A “Working” Vacation – Part 2


It’s amazing the things you find on the beach!

We almost didn’t go on our vacation to the beach this spring break. I’ll explain, but first let me say that this trip to the beach was the third on my list of vacations I would like to take the kids on.

Last summer we went to the mountains and last Thanksgiving we went to Branson. So, for this spring break we took a little vacation to the ocean. (If you’re wondering about the others on my list, that would be DisneyWorld and a cruise, but I want them to be a little bit older before we attempt those.)

But, I think this vacation was the best one for the kids. I mean, how can you go wrong with a gigantic sandbox with a gigantic wave pool?

Yet, like some of our past vacation attempts, it got off to a bad start and we almost didn’t go on our vacation to the beach. You might recall when I tried to take the kids on their first trip by plane (see here and here), we got to the airport and our flight got cancelled and we got stuck at the airport. And then to add to our problems, Kaleb got sick. Since then I have avoided plane trips and we have taken vacations we can reach by automobile.

So, it was a 400 mile trip to the ocean. About 300 miles is pretty much our (my) capacity for a day’s drive and I had made reservations online at a hotel about 100 miles from our destination. We left the house late in the morning and got about seventy miles down the road and stopped for lunch at a Cracker Barrel Country Store Restaurant.

It was busy in the restaurant and so we put our name on the waiting list and browsed around the store until they called us. Since we had a long trip ahead of us, I wanted the kids to eat a good meal and then nap in the car once we got back on the road. So, I ordered a big family dinner (remember, we say “dinner” for lunch and “supper” for dinner) that included macaroni and cheese for Kenzie, though said she wasn’t hungry.

KenzieSickLookingDown-BWWhen they served our food, Kenzie refused to eat anything and finally came around the table and sat in my lap while I ate, which isn’t my preference because it is hard for me to eat with one of them on my lap. But she seemed tired and subdued, so she sat fairly quietly in my lap.

Suddenly, she began heaving and clinched her mouth closed. So I quickly gathered her in my arms and hollered at Kaleb to come (I couldn’t leave him sitting there by himself) and went running for the restroom before she barfed all over our table in the busy restaurant.

We made it to the restroom in time for me to put her head over the toilet for her to throw up. But, she didn’t really throw up all that much. I couldn’t really determine if she had a stomach flu or was just car sick. We went back to the table and quickly finished our once delicious dinner, though it didn’t seem quite so appetizing now.

We got back to the car and I sat her down in her seat in the back of the car and was about to close the door when she began to barf all over the inside of the car. I quickly grabbed her up and put her down outside on the grass and she vomited until there wasn’t anything left to come out of her stomach. I felt so sorry for her but was glad that we weren’t driving down the Interstate when it happened.

While I was wiping out the inside of the car, I debated with myself whether we should continue on our trip or go back home. Being a guy, all I could think about was that non-refundable deposit I had made on a hotel room that was now only 230 miles away!

PNAInTheSandOnTheBeach_NOOverlayBut, somehow, the “mommy” side of me was able to persuade the “dad” side of me that this sick baby needed to go back home. So I packed her and Kaleb back in the car, surrounded her seat with blankets in case she got sick again and we headed home!

She never threw up again on the trip back home and she never had any fever. But, she was extremely tired when we arrived at the house. I put her down for a nap and she slept soundly for a couple of hours. When she woke up, she was perky and hungry and I started to think that either she had eaten something that didn’t agree with her or had car sickness or both.

After a few hours and a lot of whining from Kaleb about not getting to go on our vacation to the ocean, it occurred to me that I might could still salvage that non-refundable hotel reservation.  I surmised that we could still make it to that paid-up hotel room before the night was over!

Since I had never unpacked the car when we returned home, I loaded the kids back up, called the hotel and told them to hold our room, and we headed off for our ocean vacation at about 8:00 pm. We arrived at the hotel about 3:00 am and slept in the next morning, got up and ate pancakes and made it to our ocean destination by early afternoon the next day.

I still don’t know if I was happier because Kenzie was never sick for the rest of our vacation or because I didn’t lose my non-refundable hotel room deposit! Anyway, in the next and final part of this adventure, I’ll post some pictures from our ocean vacation.

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