For instance, I spent about a week packing for every conceivable circumstance, shopping, sorting summer clothes, and just generally getting ready. While I did all this, some of my daily chores fell by the wayside, laundry fell behind, and the floors did not get mopped.
A dozen blog comments showed up, new people to follow back, new products came to review.
Meanwhile, I had to keep up on my couponing. I now have a three ring binder the size of my toddler filled with coupons, and it's almost-not-quite-three-quarters-of-the-way organized. I'm thrilled with that progress, to be sure.
So, what they don't tell you about vacations:
1) They are a lot of work. We've covered that.
2) They don't have to cost an arm and a leg. If you get a place with a stove, eating is no more expensive than it is at home
3) Your kids will learn to say things that you never thought would come out of their mouths. For instance, the baby has been walking around the house randomly demanding chocolate. I may have gone a little soft on my usual Nazi-like diet restrictions, but she's taken to calling EVERYTHING chocolate. *shaking my head*
4) You children will expect portions of your vacation to come home. The middle one wants me to put in a hospitality room. For those of you who've never had the joy of going to a convention, a hospitality room has every kind of grown up drink you've ever heard of, and a goodly array of snacks, candy and sodas. About halfway through the trip, I found out that MissAngelLittleGirl was bootlegging candy into the hotel room and hiding it under the bed. She gets points for being brilliant.
5) Give the kids time to rest. As much fun as it is to go out all the time, the kids will do better with time to play and just be kids and get plenty of rest.
6) Find free stuff to do. We were NOT at the hotel much at all, and I didn't spend a dime on activities. We went to the local and very cool playground, to the free beach, up and down the boardwalk, and my dad knew of a donation only zoo (pics to follow) that was totally awesome. My dad made the donation, so I'm not sure how much that was, but I DO know that it's WAY WAY WAY cheaper than paying fifteen or twenty bucks a head to go to the Philadelphia zoo. It was every bit as nice, too.
7) Buy souvenirs at the dollar store. I made a mistake on this one. LittleAngelGirl had one deep and heart-wrenching desire: to find starfish for everyone she's ever met ever. Needless to say that didn't happen. On the last day, I ducked into a shop on the boardwalk to get her at least ONE, and had to buy a basket of shells. I spent four dollars, and could've got the same thing at the dollar store.
We really did have the best time, and I'm fairly sure I can afford to do the same thing again in the off season. This is VERY good news.