Sunday, August 1, 2010

Vacation, Stinner STYLE!

Vacation, Stinner STYLE!

5 kids, 2 parents and a minivan packed with everything we would need for a week of R&R. OK, I know what your thinking..."How could we have a relaxing vacation with 5 kids under 7?". Well, it's quite simple. I prepared the plans ahead of time and we headed out with the intention of enjoying our children and making this vacation about them. If we would have gone with the motive of it being a grown up vacation it would have been a mess. So we headed outside of Philadelphia, PA to Sesame Place. This is an amusement park that is based on Sesame Street and is strictly for children 8 and under. In other words it was MADE for our family. No crazy teenagers running around, no one saying "your too small for this ride", No inappropriate events or music. We spent 3 nights and 2 days there. 2 days in the park itself where the boys had a blast riding the rides and climbing high above the crowds on nets. They especially loved the pools and water park areas where the Count dropped a million gallons of water over your head. We preplanned a breakfast where the boys got to see and hang out with several of the characters from Sesame Street. Griffin could care less but Maxim thought it was the coolest thing he had ever seen. Ernie walked up and Max and Alex let out a squeal that I've never heard before. It was very cool. Emerson kept trying to get to Elmo who was seated by the buffet table for pictures.I think he assumed Elmo would know him since he is at our house all the time, he is a part of our family after all! We got to see a "LIVE" taping of Elmo's World. It was the first time ALL 4 little boys where seated in a theatre setting. They where very calm and watched the show. They even interacted. It's amazing to see how far they've come in the last 3 months. They are all talking and communicating well. I think they really enjoyed their selves those 2 days but we where very happy to be done with the sweltering heat and humidity, those 3 days it was in the 90's with high humidity! I think Austin was ready for something a little more grown too!

The next part of our trip was completely UNPLANNED! That's right, I decided to let the wind blow us in the direction we should go next. I wanted the boys to be able to see the ocean but I thought it was just SO hot it would be a bad idea. But at the last minute we got online and planned a trip 1 hour East to the Jersey Shore. I personally had never been to the shore before. I had no idea what to expect. Our hotel room was great and the people seemed extremely friendly. It wasn't what I expected. Every restaurant we went to people where shocked at how well our children behaved. To tell you the truth, so was I. It was all very relaxed. Besides some intense traffic and backwards twists and turns it was enjoyable. The first day we where there we where exhausted so we decided to grab dinner and take the boys to see the water but not to go in, yeah right. After getting over the initial shock of the sand in their toes they ran for the huge waves that where crashing ashore. It was a beautiful sight. I actually welled up a little bit. The thought of them seeing this natural beauty was just so amazing.

The second day we where there it was a little drizzly so we decided to head back to Pennsylvania to Six Flags where there was an African Lion Safari. We unstrapped the boys and let them look out the windows. Thery called every bird a chicken and growled at everything else. They had a small park/visitors center where we took pictures and Alex and Max rode ponies. They had so much fun.

The rain finally cleared up the next day and we finally headed to the beach. We discovered it is almost impossible to get 5 kids, 4 bags of stuff, 2 chairs, 2umbrellas and 55 beach toys to the beach if you have to walk half a mile from the car to the beach. We took turns and got all the boys there without incident. The boys loved running around in the sand and the waves. They made holes in the sand and searched for sea shells. They tried to wander around a couple of times but basically where content to just enjoy the day. I could see people around us staring but few people said anything to us about the boys being multiples. That was until the mom next to us came over and said "are they triplets?" when I said yes, she said "so are mine". She had girl, girl, boy triplets that where the same age as our boys, literally 5 days apart. What are the chances?

We headed back home the next day and we realized some very important lessons.
#1 Our kids are old enough to handle a vacation and can destroy a hotel room in 5 minutes flat.
#2 They are better behaved in restaurants then I thought.
#3 Sesame Street ROCKS!
#4 Backpack Monkeys are the best inventions! (Kid leashes)
#5 Never drive home from New Jersey through the Pocono Mountains. The kids will all puke all over themselves and the car!
...and most of all, our kids are growing up so fast and we are enjoying EVERY moment!