I know there are countless blog posts in the world about traveling with kiddos, but this post is about something way different: adventuring with ANOTHER FAMILY!
See our dear pals had a baby roughly 6 months before us, and we all agreed that once we make it to a year of parenthood, we should celebrate and go BIG. It took a bit longer than expected to plan, but we freakin’ did it. We traveled to Hawaii with a 1.5 and 2 year old for a 10 day adventure to the North Shore of the Hawaiian Island of Oahu.
We’ve been back for about a week, and now that we finally have stopped finding sand in all our clothes, cracks, and beds, I am so excited to share our biggest take-aways (and a few pics) of the trip:
Your Homebase is the most important factor of the trip. And I say this for 2 reasons: First off, the kids nap for 2 hours during the day (hopefully!), AND go to bed crazy early, and it is so nice to NOT be stuck inside. We rented the most amazing mid-century modern home that had not changed since the 60s, and it had a huge yard, and beach access. Which meant while the kids were sleeping, we were swimming in the ocean naked and/or enjoying dinner outside. Second of all, you need a bit more SPACE when traveling with another family. Sometimes kids need a break from sharing toys and need to watch their iPads in peace. Sometimes one kid wakes up at 1 am crying and the other wakes up at 4 am crying. A bit of space makes it feel like you aren’t on top of each other, and that is so appreciated when spending so much time with another crew.
Go with people you love. This is also twofold. Go with other parents you love because when the kids go to bed, you get to hang out with them! This is obvious, but it is even nicer than we imagined. After almost two years of always having to leave our friends’ place to go put our kid to bed, we got an entire week of social dinners with our best friends and there were so endless cocktails, belly laughs and good times. And secondly, if it is people you love (and they love you), they won’t judge when your kid is freaking. I thought we were way past this point of caring what other people thought, but there were moments when I felt insecure about what our child was doing and would look at the angel child of our pals and wonder why there kid was so perfect! But luckily, I knew they weren’t judging us. I know they really do understand, and love our babe and us no matter what.
Think of it as an adventure, not a holiday. This trip had relaxing moments, but all in all, it was far more of an adventure than anything else. And that could be because we chose a place that had so many fun things to offer and we wanted to explore every morning and afternoon, but it is also due to the nature of traveling with 2 toddlers. They need time to adjust to each other, and even with that, they are going to probably have a relationship of extremes. They will cry and fight over sharing toys, but they will also have moments of SUCH INCREDIBLE JOY together! And although that had it’s trying moments (especially with our kiddo being the wussier and winier one), we wouldn’t have changed it for anything. Living life down the middle is so mediocre. Those highs were so worth the lows.
The following photos will show just a sliver of how magical the trip was. It was a true family vacation – and not just for our family (or as they say in Hawaii, OHANA!) but with the family we created with our pals – that we will hold dear to our hearts forever.
[But let me take a moment for some online honesty and realness before these photos make everything look too perfect! There were VERY TRYING TIMES as well. Our toddler got sick (we even took her to the hospital! But that is a whole other story mainly about my craziness), I got sick, refereeing 2 toddlers sharing toys could be exhausting, our kid had major separation anxiety and didn’t want our family to ever be apart, time change insanity, red-eye flights, ETC. Basically ALL the emotions and challenges of parenthood were still there on this trip, we just happened to be with friends in paradise!]