While we've been vacationing, I've just happened to mentally compile a Top 5 list of some of the things we've learned while in FL. Most of these are child-related (surprise, I know), but they are good things for any vacation in my mind.
Sunscreen + sand + eyes = a BAD combination. Children touch their faces more than anyone or anything I know. How is it that they don't have all the clogged pores and breakouts like I do when I continually touch my face with grubby hands? Ah, youth. Anyway, I have definitely learned that the sunscreen needs to be applied waaaaaaaay before we actually go to the beach so it can dry completely before heading out for a morning of eye-rubbing, sand-chucking fun.
It is acceptable to limit your children's diet while on vacation. Selfishly, this is just for convenience purposes on my part. Pizza, chicken nuggets, and mac and cheese have become staples this trip. Seriously, I think we may have had each of those meals at least 3 times each. The kids don't complain though, so bring on the convenience and empty plates. I can't wait to reap the repercussions when we get home.
If you are going on a vacation where the destination is a beach/resort-like area, DO NOT stay in view of the pool or beach if you have children who love the water. Yes, I know staying beachfront is one of the coveted things of a beach vacation, but the view will soon lose its allure when you are pestered every waking moment about when and where they can go swimming. Trust me, it's not worth it.
Kids do not like loud, unexpected noises (i.e. fireworks, duh). Now, this is something I already knew, but I thought it needed special emphasis. Don't be fooled and think, "Oh, it's 4th of July and we need to be patriotic and I'm sure they'll be fine with a few fireworks even though they're still scared every time I turn on the dust buster ..." Not gonna happen folks, stick with what you know. On a happier note, we did enjoy some sparklers this year. This is a marked improvement over last year when someone - not me - decided to bust them out with three 18 month olds in a contained area. I'm just glad we survived that one with all of our extremities still in tact.
Baths and pools are not that dissimilar. Both are large bodies of water that children love to play in, and in the heat of summer a pool in FL is just as warm as a bath. Being that we figured this out early on in the trip, the pool has definitely stepped in as our once a day bath in many cases. What? You don't think they get as clean in the pool as in the bath? I beg to differ. All that chlorine has got to be just as good as soap and scrubbing, right? So what if I find some dried up Cheerios or a stray raisin or two in someone's hair the next day, it's no big deal.
So if you see four barefoot, somewhat dingy looking children running away screaming from fireworks on the beach, you'll know you've found us. Hopefully we've made some good memories and can save the hygiene, vegetables, and baths for a normal day. Hope everyone else is enjoying some great vacations of their own this summer as well. Back to the grind for us soon!