Some people say there's no such thing as a vacation with children, only trips. I disagree, but I will say that there is no such thing as carefree, carry-on-only travel for us these days. Checked suitcases and car seats may weigh us down now, but it was worth the slow, heavy trek through the airport to hear A and D squealing with delight to see their grandparents...and to see this view:
It's lucky my in-laws have such a fantastic view, because we spent more time inside than we'd originally planned. D got sick in the wee hours of the morning on our first night there, and he didn't make a full recovery until the day we headed home. If you have to be thrown up on by a sad, feverish toddler, it's nice to be able to see the ocean.
We took turns taking A out to have fun, and when D was feeling well enough we took him outside too. A spent the first two days playing in the sand from the safety of a beach towel, terrified that a jellyfish might sting her.
On Sunday, her daddy convinced her to not only leave her towel but to follow him down to the water's edge, something she's refused to try since her first trip to the beach at almost two.
Within minutes, A went from dipping a toe in the ocean to joyful leaps into the waves. As she says, "I feared my fear of the jellyfish and now I'm surfing!"
D loved the beach when he was feeling up to it, though he had concerns about the sand. Every trip to the beach started with the same complaint, issued with little hands raised: "I'm dirty!"
He got over being dirty and sat by his sister's side, digging and pouring and scooping.
We soaked up the sun, reveling in going out for walks without bundling up in coats and hats and boots. A and D marveled at coconuts and geckos.
And then we packed up and came home to the springiest weather we've had in months. Do I think winter is completely behind us now? No, but a few days of sandals and sunshine has given me hope that spring will eventually be here to stay.