Last week the four of us along with our friends (also a family of four) spent the week in Aruba. We left on a Monday about 9:45 am. After a three hour flight to Miami, a layover, followed by another three hour flight, we finally arrived in Aruba (or Haruba as Brooks calls it). To say it was a long day of travel is an understatement. Around 9 pm in Aruba we were driving two very sleepy boys to our vacation home for the week. Brooks asked about a million times when we were going to be there before announcing that he was “done, done, done”. We all felt that way. When we arrived to the house, it was a sticky 100 degrees inside and I thought I might lose my mind. It was then that we learned that the main house didn’t have air conditioning. Luckily the bedrooms did but none of them had been turned on prior to our arrival. I worked on unpacking what I needed to get the boys to bed while sweating my ass off and silently cursing us for taking this trip. That was day one. The next day we woke to a beautiful day and two surprisingly happy boys. Things were already looking better. We stayed for a week and had a really wonderful time. Sure, vacations with kids are quite different. Long gone are the days of carrying on our luggage, reading or sleeping on the plane. We had nap times to worry about, bedtimes, hungry kiddos, and lots of entertaining. While vacations aren’t exactly about relaxing anymore, they are about watching your little ones discover the world. Everything was Brooks’s favorite thing to do. Everyday he was so excited to build a sand castle, pretend surf in the pool, or eat popsicles. Maddox played in the sand for the first time and actually enjoyed swimming for a few minutes. Both of them loved to play in the rocks, with the hose, and with everything new they could get their little hands on. It was the first time on a trip that Brooks told us that he didn’t want to go home. For that week, Haruba was the best place on Earth.
As for us, we used a babysitting agency a few nights so that we could have some much needed adult time. Chris and I took turns doing activities. He went kite surfing a couple of days and I spent an afternoon at the spa.
I can see why many families with small children don’t travel very much. The amount of stuff you need to pack, the flights, the logistics, the planning can all seem daunting. I tend to worry too much about everything so these trips can easily make me anxious. I’m working on letting go of this anxiety and I’m glad because in the end, despite it all, the trip was amazing and definitely worth it.