Last week I was ready to high tale it out of Connecticut. Woo hoo vacation is here! One glorious week of no work, no wi-fi, no to do lists and rest and relaxation! Well that last part may be a stretch.
The past five years my son and I have been taking our summer vacation just the two of us. But not this year, this year we spent a week with my sister’s family in the Berkshires at Lake Garfield. I must admit I was a little worried about how it would all play out venturing into our first multiple family vacation. My son, Caleb, is an only child, and his daily schedule and interaction at home are well, his own. Add two cousins to his world for seven days and well you know where this is going. The shared space and time together did prove to be difficult at times. Sharing a bedroom, deciding what activity to do, understanding how to respond to a three-year old girl’s sass (love ya, Julie), even hashing out who is going to sit in the cool recliner chair.
I know I am not alone here, but when I tell you it can be slightly challenging to mix things up, that may be an understatement! Just being honest! However, the experiences my son had and the bonding he did with his cousins far outweighed the stressful times when I felt like a referee in the game that would never end.
This was, after all, the summer vacation of many “firsts” for all of our children, and now, as I start another week of work I am left with the “vacation afterglow” (and not just my tan). I am talking about holding onto those precious moments of the week away from the daily hustle and bustle, re-living adventures in my slice of heaven on earth, and extending the vacation happiness glow as far as I can take it. I find myself flipping through pictures on my phone, having my own personal slide show in between meetings at work, and chuckling to myself about what I uncovered about my family. Here are some top 10 highlights of the afterglow moments, tidbits I learned living with my niece and nephew, and some of the kids’ experiences that were their “firsts.”
- Country road run – Conquering a mile run with the boys and Auntie Cristin leading blasting Usher, Usher, Usher. The kids were pumped!
- Bey blade imagination – Realizing just how much my nephew Landon likes bey blades, and watching him “fake battle” sand, water and chop the air like a crazy ninja. Anyone else battle?
- Midnight yells – Waking up to random screams from my three old niece. When over tired she yells in her sleep as if she was bossing her dreams around “ Mommy! Come Here! Stop it!”
- Sleep chanting – Learning how my nephew Landon chants himself to sleep. Waving his arm straight in the air in a rhythmic circle, over and over as he wills himself to go to sleep whispering “go to sleep, go to sleep.” As you can imagine my son loved hearing this each night!
- Ice cream cones and rainbows lakeside – enough said
- Selfie monsters – Selfie sticks are fun (when no one is watching). The kids started taking their very own selfies and recording video’s of their adventures.
- On top of the word – Hiking to Monument Mountain and seeing two deer (and my niece taking her first poop in nature lol). When it calls it calls!
- Water sports – The boys tubing and swimming to the raft with no life jackets! Million dollar smiles from ear to ear and arms in the air claiming victory of the raft.
- Fishing –Watching the kid’s excitement over their first big catch.
- Pillars – Walking to see the Tyringham Valley view from the secluded pillars.
If you have not experienced a summer vacation with the family in the Berkshires, I highly recommend it! The lake is a magical place, filled with memories of where I spent my summers as a child. Each made that much more special because it was always with my cousins, uncles, aunts, and grandparents, all mixing it up under one roof. It was wonderful to see the fourth generation of kids experiencing all that we did growing up this past week.
As my son and I were driving through Tyringham Valley just after a rain storm, the fog was lifting over the mountains. And there he was once again snatching my phone, but this time not to take selfie. He started taking pictures of the valley and all its surrounding beauty. He then turned to me and asked “Will my kids ever get to come to the lake?” I said, “I hope so, buddy!”
How are you basking in your vacation afterglow, mixing up your vacation with family, or having the next generation of little one’s experience your special place?
Erin has worked in the healthcare insurance industry for over 12 years in various different roles including product management, marketing, and communications. Currently she is a Business Communications Manager at Cigna.
She is passionate about road cycling, running, soccer, sports, and rarely stays idle. Erin loves music, and lives for a good concert. Often times you will find Erin blasting a soundtrack for the day, finding a lyrical correlation to an experience or dancing it out in the kitchen with her son.
"Hope is the ability to hear the music of the future, and faith is the courage to dance it today." -Random wall hanging in her kitchen that holds true to Erin's philosophy about running her life.