Where to Vacation This Summer?

It’s currently Spring Break in the Washington DC area, which means rush hour traffic is minimal and those of us who chose not to travel this week are left salivating over Facebook photos showcasing exotic destinations and warm temperatures. Clay and I talked about squeezing in a short vacation with the kids this week but it just made more sense to save his leave days for a vacation during our PCS. The two of us are taking a kid-free trip next month to California so that helps soften the blow of being one of those left behind this week. Also helping is our attempt to plan our family vacation this summer. Last summer was amazing – we took the kids to Newport, RI, Cape Cod, MA, and Ogunquit, ME and then Clay and I spent 5 days in St. Thomas and St. John so it will likely be difficult to top that this year…but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try!

Seeing as how we’re not millionaires and a solid middle-class family, our financial resources and limited leave days prevent us from taking a true dream family vacation (Australia! Scotland! South Africa!) this summer. Maybe next year…(probably not, but a girl can dream). Here are some ideas that we’re spitballing for our summer vacation – we’re not married to any one spot and who knows, we might end up doing something completely different because that’s how we roll.

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We really want to take the kids to Puerto Rico – like a lot. It looks unlikely the timing will work out being able to do so with our PCS this summer but we haven’t completely ruled it out. Airfare isn’t outrageous but still not cheap, which is why the rest of our options involve driving somewhere rather than flying. If we don’t go this summer, we’re looking into going during the winter break for Clay’s upcoming school or perhaps spring break of next year. Basically we just really want to go to Puerto Rico.

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And then there is Disney World. Truth be told, we’re not Disney freaks in this family. I am not anti-Disney World by any means (I thoroughly enjoyed my visit as a child) but I haven’t really had any desire to go as an adult – there were (and are) many places I would rather spend money and time. That being said, we now have kids and I think it is in our parenting contract somewhere that we take them to Disney World at least once. Should this be when we do it or should we wait until Violet is just a little older? We casually mentioned to Weston that we were considering Disney World for our vacation this summer and he was sort of nonchalant about the prospect…do we really want to spend money on Disney World when he would be just as happy spending a day at Sesame Place (which we totally plan to do this May)?

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Weston is much more excited at the possibility of going on a cruise. I haven’t been on a cruise since my formative childhood years and in the past, Clay and I have preferred to fly to the Caribbean so a cruise just hasn’t really appealed to us. But now that we have kids (sensing a theme here?), we’re wondering if we should reevaluate our position on cruising. But again, are we crazy for considering a cruise with a not-yet-two-year-old? And a multi-bedroom suite isn’t in our budget so it would be the four of us in a single stateroom (hopefully with at least a window!).

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We didn’t make it to Acadia National Park during our trip to Maine last year. I’d love nothing more than the experience northern coastal Maine this time around and spend our days hiking around the rocky coastline and soaking in the picturesque New England landscape. I’m not sure if the little ones would appreciate the remote nature of Bar Harbor but they’ve got to learn sometime, right?

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And finally, the Outer Banks. We chose the remote Ocracoke Island as our first true family-of-three vacation spot when Clay was home on R&R. The other day, Clay suggested going somewhere new in the Outer Banks this summer before making the drive to Kansas – not a horrible idea, right?

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I realize that narrowing down a summer vacation is totally a first-world problem. And in my heart, I know it really doesn’t matter where we go because as long as the four of us are together, it will be a memorable and cherished family memory. So even if our vacation ends up with us leaving the body of Aunt Edna on a porch in Phoenix and holding John Candy hostage at Walley World, it will be one for the books. Humor me – where are you going this summer?

This Was Meant to be a Longer Post

Thank you for all of the sweet comments about Kansas. Currently, we’re in the deep waters of PCS planning – scheduling last days and arrival dates, filling out housing applications, and coordinating packers and movers. Our goal is to take a couple of vacations en route because door-to-door moves are overrated and life is far too short to wait around for our HHG (household goods) to arrive. But you know what the say about best laid plans…

In the meantime, we hope to make the most of our last couple of months in the capital region. Can you believe that we still haven’t been to the National Cathedral? Or the National Archives? Or the International Spy Museum?  I also hope to write more. In fact, I will write more. With the newfound ISIS-threats I did scrub certain aspects of this blog but I don’t plan on throwing in the towel just yet.

And with that, I should probably wrap up this post because I looked into the kitchen just in time to see Violet dump a container of goldfish into Lucy’s water dish.

We’re Off To…

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The Army has spoken through official orders…we’re PCSing to Fort Leavenworth this summer. Our time there will be brief – only about a year – and then we’re off on another not-yet-determined assignment. It’s funny, when a non-Army person asks we’re heading, our Fort Leavenworth, Kansas response typically yields a look of sympathy and “at least it’s not for long“. But those familiar with Command and General Staff College (CGSC) give us a knowing smile and excitedly tell us how wonderful of a year it is and how it will be a great family experience.

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Fort Leavenworth is about 40 miles northwest of Kansas City, Missouri so we will be in close proximity to good bbq, beer, music, and sports. Those of you unfamiliar with that part of the country, please don’t feel sorry for us…Kansas City is an amazing place – Huffington Post even named it the Coolest City in America. We plan to make the most of our time at Leavenworth and look forward to calling the area ‘home’ – at least for a little while.