Virginia or Bust

I’ve been keeping a secret from you, but it’s only because my mom reads the blog (Hi, Mom!) and, well, the secret has to do with her impending birthday.  But, now that the cat’s out of the bag, I’ll share.

My mom’s celebrating a milestone birthday.  My Dad (and her children) thought we needed to do a little something more than bake a cake and sing a song.  So, we planned a family trip in her honor.

I’m not going to lie, the planning has been stressful.  It’s harder to make decisions when you’re trying to please someone who isn’t in on all the plans.  First, we thought NY, but then, thirteen people trudging through the city, that seemed really great for a one night adventure (with older children), but lacked the casual hang out time we were looking for for the whole family.  Then, we thought, Naples.  My Dad thought not enough for the kids to do (which is crazy talk).  Then, we tried Atlantis, but we would have been super crunched for time to get passports and didn’t think we had enough time to do it right.

So, my sister and I went on a hunt for destinations that had the family friendly factor, combined with a little bit of luxury, that was within driving distant for almost all of us. Plane fare for thirteen people simply blew the budget.

Planning the trip has also raised so many issues that I’ve wanted to talk about, like how in this supposed recession, everyone and their mother seems to have money to spend on vacation?  And I’m not talking about taking a vacation in a room that’s a $199 a night.  I’m talking sold out hotels with room rates as high as $499 per night!  Mountain resorts charging thousands of dollars for cottages for less than a week, and again, all sold out!  I’m not sure if people are just charging themselves into debt in order to take family vacations, or if there’s just a large population of people out there, who are doing just fine. What I do know, though, is that a lot of people are still vacationing.

But, blogging is kind of an in the moment kind of thing, and the planning time has passed, so, I’ll spare you the details and just move on to the plan.

Soon, we will embark on a road trip to Virginia, with my brother and his wife, flying into Richmond to meet us.  Our destination, The Kings Mill Resort.

While there, we will visit Colonial Williamsburg, Busch Gardens, and have a celebratory birthday dinner our last night of vacation at a restaurant called Second Street.  In between, we’ll hang out at the pool, play golf, and enjoy a spa.  I can’t wait.

With very little time to go, I have to get down to the serious business of packing. By now, I am close to being an expert packer.  I feel like the kids and I, since we moved to Florida and then back, have never stopped traveling, whether it be vacations, flights home, or weekend trips to the shore.

Every time we head out of town, I make the same chart, and check off my items as they go in the bag.  One of these days, I’m going to create a spreadsheet on Excel and print it out as need be. Then, I will be even closer to achieving expert status.

My system works pretty well.  If anything, I tend to over pack, rather than under pack, which isn’t horrible, except when I’m standing in an airport, emptying my suitcase so I can meet a weight limit, but I’m always trying to improve, so I experiment.  Sometimes, I place outfits for individual days in separate baggies, in an effort to organize the suitcase, which by the end of vacation becomes a train wreck.  Sometimes, I just segregate everyone to a corner of the suitcase.  Sometimes, we just go with bags, the boys sharing one, Little Lady and I, the other.

This time around, though, since it’s supposed to be hot, and I won’t have access to a washing machine, I’m thinking I’m going to need slightly more clothes than usual. So, I’m going to pack each of the boys their own bag, because more clothes equals more confusion.  My boys are close in size, with Second Son able to wear First Son’s clothes, but First Son not always able to Second Son’s.  It could get ugly by the end of the trip if Second Son starts dipping into First Son’s outfits.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

Besides that, it’s the per usual around here.  First son has some weird hive on his eyeball, which doesn’t really look like a hive, but a clear growth, so we had to take a trip to the eye doctor’s this morning.  (I guess no one told his eyes that I had to pack.)  It’s caused by allergies.  After the eye doctors, we had to go to Wegman’s to pick up the eye drops.  That was fun with three kids.  Though, truthfully, I think it was more painful for me than them. While I gritted my teeth, wondering why grabbing a box of a eye drops off a shelf (that was called in an hour previous) takes so long, they had no problem entertaining themselves. In a young show of manliness, apparently seeing how long you can keep your arm in a blood pressure cuff is a source of fun.   So is trying on glasses, while serving your brothers yogurt. I’m just hoping we all survive the rest of the day.  Have a good one, I’ll be back, soon.


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