We just got back from vacation last night. We drove out to Indiana on Friday, June 30, and spent the week at two different houses on Lake Michigan, visiting with my husband’s extended family. I mean just about everyone. All his three siblings and their families were there for the first part of the week (total: 12 grandchildren), and then over the next part of the week, we saw his mother’s four siblings and their families.
It was not exactly an easy trip. First, there were the 12-hour car treks in both directions. We drove it in one day each time. The way out we only stopped twice, which is pretty amazing if you think about the bathroom implications. Once we arrived, my older children played with cousins the entire time and were basically self-sufficient. The 2-year-old was a different story. There was no way to contain him (as there is with his baby-proofed doors on his bedroom at home). So to get him to nap or go to sleep at night, one of us — generally me, as my husband was visiting with the dozens of relatives — had to lie down with him until he conked out. When he was awake it was constant vigilance and chasing after him in unfamiliar locales. Every time someone writes an article about how vacations are relaxing, I know this person does not have a toddler.
However — thanks to my time log! — I know I did get some relaxing moments too, even if they were not the dominant theme of the week. I continued my running streak, often running in the morning with one of my sisters-in-law. I ran barefoot along the beach twice near Michigan City, which is really not something I’d done before. The sand works some new muscles! I also did some nice runs by the woods near the Indiana Dunes (“by” the woods — the mile I ran “through” the woods I was getting dive bombed by mosquitos and dragonflies, so that was not so awesome.) I read a few books during naps. Indeed, one day I ran to a lighthouse in the morning, and then (re-)read most of Virginia Woolf’s To The Lighthouse later. I liked the combination. I went shopping with another sister-in-law at Lighthouse Place outlet mall and scored some massive deals. I went to visit my parents one day with the 2-year-old and they took him for a walk, during which I played the piano (my old piano!) And they came to visit us in Michigan City and took the 2-year-old to the zoo, so I could lie on the beach and just watch the bigger kids play.
The 2-year-old and I also did an improvised “Mommy Day” of sorts. I took him to the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, partly to get him out of everyone else’s hair. We enjoyed looking at the fishes and eating popcorn. Humorously, he was roaring at people in the park (like a dinosaur, as you do) and one man actually roared back.
I am glad to be home now, and in my own bed, and with the 2-year-old in his bed. But the lake is beautiful. It’s like the beach, but with less crazy waves and no salt.
In other news: Are you following me on Instagram? I posted more pics of the vacation there.