Family vacations. People always look back through their photo albums filled with memories of their trips when their children were young and tell the stories of “remember when”. That’s the stuff we think of when we first start making plans to create a family… the memories we will make along the way.
Chris and I don’t take trips alone anymore, by choice, but we don’t. We have the opportunity to, but the thought of leaving our toddlers behind just doesn’t appeal to us. Maybe when they’re older and more annoying we will, but for now… we want them with us, always. And yes, I can hear all of the “what about tending to your marriage” and the “they’ll be fiiiineee!” or the “Omg you can survive a few days away from your kids” comments, and yes… that’s true. And however much I LOVE to hear all of the unsolicited opinions of others on our parenting choices, we don’t want to miss a minute right now, and I’ll tell you why!
For one, our kids have a relatively early bed time, so by 7:30 we get to watch movies, drink wine, watch something that isn’t G rated and (dare I say) make the sexy time. Also, we make regular trips to visit family in Houston, which allows us a night to go out with friends, or alone, for a night… which is all we need. We don’t need to hand our kids off for a week just to feel recharged. We made them, to be with them. We had our crazy single time, now we want a family, and what to do things AS a family.
Not to knock anyone who wants that couples getaway… again, we will get there one day… but right NOW we want to create memories all together. SO with that said… here is how our very first family trip went!
(And we waited until now in order to ensure there would be minimal drama).
We searched the web for a place that was relatively close to family (dog sitting was a must- sorry Daisy) We looked into beach houses, hotels in different places where we would have ample space for kids to have their respective places to nap and close
enough to the “action” that we weren’t rushing around and feeling like our lives were revolving around said naps… which they did, but we didn’t want to feel like they did.
Chris found this cute little place in a VERY small town outside of Hunstville, TX called Crockett and to The Gregory we went! We packed it all – the pack n play, snacks, Minnie mouse Potty (which came in REAL handy when we had to stop at a gas station in the middle of nowhere because Cori needed to potty – of course) blankets and everything in between.
Sound fun yet?
We then made a pit stop at a Walmart (one of 2 stores in the town) and got food and other little things we would need that our Gregory didn’t have. We forgot bottled water and cooking spray – but never fear! Chris made another trip when the girls went to bed and I used the coconut oil that we bought to help the rough bumps on the back of Cori’s arms… see…having a high maintenance child can come in handy! But we did arrive in one piece, and decided to hit the ground running and go fishing right away!
It took about 30 mins to get the girls in their swim suits and lathered in sun screen – and 3 tantrums later, we were fishing! – It lasted a solid 20 mins and the kids were DONE – but Chris caught a fish in that short time which made Cori’s life. As you can see in the photo – Diem’s bunny would not be left behind – it did save us from a stronger tantrum though, I’m sure of that.
The next day, Chris set out fishing solo (much needed decompression time since the dude has yet to take a true day off in over a year) – I stayed back and played with the girls, we explored outside and saw deer!
The girls played chase and danced while Chris grilled burgers and hot dogs for lunch before we drove over to Junkin’ for Joy (antique shop in Teague, TX) lugging both kids on our hips through the crowded rooms. Later we lit a campfire and they had their first true s’mores experience. Of which Diem lost her shit and only had 2 actual bites. But what I remember most from this day was toward the end while the girls were splashing in the water table I brought – another ace choice of mine if I do say so – but next time I should make sure there’s a hose because Chris had to pour water from the spout into the ice chest, then transfer to the table ANYWAY despite all of this— Chris was just standing there looking the most relaxed I’d seen him in a long time, and he said “I just had this feeling of euphoria”.
Now, my husband is not the lovey dovey ‘feelings’ type of person that I am – so this made the exhaustion a million times worth it. He needed this vacation more than I did and the idea that through the screaming and the lack of sleep and the trips up and down the hill to the lake – he was truly happy.
We spent our last morning back on the dock where I finally got to fish myself – and caught a bass if I might add! Cori cried not to leave “the fishing house” and Diem took her last nap before we made the trek back home.
I tell you all of this because, although we could have had the kids stay behind while we went to a much fancier destination. We could have slept in and probably on a softer mattress. We would have been in a place that had room service where we didn’t have to use our kid’s arm oil to cook breakfast. We could have gone a couple days without the whining and fits that they naturally throw… but then we wouldn’t have had these memories. Ones we laughed about the whole way home.
We loved every hot mess minute of our time in the country with the girls. It wasn’t “easy” but we chose our first vacation based on the needs of our kids. And hopefully with each passing year we can pick new and exciting places to adventure to that we can venture out and not have to work around naps and having to use a specific potty.
With that – I hope you all enjoy our photos and take a look into a sweet little Crockett getaway for yourself (and the kids)!
And here is the website: http://www.vacationcountryrentals.com/vacation-rentals/the-gregory/