It’s been a while. The past couple of weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind, dominated by the stomach virus from hell (already detailed in a previous post) and vacation. I should probably put vacation in quotes. Here’s why:
Once upon a time (this means pre-baby), Will and I were avid outdoors people. We loved to camp (and by that, I mean true tent camping), fish, and kayak. It was rare that a month would go by without at least one or two of those activities being checked off the list. Our outings got a bit limited once we bought our house, as A) discretionary spending dropped by a huge degree, and B) we needed to spend our time and energy working on/around the house. Fast-forward 3 years and we haven’t gotten to do any of our once-favored activities (well, Will did get to go fishing with his dad and brother a couple of times, but I don’t count that since I didn’t participate).
We finally decided we needed to make the time and cough up the money to leave town, just for a few nights. We researched and found one of Louisiana’s state parks to visit – Cypremort Point. It’s down along the marsh adjacent to the bays, so fishing there is salty to brackish (that means for people like us, there’s a chance in hell you’ll catch something), and the cabins looked nice and new (thanks to all the hurricanes). Will planned to take his kayak and fish. I knew I couldn’t do that because of the baby, but I figured she and I could play on the “manmade beach” and maybe find a playground or something.
I hate to say this, but this vacation was hugely disappointing to me. To start, Stella was simply too worn down from the stomach virus the first day to do anything. I tried to take her to the beach, but this is a typical Louisiana beach – both the water and the sand are muddy brown. The bugs were awful due to our proximity to the marsh. And when Stella tantrumed after I had to remove the 3rd cigarette butt from her hand, I gave up and she and I went back to the cabin where she proceeded to cry and whine around the room for the rest of the day. Will was out fishing, so he missed a lot of this. The only bright spot of that day was that he caught a nice fish which I was able to cook for dinner (yep, I still got to cook and clean up after 3 meals a day).
Our second (and last) full day was better. Stella was more herself and we drove up to nearby Avery Island. We skipped the Tobasco plant tour (I somehow think Stella would miss some of the fine points of the experience at this point) but spent a couple of hours in the jungle gardens. Other than the nice screened-in porch of our cabin, that was the only bright spot of vacation for me. When we got home the next day, I can honestly say I was more stressed and worn out than I had been when we left.
I’ve since talked to other moms and this is typical. Somehow, I guess I had been in denial. Vacations aren’t vacations when you travel with these little people. It’s not as bad when you go with other people (such as when we’ve gone to the Alabama coast with my mom); you have people there that can tag in and watch the kid while you get a break. With just the 3 of us, there was no break.
I do know one thing: Unless I can detach enough from Stella to leave her with a grandparent overnight, I’m not going on vacation again for a long, long time.