How was our first family vacation?
IGNORE THE BOY. He was just mad that vacation was over.
The entire week before? It was awesome. So awesome.
"But wait," you're saying. "I thought you guys went to Disneyworld?"
Oh, we did.
But we went to the beach first.
See, we planned the trip with two other families, our best buddies. My friend E found an amazing deal on Disney, and then I got together with my girlfriends one morning to iron out the details.
E: Disney starts Tuesday. So we're leaving on Saturday to visit my dad at the beach.
D and me: WE WANT TO GO TO THE BEACH.
me: We were going to go down a day early and stay in a cheap hotel so we would have a full day at Disney. What if we just got a hotel at a beach nearby? Then we'd have a day at the beach instead of a cheesy day on the outskirts of Orlando.
D: Or we could go down two days early.
me: Or we could go down three days early.
D and me: IT'S LIKE DOUBLE VACATION!
We ended up staying at an amazing condo in St. Augustine for three fabulous days. If you're looking for a Florida beach vacation, I highly recommend the condos at Island House. The property was spotless, had everything we needed from a full kitchen to linens to a trundle bed to a washer and dryer, was on a gorgeous stretch of beach with a nice pool, and was cheaper than hotels that even Trip Advisor advised against.
And then it was just a pleasant 2-hour drive to Disney on Tuesday.
My only complaint?
I have melasma for the first time in my life. For no good reason, instead of turning its usual lovely tan color, my forehead went hideously spotty.
Anyone who says that childbirth doesn't change you is A FREAKING LIAR.
I'm only smiling here because it was our first day at the beach. Little did I know my forehead was going to go from pale to ridiculous to plaid.
Also? My son snores. Like a freight train.
But he's awfully cute at the pool.
"MY DO IT MYSELF!" he shrieks.
"Okay," we say patiently. "Give it a try."
And then he steps off the pool stairs into the pool and plops below the water, and we fish him up and say, "See? You can't quite do it yourself, big guy."
And then he says, "NO. MY DO IT MYSELF! MY BIG! MY CAN SWIM! MY CAN!"
And then we put him in a floaty suit and water wings and a life vest and hope for the best.
I think that was the hardest thing about our first real family vacation. As the mother of an energetic and fearless two-year-old, I could never, ever let down my guard. At any moment, he could run in any direction, try to hop off a bus or a ride, duck through a crowd. It was exhausting, just trying to keep the lad alive.
But so, so worth it the first time he saw Winnie the Pooh.
At that moment, the trip totally paid for itself in smiles.
How Disney Gave My Fearless Child Her First Phobia
Using Animatronic Bug Farts.