We usually take our family vacation to the beach during early or mid summer. This year, however, we decided to put it off until late summer. And it proved to be well worth the wait. Here are five reasons why I'm glad we did.
1. Warmer Waters - Both the pool and the ocean waters were perfect. They were not too cold nor too warm. We had no trouble getting in, no period of adjustment. We also still felt refreshed from being hot and in the sun. It was amazing.
2. Beach Crowd - Because we waited until most schools were back in session, the crowd on the beach was so much less. We were not alone, but we also had plenty of space. When you have young children, this helps with worrying about keeping an eye on them and them disturbing others. I didn't worry as much about Little Man getting lost in the crowd while he played in the sand, and he wasn't overwhelmed by all the people. The pool was never crowded either and it was nice to enjoy the space with only a handful of folks most of the time.
3. Restaurant Availability - Anytime we've gone to the beach during early or mid summer, we have always spent a good deal of time waiting to eat at local restaurants. This proved to be much less of an inconvenience during late summer. If you have young children, you understand exactly why this is helpful. The longer little ones wait, the more ancy they get. We were in and out everywhere we went.
4. Cheaper Rates - Another very nice bonus to travelling late was the cheaper rates. Because it wasn't peak season, we didn't have to pay top price. We also enjoyed a pretty good discount because we waited to book our reservation until the last minute. Because we weren't booking in the high traffic season, we didn't have trouble finding a place. It was a win-win!
5. Weather - The weather was practically perfect. I realize this could have gone totally the opposite way, but it didn't and we were grateful. The highs were upper 80s and slight chances for thunderstorms - and that means a good breeze. The only rain came at night. Anytime we've gone in early or mid summer, it's been entirely too hot. I love to sun bathe but not if I feel like I'm roasting. I like to enjoy it, read, and relax.
As much as we loved getting away from it all for several days, everyone was pretty happy to be home. Here are five reasons why I'm glad we're home.
1. Washer and Dryer - I love my washer and dryer. I'm not sure what it is about condo washers and dryers, but in my experience, they always take hours to dry one load and I always wish they came with some instructions. We like simple. Some of this complicated stuff can be nice, but I wish it would be explained.
2. My Bed - The older I get, the less adaptable I become. I slept fine while on vacation and got lots of sleep really, but nothing like the sleep I enjoyed our first night home. You just can't beat your own pillows, sheets, and mattress!
3. Food - We made a trip to the grocery while at the beach and stocked up, but it's nothing like having your own kitchen full of options. When you're staying in a condo, you try not to buy more than you'll eat while you're there, so you have fewer choices available. I love coming home and having access to different things so I can just up and make something instead of having to plan it.
4. Routine - We are all actually homebodies. As much as we love taking trips and getting away, there is simply no place like home and there's nothing better than falling back into the flow of things. I actually enjoyed cleaning my house, washing and drying a few loads of laundry, and showering in my own space.
5. Family - We are blessed to live near a lot of our family members and are used to visiting with any number of them on a daily basis. As much as we enjoyed the 'just our little family' time (which was much needed), we really missed everyone else. I know our Little Man, especially, was excited to see his favorite faces when we got home.
Even though we are so happy to be home and back into the familiarity of our routine, there are some things about our getaway that I am definitely going to miss. I'm not going to covet, just stating the fact that these five things were really nice.
1. Dishwasher - We do not have one in our home. And it would take some major work to have one, so I won't be getting one anytime soon. But I can honestly say that I enjoyed the benefits of one while we were on vacation. I think my favorite thing is that you can clear off the countertops and clean out the sink without having to actually wash things right away. Gives the illusion of a clean kitchen without the work.
2. Hot Water - We do have hot water at home, but its not a never ending supply like at a condo or hotel. I love hot showers and could spend a good half an hour in there if my family would let me. A half an hour in ours at home, and I'll be standing in cold water.
3. Local Grocery Store - I loved how the go to grocery store was not a Wal-Mart. The people were so friendly and there were several lines open to check out. There were also plenty of folks in the deli to help customers. It just had a little bit nicer feel to it.
4. King Size Bed - I love sleeping in king size beds, even when I'm travelling on business and the bed is just for me. I love all that space! We comfortably fit the whole family in the king size bed in our condo. I guess it's probably a good thing though that we only have a queen at home.
5. Pigging Out - Who doesn't want to eat whatever they want, whenever they want all the time? I realize that is unrealistic and incredibly unhealthy, but it was fun for the few days it lasted! Cookies, and cokes, and candy, OH MY!
The best part of it all was the time we spent together. I'm so thankful to God for our little family and the opportunity to vacate - it was truly a blessing from God.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on vacationing - what worked for you, what you loved, and what you missed.
As always, thanks for reading.
September 2, 2013