For our Honeymoon, Rob and I drove over to Long Beach, Washington. We stayed at a sweet little Bed and Breakfast, flew our kites on the beach, rocked the Skee Ball machine’s in the local arcade and mastered the game of Cribbage. We had such a wonderful time, that when we were ready for our first family vacation, we couldn’t think of a better place to take the kids. The twins were about 18 months and William was three, and it was time to go!
On our way to Long Beach, we stopped in Seattle to visit Woodland Park Zoo. Unfortunately, on the day we decided to visit, none of the animals felt like making an appearance. Since we weren’t seeing any animals,we decided to head into the hands-on building. Sadly, we never even made it in the door. In the stroller parking area, William grabbed onto the handle of another stroller. He was at just the right angle to tip it over, allowing their cooler lid to fall off and their grapes to go rolling in a million different directions. While Rob and I were picking up their grapes, we were trying to decide what to do with them. We had no idea who the stroller belonged to, so should we throw their grapes away, leaving them to wonder what happened to them? Or should we put them back into their cooler, only for them to eat dirty grapes? We were trying to decide what to do when Rob stood up and smashed his head on an open window. Wounded and defeated, we gathered our belongings and left before we could cause any further damage. (I have no idea what we ended up doing with the grapes…)
We were pretty excited to leave Seattle, convinced that the second leg of our journey was bound to be better than the first. It couldn’t possibly be worse… could it?
We arrived at the campground and set up our tent. And then it rained. And rained. And rained some more.
It rained when we went to the beach. It rained while the kids cried all night in the tent. Kids are crazy cranky when they are cold and wet, and parents aren’t much better. In our desperate attempt to warm them up, the kids ended up spending a lot of time buckled in their car seats with the van’s heat running.
Maybe the second leg could be as bad as the first. Perhaps even worse.
Our first big family trip was pretty much the worst vacation in the history of vacations.
As painful as it was at the time, we are now able to look back on it and laugh. We laugh about just how horrible it really was. We laugh about the grapes. We laugh about the rain. We laugh about it all.
And while our family vacations have gotten considerably better since that first one back in 2006, we’re still not brave enough to head back to the zoo in Seattle just yet. I have a feeling we are still on wanted posters…