bag of more snacks and drinks, a picnic blanket and the bag of toys. Oh, and the shade tent. Oh, sunscreen! Ugh, I forgot my sunglasses. I should bring a book. Did you bring a book? Why bother? I won't be able to read it but I'm really optimistic.
I love the beach. We have a specific one we visit most often because:
- clean public bathrooms
- easy access to the beach from the parking lot
- tons of great lunch options
I love the beach. Once we're there we set up the chairs. And then the shade tent we may or may not have brought, may or may not be up, and the toys are out and hubs and I sit down, and we look at each other thinking: We've made it. We're here. And then, someone needs to go to the bathroom (the current is strong and the water is really cold so no one is wading in). Someone is hungry and someone needs a coffee (me). We watch the kids play in the sand and scoop up water just as the wave comes in, but then run back so they don't get slammed by the next wave. They're good swimmers but they haven't tested it in a current and I'm not ready for that yet.
I love the beach. The walks down to the pier in search of treasure, dodging the waves is my favorite part. Poking shells with our toes and throwing those squishy seaweed blobs into the water. We walk back to the blanket and repeat everything.
In the early afternoon we head back to the car, usually energized but occasionally feeling like the sun sucked all our energy out. We smell like salt, sunblock and sweat and it's perfect. It wasn't a vacation. I didn't relax for a second, but boy did we have fun.