Our summer trip to the island...
I wrote this on Monday, August 10th, so when I say 'On Saturday we got back...' it was Saturday the 8th I was referring to!
On Saturday we got back from a week long adventure on the island, with our home base being a cottage resort in Parksville. I wrote extensively about it already, in my private journal, with details I didn’t necessarily feel needed to be blogged about. Suffice it to say, we had a good, albeit totally exhausting, time. We were mainly there for James’ dad’s significant other’s family reunion (say that 10 times fast!), but we also had the chance to visit some of my family and friends in Nanaimo, since it’s just a short drive away.
The kids travelled amazingly well, loved the cottage that we had all to ourselves, and were mostly very well behaved (aside from a few, let’s face it, AWFUL moments with Andrew when he decided to be in a really bad mood...! But mostly they did well). The weather was amazing, and pretty much perfect for visiting Rathtrevor Beach, which happens to be my most favourite beach in the world. The best beach, in my view, for children, because the tide is generally so far out that there’s never a fear of them running off too far into the ocean! There are so many little pools and pockets of water, with baby crabs and sand dollars and little fish and shells. I used to go every year in the summer for day trips with my family, and took Andrew a few times when he was a baby, so it was special for me to be able to enjoy it with all 3 of our kids (and James, of course!) throughout the week.
We explored Coombs Market, checked out the awesome sandcastle competition on Heroes and Villains, which was AMAZING, Andrew and I spent lots of time swimming in the pool at the resort (which he REALLY took to and was actually SWIMMING without my help, it was a huge milestone and a major Proud Mommy Moment for sure!), and we finally got to Butterfly World, which I’ve been wanting to go to since I was a little kid. We had lots of mini beach adventures, hit up my favourite party store in Nanaimo, visited with family, and danced at a concert in the (warm) rrain under a big beautiful rainbow on our final night there. I’m so grateful that we had the opportunity to go, and want to remind myself of all the wonderful memories we created with the kids, because when it comes right down to it that’s really all that matters.
I have to be honest, though. The trip left me with some difficult emotions to wrap my head around, and I’m still processing it two days post-trip. Part of it is how tiring it was. Considering how many people were at the reunion and staying right near us all week, it was pretty upsetting that no one, not even a group of people, was willing to look after the kids for us so James and I could have even an hour or two alone together. I would have loved to have grabbed a coffee together and gone for a walk along the beach, or been able to go back to Coombs and explore it a bit more ‘sans enfants.’ James’ dad did stay with the kids on one of the nights so James and I could socialize at one of the family get togethers, but only once all the kids were tucked in and asleep.. And as much as it was nice to experience one of the evening parties (since typically that’s when everyone gathered, and we were usually not able to attend due to the kids’ bedtimes, as well as our exhaustion setting in by a much earlier hour than for those without small kids...which was everyone but us!) it really would have been great if we could have had a little time just the two of us. But I digress. A few times people would take Andrew to the beach and one night someone else took him to the pool when I was way too tired for a swim. But other than that, we really had zero help, and I had less time to myself over all on this trip than I do during a typical week at home. Which is frightening, given how little time I get as it is! Psychologically I need space sometimes, or I start to go crazy, which I think is what happened to me on this ‘vacation.’ It was challenging, to say the least. I guess it made me a bit sad to know that a holiday is way more work than just staying home...Which doesn’t mean I wouldn’t do it again, I’m really glad we went and the memories we created in the positive moments were wonderful, and I’m so happy we have those. I guess I just wish the things that stressed me out and upset me about the trip didn’t have to feel so prominent when I think about our time away.
UPDATE: It has been almost a week since I wrote this and can say that I am feeling a lot better about things! I just needed time to process it. Some of my thoughts toward the trip still upset me but I’m not dwelling on them like I did when they were fresh. I’m just grateful for the good parts of it, and knowing that through our kids eyes it was wonderful makes me happy!