Usually vacations are a time to get away, but when the kids are already on vacation it’s less exciting for them to be on a vacation from vacation. We just returned from two weeks at a rental house on Cape Cod. For Jeanne and me, it was a great chance to get away from work and change our daily routines. And while the girls enjoyed the beach and the ocean, they had already figured out pretty good summer routines and it was harder for them to be away from friends for the time.
Usually our vacations involve other people, but this year it felt like vacationing alone. Last summer we spent time in California with cousins and extended family. Past years we have gone to Family Camp, we’ve joined friends on their own Cape vacations, or stayed at family lake houses. But this year we couldn’t include others and that made it a much more solitary time for us. And, as with so many activities during this pandemic, it showed how much the people matter as much or more than the activity.
It’s not to say we didn’t have fun, it was just a more isolated and different fun than it would have been. We were able to ride bikes around the neighborhood we were staying in Mashpee, including the short ride to the beach. It was great to leave the car in the driveway most days and spend the day walking, biking, or swimming. We did a few day trips to local hiking spots, especially because the nearby beach did not allow dogs so traveling allowed us to find places for Daisy to join us in the water. We played requisite games mini-golf, we ate ice cream most nights, and we tried different local restaurants.
We did get together with people a couple times with outdoor visits with friends one night and cousins another night. Those were highlights of the trip but showed how little we interacted with other people the rest of the time. There were no (or very very limited) interactions with other families at the beach, on the mini golf course, at the ice cream stand; all places we would normally chat with other vacationers. It was a lot of time with the four of us and while we get along great, we’ve already had a lot of time with us in the past five months. These were days without work and in a more vacation-friendly location, but it felt more like a location shift than a regular vacation.
As soon as we got home the girls spent as much time with friends as they could. Caroline was so wiped out from a 6-hour binge of friend time that she crashed on the couch before dinner and didn’t really wake up until morning. Hannah went from a birthday party with gymnastics friends to a pool party with school friends and didn’t get home until 10pm. They had missed their friends and were excited to get back into home routines.
Jeanne and I will be back at home our home desks this week, the girls have three more weeks of summer vacation before remote school starts. The hope is that the vacation can feel rejuvenating and we can get back into work with renewed energy. And for the girls, they enjoyed the beach, but are happy to be back at home where they can hang out with people who aren’t their parents.
Here is an album with photos from the month including this one of of the beautiful beach:
Things that went well this week:
- Learned that fall soccer for the kids can go ahead with in-town only games. I had been against traveling around the state and was glad the league agreed to in-town only
- The numbers of cases in Belmont is so low it is not even counted in the color-coded state map
- Daisy was a great traveler and did well in her crate while we were at the beach
- The schedule for the Champions League and NBA playoffs was well-timed for the weeks when I had free time to watch (Go Celtics!)
Things that did not go well:
- Despite a massive rainstorm on Sunday, Massachusetts is in a “Level 2 – Significant Drought” and all residents are urged to reduce water usage
- Cases in the south and west continue to increase with national numbers at 5.6+ million cases and 175,000 deaths
- I realized I was jealous of the girls having so many friends to get together with in person. Most of my friends live in other places and we can’t get together for socially-distanced socializing
Random happy find from the web:
- The birth of a Panda cub at the National Zoo in DC provided a “much needed moment of pure joy“
Cute puppy photo of the week: