Can we all just be honest here with one another?
Family vacations are not all that relaxing.
There used to be a very simple formula for a perfect vacation, it went like this: Take a week off and frickin' enjoy the heck out of yourself.
Then things got complicated (kids). Once simple formulas for success got very confusing (1+1+1=3) and suddenly vacations weren't so fun anymore. They had become a lot of work. And so I sometimes found myself mumbling low, so that no one could hear me, "I need a vacation from this vacation."
There I said it. And I can't be the only one.
That's when I decided that vacations were for adults only, at least in the short term, until everyone learned to manage their emotions...to sit still in restaurants...to have unwavering love for their siblings dawn to dusk, and to sleep in past 6:37am.
But before I even made this promise to myself (4/16/11), I fought tooth and nail for a campsite in Yosemite (3/15/11).
So needless to say, packing up the car last week, I was a bit worried.
Would the baby toddler wake the entire campsite up at 5am? Would the site of filthy children get to me? Would the smell of my filthy husband get to me? Would I drive everyone crazy fussing over everybody else's filth but my own?
No. No. No. No!
The whole thing was actually an incredible success.
There is nothing quite like the Yosemite Valley. And small kids just seem to *get* that. The glory of the beautiful outdoors is just obvious to us all, no matter how old or how young.
So it should really come as no surprise to anyone that my kids just naturally wanted to strip off all their clothes and run free on the beach. The only concern I had all weekend was "why aren't more kids naked?"
We ate pretty well too. We roasted (100% grass fed organic! ;) hot dogs one night with roasted corn and artichokes from the garden. Because eggs don't need refrigeration, we were able to bring a bunch from home and eat them for breakfast.
Our days were spent biking along the trails and visiting various points of interest. Our favorite spot was Mirror Lake. Located at the foot of Half Dome, there were boulders to jump from, shallow waters to wade in and a beautiful sandy beach filled with joyful children, two of them naked. ;) And as my (clothing-free) children played peacefully with (fully clothed) children from around the world, I couldn't help but sit on the beach, with tears in my eyes, and just marvel at the wonder of it all.