When we planned our move home to NB, we knew that our annual family trip to Cavendish would fall right in the middle of the move, so we decided to embrace it and just drive straight to our vacation before we went to our new home. When we got off the ferry, we drove to Moncton to stay the night with my parents and my sister's family, who come with us to Cavendish every year. This was our third year, and each year we get better at the whole thing.
In Moncton, we stayed in a hotel close to my sister's house so the kiddies could enjoy the pool a bit and get in as much family time as possible. We find that with four adults (Kryssy, Chad, Jon, me) and three kids, it is so much easier to make food at home as opposed to restaurants, so my sister whipped up the meals as we prepared for our Cavendish trip.
Next year might be different since we live on the mainland now, but for the past three years my sister has exclusively been in charge of planning the meals and buying all the food for the 5 days. It's such a big job, and takes two huge coolers and another two huge plastic containers filled with pantry items. I love the food part of the trip. Everything tastes a little better when you are staying in a cottage with a limited kitchen.
The baby, Gage, was a wild card in terms of sleeping, but these two slept well and got up pretty consistently around 6 am, ready for breakfast number one. Jon and I would get up with these guys and get coffee on the go, and the baby, Kryssy and Chad would get up 45 minutes later. It's funny how quickly you get into routines, even when you are only vacationing for 5 days.
Although Cohen has been done with naps for a while, we found that he really needed one while we were vacationing. I blame it on being outside for hours at a time. These two would nap for at least an hour every afternoon. We liked keeping them inside for the hottest couple hours of the day anyways. They loved cozying up together. So sweet.
We have stayed at the same cottage property all three years, but keep upgrading the particular cottage we stay in. This time we had three bedrooms and two bathrooms, which felt pretty luxurious to us. I think we will stay at this one from now on.
For whatever reason, going to the beach sounded good in theory, but each day we would opt to instead just walk across the field to the pool. The beach felt sort of daunting since we would need to bring lots of snacks, water, sunscreen, toys, changes of clothes, towels, blankets, etc. On the last day, Jon and I stopped with Cohen and Jon's brother at the beach on a whim. We didn't have bathing suits or much of anything. Cohen went around in his spiderman underwear, and I stripped to my (luckily all black and full-bum) underwear and tank top and we had an awesome time. Note to future self: go to the beach!! It is not as much work as you are thinking.
This year I think we rented five cottages total, with about 20 family members, plus lots more stopping by for the day or a meal. For some reason, staying together for 5 days straight at the exact same place year after year seems to foster a closeness that I love so much. I end up having deeper more meaningful conversations with close and not-so-close relatives that we don't have anywhere else.
I think it was in this story that David Sedaris talks about having to put in the time to end up with those sweet meaningful conversations that you want to have with your family members. For me that is the gold of our annual Cavendish trip. This year my sister-in-laws unknowingly convinced me to change my name legally back to my maiden name, the name that I never stopped using professionally. All while treading water in the deep end of the pool. I talked to relatives about careers (good ones, stable ones, less-than-ideal ones, lucrative ones), exes (the kind that you have to talk to every single day of your life for the next 15 years and the kind that just left a mark on you), true loves (romantic and other), money (having enough, how much is enough, how to get a bit more while still parenting), kids (step, adopted, biological), etc. Such a great vacation. I can't wait for next year.