The Truth About Our Beach Vacation

While planning some activities for the family this year, my husband and I decided we should go to the beach for a long weekend. We thought it would be a fun getaway that our girls would just love. But amidst all of the planning and coordinating, what we didn’t realize is that our month would also be filled with putting our house on the market, sickness, and an entire weekend dedicated to our daughter’s dance recital. But that’s how it goes with life and kids, right? You just never know how things will work out – and that’s hard to swallow. I love a good plan, and I tend to think with enough time and effort put in, every family activity or outing can be perfect. And a part of me still feels this way after the three years of managed chaos we’ve been living in since our first kiddo was born.

And then . . .

Here’s the reality of our beach trip – what my friends and family didn’t see in all the fun pictures I posted. I was sick the week before the trip but refused to go to the doctor because I had just finished antibiotics. I hurt my foot while cleaning my house the weekend it was on the market and showing every couple of hours, and I could barely walk. Our family car was in the shop for the fifth time this year. Our youngest daughter was still on antibiotics for a sinus infection when we left and cutting four teeth on top of that. I actually tried to cancel our trip but couldn’t because of the hotel’s holiday cancellation policy. So in spite of all of the big red flags I just rattled off, we pressed on.

The Truth About Our Beach Vacation | Houston Moms Blog

We packed up what felt like our WHOLE house, made the hour trip to Galveston, and checked into our beautiful condo at The Galvestonian. Everyone was mostly happy {and medicated} and ready to have some fun. It just so happens that {thanks to the crazy weather Houston has been experiencing} the wind speeds on our first day on the island seemed to be at least 100 mph. But because our three-year-old was so excited to go the beach, off we went. It took at least an hour to get everyone in their swimsuits, covered with sunscreen, and packed to be away from our condo for a couple of hours with Baby and Toddler. {So basically – we packed all the things!}

We got to the beach just in time for that Toddler to freak out from the wind and cry about how much she now hates the beach and just wants to go to the pool, so off we went. I strapped Baby into the Bjorn, and Daddy entertained Toddler. Baby enjoyed a nice little nap while strapped to momma, and then Toddler got out of the pool and peed on the deck in front of about 20 other hotel guests. {Note to self :: stay on top of potty checks while at the beach and pool!} Needless to say, we quickly packed up our things and headed back to the room to start dinner and bedtime. The girls shared a room for the first time, and everyone slept without issue.

Day One Recap :: We made it, but we weren’t sure we had any energy left for the next three days of the trip.

The Truth About Our Beach Vacation | Houston Moms Blog

Day two was pretty uneventful. It started with Daddy setting up our tent at the beach and another hour or two of preparing to head down as a family. The storm passed overnight, so the wind died down. We actually couldn’t have asked for better weather. Toddler had the time of her life, and Baby napped in the Bjorn and ate her weight in sand. When nap time rolled around, we bribed Toddler with ice cream after nap to get her to go back to the room because she was having so much fun at the beach and didn’t want to leave. Thankfully, with the promise of ice cream and pool time after her nap, she complied and slept while we entertained Baby who refused to sleep.

A couple of hours into Toddler’s nap we heard her say, “I need to go potty,” through the monitor, so we sprang into action. Turns out, she had already gone #1 AND #2 in her underwear and on her bed. So, there’s that. We got everyone cleaned up again and headed to get ice cream and then to the pool. At this point, mom and dad needed a drink and a nap, but as we all know – a nap wasn’t happening, so we just went with drinks instead. We had a fun outing and headed back for pool time, dinner, and bedtime.

Day Two Recap :: We made it, but my foot was throbbing from pain, my throat was on fire, and I couldn’t stop coughing.

The Truth About Our Beach Vacation | Houston Moms Blog

Day three begins with a trip to urgent care for mommy. As it turns out, my sinus infection didn’t completely clear up with my first round of antibiotics, and I needed another round. As for my foot, I needed to stay off of it and keep it elevated. {Ya, okay doctor. Can you write a note to my kids about that?} It’s Sunday which means pharmacies aren’t open early, so we call the hotel and pay them to set us up a tent at the beach. We had a great setup and a really fun morning. Toddler and Baby actually napped on the beach. Hallelujah!

After naps we headed back inside to clean up and run out “real quick” to get my prescription. I’d never filled at that particular pharmacy and didn’t have my prescription card with me. After 30 minutes of searching for the info and calling the insurance company, I got the information, but the pharmacy tech couldn’t get it to work. We had to go inside with our two small children and talk to the pharmacist for help. Magically, once inside, she got the insurance to work and told me it would be ninety something dollars, a price that sounded high compared to what I usually pay for antibiotics. When she asked me why the doctor prescribed me a liquid suspension dosage, I realized she had assumed that the medicine was for one of our children but now understood it was for me. She would need another 20 minutes to convert the meds to pill form. The afternoon was already shot, so we rolled with it and added it to another stupid thing that happened on our little trip to the beach. We finally got the script {along with a few other things because, you know … children}, and then headed back to the hotel for some more pool fun, dinner, and bedtime.

Day Three Recap :: We made it.

The Truth About Our Beach Vacation | Houston Moms Blog

Day four meant time to pack up and head out. We were up at our usual 5 am, but finally were in the car and ready to head home by 11 am. The trip home was uneventful, thank goodness, and we ended the day putting away all the things and needing another day to recover from our “vacation.” Alas, we got up the next day and headed to school and work anyway. A few short hours later I got a call from daycare saying the baby had a fever and needed to be picked up. So I packed up my things, and as much as I hated to, explained the situation to my boss who thankfully understood as usual. We headed to the doctor to find she also still had a sinus infection on top of an ear infection, hence her beach vacay fussiness.

I can’t make this stuff up. This is what vacationing with kids is really like. It’s really fun…and really not fun, all at the same time. You may not agree and may think I’m complaining when I should be grateful that I get to do things like this with my kids, and you’d be right. The truth is I am beyond grateful for the experiences we get to have with our kiddos, but I’m also human. I’m exhausted almost all the time, and I do it to myself. I’m the only one to blame, but I’d do it all again for every memory we made on our trip. I don’t ever want to forget how our toddler asked me over and over to jump with her in the waves. And I never want to forget all the firsts the baby had – first time to touch sand, first time in the ocean, first time in the pool, first bite of ice cream, and first hot dog. So while our vacation wasn’t as perfect as the pictures I posted on social media, it was our first trip as a family of four — and one we’ll never forget.

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Mandy is a former Army brat born and raised in the great state of Texas. She has an undergraduate degree in Business Management and a Master’s degree in Business Finance from Texas Tech University; she currently works as a Tax Accountant in Downtown Houston. In 2005 Mandy met her husband Travis while visiting her parents in Virginia. He took her breath away and followed her back to Texas as quickly as he could. Travis and Mandy shared seven adventurous years of married life before bringing their daughters into the world, Amelia {July 2013} and Evelyn {Sept 2015}. Mandy loves Jesus, country music, Instagram, the sunshine and all things water -- the beach is her happy place. She writes about her experiences as a working wife and mother at Letters to Amelia. Follow along in Mandy's daily life on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.


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