Family: We’re More than Just Blood

Okay, so I am still in vacation mode as I sip my venti iced coffee with extra cream and 9 Splenda from Starbucks this morning.  I am enjoying the toned color of my skin and I still have that hazy glow of pure bliss. This was the first family vacation that we have ever taken and I actually had a ball.  I couldn’t have imagined having so much fun with my siblings and their families.  If you know me, this in itself is a big deal because we all have varying degrees of dysfunction yet we mesh together in a broken way.  It works for us.

We spent four days in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina as one big ole family.  One of the greatest surprises is that my mom took the bull by the horns and made the reservation once we agreed on the date because she knew her children wouldn’t do it.  I applaud her for that.  The resort was nice, clean with lots to do and the weather was perfect.  We all agree that we would do it again next year and would like to make it a yearly trip to the beach with our families.  However, that being said, there are some tips that I want to share to make sure that you have a smooth and friendly family vacation.

  • Save more money.  Whether you are a family of two or a family of six, traveling with children can prove pricey.  We stayed at a resort that had a full size refrigerator and microwave and we stocked our fridge with lemonade, juice boxes, sandwiches and fruit to snack on while we lounged at the pool or beach all day.  Money is essential on any vacation trip and you should definitely have money to afford family dinners and activities.
  • Carpool.  Gas prices are out of control and it is more beneficial to car pool and share the gas prices with others than footing the bill on your own. Because we were able to drive our own cars, it was more economical than flying and having to rent a car.  However, my car takes premium gas and the fill-up is about $68.00.  We filled up 3 times.  I think next year I will rent a car that takes regular gas.  
  • Research.  I wish we had researched some really nice restaurants and things to do with the kids prior to going.  I would love somewhat of a schedule with suggested price listings so we could have planned our activities accordingly.  We took the kids to the Amusement Park that was small and not overly crowded and they had a blast, but I truly appreciate a more itemized and researched vacation suggestions.
  • Pictures.  Nowadays, most people have a smart phone and take pictures on their phone, but many of us forget to send or upload them so that we can all share and have access to the photos to make a photo book of our vacation.  I took many pictures on my smart phone and began uploading them on Shutterfly last night so that we can all view and have a vacation book for our memories.  It was a great trip so you want to make sure that you get plenty of photos of all your family members.
  • Relax and enjoy.  It is simple yet for many of us hard to do.  We don’t know how to relax and enjoy and go with the flow of the conversation or activity choices without complaining or trying to regulate it. I think if you have a suggested itinerary that you send out in advance, you can modify it or decide to opt out of activities that don’t appeal to you.  Whatever you do, just remember that you need to relax and enjoy the time together because it is a family vacation.  
The cutest thing was when my munch said to his cousin William when he saw him at the pool was “Hi, William.”  William said, “Hi, Brennan.  Whoa you’ve gotten dark.” Brennan laughed and smiled brightly.  He responded, “I’m 6 now too.” This trip rejuvenated my munch and strengthened his relationship with his cousins and for that I am extremely grateful.  I love my family and I’m thankful that this trip happened because I discovered that we’re more than just blood, we’re actually friends.
Myrtle Beach – July 2014
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