Vacation is ….
♡ Sandy toes
♡ Not knowing the time and not caring
♡ Beer with lunch and wine with dinner
♡ Naptime for the whole family
♡ Waking up when you want to and going to bed when you want to
♡ Fish and chips
♡ Beach in the morning and beach in the evening even on cloudy days
♡ Ice cream cones after dinner
♡ Sand castles
♡ Road trip
♡ Chasing seagulls
♡ Bike rides
♡ Singing silly songs
♡ Work? What’s that?
♡ Lazy days
♡ Exploring new places
♡ Being together
To welcome the summer we have loaded the car for a vacation along the coast of Maine!
For all of the things my toddler lacks he makes up for one hundred times over as a traveler. Ale is amazing in the car. Once he is strapped in his car seat surrounded by his sippy cup, a snack bowl filled with cheddar bunnies, and a fist full of toy cars he is as happy as can be. Ale first points out the vehicles on the road, tells us when to turn by pointing and saying, “Papa, this way!”. Then he gets quiet and sleeps for three hours. We indeed struck gold.
When Ale woke up we were arriving into Maine from last his last peep about the big passing trucks in Connecticut it was time to stop and start enjoying all that this beautiful state has to offer. It’s just stunning. One minute you are surrounded by pine trees next you are facing the sea. We have had all the clam chower and lobster rolls you can eat. Each day a Ale has played on the beach and watched the boats go by. We even climbed a few lighthouses, and went walking on nature trails. We have a few more days here and I’m looking forward to what is to come.
We even were able to do a family selfi with a cow!
My family and I had an escape from the city over Easter weekend. We took a trip to the Jersey shore visiting Cape May.
As soon as we arrived we hit the beach. Unfortunately, it’s been a chilly spring. Despite the bright sunshine it was about 55 degrees and windy. The icy wind did not stop Ale. He ran to the shore and stared out at the rolling waves. Ale then turned to me and said “Mama be back. Shovel”. He turned and ran back across to the sand to where we parked the stroller to get the bucket and shovel. He was determined to dig and make sand castles. If I would have let him, he would have jumped into the water with his winter coat and hat on.
I think Ale will one day be a surfer, sailor, fisherman or a poet. The ocean calls out to him. Ale is captivated by the majesty of the waves, is intoxicated by the salty air and likes sandy toes.
The siesta time is taken very seriously at my mother-in-law’s home in Sevilla. In the morning you get all that you have to done. By 2:30pm you must be at home. This is when lunch is ready and on the table. Lunch is usually a delicious feast- gazpacho, lomo, jamón Serrano, salad, boquerones en vinagre, meatballs, shrimp, cheese, bread, wine, beer and water. For dessert there is fruit and some times ice cream for special occasions. After we are sufficiently stuffed my mother-in-law ushers us out of the dining room and tells us to “echar una siesta” – take a nap. She takes hers in an easy chair in the living room where she will dose off for about thirty minutes. For the rest of us we go to our bedrooms and we can happily sleep for up to almost two hours.
Ale, my husband and I are on vacation so this is a great welcome. Our first day here the three of us climbed into bed and passed out for an hour and a half. We all slept deeply for that time. We were exhausted. Exhausted from the trip to Spain from New York, but also exhausted from our lives in New York. We don’t stop. We just keep going, and going. Even Ale who naps all the time sleeps better here. He is not picking up the stress of our daily routines.
When the siesta is over it’s like a new day begins. We might have a cup of coffee and a piece of pound cake to get us going again. Then we are off to the park, or strolling around the city. We finish off the night with conversation and a dinner that was meant to be light. My mother-in-law wants to make sure we are all well fed and jolly. Then it’s bedtime again around midnight. Ale goes to bed around 10pm instead of his usual 8pm. He wants to join in the fun as well and play with his cousins and laugh at his uncle’s jokes, (Mama, he’s funny!).
It’s impossible to replicate the Spanish way of life in bustling New York but I can learn from this. We need to just stop, rest and take time for ourselves to recharge our batteries. To take a moment or two to just stop moving, running, planning, thinking, or whatever. Just stop and breathe and have a siesta moment. It’s ok. The planet will keep spinning. I have to record my mother-in -law her to remind myself- “Venga! Hala! Iros a dormir!” (Go, go on! Go to sleep!).
Photo from Hotels Monte
I’ve been quiet this week in the blogosphere. I’ve been on a week’s staycation at home.
Originally I planned to blog daily and catch up on other blogs. That did not happen. During my week off Ale and I saw our friends and family whom we have not seen in a long time. The time with my loved ones was a much needed as the summer flew by way too fast this year. Tomorrow I’m back to work and our usual routines.
So I’m still here! I have missed my fellow bloggers but I’ll be back later this week.
Happy End of Summer!
This week’s Photo Challenge is the Sea.
The summer is not summer without time spent by a body of water. Each year we visit pools, lakes and oceans. Each has the same effect. They refresh, offer a great place to play, and give a sense of peace.
This photo was taken in July at Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. It was a cloudy day but we still had a wonderful time by the sea.
We have escaped the city and are enjoying a few days at the beach. Ale loves the water. Today it was raining. Nonetheless, when the rain stopped for a moment we enjoyed running around happy to have the beach all to ourselves.
Today’s Tuesdays With Ale coincides with this week’s WordPress photo challenge- One Shot, Two Ways.
Since last Sunday we have been traveling. New York to Charleston to Hilton Head and now Savannah.
I love to travel and we are having a wonderful time but traveling with a toddler makes us feel like a roaming gypsy family.
Charleston was great for Ale. It was the novelty of being away from home and seeing new sights. Hilton Head was fantastic. We had the beach and the pool. This was endless fun. Ale had his pail and shovel beside him at all times.
Now we are in Savannah. We arrived at 11am and we were told that the hotel room won’t be ready until 4pm. We had to change Ale’s diaper in Forsyth Park. Then the little toddler man refused to eat lunch. After mama and papa ate lunch Ale just screamed through the city as we wandered through the beautiful squares. My husband and I had our heads down to avoid what we felt were heavy stares and whispers about bad northern parents.
At 3pm we reentered the hotel lobby with a screaming toddler. Guess what- the room was ready. He finally took a nap at 4:30pm in the hotel room. He was so tired and excited I had to put him to sleep like a tiny baby with a bottle of milk, rocking and signing to him.
Tonight to make it up to him we are forgoing BBQ and Southern fare and having Italian. We hope Ale will say “Wow!'” when he sees his favorite dish- a bowl of spaghetti bolognese presented to him.
Update — Later This Evening
Score! We have a happy toddler again! After dinner Ale petted a horse, ran through sprinklers and even had a few bites of ice cream.
We can continue our vacation with a clear conscious.