One thing we noticed in Italy this past week is that kids are completely adored, showered with attention, kisses, cheek pinches (ask Cece, it was her favorite part) but very little is set up specifically for kids. Kids are expected to do everything like the adults.
I like this assumption and the girls were at the perfect age to meet those expectations. They had plenty of time to splash in the pool, hang out with cousins, and act like kids but they also carried their own bags, did all the tours, and talked with the family. It was a great vacation for kids just not a kid-centric vacation.
If you think elementary school body humor has peaked in your house just try introducing an Italian bidet to the equation. It opens up whole new avenues of humor.
After a whirlwind 36 hours in Rome, we have now made it to Sicily. This is the first long plane/travel trip since Ally was about 18 months old and we’ve found that the rules have changed slightly, or at least no longer involve diapers. Here are our six rules of engagement for this trip:
- Avoid boredom. They are mostly old enough to entertain themselves but having random shiny objects they’ve never seen before doesn’t hurt.
- Anticipation is half the fun. We got the kids involved in the planning. Ce is also keeping a travel journal. Also, start packing a week out by putting things in piles to avoid last minute stress.
- Avoid hunger. Snacks in a strange land work just as well as at home.
- Always be bribing. In Italy, gelato works really well for this.
- Energy is infectious. This is Michelle’s speciality. Her mantra is “It’s an adventure.” She is very going at spinning anything.
- There are mostly no rules. My mantra? I’m on vacation and I don’t care.
Of course, tantrums and meltdowns happen on vacation as well as in your own living room but it’s worth it for the great moments, right? Cecilia has now had a “memorable” moment in the Roman forum. Daddy has had one in the Hertz line in Palmero. It’s the cost of doing business and if the kids (and Dad) are ever to learn how to master these behaviors, it may as well be on the go.
We enjoyed our vacation on Prince Edward Island so much, we’ve been scheming on how quickly we can return. One of the best parts of the trip was the relaxed vibe. You didn’t have to work hard to unplug and just breathe.
There were no big amusement parks. No big resorts. No big expectations. That doesn’t mean there wasn’t anything to do. Quite the opposite. Here are seven things we really enjoyed doing on PEI with kids during our vacation.
This fishing excursion wasn’t firmly on the itinerary at the start of the trip. We were all leery of being trapped on a boat for four hours with kids that might hate it, but we had a mostly empty day and ended up giving the family-oriented Paradise by the Seas Adventure Tour (facebook, tripadvisor) a shot. And we were very glad we did. It ended up being a great addition to our trip with a lot of fun memories for both kids and parents alike.
Our one big indulgence during our PEI vacation was getting a seating at the FireWorks Feast at the Inn at Bay Fortune. I was a little hesitant given the the price tag, even in Canadian dollars it’s not cheap, but after a long night of slurping oysters, eating smoked salmon, and a full five course meal, I can happily say it did live up to the hype and is worth the price. If you can’t spend your money on a memorable vacation experience, what are you going to spend it on?
One advantage to staying on the eastern side of the island is that the Inn at Bay Fortune was just a short ten minute drive from our rental house. This came in especially handy at the end of the night when we were all so full that the prospect of driving across the island to roll into bed would not have been appealing.
I’ll go ahead and come out with it right away: I’m not a big beach person. I don’t enjoy the feel of wet sand between my toes. Or tides of seaweed wrapping my ankles. Or unidentified things brushing my legs in the murky water. Or the smell and oily feel of sunscreen on my skin while I bake in an uncomfortable chair. Should I go on?
So it comes as a surprise, maybe to me the most, that I had such a great time at Basin Head Beach and would go back without hesitation and recommend it without reservation.
Would you think any less of me if my lasting memory of our recent vacation to Prince Edward Island wasn’t the beautiful vistas, iron red roads or Anne Shirley’s Haunted Woods, but rather sitting down in some shaded grass and biting into a warm, flaky hand pie?
Just over the Confederation Bridge, there really is no excuse not to hit up this hidden gem both coming and going. It’s that good nd the perfect opportunity to get and stretch your legs after making it over the bridge.