It takes me days to pack for a vacation. I write lists. I categorize. Everything has its place. Each person has their own suitcase with clothes in neat rows and small items packed away in ziploc bags for easy access and visibility. Some of the things on my list to take were:
- Cell Phone Plugs
- Potty Seat
- Beach Towels
- Baby Food, Utensils, Bibs
- Flashlight (you never know when the power will go out LOL)
- Bag of Travel Toys (the dollar store is a great place to go for these)
- Light Jackets
- and much more…..
And if that weren’t a lot of work, I always like to leave my house immaculate, before going away, so that I can come home to a clean house and only worry about unpacking.
This summer we decided to go to the New Jersey shore for our vacation. It is close to home (only about 3 hours from where we live in NY). I did a lot of research looking for a place for us to stay. Most places within 2 miles of the beach ranged between $200 & $300 a night – more in the nicer places. This was extremely frustrating for me, because that is WAY out of our budget. We didn’t want this to be a couple thousand dollar trip. So I started to look at the cheaper motel type places and found an Econo Lodge right outside of Ocean City (about 3 miles from the beach). It was advertised for $99 a night. I jumped on it and reserved 4 nights during the week. The pictures looked nice on their website. They had decent looking rooms, swimming pool, and even offered a continental breakfast.
After driving most of the morning and stopping a few times for potty breaks, we finally got to the motel and got our room. I was trying to stay hopeful about the motel at least being halfway decent. We got into the room and the first thing I noticed was the dingy carpet that seemed only halfway vaccumed. I then went to inspect the sheets, which I always do because I am totally anal when it comes to that. After all, I usually bring my own bedding wherever I go (comforter & pillows and such). I don’t bring sheets, but this time I wish I had. I pulled back the comforter on the bed (you know those thin ones that have that rough material on the back) and the first thing I saw were SEVERAL hairs stairing back at me. They looked like dog or cat hair. I stripped the bed of everything but the fitted sheet, which was pretty clean thank God and I tried to accept the fact that we were getting what we paid for.
I really wanted to go and complain to the motel management, but I decide to let it go and just enjoy the time. The kids were sooooo excited about the motel room. They wanted to just stay there and hang out all day, it was pretty funny. I think it is because they get to sleep on their special blow up beds.
So, all in all we really did have a nice vacation. We spent time on the beach, at the pool (which was the best part about the motel because they had a kiddie pool), on the boardwalk, and just driving around exploring the area. We even took a ride all the way down to to Cape May (the tip of New Jersey). There were times that it was overwhelming, how could it not be with 2 preschoolers and one infant. But we made it work. We got to have a few nights away and then ended up at my mom’s house who also lives in NJ, but farther north. We also had a great time with her doing some fun day trips.
Here are some pictures of our 2009 NJ shore vacation:
Here are the kids enjoying the kiddie pool at the motel. It was only 1 foot deep, so even the baby was able to scoot around it in his tube.
Here we are at the Wildwood boardwalk.
Their FIRST ice cream cone. This is a picture BEFORE the dripping sticky mess happened. LOL
Here we are at the motel winding down at night. The kids watched a movie on the portable DVD player while my husband was out night fishing off one of the piers. That was our nightly routine.
This was taken at Cape May point. Check out the lighthouse in the background.
I had to capture this one. My son was burying his sister in the sand. A second after I took this, he shoveled sand right in her face and she was screaming. LOL
Here we are at the Cape May zoo. It was such a nice zoo and they don’t charge admission – it is donations only. Loved that!
This was another daily routine – eating dinner at Shoprite. They had a little bistro inside the supermarket with hot foods. All of us ate for around $18. They had chicken, lasagna, pork, soups, a little bit of everything. And everyday they had a new array of food. I thought this was a much better idea than going out for fast food. And since we were on a tight budget – it was perfect!
Like I said, we ended up at my moms for the last half of our vacation. Here were are at a park.
And I just had to take this picture of all the stuff we had to pack into our car from my mom’s house. I told you I am neurotic about packing! I felt like I was moving out! But it all fit in our minivan!
Oh, and by the way, did I mention that our car broke down? Yup, 2 days before leaving to go home to NY, the fan broke that cools the radiator and we had to pay $535 to get it fixed. Boy did that hurt us pretty bad. But we are just thanking God that it broke down close to my moms house and not on the highway somewhere. The next difficult thing we had to face was Cliff being very sick the last half of the vacation. We think he has lyme disease. He was so weak and suffering terrible migrain headaches. It was really bad. Thank God he has a Dr. appointment today to try to figure out what is wrong.
So, there ya have it…. our family summer vacation. I hope you enjoyed. Does anyone else have any fun summer vacation plans? I would love to hear all about it!