My parents told me that I made it sound like we didn't have any fun on our trip to Antigua. They also said that I made my kids sound like brats, so I wanted to clarify a few things.
It's hard to write about the fun times. (Day one: We sat by the main pool. Then, we moved to the 'adults only' pool. Then, we moved to the beach until I turned red. The end.) That's why I write about the more exciting times of the trip. My family does seem to have a lot of odd things that happen, so these provide for a good story. (Do you know anyone else whose cell phone went on a tour of customs and made it back in time?) I don't mean to focus on the negatives. They're just funny!
My kids are not brats. They are kids. They both have moments when they are bratty, just as all kids do. I'm just honest about it, where some parents tend to sugar-coat their kids' behaviors. I have very good kids who (for the most part) know how to behave like decent human beings. They are kind-hearted, and while they aren't always kind to each other, they are great with other people. I'm exceptionally proud of my kids, and I love the fact that the both have a great sense of humor. So, if my stories ever lead you to believe that I think otherwise, think again. My kids are awesome!
To clarify the myth that we did not have fun on this trip, I will tell you about some of the good times. So without further ado, I give you a few of my favorite things:
1. The Taxi Ride to the Resort - I loved watching my kids' faces as we passed donkeys, goats, sheep, cows and horses on the side of the road. The livestock provided great entertainment as we drove. I also enjoyed their jokes and sense of humor as we faced certain death at the hands of the taxi driver. The ride was scary, and they laughed the whole way.
2. I loved this little gazebo. The resort had other gazebos with better views of the ocean, but this one just spoke to me for some reason. Isn't it cute?
3. I loved this moment when the kids spontaneously hugged each other. That does not happen often, and luckily, I got it on film. (Well, more accurately on cell phone. Does film even exist anymore?)
4. You had to know there would be turtles involved somewhere. I loved these turtles! They were red-footed tortoises that were native to Antigua. The resort had a habitat for them, and we enjoyed watching them. (Although turtles don't actually DO much of anything.)
5. I loved the Outhouse. (I never thought I'd say those words.)
The Outhouse was a barbecue restaurant at the top of the hill. The food wasn't all that great, but the ambiance was excellent. It was outdoor and was casual. People from all over the world had made signs and hung them there. There were mongooses frolicking nearby. There were tables randomly placed throughout the trees.
And the views were incredible from up there!
6. I liked having a little time to prop my feet up. We stay so busy all the time, and there is always work to be done. Although I did work during part of my trip to Antigua (editing and writing my report), it was nice to have moments to just sit and relax. Too bad I didn't take time to get a pedicure before I went!
7. I loved having my feet in the ocean. I don't particularly like putting my whole body in the water, but there is something therapeutic about having sand between my toes. (Seriously....a pedicure, Alison.)
And Joyce, this photo was in your honor!
8. I loved watching the Goose get involved in the activities. I have no idea how she became such a social butterfly! It always amazes me how different she and the Beetle are. I don't know how one turned out so reserved and one is so not-reserved, but I appreciate them both for who they are.
This isn't a picture of the actual moment, but the Goose was participating in a music trivia game. She knew the answer and was running up to give it. A little girl (probably 5 or 6 years old) was also running up to give the answer, but the Goose was ahead of her. When the Goose saw her coming, she stepped back and let the little girl get the point. If that doesn't warm a mama's heart, nothing will!
9. I liked having time as a family. Although we are always together since we work from home and homeschool, we aren't really always together. Usually, I am in front of the computer, Mr. E is working and the kids are doing their own various activities. It was nice to have time to just be together. (Really, Alison, a pedicure and an exercise program...)
And by the way, a note to my sister here... That whole "turning sideways to look thinner" thing doesn't always work.
10. I loved the water in Antigua. It had so many shades of blue! Every time we would walk outside, I would say, "Look at that water!" After about day two, that phrase was just met with eye-rolls from my family, but I didn't care. I was constantly amazed at how beautiful it was.
11. I loved this table in the dining room. The whole dining room was open-air, but this table sat out over the beach. It was amazing, and it felt luxurious to get to sit there. (Of course, it's hard to eat when your hair is blowing in your mouth and your dinner roll keeps blowing off your plate, but it was still amazing!)
So, as you can see, we had a great time! I am tremendously blessed to have a job where I can travel to all-inclusive resorts for virtually free. The report is done, most of the laundry has been washed, and now, I just have the memories. Luckily, they were good ones! -Al