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The moment has finally arrived and we are OFFICIALLY on vacation!! Well, the big kids are on vacation in Jamaica with their grandma, uncle, aunt, and cousins, while the Hubs and I are on vacation in our own home. And, after talking to the kids on the phone and doing FaceTime with them this morning, I think it’s still a toss-up on who is having more fun. I mean, sure, they have 86 degree weather, sandy beaches, and 5-star meals being prepared for them day and night…

But I have cleaned the entire lower level top to bottom for the first time in 2 years! I know... it was gross and scary, but I washed walls and baseboards, scrubbed appliances, and Old Englished basically everything. As a reward, I went shopping for myself, and I've not had to do a lick of 2nd and 4th grade homework in 24 hours! Additionally, cooking is optional for the next 5 days, no practices will need to be attended, and I watched a non-cartoon movie with my husband last night. The whole movie.

You guys. My staycation is soooo kicking their vacation in the butt!

Anyway, we have been planning the trip for months now. Since the summer, actually. We used credit cards to pay bills that would then transfer to travel points, giving us virtually free airfare and a 4-night/5-day vacation/staycation heaven! But, because my kids are fruitcakes, heavy on the nuts, we decided that we wouldn’t tell them until the day they were leaving.

If you have to ask why, then you either do not know my children, or you are sorely unaware of my impatience for repetitious questions. We did this to save their lives.

But yes, we did manage to keep it a surprise, despite their teachers, extended family members, and hearing-impaired-thus-loudly-whispering great-grandmother all knowing the big plans! It was, by and large, the most mischievous of things we’ve ever collectively done in our whole lives. When we went to get their passport pictures taken, we were able to convince them that they needed passports for any far-away travel. And in order to keep it fun for the adults, Pat and I had also been dropping little geography tips about Jamaica on and off. We’d gone as far as to show the kids pictures of the island, the major cities, and how far it is from Florida. However, this is the only part that stuck for some reason. So, naturally, they thought we were planning a trip to Disney World. (Naturally. Because Disney World is now in Jamaica, is it not?)

But back to the Big Reveal. In preparation for sharing the news, we had my cell phone all set to record…

But then the record button didn’t get pressed (which my sainted mother-in-law feels terrible about) and we were forced to stage a reenactment. A very, very unenthused, underwhelming reenactment! However, I wanted to share their secondary reaction with you all, and point out a few concerns my children had about the trip.

(For additional fun, feel free to match the child to the question/concern.)

Q)    Will there be snakes?

 A)    Everywhere. Absolutely.

Q) Will there be spiders in my bed?

A) I’ve specifically asked them to provide bed spiders, yes.

Q)    Will we have to sleep outside or will we have huts?

 A)    It’s a resort… like a hotel. So you will sleep inside. No huts.

 Q)    Do they have showers in J… J… …wait, where are we going again?

 A)    You’re going to Jamaica. And yes. There are showers. There are indoor toilets and electricity as well.

 Q)    I’m probably gonna barf from their food....

 A)    That’s the spirit!

 Q)    Are they gonna “speak accent” there? ‘Cause I bet I won’t even know what they’re talking about.

 A)    I have never been more proud of you and the education that you’re receiving as I am in this moment. PS, please treat the Jamaicans with less awkwardness than you do the Chinese at the buffet up the street.

Q) I’m going to be so bored if I don’t get to bring the Ipad or mp3 player!

A) If you’re bored on a tropical island filled with amazing things to do, then there’s not an Ipad in this world that could fix your attention span.

Q) Ugh, is it gonna be hot?

A) Yep, about 86 degress… and it’ll be 4 degrees here. Wake up and get excited, would you?

Q) Now we can’t play in the snow!

A) And….? I’m failing to see the problem here.

Q) We get to ride on a plane? Awesome! Wait, we’re going over the ocean? I’m not going.

A) You ARE going. This is my vacation, too, you know.

Q) Will there be sharks on the beach?

A) No, just in the pools.

Q) How will they know I can’t swim in the deep end?

A) Honey, the entire ocean is a deep end. Just wear a life jacket at all times… even in the shower.

Q) Do I have to share a bed??

A) Only if you’d like to avoid sleeping on the floor like a hobo.

Q) What if you didn’t pack everything I want and I need something when I’m there?

A) Then you’ll stop needing it and realize you’re in JAMAICA!!

 

And this is why we didn’t tell them sooner.

Oh, and while FaceTiming with the kids earlier today, Cameron made sure to tell me that he didn’t miss me at all! He loves Jamaica so much that he may never come back, he said. But my feelings were not too hurt. After all, I’m pretty sure that if he tried to stay, his jolly disposition and incessant questions would have the entire country working together to get him back to the U.S. where he belongs.

And until then, I plan on reading a book. For fun. A book for fun.

These words… they’re just so freeing to say!

Here’s to all the Mamas and Daddy’s that are needing a vaca-stay-cation. May the travel points be ever in your favor.

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