Saturday, April 17, 2010

Vacation, Escape or a Little Bit of Both???

I have always loved living in Wisconsin, love the change of the seasons, sweater weather (hides all my lovely imperfections), the beauty of snow, rain, sunshine (sometimes all in one week).

But as I have gotten older and with the addition of Sam my love of long Wisconsin winters has diminished. Sam's worst season is winter, what used to mean snow, snowball fights, Christmas, ice skating, sitting by the fire has turned into croup, respiratory infections, pneumonia, flu, roto-virus and cabin fever. I now live for Easter break, and dream of a perfect vacation on a warm sunny beach where all the viruses are baked out by the sun. It all sounded so easy...but then came the quest for the perfect vacation...the vacation that would work for the entire family.

Our first attempt was a road trip to the East Coast. Please keep in mind we are a family of five. Two with ADHD and Dyslexia, two that love to travel...really anywhere...and one with some pretty significant special needs. Soooo, the road trip was not a favorite of the two with ADHD and Dyslexia....locked in a van for hours at a time...what exactly was I thinking??? They wanted to get from Point A to Point B with absolutely no stopping and a bus load of complaining in between! YIKES!

Our next attempt was an all-inclusive in Mexico. This was a once in a lifetime fabulous vacation that cost a fabulous amount of money. Pros...and there were a lot of them...loved the large resort, unlimited food and snacks for the kids, lots of pools, warm sunshine, beautiful beaches, para-sailing, jet skiing, gorgeous weather and scenery, miniature golf, golf cart transportation through out the resort, many places to eat, entertainment galore, we could walk to the pool or beach, waited on hand and many wonderful memories!!!

And now the cons....getting Jeff and Ben through multiple security check points considering they have the attention and patience of a flea (not a fun experience for them or security), impossible to keep Sam on his SCD diet, terrified that he would become ill and we would end up at a medical facility or hospital in Mexico, concerns about food and water and him getting sick from it, everyone having to take turns watching and monitoring Sam because he was happy to jump into a pool without knowing how deep it was or run along the beach and not remember to turn around and head back, Sam's not understanding that we were just staying in one room and the resort was not one big house where you could go into any room. Okay, funny story!! We were walking back to our room and another family was in front of us with quite a few children. They stopped, opened their door and headed into their room and Sam, of course curious, followed them in. Jeff and I called out to the people that they might want to send the last child back to us. The look on their faces when they saw Sam was priceless, they couldn't seem to return him to us fast enough. Jeff and I couldn't help but chuckle at their reaction. The good Lord watched over us on that trip and got us there and back safe and sound. Sam got sick from eating foods he wasn't supposed to eat but that was once we returned to the states. Knowing that I wanted to take my family on vacation yearly I knew this option was not going to be likely because of the cost and the stress factor of worries with Sam.

Our next option was to rent a home from the website Having a house to ourselves with a pool and our own kitchen to prepare foods was an answer to my prayers. We made the mistake the first year of renting a beach cottage near the ocean and quickly learned the following year to look for a house in land. Why???? Because you can get a bigger house with more cool options for the same price as the little beach cottage and honestly driving to the beach was easier on Sam than walking there. The second year we rented a home with 4 bedrooms, a huge, heated pool and hot tub, 5 bikes, a pedal boat and a boat with a small motor, 7 TV's, games, books and everything to make a vacation comfortable. The really great thing was this vacation cost us less than half of the Mexico trip, we stayed for 10 days instead of a week and it was cheaper than our small beach cottage by several hundred dollars.

Sam knows the boundary's of a home and no one had to follow him around, and he loved the fact that he could get some quiet time in his own bedroom watching TV. We could keep Sam on his SCD diet and enjoy dinner out or at home. The kids swam until all hours of the night. Jeff and I could take turns having one on one time with each child and we went to the beach, played miniature golf, went go-carting and enjoyed each others company. Following is photos and video of what we feel is the perfect vacation for our family!!!!

A perfect day spent lounging leisurely at the pool!!

Like father, like son...tooo precious!!!

Wave jumping in the ocean, so much fun!!!

Boys and their toys. Playing in the sand, no matter your age, this is the best!!!

Just loving the pool!!!

One, two, three....jump!!!!!




We scored a perfect vacation!!

Sam masters the belly flop!!!


  1. Awesome vacation spot, and awesome blog, thanks for sharing this!


  2. I am so happy you had a great vacation with everyone staying healthy, happy and terrific!!!
    WHEW! Smiles - Stacey

  3. Oh Sue. Vacations. They just aren't. I'm glad you have had some success. Staying home is just sometimes easier, for me. Sometimes I have to think to myself - The children are each 1 year older then last time, so there will be 4 years of more maturity on this vacation....

    (It doesn't work that way, but I keep hoping for a placebo effect.)