Vacations Are Over Rated, Right?

In our family, we have two family vacations that we take every summer, come hell or high water or even pregnancy.  Every June we vacation with my husband’s family to the Jersey shore.  We even got engaged there, which brings the grand total to 14 consecutive years of family beach vacations.  My kids particularly look forward to the time with their cousins, whom they don’t get to see very often.

The other trip is Maine.  My mom’s family lives in Maine, and I was born there.  For 36 summers, I’ve spent at least a week in Maine.  Growing up, my family trekked back to Maine every. single. year.  We never missed a year, not even the year of the gas crisis in the 1980s, as my mom is fond of reminding me.  Even during college, when many kids start to boycott family vacations, I happily went along.  When I got married, we never missed a beat.  As it turns out, my husband enjoys the family trips to Maine as much as I do, and we have gone up every. single. year.

Until this year.

Given various circumstances, we decided that it’s in our family’s best interest not to go to Maine this summer.  Instead, we will visit my parents at their home in Virginia, and hopefully meet my new nephew who is due to arrive in July.

It’s weird. Going to Maine is such a part of the fabric of our family life that I find myself making subconscious plans and then realizing we’re not going. My husband finds himself doing the same. But the trip to the beach is looming, and we have enough plans to keep us plenty busy this summer.

But then, in a freakish turn of events, we found out yesterday that the house we rent at the beach, the one where we’ve stayed for the last 6-8 years, the one my inlaws reserve in like November, caught fire and is out of commission for part of this summer.  We’re out of a vacation property — two weeks before the vacation.  Because of other life circumstances, we aren’t going to scramble to find another place.  It looks like our beach vacation has been called off.

The worst was breaking it to my kids.  My 6-year-old dissolved into a heap o’ tears at the news.  My son took it a little more in stride.  My husband, well, we’re just in disbelief.  No Maine, and now no beach.  It’s actually quite comical if you don’t really care about missing BOTH of your annual vacations in the same year.

So now we’re trying to decide what to do.  We could go to Maine earlier in the summer.  Or we could rent our own beach house.  Or we could find something else to do entirely, since we don’t usually have enough vacation time to consider other options.  But when you get used to having two paid-for vacations every summer, you don’t exactly have a vacation budget. One thing’s for sure, I don’t care to spend every day of the summer at the pool.  Mama needs a break.

Hey, there’s always camping.