Vacation for 12

This blog is being written by citronella candle light on the patio of our timeshare in East Texas.  I’m sunburned and exhausted from canoeing.  But I’m happy because I know that we are making memories… family memories.


Two of my cousins have joined us with their families for this week-long adventure, so there’s 12 of us total.  I cannot believe what we’ve spent in groceries alone!  But it’s so worth it.


Right now our 2 teen boys are hanging out together at the activity center, checking out girls no doubt.  They are bonding in a way they just don’t get the chance to bond at home.  At home they have their separate friends and separate schools.  Here “stepbrother” has become “wing man” as they spend each evening swimming or playing mini-golf (only because that’s where the girls hang out).


I have to confess that my husband and I went and spied on the boys one night.  We hid behind bushes & trees so they wouldn’t catch us, all the while laughing our heads off at how silly we were being.  We needed this time away to have a chance to be silly, with our kids and each other.


Our little girl has fit right in with my cousins’ girls.  The four of them range in age from 5 to 9, and they’re all super cute snuggled up each night.  Reminds me of summertime at grandma's house when I was that age.

Yesterday our daughter referred to one of the girls as her step-cousin; I told her, “with cousins we drop the ‘step’ part.  It no longer matters.”  She liked that.  And technically I guess they’d be 3rd cousins, but again, it really doesn’t matter.  The point is we’re all family.  We love and accept each other, and we enjoy these rare opportunities to spend uninterrupted time together.

I don’t know if it’s possible to do this kind of multi-family vacation every year, and I will admit it’s a lot of work to put together.  But if you can do it, go for it.  And try not to feel responsible for everyone having a good time the whole time.  That’s not only impossible but way too much pressure.  Just relax, enjoy the adventure, and let everyone else do the same.


And I must add one more point.  Just because we own a timeshare I am not recommending you get one.  In fact, I believe it was a huge mistake to buy into this one.  But now that we own it we’re pretty much stuck so we make the best of it.   If you ever get invited to a “meeting” with Silverleaf resorts… RUN!  In a future blog I’ll describe the 4 hour torturous meeting we had to sit through just for 6 free water park passes.  Ugh!


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