All vacations must come to an end...

The unfortunate thing about vacations is that they must come to an end.

That's the awful part about going away.

That, and the laundry that comes with the end of a vacation. The never ending piles of laundry that are reminders that only a few days ago, we were wearing summer clothes—little dresses and sexy shoes, flip flops and bikinis. To get back into winter attire is no fun at all.

I don't do well with change, especially when I'm on a tropical vacation enjoying myself in the sun, knowing that I have to return to the land of minus 40 degrees and snow and gloom and work.

In fact, taking a winter vacation to a sunny destination when you live in the frozen North like I do is downright... depressing.

My children, already seasoned travellers, having flown to Florida four times, to Bahamas once, and to Washington, D.C., and having gone on countless numbers of road trips—did great once again on this trip, and yes, it did help that they slept for the entire flight to Florida and back. Thank you, Gravol!
We all had a great time. As usual, I travelled with my entourage—my mother, grandmother, sister and baby niece were there, too. Travelling with extra helpful hands makes things a lot easier because going on vacation with my young children doesn't leave much room for me to relax!

I love the ocean and the pools and this resort that we've come to love, having stayed here four times in as many years.

Everything about the south Florida I know is clean and beautiful and warm and sunny and crisp and wonderful. I love being outside, and swimming in the ocean. I love shopping at Aventura Mall. I love having dinner at Carpaccio's in Bal Harbour and looking at the beautiful people.

I love driving down Collins Avenue with the windows down, surrounded by palm trees. It's a beautiful thing, and it really beats looking at gray skies and snows squalls.

My boys love the warm weather, too. They spent every day in the pool, swimming to their heart's content, napping in our room with the balcony door open, listening to the sound of the waves crashing on the beach.

"Mommy, why don't we live here?" my five year old asked me while swimming one day. (I ask myself the same thing every day, I muttered under my breath.)

"Baby... I wish we did live in Florida, but we live in a great country, even if it is cold right now and we have to wear our coats and boots and hats and mitts and scarves just to go outside. Plus, in a few months it will be summer again where we live, too!"

I had a great time, no doubt.

However, gone are the days where I would just lie down for hours on end soaking up the sun, listening to my music, and reading trashy magazines.

When a mother travels with her young children, it's all about constant motion.

I lost five pounds in a week, mostly because I swam so much but also because children never stop moving!
My days consisted of:

Getting up at the crack of dawn.
Helping my children into their swimming shorts.
Getting some sort of breakfast in my children.
Going outside, slathering on the children's sunscreen and putting on their sun hats.
Getting in the lagoon-style pool (before 8 a.m.).
Swimming with my boys and getting splashed in the face repeatedly.
Breaking up a few fights.
Getting out of the pool to relax for a few minutes in the sun.
(First strawberry daiquiri of the day).Getting summoned back in the pool.
Getting out of the pool because son number 1 needs a break.
Getting back in the pool to swim with son number 2.
Getting out of the pool because son number 2 needs a break.
In, out, in, out, in, out.
Floaties on, floaties off. Sun hat on, sun hat off.
Re-applying sunscreen throughout the day.
Going swimming in the infinity pool, moving ALL our stuff with us.
(First Pina Colada of the day).Going to the beach, only to hear: "The ocean is just not working for me," from my three year old, after getting hit by a wave.

In all honesty, even though it was a lot of work, I have nothing to complain about. I loved every second. I loved looking for sea shells with my oldest son, and making sand castles on the beach. He even found a shark tooth! A rare find, and one that made him extremely happy.

The biggest observation I always make when we return home from a vacation is that my children come back wiser, more grown-up, somehow. We laugh at our jokes, look at our pictures, and start planning for our next vacation as soon as we get home.

It's hard getting back into the routinue of things, but I remind myself another vacation is just around the corner... and we can't wait to get away again!
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Kim {The Fordeville Diaries} said...

Glad you had fun! Our warm weather trip is next month and it can't get here soon enough :) You're right, though -- it's exhausting with the kids. Just the slathering of sunscreen alone is like running a 10K.

Anonymous said...

sooooooooooooooooo jealous right now ! But happy you had an awesome time!

Lady Mama said...

It looks fabulous, despite all the running around. You're smart to take an entourage with you - nothing like having some extra hands on vacation. I love the picture of you with your little niece - she's a sweetie. And yes - after that, coming back to cold Canada is HARD.

Marilyn (A Lot of Loves) said...

How I wish we had gone on vacation! It's actually quite sunny here in Vancouver, but we're not swimming in outdoor pools or finding shark teeth. I need a vacay! Glad yours was good.

Alicia xoxxo said...

Sounds like you had a great time! Thank you for sharing your pictures! The ocean looks amazing and I am dying for a vacation right now!

CaraBee said...

Oh, that looks heavenly. Makes me want a beach vacation SO bad right now. The white sand, the crystal blue water. Sigh. Jealous. Glad you had such a good time!

Nena said...

Just LOVE your vacation pics. We went to Florida in November and while it was a vaction, it didn't actually feel like one. I love the pic with your son and ALL the toys!!

Chantal said...

Oh man, so nice. I wish we were going south. Beautiful photos, thanks for sharing.

Nenette AM said...

Oh, honey, sounds wonderful! I'm so happy for you... I know how much you love your Florida trips. :)
With you in Flo, my bff in Hawai'i, and another friend in Costa Rica, I'm totally living vicariously through others while I freeze my buns off in -30C windchill here in Winnipeg.
Really makes me wish I were still living in Hawai'i. :) xo

Elaine A. said...

Oh gosh I love Florida. That was one of the reasons I agreed to move here because I knew we'd be closer to the coast we love for Summer vacations!! :)

Glad you all had a wonderful family time full of fun and sun!

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

Looks beautiful to me! I agree the winter getaways are the best, arent they?

ModernMom said...

Oh it looks like you had a truly fabulous vacation...and such great pictures!! Welcome back to cold country!

EmmaK said...

Looks like you had a blast! and great you lost a few pounds. Alas my kids can swim so I can just relax by the pool like a beached whale. I guess I need to give birth to baby to chase around the pool! No chance!

Ann Imig said...


Mom2Miles said...

That place looks gorgeous! And I know exactly what you mean about your boys being in constant motion. I dream of the day I can bring a book, or even a chair, to the beach again. Going back to the cold must be SO tough.

Kate Coveny Hood said...

LOSING weight on a vacation is a dream.

And what is Gravo? I'm flying solo with my three (to Miami and then driving a rental car to Key West) in April. This sleeping thing sounds useful...

Mad Housewife said...

Pictures are beautiful! Sounds like you had an awesome trip.

Sarah at The Stroller Ballet said...

That looks like an amazing trip!! The resort looks beautiful...but you are so right. Traveling with children is so different than traveling without. In any event, glad you guys enjoyed yourself!!

Brittany at Mommy Words said...

Oh it looks fabulous and I totally hear you on the non stop nature of traveling with kids. I cannot wait for a couple of days alone with Ross. You guys are absolutely glowing in the sun!

p.s. good luck with the laundry!

Mommyfriend Lori said...

What a wonderful vacation! Beautiful pictures too. Laundry feels like a slap in the face after vacation, boo.

Avitable said...

Sounds like a fun vacation - I do love living in Florida!