Busy – busy – busy!
That made me wonder: what does Kathryn’s favourite vacation look like?
Here is Kathryn’s answer:
Just before our tenth anniversary, my husband and I celebrated by taking our first cruise. We had wanted to get away from the kids and had tossed around several ideas, including a trip to Niagara Falls, a trip by train, or a trip to some other touristy type location. His parents had taken several cruises by that point and always had wonderful stories and pictures to share of their adventures. We looked into it, found out it wasn’t as unaffordable as we had thought and so we gave it a shot.
It was probably one of the best vacations we’ve ever taken.
After several hours in the car, we arrived in Jacksonville, Florida for the night. When we woke up, we decided to spend the morning at the Jacksonville Zoo before heading to the port. The ship was more than I had expected. It’s like a large casino hotel on water. Everything you need is on board for you, restaurants, shops, cafes, pools, bars. Even a nightclub (that I did not go to) and a casino (that I did visit).
The ports of call for that first cruise were Key West and Nassau. Key West was awesome, such a relaxed and laid back atmosphere. I would love to go back one day and just spend a couple of days soaking it all in. Nassau wasn’t bad either. We went to a small botanical garden and got to see a show with trained flamingos.
Last year, we had another chance to cruise, this time with the children. I was kind of concerned about taking them to exotic locations (the most exotic vacation I took as a child was to Toronto). But their excitement really rubbed off on me and seeing their faces as they boarded the ship and took it all in was priceless.
We visited Nassau again, St. Thomas and St. Maarten. We let the children help pick the shore excursions. We went to Atlantis in Nassau, snorkeling and kayaking in St. Thomas. My husband took our oldest SNUBA diving in St. Maarten while our middle child hung out in Camp Carnival (he was supposed to go SNUBA diving too, but hadn’t really enjoyed snorkeling) and my daughter and I had a spa day.
I think that one of the best parts of the cruise experience with kids was the freedom they had, and as a result, the freedom we had. The cruise had so much for the kids to do, their camp offered activities all day and well into the night. We let them pick and choose what they wanted to do and I think they enjoyed spending time away from us.
They’re already looking forward to the next cruise (even if we have no idea when that will be).
I’ve been to Toronto and Niagara Falls. I’ve been to Virginia Beach and Myrtle Beach. I’ve been to Gatlinburg and Orlando. All of those vacations were fun, but my favorite vacation spot has to be in the middle of the Caribbean on a cruise ship. For a week, I get to be carefree. I can do what I want, I don’t have to cook or clean and I can just enjoy my family.
So, I’m a lot like my kids…I can’t wait until the next one.
What is your favorite vacation spot?