When I found out I was pregnant with my first son, I started planning all the places I was going to take my little zygote to. I had hiked the Inca Trail the year before I met my husband and the whole time I was gasping for air, I thought to myself "I can't wait to come back with my husband and kids some day! What an amazing adventure this would be for a young child." So now I'm counting down the years until JR and C are strong enough to handle the hike and altitude (because lord knows, I ain't carrying either of them!).
Likewise when my husband and I were whitewater kayaking down the White Nile in Uganda -- my husband started talking about teaching our yet-to-be-conceived son how to paddle before he started to crawl...
And just after JR's first birthday we boarded a plane to Vietnam and revisited some of the places we'd seen a few years earlier.
But now that we've got our 2nd baby on board, I find myself hesitating to book the trip to Europe that we'd been talking about for the last year. Suddenly, I'm a bit nervous and uncertain that bringing TWO kids across the ocean is a good idea. It's not the flight..at this time last year, we were in the midst of a 25 hour journey to Vietnam with a 15-month old. I consider myself the Toddler Distraction Queen. It's not the packing...I'm notoriously militant about packing. There is nothing I hate more than schleping around backpacks and bags filled with stuff you don't need - so I know I'll be smart about what to bring.
I think the biggest obstacle for me is wanting to find a balance between fun for me/my husband and fun for the kids. Weekends don't exist for me to sleep in and watch chick flicks anymore (confession: I've never actually done this) - they exist to find something that the kids will enjoy. My husband and I really think of nothing else in our spare time. Because watching them have fun gives me more joy than any cheesy rom-com airing on the Women's Network. So will our 2-year old really have fun if we rent a house in southern Italy for a couple weeks? Or will it be exactly like being at home, but without all his toys/books/playground?
And this is why, for the first time in my life, my husband and I are actually considering an all-inclusive to a family resort. There. I said it. We are likely going to sit our bums down on a beach, eat bland food, and watch annoying Sesame Street stage shows every night. And we're going to love it.
We've never done this type of vacation before as we've always leaned toward more 'adventurous' travel. Our best travel memories are usually from meeting the locals, finding that amazing, tucked-away food stall, or standing in a spot that is unreachable by any method that requires an engine.
Basically, the opposite of what you experience at an all-inclusive.
But in addition to working our butts off this year, we also have another set of feet on the ground. So we both think that doing nothing somewhere warm where you don't have to worry about finding someone that speaks enough English to tell you where the nearest bank is, or decide where you're going to eat your next meal or do anything resembling thinking at all sounds mighty nice.
So we'll save the family hike in the Andes for our next vacation...
P.S. Since I'm completely unfamiliar with resorts, I'd love to hear your suggestions for great family all-inclusive spots!