Tuesdays Top 10 – 10 Things that SCREAM VACATION

mother daughter bowling

I have to face it.  Gone are the days of impromptu summer vacations dining out at snazzy boardwalk restaurants and staying first class in a beachfront high rise hotel with a hot tub on the patio.  Yeah!  Not only can I not afford those things with 4 kids, but it also wouldn't be quite as relaxing now as a mother as it was before my talent for procreation dominated my life. (Oh YES, procreating is a TALENT!)

Funny, but as we just returned from a last minute vacation – I realized just HOW much my definition of a dream vacation has changed over the last 15 years. Instead of visiting a resort, or staying beachside, I stayed with my parents who live in beautiful, sunny, and HOT Florida.  And it was one of the best weeks of my life!

This Tuesday, it's the Top 10 things that SCREAM DREAM VACATION for me now!  Please let us know what makes your vacation with kids AMAZING!

1.  Being with extended family.  I love sharing my kiddos with my family, and I love being able to have the time for all of us to spend together.  The older my parents get, the more I realize that time is ticking away – and I find myself wanting to spend as much time with them as possible. 

2.  Not cooking.  I dislike cooking.  My dad LOVES cooking.  Can you say, WIN – WIN?  To him, feeding a family of 6 the delicious meals I remember from my childhood was a dream come true.  I happily opted for clean up duty, because I would rather wash dishes than prepare meatloaf, potatoes, and gravy any day of the week.

3.  No schedule!  One of the nice things about staying with family is that we weren't bound to a schedule of any sort.  It was bliss.  We went to the beach when we wanted to – and never felt the pressure to get in as much ‘beach' time as possible.  Not once, did I feel like our vacation was up against a sand timer.

4.  A pool.  Let me say that people in Florida know how to build houses.  And pools are par for the course.  Waking up to walk out to a pool was heavenly – for ME and my children.

5.  Being able to do laundry like I do at home.  I loved the idea that I didn’t come home to 3 suitcases full of dirty clothes.  It also didn’t hurt that Grandma actually ENJOYS doing extra laundry (either that or she didn’t want me to touch her machine).

6. Saving money.  This vacation actually saved me money.  We spent gas money traveling and money on incidentals.  In the end, we spent less than we would have had we stayed home for a week. Not feeling the stress of coming home broke and still having the time of our life while we were away, was NICE.

7.  Having built in babysitters.  It was nice that my kids had Grandma and Grandpa to talk to as well as Mom and Dad.  My husband and I actually had time to talk and even took a few swims sans the kiddos while they were playing darts with their grandparents. 


8. Being completely comfortable.  We were at Grandma and Grandpa's house.  There were no neighbors, or downstairs tenants that we had to be quiet for.  The pool didn’t close.  The bathroom was always open. The kids could eat breakfast in their bathing suits or pajamas, and watch Spongebob if they wanted to. Basically, we felt like we were at a home away from home.   

9.  Relaxation. 

10. Making treasured memories for my children.  They might not remember Disney World or the Ferris wheel at the boardwalk, but they will remember how it felt to be at Grandma and Grandpa's house on their summer vacation.

So, what did I leave out?  What makes your idea of vacation PERFECT?

What do you think?

Tuesdays Top 10 – 10 Things that SCREAM VACATION

Stef Daniel is the 40ish year old, experienced (meaning crazy already) mother of count ‘em…4 daughters (yes, she takes prayers) who have taught her nearly E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G she needs to know about raising kids and staying sane. She hails from a small town in Georgia where she lives with her family in a red tin roofed house (with just ONE bathroom mind you) on a farm - with tons of animals of course. One day, due to her sheer aversion to shoes and her immense lov ... More

Tell us what you think!


  1. ErinF says:

    I grew up within a couple hours’ drive from New Jersey’s beaches, so that was a staple of our summers. Wave jumping, sand castles, examining the fauna in the sand, feeding seagulls, seeing how far we could swim out before we couldn’t reach the ocean floor, and collecting seashells were all part of a magical experience that I can’t wait to share with my kids.

  2. Kevryn says:

    This would definitely be my dream vacation.

  3. We just got back from a few days out of town and I have to say, just being out of the house and free from the responsibilities of doing dishes/straightening up/etc. was wonderful. Add in seeing my kids have so much fun and spending family time together and we really enjoyed it. Now I just need to work on the "relaxation" part 🙂


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