While we didn't have a "real" vacation this summer, we've been living out of suitcases for almost 7 weeks. Doesn't that sound fun?
We officially moved out of our house in CA on June 25th, and as of today, August 13th, we are finally out of our suitcases for good. (Except for that family reunion camping trip this weekend, but I think we'll take our duffle bags.)
As I hear about other people's fabulous family vacations, I have to remind myself that I loved summer as a child and we never went ANYWHERE. (Well, our annual day trip to Six Flags Great America near Chicago was always a highlight . . .)
This summer was about moving, and really, we've had more "adventure" than most families could handle.
The first week of summer was spent de-junking, packing, and otherwise getting the house ready for moving day. Not so fun.
For the next three and a half weeks we stayed at my in-laws home while we continued to figure out where in the heck we would live. The kids liked sleeping in their sleeping bags, there was a pool, and we enjoyed a lot of "lasts". That's fun, right? (For the kids anyway, that time was extremely stressful for me.)
After the pain and agony of figuring out where we would live and of saying all our good-byes was over (whew!), we went to the very gorgeous Park City where we have been staying off and on for the last three and half weeks. At first it was because we were waiting on the moving company, but then it was because it was a nice place to go back to when we were sick of living in a choatic house with four kids. (Brandon and I have taken turns doing the single parent thing during this time while I was at education week and while he went back to CA to wrap up his practice.) It's been a slow process moving into our rental. (I like to emphasize that it's a rental, because it indulges the martyr in me who wants to remember that I get to do this all over again in the next year or so.) Part fun, part not so fun - for obvious reasons.
But as of yesterday, we officially moved all of our belongings out of Park City. For the first time in seven weeks, we are completely "home". (Not sure how long that will take until it feels real.)
We had a good thing going up there in Park City. We had gorgeous views from our room, we had housekeeping (need I say more?), we rode the gondola up the mountain where we picnic-ed and hiked, Brandon took the kids to go watch the high jump skiiers practice jumping into a pool of water at Olympic Park, we swam in the pool, we did the Alpine slide. The kids ate too much sugary cereal, watched too much TV, and stayed up too late almost every night. They weren't bothered by having only one parent, or by driving back and forth one hour each way every few days to unpack more boxes. From their perspective, it really was a vacation! (And in most ways it was for us too - especially the housekeeping!)
And we can't short change the adventure of moving into a new house and neighborhood. The kids have had a lot of fun opening boxes, setting up their rooms, sliding on paper piles down the stairs, and making an elaborate fort in the unfinished basement with the boxes. They've made some neighborhood friends already too.
Sometimes I forget that happy memories, learning and adventure don't necessarily come through elaborate and expensive family vacations. Like when I was growing up. I could not have been more happy than when I was romping in the plastic pool in our backyard, metal swing set slide attached, hose at the top of the slife. Or playing outside for hours on end at my grandparent's farm in Iowa. I just wandered - for hours - looking, climbing, thinking, playing.
So even though I didn't make (let alone check off) my usual "summer bucket list" this year, and we didn't go on any formal family vacations, I think it's been as good of a summer as it could have been.
Life in general is more than enough of an adventure for young children.
And we've had a big helping of "life" this summer.
Gonna miss those views . . .