Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Great Vacation Debate

Our house currently stands divided.

Living where we do-we have snow for a large portion of the year (October-March typically) and it's usually around this time that discussion turns to vacationing somewhere warm. Jakes two biggest complaints about NY state are the taxes and weather.

In years passed, we have traveled to Florida. Jake has a grandmother and various aunts, uncles, and cousins who live in Sarasota not far from Siesta Key beach. We used to stay with his aunt who worked all day, so we had free reign to do what we wanted with the exception of having to have family meals, and get togethers, and such. Jake's aunt isn't the cleanest and she is a big smoker-but she wasn't around so that worked out fine.

After we married, Jake's parents joined us on our venture to Florida. (Yes-I really want to go on vacation to spend every single day with my inlaws) This meant even more family time and doing what we wanted revolved around what Jake's parents (dad) wanted to do. Especially since he rented the car. It seemed like all we could do was go to the beach. Anything farther or more elaborate left them without a car or else joining us for the trip.

So recently when Jake suggested we go to Florida, I was not that excited. He at first neglected to mention that his parents would be going too but that's beside the point. I suggested we go to Myrtle Beach or some other vacation destination instead and now all involved is annoyed or mad. Even his dad was short about it when Jake suggested we might have alternate plans.

I don't find staying with family enjoyable-(even more so when it isn't my family). I feel uncomfortable about schedules, showering, boundries, and the dynamics of staying in someone elses home. I don't like not knowing what the expectations are. I feel like I always have to be dressed and presentable and can't just walk around in my pajamas. I just can't relax and be myself. Jake as usual, thinks I am being ridiculous. Just because I don't feel and react the same way he does in situtations, I clearly am not normal.

When you stay with family you are indebted to them and obligated to do what they ask. "We want to take you to dinner!" "Come over here!" "Let's do this!" I feel we can't be spontaneous and do what we want. I don't want to work off of other peoples schedules and plans. A vacation is supposed to be about getting away from everything and doing what we want. And they always preface it with, "Would you like to..." as if you have a choice.

And now we have James which adds new twists. This means nap times and bedtimes. When James goes to bed, this means we are in for the night. Staying with relatives means entertaining each other and having to interact because we are in their home. I don't want to do that every night. This also means lugging a lot more stuff. Jake wants to go by plane and take advantage of James flying for free because he is under two. I suggested Myrtle Beach because it's closer and we could drive. I don't want to UPS his stroller down there. I don't want to check his $219. car seat and hope it doesn't get beat to hell on the flight down or lost.

I also don't want to spend the entire trip taking James to visit relatives who haven't seen him. I can't see James having a blast hanging out in these child less homes.

Mostly I just want Jamie's first vacation to be with just OUR family. Dad, Mom, and the baby.


StacyMSmith said...

I agree with you completely. Trying to keep James on his schedule, on his best behavior, and happy while relatives he doesn't know hang all over him is like work, not like vacation. It's supposed to be time for you three to enjoy each other, to focus on nothing but family (no work, no friends) and spend time together. Visiting with inlaws and extended family is something you do on a long weekend, not on your vacation. I hope that you get it sorted out, and I would suggest you make an alternate offering of peace (ie : we'll go to Florida for Labor Day weekend) whatever it takes to appease! Good luck!

jen to da fer said...

I think you should go some other place besides Florida. Ever since I've known you, you and Jake have gone to Florida. If I were you, I'd probably be bored of going to Florida. Try someplace new. Also, you are your own family now, and while it's great to have a "close knit" family, you need to start making your own plans, memories, etc. It'd be great if you could find some sort of compromise. I just know you've gone down there for so many years. Didn't you go there for part of your honeymoon as well? The rest of the family needs to "back off"...it's YOUR FAMILY'S VACATION and therefore YOUR FAMILY'S DECISION! I hope it works out for you...keep me posted.

Joanne said...

Thank you both. It feels good to know it's not just "in my head".

Anonymous said...

i'm with you completely.