I don’t know what it is about me that I have such a hard time scheduling a vacation for our family every year.  I somehow feel embarrassed, like it’s indulgent or selfish or whatever.  I’m so embarrassed to be like “Oh, we are on vacation that week…”  What is this.  Therapists, chime in.

I am pretty much getting over that now because I am 33 and it is good for ERR ONE around me when I have a vacation.  I am in the market for a Yakima so that I can drag my family all over the great state of California and put stickers on it for all the places we visited.  It’s just a waste of good scenery NOT TO do this.  And we wouldn’t want to be wasteful.

Let me tell you though, relaxing with kids is a different thing than relaxing before you had kids.  It’s not that the work goes away…no.  Kids still poop daily and expect to be given drinks of water while you are barreling down the interstate.  It’s more that you get away from your projects and all the little things nagging at you.  You get outside of your normal environment for long enough to get perspective, have some late night couch talks with friends, and maybe a nap.

I also have to say that vacationing with friends who have kids the same age is a game-changer.  The kids entertain themselves and there’s no pressure to go and do a bunch of “vacation-y” things on some big time schedule.  Everyone is in big family mode, setting up pack-n-plays and packing up diapers, binkies, sippy cups, potty chairs, wind break tents, hats, sandals (which will be strewn from the parking lot to the sand) and seventy years worth of snacks for the beach.  Also we all just freely allowed baby snot to mix with sand and were okay with it.

We had so much fun in Santa Cruz; the marine life and the beaches were stunning.  We took walks, had Verve coffee every morning, visited the tide pools, spent time on the beaches and went out to dinner in Capitola.  Fog in the morning, sun all afternoon.  My favorite was the tide pools, which I didn’t take any photos of because I was being present in the moment (the girls went with David and screamed in terror the entire time…fear of small crustaceans. I went later by myself, in relative quiet).

I also got no photos of Evy literally rolling around and plunging her face directly into the sand repeatedly because I was also being present and making sure she didn’t run into the ocean and die.  There was a LOT of sand in her digestive tract, I will tell you that.

My precious friend Kate and I (find her here ) talked home school until I had a children’s literature list so long it took three scrolls to get through in my notes app.   You all know how I feel about book lists.  She transferred the Zoe life of Christ to me in an area of my life that I really needed it.

I could have photographed VW vans all day long because Santa Cruz is a hippie surf town (I guess vans = surf board storage?)  Enjoy!

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