Mini Family Getaways Make Life Better

Sometimes you just need to get away. Between work schedules, kid activities, family commitments, not to mention the routine everyday tasks you must do to keep life running smoothly, that need is often vital.


Apparently, it is also expected. My family anticipated the need to get away for about four months, which is how far in advance we planned for a little vacation of our own. The trip only takes about five hours, maybe more depending on how many potty breaks, snack breaks and general get-out-of-the-car-and-run-around breaks we have to include.

Our destination? The Alabama Gulf Coast, which is the same vacation spot I have frequented since I was the same age as my girls.

It is already a tradition for the oldest, who after three trips now tells us exactly what she wants to do with her time there. She names off exact restaurants to visit and provides detailed instructions of time spent on the beach. Here is a snippet of her itinerary this year in complete run-on sentence fashion.

"First, we jump in the water, but it might be too cold so we can build a sand castle, then knock it down and bury Daddy in the sand from it, and then hunt shells."

Her excitement stems from all the things she gets to do that makes a trip to the beach special. She plans to be busy.

Her dad and I feel exactly the opposite. Our excitement comes from all the things we don't have to do while on vacation.

No strict bedtime routine.

No going to work.

No having to be dressed by a certain time.

No packing lunches.

No running around to various activities and errands.

For four days, there is no rushing allowed. Vacation means we can relax our schedules, hopefully sleep a little later and simply spend time together. For these reasons, we haven't scheduled any activities or special events for this trip.

With young kids, it is always hard to plan activities too far in advance because you never know what they want to do. This time, we are just going to go and see what we feel like doing when we get there. If that means hanging out on the beach all day or playing 50 rounds of putt-putt golf or having ice cream every night, then we are ready.

The only actual plan we have made is to truly get away from it all.

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