Well, we're back from our trip! (And I use the word "trip" because I certainly can't categorize it as a "vacation." Not even close to the definition, and until our kids are a lot older, it's just going to be that way I guess.) I think Jason and I both need a large bottle of wine to share this evening. (And I wish we had a large sleeping pill we could split as well :) We're exhausted!
As large family trips (24 of us I think there were) tend to go, there were certainly fun parts and, as one friend put it, "being at the beach is better than no beach at all" but it was more stressful than we anticipated and dotted with occasional unpleasant happenings.
We had beautiful weather and the ocean was gorgeous. But what we didn't have this time around was a sitter, and that was undoubtedly the x-factor. It was very stressful and taxing keeping an eye on all three kids at once, being around water constantly.
One of the best things about Waterscape is that there are three pool areas and a lazy river - in addition to the beach. So, there's a great variety, but this trip the kids were constantly wanting to be in different places. If Jack wanted to go to the "slide pool," Lucy insisted on being at the lazy river. And Connor made his opinion known constantly moping around and doing that ridiculous whine where he bears his teeth and appears wholly unpleasant. The kids hardly ever wanted to go to the beach, so when we dragged them down there and told them to "Deal with it! You're at the BEACH!" there was usually a solid ten minutes of whining before they sucked it up and just played with their sand toys.
However, a very clever employee/security guard there helped me out in a huge way on day 3 of our trip. When leaving one pool area to go to another, the kind man opened the gate for us. At that particular time, Lucy was the one who was walking around with sagged shoulders, whining and crying that she didn't want to be going to the beach. As we walked through, I remarked to the guy, "Have you ever seen such crying children, HERE, with so many fun things to do!?" And solid gold rolled out his mouth as he said- with a wink - "Well, you've heard of the crying room, right, m'am?"
And so, with raised eyebrows, I engaged in a dramatic discussion inquiring all about this wonderful "crying room" and what I'd need to do in order to send my children there. Lucy watched with wide eyes, captivated. It was a fabulous tool, and a few more times during the trip I'd call the crying room to make a reservation for which ever kid was loosing their mind at the time. I'd always end the phone call, saying loudly, "Okay, you have a spot available in 5 minutes? Wonderful? Oh, and all I need to do if my child stops crying by then is to call you and cancel their visit? Great, thanks!" Without fail, in about fifteen seconds my kid would stop their theatrics...and then I'd have to make one more pretend call to "cancel their reservation." Love it! I highly recommend it :)
But, here's a look in pictures:
We went out to dinner as a group three times, but other nights were laid back:
Jack playing peek a boo with Jason's cousin Georgia:
Lucy's new cousin, Daniel. Jason's brother, Justin and his wife, Rebecca's third baby. He's 6 weeks old! :) He's positively adorable and got the best kid of the week award for sure!
Lucy and Lily were fast friends, swimming, watching movies, and exchanging outfits all week:
Isn't Grandmama adorable!
Lots of throwing at the pool:
"This step is further down that I was expecting!!!!" :)
At our favorite restaurant, McGuire's Irish Pub, we indulged in this heavenly plate of Blue Cheese Chips. It was out of this world!
The Colorado Martins: Jason's uncle Scotty, Aunt Paula, and cousins Ivan and Lily.
Putt Putt...it was a complete disaster after hole 2. I had to leave with a sobbing Jack.
Jason and his sister, Sarah - Bride -to-be in just a few weeks!
This was very cool. Someone found a hermit crab and gave it to my kids to play with. This half hour was the happiest and most content they were the whole trip :)
Watching, watching, watching...
I hate trying to get decent shots with all three kids. Why does it have to be such a difficult thing to do!?! :)
Another interesting event. Our last night out to dinner, we moseyed (sp?) next door to hear the live music. Well, Lucy LOVED this singer and wanted to stay and listen to her. So we stayed, for quite a while. Lucy went up and got a CD from her and we ended up talking to her for quite a while. Really nice, talented girl. Named Season. If she makes it one day, I'll certainly remember her name. But what was cool about her is that she is a mom with two young boys, used to teach preschool, and recently quit all that to pursue her musical dreams. Neat gal...
2 out of 3 kids - not too bad:
all three...fail! :)
That's all for now, Waterscape. See ya next time (with a sitter, maybe two :)