An “all-included” Spring Break with Toddlers

The good, the bad… and the lessons learned…

This has been a particularly good winter for me. A particularly fortunate one. I have no doubt that this is in large part (if not completely) due to the fact that I’ve now missed 3 weeks of the Montreal winter weather, first with my trip to Kilimanjaro and more recently by spending March Break in Varadero, Cuba. I have no illusions – I know that this is not the norm and I count myself very very blessed. You can read a very brief recap about my Kilimanjaro experience here… and the following are my thoughts on my week in the sun – with my man and my babies.

THE GOOD

Spending a lot of quality time as a family. It probably would have been fun to go with friends or family (and believe me – we tried) but by going on our own, we had no choice but to spend the entire week together.

The girls bonded for sure. L is old enough to really explore with her Dad. M’s speaking is definitely improved. B and I may not have had the time to read and lounge as much as we have on these types of trips in the past BUT we traded off nap time every other day so that we each got to (1)  nap ourselves and (2) have a couple of hours to do our own thing. It was win-win. For everyone. Especially since both of the girls actually napped a good hour or two each and every day. Awesome.  

The weather was amazing. We were a little worried about it after some people’s comments that it might be cold at the very beginning of March… but it was seriously hot and seriously nice. It drizzled for all of 30 minutes one morning. That’s it, that’s all. We also got to experience both small and big waves. Cool, no? The girls were much more comfortable the first few days, with the little waves moving them around in the water. But B and I were thrilled to play in the waves the last couple of days. I have to say that I’m anxious for the little ones to be old enough to play with us though.

We got into a really nice groove to add variety to our days of lying around, playing in the sand and swimming. We headed to the beach in the morning, back towards our room just before lunch, and after some time in the pool, we’d have lunch at the snack bar. Then it was nap time (so depending on the day, I got to nap with the girls or lie in the sun – B chose to workout on his time, but we all have our priorities I guess!). After nap time we usually stayed by the pool until a snack at 4 or 4:30… and then we’d head back to our room to lounge and get ready (slowly) for dinner. It was wonderful.

THE BAD

Okay, so nothing was really all that bad… not for us. We enjoyed the food, we didn’t mind the size of the resort – it gave us the chance to stretch our legs and feel like we weren’t totally lethargic all week.

Being March Break the resort was at full capacity. We’ve never been during the busy season and it had it’s disadvanatages. Like it was really annoying to listen to picky people complain. Goodness – we heard people complain about everything from the food, to a gentlemen in a wheelchair passing to the front of the line. Come on. Give me a break.

Our girls were wonderful, but they did test our patience and our judgement a couple of times. The only real bad with them was health related though. M developed a high fever one evening – which were thankfully able to get down with some children’s Tylenol and a cool bath (which she screamed through of course).  And poor L got that heat rash – and was pretty upset about covering her “pretty” bathing suite with a long sleeve shirt of all things.

LESSONS LEARNED

– DO NOT forget sand toys (that convert very nicely into pool toys)

– DO buy those bathing suite shirts to cover pale sensitive skin next time around.

– DO NOT expect to read through 2 novels when you’re away for a week with toddlers. The girls were good… but they’re still toddlers.

– DO bring more “things” to give to the staff. While they appreciate tips, they are much more appreciative of stuff.

– DO NOT count on the tv on the airplane to entertain the children. It might not work…

– DO bring your laptop or iPod or whatever gadget you might have to help keep cooped up children occupied.

And I guess that’s it. When all is said and done, I’m very happy with how the week went. And I have to admit that I’m not totally in love with the snow falling outside right now… or that fact that I can’t just slip into a sundress and flip-flops to go out.

Summer is only a few months away though. And I really really can’t complain.

A.

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