Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Vacation ... Blissful Vacation

As I write this, I'm in my bedroom with the door shut. I hear Teddy complaining in his room about being put down for a nap. (This is the second attempt since he was up before 4:30 a.m.) AJ is in his room, supposedly laying in bed until his clock says 2:40. (It was 2:30 until he spent 10 minutes going to the bathroom, washing his hands with a baby wipe and soap and having a drink from a cup that was also holding a toothbrush and floss.) I'm in my room because AJ insisted I rest for 30 minutes since I'm making him rest for 30 minutes (because everything that comes out of his mouth is a whine or he's in tears).

And a week ago I was in 80 degree weather with plenty of sun and no children. Now I'm staring at 6 inches of snow on the deck railing outside, but at least it's warmed up nearly 40 degrees to get into the low 30s.

This feels like a dream right now. I wish Teddy were dreaming instead of kicking his door.
So this post has next to nothing to do with Teddy, aside from the fact that his grandparents not only kept him alive but took great care of him while we were gone for the week. And our sitters who provided respite for my mom who had the Monday-Friday shift may be our saving grace in hoping to do any kid-free vacations in the future. I think they are both my mom's heroes. (Let's just say that from 11:15 a.m. until 4 p.m. can be a very long time with my boys, especially if there's no relief in sight until bedtime.) We're extremely grateful we had amazing family and friends who pulled together to make this trip a reality by taking care of the boys.

This was the first time Dave and I were gone together for more than a night for fun. (We've been gone together a whopping two nights at a time, but that's when we're volunteering and working the entire time.) We dropped the kids off Saturday morning and didn't pick them up until noon a week later on Sunday.
 
We went to the Virgin Islands, flying into St. Thomas but spending most of our time at the Virgin Islands National Park in St. John. It was amazing! We slept nearly 9-10 hours most nights. We sampled a few of the island drink specialties, such as painkillers and bushwackers. (If you ever get the chance, try a bushwacker.) We hiked miles without carrying children, which is oddly enough much more enjoyable. We snorkled together, watching sea turtles swim beneath us. (Dave only had to worry about me drowning instead of three of us drowning.) We went for a sunset hike that turned into a night hike, which was our intent. We rented a standup paddleboard. We used outdoor showers that were mighty brisk for 5 days. Dave drove on the left side of the road without any accidents. I ran on the left side of the road up crazy steep hills with sharp turns. I've never ran hills like that in my life.

Enjoying the warmth. Even the downpours were warm!

It was absolutely incredible to spend so much time with the man who keeps me sane ... most days. We got to sleep next to each other every night. (In contrast, our first night home I spent 2 hours in by AJ. Last night, Dave went in by Teddy around 4, and then I was up with Teddy at 4:30 a.m.)

There were times we thought about how much the boys would love the sun, sand and water, but it was so easy to travel without them. The airport waits with the boys would have been really tough, especially with weather issues canceling half the flights both when we flew out and flew back. The Virgin Islands are anything but accessible, so Teddy would have been on my back much of the time and changing him would have been almost always done in the back of the Jeep.

Beautiful sunset in a beautiful national park.

This was our 43rd national park together since we got married in July 2006. I hope we manage a few more trips without the hoodlums, especially to check off some of the ones like American Samoa with a long flight or the remote ones in Alaska. But our next vacation will be a family adventure out to Washington, checking off the last of the parks in the continental US. As crazy as our road trip adventures are with two young boys, one of whom is Teddy, we're already looking forward to it.

This is me not missing the boys.

Until then, back to our reality. As my husband said our first day back, "Last week, I only had to wipe my own butt."

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