First things first:
Leaving the house for a week WITH the kids is not considered a vacation. Period. You wanna know why? Vacation = Relaxation. Vacation with young kids = Stressful Relaxation.
Don’t get me wrong. I love going away. Especially if the company is great (my sister, my nieces and a few close friends), the setting is beautiful and the weather is perfect.
Easter happened to fall late this year and we decided to spend a week in beautiful Pelion.
I realize that we are extremely lucky in having a place to go to whenever we are in need of change of scenery. Especially in times like these when vacationing in hotels is less financially feasible anymore.
We left last Saturday.
No 1 note to self: Packing the day before is of vital importance if you do not wish to lose half of your day packing, closing the house, feeding the animals that stay behind etc.
After a very stressful morning we put the already agitated kids and the dog who hates car rides in the car. I don’t know if I have ever mentioned to you N.’s talent in utilizing the car space available to the max. If anyone saw how packed we were he might have thought we were going on a 3 month trip, not on a 7 day trip.
The trip which took us in our previous lives 3 1/2 hours, now has extended to 5 horribly slow passing torturous hours in the car.
No 2 note to self: Invest in car seat entertainment to avoid car fights between siblings.
After what seemed to be an endless road trip we arrived in Volos at the supermarket where N. had a similar meltdown with Steve Martin in the Father of the Bride only it didn’t involve hot dog buns, it involved 2 bottles of shampoo.
The first day was perfect. All 5 kids were super excited, even Benny seemed to enjoy his newly found paradise. The weather was wonderfully warm so we decided to head to the beach.
The ride to the beach is long (50 minutes) and full of turns and at times you feel like you are on a roller-coaster. If you manage to get past this and not throw up your entire breakfast you are in for a treat. The scenery is beautiful, the weather is slightly chilly and when you start driving down the mountain and getting closer to the beach the excitement reaches its peak.
Needless to say all children defied the icy cold water temperature and swam and swam and then swam some more.
Now THAT was a relaxing day at the beach. I admit it. Maybe the only couple of hours of the whole 7 day trip but it made it all worthwhile.
The next two days flew by as we were all enjoying ourselves. When Alex and the kids left things started going downhill. Ok, I am exaggerating of course but you know how it is when you have the perfect setting to begin with and then you suddenly lose it?
No 3 note to self: Don’t start the ‘vacation’ with the perfect company, END IT.
I won’t bore you with the details I will just mention the few things that interfered with the otherwise perfect (??) week away.
As always with no merciful exceptions whatsoever, I was sleep deprived and I don’t know about you but when I lack the sleep I need I tend to get cranky and dwell on certain things that would otherwise do not mean that the world has come to an end. Let me share a few examples
- On day 4 the oven broke down. For me, the semi planning freak it rocked my cooking world. I soon came to terms with it and tried to find alternative ways of cooking.
- Benny decided to roll himself in unidentified (obviously) poo a few times which made me use up the one bottle of shampoo (you see, I knew we would find the perfect use for it) and lose my temper and swear IN FRONT OF THE KIDS. Yes, I went down that road.
- N.’ the builder’ (that is a different story and totally worth a whole post dedicated to his talent of almost being able to fix everything) spent half of the week fixing things instead of relaxing and enjoying his kids.
- On our last night (it was after the event I will describe that we decided the time had come to return home) a little gecko decided to commit suicide and get burned inside the electrical service panel causing the entire upper floor to go dark 20 minutes before losing the natural light of the day. SPLENDID. Especially when dealing with an almost 6-year-old who gets a meltdown for not getting his much promised spaghetti.
Apart from the few setbacks we managed to spend some quality time with our friends and enjoyed the Greek lamb after all.
All in all it was wonderfully challenging, much like everyday life with my kids.
Now, a few days later, I am still trying to recover from our ‘vacation’. As we always say with N.:
We have returned home to rest.
Until next time