Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Vacation Thoughts #2

Because you care about your children, and want to broaden their horizons and expose them to culture and history, you will schlep yourself onto the metro, with the gazillion other families also on Spring Break, and take them to the mall. And walk them up and down the mall, covering approximately twenty seven miles, pointing out monuments, and discussing the founding fathers, and what it means to be inspirational and a hero. You will enrich their little minds with details about the Washington Monument, and the Lincoln Monument, and the Declaration of Independence, and the Gettysburg Address, and talk about the Vietnam War, and World War II, and the Capitol, and the White House, and the beauty of cherry blossoms. And you will try to impress upon them the significance of the things they are seeing, and to appreciate the ideals and beliefs upon which our great nation was founded, and the amazing men and women who made these things possible.

And your children will gaze upon the monuments. For about five seconds.

Then child number one will complain about how hot she is and how none of the vendors near the Lincoln Monument sell ice cream.

And child number three will complain about how much her legs hurt and demand to be carried the second half of the twenty-seven miles, and whine until you give in, never mind that she weighs 55 pounds and is giving her mom and dad both hernias as they swap off.

And child number two will simply ask, in a bored and unimpressed tone, how much longer? Because they are in the middle of a Pac-Man contest on the computer at the hosts' home and that is much more important than looking at a bunch of buildings.

And you? Well, you will suddenly realize that the vacation you are taking this summer? The adults-only, no-children vacation? The one where Grandma Betty will be babysitting while you and four adult friends will be seeing grown up things that don't involve ice cream (well, maybe a little ice cream) or Pac-Man contests or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. That despite how much you love your kids ...........

That vacation cannot come soon enough.

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

lol! Poor Kristy. The mall must be awfully packed right now- even my coworker is down there today for the cherry blossom festival. But it is a beautiful site at this time of year. The kids will surely appreciate your efforts when they are older and looking back!

trish
leesburg, va

liz in sumner said...

Okay, I can certainly relate AND sympathize...which is why I, major weenie that I am, just don't even put up a fight and instead start planning the next road trip from Seattle to LA (Magic Mountain, Universal Studios, Disneyland, Seaworld, etc.) - hopefully this August, provided my friend Jay doesn't change her mind and gas prices don't hit $4/gallon! But I have to ask - not Seattle for the adults only vacation, surely??!! Adults only vacations simply scream places like HAWAII!! VEGAS!! NY CITY!! SAN FRANCISCO (at the least), or even a cruise to Alaska - which I REFUSE to do because I will NOT go from cold to coldER but many of my friends have done and loved. As much as I would love the chance to see y'all in the flesh, I can't imagine anyone picking Seattle for a romantic getaway....maybe it's because I live here, and my romantic life has always been a train wreck, given my wonderful propensity to always choose Mr. Wrong instead of Mr. Right! But since you'd be bringing YOUR Mr. Right along with you, I guess it could work here....maybe....at least we've got good coffee!! As for Washington DC - if I had the temerity to try to either educate and/or culturize my 13 year old on his vacation, I would be met with such MAJOR resistance that I simply must take this opportunity to give you my utmost admiration at your extreme bravery for even trying to do so with your kids....my hat is off to you both!! Seriously - I do hope you enjoy your week there, I was there as a child and definately didn't appreciate it then either! My suggestion?? Find every huge ball of twine and drive through trees and mini-golf and any other cheesey tourist trap that you can find along the route home and stop at each of them - that will make them happy!! (At least, it always worked for me!)......PS - whoohoo, first posting!!

liz in sumner said...

well, it was the first posting when I started....that's what I get for being too verbose....

liz in sumner said...

One more thing....it simply AMAZES me how, on the east coast, you can drive for a day (or so) and actually end up SOMEWHERE cool! Here, you drive east for a day and end up in the booming city of (drum roll please) SPOKANE!! Or, go south for a day, and you'll reach (dramatic pause) GRANTS PASS, OREGON!! North, and you'll get to see the moose in CANADA!!!!! And my favorite - west, where you can spend all day hanging over the side of a smelly fishing boat, feeding the salmon that you never catch anyway! {{{SIGH}}}...can you tell I've lived here too long??? And not a super Target in sight, let alone the grand Target thingie....just what the heck are those, anyway??!! You guys are sooo lucky! And there goes my second career with Washington tourism....

Briana said...

Sorry the kids aren't into all the monuments and such. I'd love to take our kids to D.C., but I'm afraid at this age, they'd be just like your kids. Maybe in a few more years. Just keep thinking about that adults only vacation! We haven't had one of those in about five years - time to start planning!!!

Dianne in Orange County said...

Kristie, I love my kids, and I love Wash DC in the spring, but there is a reason I will happily pay a tour company gazoodles of money (to fly from Los Angeles) to take my 8th grade son, along with 119 of his closest friends, to spend their spring break in Wash DC, next week. Not only are the kids 13/14 years old (and no longer have the attention span of a gnat), but they have been studying American history in depth this year, so all the cool stuff and monuments actually mean something to them. And they are all on their best behavior for their teachers and school-affiliated chaperones, and won't be able to push the "parent" buttons. That all said, it did take us 16 years to realize that "educational" vacations just don't work for our family...Hawaii here we come ;-)

Are you taking a cruise in Alaska? Liz, I have taken an Alaskan cruise and the weather was absolutely beautiful. Temps in the 70s and no rain at all. But if you get cold, there are always the ship's lounges, with floor to ceiling plate glass windows where you can sit and watch the breath-taking scenery go by while you are cozy and sipping a cocktail. The helicopter tour, the glaciers, the whales, the Northern Lights, the quaint fishing towns...it's definitely a must do at least once in a lifetime.

Liz from Maryland said...

I feel for you taking a vacation with your three kids in D.C. Especially with as hot as it was yesterday here. I live about 30 minutes from the mall and try my best to avoid it at times like this. I know that there are some many wonderful things to see and do there - so much history but young people don't always appreciate it and they don't have the attention span. Are you going to be coming to the Annapolis area? There's so much to see and do here. The Naval Academy, City Dock, etc. Anyway, have a great time and keep thinking about your adult vacation in the summer.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, I can totally relate to child #1. When I was a kid (much older than your #1) we spent the 4th of July in D.C. All I remember is the wax museum.
Dixie

Amie in Wisconsin said...

Ahhhh yes - family vacation. They really are great things. However, you are right on that a no-kids vacation is a TRUE vacation! My sweetie and I are gearing up for a TEN DAY road trip from our home in Wisconsin to South Dakota (MT Rushmore), Wyoming, and then a week in Colorado, and then home again, through Kansas, Missori, and Illinois. TEN whole days without diaper changing, dish washing, middle of the night wakeups, etc. Just peace, quiet, some romance, and lots of fun seeing anything we can see! ENJOY your kid-free vacation. But enjoy your family one too - because THAT is what makes us appriate the time alone.

Sue said...

Can we borrow Grandma Betty?

Anonymous said...

Amen!

Now go have yourself some ice cream and make the night mare go away.

JoAnn said...

Isn't that just how it goes??? That is why my husband and I are doing our "all about me" vacation first. 4 days in Mexico- no kids, all inclusive ,adults only resort. And the best part? Its a sales incentive trip so its all expenses paid:) We're still trying to figure out where to go this summer that will be appealing to our age range of kids 12,9,5). We're kind of thinking Colorado since we did the beach thing last summer. Anyway, as always, you are so great at keepin' it real:) That is why I love reading your blog!

Sarah in Vienna, VA said...

Oh Kristie this I was stupid enough to do the same thing today. Being from Vienna which is a short metro ride away from all that crazyness in DC I thought its spring break why not ? THen as I got there I remembered why not VERY QUICKLY ! Its kind of like the pain of childbirth you forget how bad it is till your right back there again ! How much longer will you be in Virginia ?

Kathy in Alaska said...

Kristie Dahlink,

Sounds too much like a Chevy Chase movie !

Washington DC, isn't that supposed to be a trip that you go on with your class or scout troop?

Maybe you would have been better off going to see the worlds biggest ball of twine in Kansas or Minnesota.

Kristie, look at the bright side (yes there is one) you don't have to schlep around a diaper bag, a play pen or baby food. Hmmm...But it sounds like a stroller might have come in handy !

kim said...

Oh, what I wouldn't give to be there with you! There are so many things in DC I'd love to see, and have never been there. Grandma Kim is available as a traveling nanny--HAHAHA! And, ya know, kids always act better when a non-family member is around. Then, too, in a few years, all three of them will refuse to go down the block with you, much less a family vacation. Well, am I not just a little ray of sunshine for you today! HAHAHA. No matter what, the adults only vacations are wonderful. And I can't think of two more deserving people. But for now, don't let 'em get the best of you, cause you're the Mom, and their Mom ROCKS!!!! :)

Anonymous said...

Hello Kristy,
I didn't know that other families kid's gave them such a hard time until I started reading your site! I took my kid's to the Louvre in Paris once, we had an American boy (from Florida)visiting us, supposedly to improve his French, he and my kids were all about 16 at the time. The boy, Jon, really wanted to visit the Louvre. We got there and started looking at the wonderful huge old master's oil paintings, with wonderful blue skies and cherubs, very impressive. In five minutes the kid's said I was taking too long and they would go round on their own and we could meet afterwards! A couple of hours later, after rushing round much faster than I wanted to, because I was worried about finding them again, (we hadn't arranged where to meet), I finally found them (sitting in a row like the three wise monkeys) looking bored to death. I asked if they had seen the Mona Lisa as I hadn't yet found it. They said that they had, told me where it was and added that it was very small and not worth going to see!!!!! I said I was not leaving without seeing it and left them there whilst I went to look at it. It's true that it is surprisingly small, and it's in a big glass case so nobody can damage it, but it is beautiful and certainly worth seeing!! I did have to elbow my way through the crowds to get near enough to see it! When kids behave like that they can rather spoil the day, it's a pity! I wonder if they regret it later when they are older? The Louvre is huge though and for anybody who has never visited it, really you need a few days and you have to book your tickets in advance so you don't have to stand in a long queue to get in! One day I'd like to go back on my own, or with somebody else who would appreciate it!
Hope you will have some good times with the kids on this holiday anyway!!
Love Angela

Anonymous said...

I can't believe you were in DC too! Chris, Sam and I were there Sunday. We left Americus Friday night, traveled to Northern Virginia Sat and into the city Sunday. We are now in New York... It would have been so funny to run into you there. I hope you have a better rest of the week!

Meg

Renee said...

We can't wait to see you guys tomorrow!!!

And that kids-free, adults-only vacation this summer, HERE WE COME! YAHHOOOOOOO! I just made the final payment, friend.

Melissa said...

Kristie,
Welcome to the insanity known as Washington DC!!!! I too live in the DC area - I live near Woodbridge which is about 20 miles south of DC. I figured you all must be in the area given the comment about Super Target as there are only a few in the state, most near DC. Anyway, the National Mall at Cherry Blossom time is pure insanity! That being said I have plans to go down there Thursday night with a friend! Just be glad you aren't dragging your kids through the monumenents in July or Aug - the DC muggy summer only serves to increase the whining! Enjoy the rest of your trip! It seems like there are a lot of your faithful readers live in the area - we should have had a party for ya...at the Super Target! :)

Leeann said...

Kristy,

We were at the Cherry Blossom festival today. I wish I had seen you all. that would have been fun. We covered a ton of ground and had a good time (walked many miles) but man, ,I am glad to be home tonight.
Hugs to you Escoes
from MD.

Stephanie said...

OMG. I just typed a long comment and lost it becuz I didn't have a blogger ID. Oh well. I have been a lurker for sometime now I found it funny that you were here in my hometown. You should do what most native Washingtonians do during spring break. Run like Hell and leave DC quick. Too many tourist!!! I just returned with my crew of 3 from Great Wolfe Lodge in Williamsburg VA. All kids big and small love it, and it beats the hell out of the zillions of BORING museums on the mall. I know becuz I have tortured my crew with tours of the mall before. Now we just go there as a form of punishment. It beats time out and any form of corpal punishment.

D said...

Yet again ROFLMAO!!!!!!!! We have only one daughter, and I daydream about a grown-up vacation, so I can imagine how you feel. Hope you guys are having fun!!!!

Anonymous said...

Kristie - I have just finished reading your entries & even though I rarely post comments, I just couldn't resist - Your Blog is awesome! Going back to the annonymous person who left a comment that you shouldn't have a site "all about you"...screw her! Anyone who has been through as much as you have certainly does deserve a site all about her!
I have been able to relate to a lot of what you've been through regarding adoption & fertility. My infertility actaully started AFTER I had 2 perfectly healty biological children - I had no trouble getting pregnant with them, but then when we tried for the 3rd child we "planned" to have....nothing!! My husband & I have been licensed foster parents for 4+ years, though, and are in the process of adopting the 2 little ones we have now. We've had our daughter since October 2005 and she is still not "legally" ours...but we're getting closer. Her brother we got right from the hospital & he's now 5 months old...we've barely started the adoption process for him, they still need to terminate the rights of the father who's never seen him & has no desire to see him, but won't show up for a paternity test... Oh, the joys of our legal system!!!
Enjoy the vacation...regardless of the kids' whining...did you go though all of the quarters yet? There's just nothing better than a child that can be bribed!!

Stacie from Minnesota

Sarah said...

Kristie you will have to read my journal on the cherry blossoms ! It seems like you have lots of fans in this area !

Anonymous said...

Where do I sign up for one of those adults-only vacations?! I'm all for it. Perhaps if I pray to the Saint of Lost Things, he'll help me find my sanity by sending me on a grown-ups only vakay? Glad he helped you with the notebook! :)

Anonymous said...

Your husband was my commander a while back and I always wondered how you guys were doing. I've been praying for your little girl ever since her diagnosis. I also have a little girl the same age. Take care and God bless you and your family. Tyease (Roberts) Fuller

BasraJoe said...

Wish we could join you on the cruise!

Simply Jenn said...

Kristie- I tagged you for a thinking blogger award on my site. Your site is amazing and I've been following you for 3 or 4 years now. If you find the award frivolous and don't want to pass it on I understand 100%. You do make me think every day though, and I thought you deserved the recognition.

Ellen said...

Thanks for the reminded about why we stopped taking these family vacations. Jackie, at 10, was so impressed with Niagara Falls that she announced that now that we'd seen the water, we could do the good stuff and go to Burger King. Daniel, at 6, was fascinated with the Smithsonian. The best thing, Dan? "I saw a cockroach." We live in Florida, for Pete's sake!
When you are in Seattle, do make a trip to Victoria!
Hugs,
Ellen