Jun 15, 2012

The Big Big Vacation

Ok, I'm going to warn you right now.  Blogger said I uploaded about 40 pictures from the monster of all vacations that I just took so you may want to abort now if you hate long posts. So now that I warned ya, without further ado, the monster of all vacation posts.  Why is it so long you ask?  Well, I ended up tacking two vacations back to back which meant that I was gone for a total of three weeks.  Yes, I believe it will take about three weeks to recoup and whip my children back into shape after that.  Why do kids fall apart on vacation?  I need a vacation from vacation.
We first went on a cruise with my parents.  We went for a week in the Caribbean and we had a lovely time.  Oh yeah, and usually we dump the kids off with my parents while Tone and I go around the world, but with twins and my sis and her spouse currently in their house, we felt five kids would be a bit much and instead asked us to come along with us.  That was a masterful decision if I do say so myself.  It's quite a bit different taking children.  Here is an illustration picture for you.  It's formal night dinner.  Tone and I are trying to look good (We don't.  I look at this and see a deer in the headlights), and the surrounding children are:
A. Crying (see child to the left)
B. Using superb table manners and acting goofy (see child to the right)
C. Are having trouble staying in their seat altogther (i.e. Ainsley who is nowhere to be seen).
 It took four adults to rope them all in.  Just sayin. Look one even snuck into their formal night dinner picture.
 Here we are all gussied up.  I mean we look good if I do say so myself.  I did my hair in about 10 minutes and it was CRAZY from being out in the ocean air all day by the pool.
 Where else can you drink coffee from a deck that overlooks a tropical island?
 The kids loved the beach in Honduras even if it was a little rough.  Hunter thought body surfing was awesome!


 This just makes me laugh.  Ainsley thought dancing in the waves and singing to herself was the most fun.  This is SO Ainsley.

 The next formal dinner night we got dressed to a "t", and then went to go and get the kids we had dropped off for a couple hours at the Kids Camp on board.  Our hope was to get a good formal family picture.  Hahahaha!  I guess not.  Thanks kid's camp for painting their faces like pirates on formal night.  So they looked like this at dinner.  Nice.  It's how we roll.
 At least Tone and I look good.  Even so, two stickers got stuck to Tone's shirt and I see Hunter's hand making it into this picture.
 Tessa, who was too young for kid's camp, wowed crowds with her dances while we spent time at the piano bar.  At least she didn't look like a pirate.
 Our last stop was in Cozumel.  Belize was a bust as a port so I didn't even really get pictures.  Cozumel is always my favorite.  We rented a jeep and my older two wanted to ride with the Grand's jeep.  I am sure this is TOTALLY super safe right?  When in Mexico....
 We went to this perfect calm and clear beach for snorkeling and sand playing.  It was gorgeous.
 Guess what my kids wanted to do?  Oh yeah, play in the pool that overlooked the nice beach. I think something is lost on them here.....
 I think my kids either had pizza, a hot dog or a burger for every single one of their meals for a week.  It was their kind of heaven.
 How did we fit five people in a room?  Like this.  Tessa's bed is that little pop up tent on the floor.  Don't knock it.  It's the greatest thing that ever happened to travel beds for babies/toddlers. It folds up tiny and flat and fits easily in a suitcase.
 What cruise isn't complete without a nerdy family golfing pic I'd like to know?

 Did you make it that far through all of those photos?  You did?  Wow, so here is round two now beginning. So from there we flew from Houston to New Mexico to meet up with Tone's parents who had their motorhome and Tone's sister's kids on their annual two week trip to different places around the country.
 I saw such marvelous things like the Smokey the Bear museum where he was found as a cub and adopted.  Hunter is thrilled can you tell?
 Right next to there was the Courthouse where Billy the Kid escaped and killed two deputies. We even saw the bullet hole in the wall.
 The sad thing is that the kids put up with these tours but mostly just wanted to get back to swim in the pool. I am noticing a trend here.
 There was a nice creek and park area that we played in one afternoon.  Tessa was in her own personal heaven because what she loves most in the world is a good swing.  She swung for most of a good hour.

 I managed to pull a trout out of the shallow stream with my bare hands.  I know.  You can call me rugged mountain girl now. Lightening quick reflexes!



 Tone was able to be there for a few days between working to go on a backpacking trip with his dad and all the kids (minus Tessa).  It was an easy trail and hike in so even Ainsley went.  She was thrilled to be with the big kids.
 Tessa keeps trying to sneak back in there with them.
 I guess they hiked 900 feet up to an old mine and poked around.  For this reason alone I am glad I was excluded.  Heat, altitude and my asthma don't go together.  I'm only a rugged mountain girl when it comes to catching fish with my bare hands I guess.  Lines are drawn here people.
 We had a campground birthday for the girls who turned 5 and 2 that week.  I know, what were we thinking having two girls only three days apart?  Oh yeah, we didn't plan it.
 The cousins are always good for some silly fun.  I have to say that all three of them were the most sweet and patient and kind with my kids.  Even Dean who at 13, could be totally cooler and above them.  But he was wonderful with all three of my kids which makes him TOTALLY cool in my book.  I was impressed.



 The last day we visited Carlsbad Caverns.  Which was pretty darn amazing.
 We attempted to get on of those "take a picture of yourself" kind of pics at the opening which never turn out.  Case in point.
 We turned the flash off in the inside so you could get good pictures of the formations, but some of them turned out pretty blurry then.  I'll save you the joy of looking at all of our cavern pictures (even though they are totally amazing).  I'll just give you one blurry picture as a token that I was there.  Gospel truth.
So you made it.  I am not posting the pictures of when we flew back to Houston, got stuck there for a day because the flights were full (the kids were thrilled - can you spell "hotel pool all day"), and then getting delayed because Air Force One landed right in front of us through the airport window and I got a picture.  I guess he's important enough or something to shut an airport down for a half hour.  At least I got my token picture.
It was a great vacation, and I should start posting again now that I'm home.
Or not.  I'm potty training this week.  That in itself is enough to put this whole house on lockdown.
P.S.  People who post the whole "potty training in a day" thing and their tips and tricks and swear they potty trained all 15 of their kids by this method either lie or didn't have kids ANYTHING like mine.  I'm going with  they tell big lies.

2 comments:

  1. Where did you get your pop-up tent for Tessa?

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  2. I looked at this post in reader the other day then couldn't comment...story of my life right now. Looks like you all had a wonderful time! Those bunk beds are too cool! I love Tessa's carseat-less picture! She looks like such a big girl now!

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