Next we Visit. My three wonderful roommates, each who I had never met before the first day of college, are now life-long friends who I visit once every year. We love the yearly catch up, always picking up right where we left off. This year we decided to try it with the kiddos, adding a new flavor to all the activities. For the most part, it was a good flavor. And then for the latter part of the trip we moved the party over to my dad's house to spend some time with him and my two half-sisters.
Each day we get a chance to View. First, I had my debut trip to IKEA. I was amazed by everything about it, from the kid drop-off play area at the beginning, to the showrooms, to the massive shopping area at the end. It was fantastic! We also had two trips to the beach, each one packed with fun (though not packed with bottoms), as I discovered that both of my girls l-o-v-e the beach! No amount of sand on the face or down the diaper could keep Adrienne from being happy, and the sting of the salt water wasn't enough to stop the wave-jumping, ocean loving Marianna from getting her water time. We also are able to hit Downtown Disney, the pool, a park, a mall, and some sprinklers.
Along the way we Vacate. We vacate a lot of things. Routine and schedule, manners and good behavior, sleep and the happiness that goes with it. Mommy especially misses the things we've left behind and she gets her best idea yet of what it is like to single parent.
As the trip winds down, we Verbalize. Marianna's language of choice was a whine, the tell-tale dialect of the sleep deprived, and Adrienne's sweet voice worked up into a fervor rarely heard from her, as she protested when one missed nap too many finally caught up with her. My daughters let me know that their tanks, full at the beginning of the trip, are now dripping dry.
And finally, we Validate. Even with the mishaps that come from traveling alone with a one and three year old in a setting far removed from that they are used to, and a schedule that does not run anywhere close to the one on which they operate, we realize that getting to visit with family and friends is the reason we came, making the trip a huge success. The girls missed their daddy and I missed my husband, but it was a great experience and one I'm glad we got the chance to take! Ask me tomorrow afternoon, and I may have a different answer...there are nearly 8 hours of travel, including two flights and a two and half hour lay over, separating the girls and me from home. It should be Very interesting =).
What better way to finish our very V vacation?