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Posted Sep 11 2010 12:00am
There have been some amazing vacations in my past. Thailand. Greece. France. Germany. Spain. Italy. Various places in the U.S., most notably Hawaii. Memorable trips coast to coast in Canada. I have great photos and memories, and often dream of the places I've been on cold/rainy days or as I'm trying to fall asleep at night.

But these are all in my past.

We had a kid, and suddenly found ourselves in a new type of vacation. Case in point: Florida this past November. We hadn't been on a trip since Hawaii the year before, which was our "It's been a tough, tough haul trying to make a baby, so let's go somewhere spectacular" vacation (which is was). We thought Florida was doable with a 16-month old. We had visions of collecting shells on the beach, enjoying the warm sun, and relaxing as a family.

We got rain for the first 5 days, realized how terrifying water is when you have a small child, and dealt with Addie being sick the whole trip. Not that there weren't moments of fun, and nice times as a family. We spent a lot of time walking the beach, collecting shells and running our feet into the surf. We had a wonderful place to stay which was definitely a home away from home. But there was something we just couldn't escape: It wasn't so much a vacation, as simply a change of location. We still had meals to prepare and clean up, there was no time for Adam and I to escape for some R&R, we were up long before the sun each morning, and the tantrums didn't go away because we took a plane out of Canada. It was in Florida where I learned the ever important lesson of ice cream sandwich sharing - if you don't want your kid to eat an ENTIRE ice cream, then don't give them a "bite" of yours. M.E.L.T.D.O.W.N. and no ice cream for me.

After Florida I rejigged my expectations. I understand that if we want a true "vacation" we'll need to wait until she's older, go with friends/family so we can get the odd night out as a couple, or *gasp* go without the kid. Now the last option is not something I'm interested in doing anytime soon. If we're going to take precious time away from Adam's business and my work, we're doing it as a family. Nobody left behind. So that leaves the other two options, one means we won't take vacation for a while, and the other means a lot of good planning and compromise.

We just took our first "vacation" since Florida. We did a staycation this time, and went up to my family cottage for a week of R&R. We had the place to ourselves and had big plans to do a lot of swimming, boating, and exploring. And then it rained. And rained. And RAINED. So we bailed and came home two days ahead of schedule. Once again, we had fun. We really did. But entertaining a toddler is tough, and we were all going a little stir crazy from lack of sunshine. We spent a ton of time outside, despite the rain, but it did limit what we could do. So that was vacation 2010. Huh.

I have dreams of taking Addie to France, or Italy, or Australia, or Tahiti...wait, maybe not Tahiti. But I'm not crazy, so I know those trips will have to wait for a while. That's ok. We'll stick closer to home for now. We seem to have a knack for planning our vacations in non-rainy times but still seem to get the only wet weather of the month. Don't know how we do it. Adam and I were perplexed about this at the cottage.

Basically if you want nice weather on your vacation, ask us when we're going and plan for a different week : )
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