Friday, April 13, 2007

Custody Issues: Summer Vacation Planning

Summer is almost here.
The custody agreement dictates that Prince Charming and Malificent are each entitled to "two uninterrupted non-consecutive weeks of vacation" with Cinderella.
That means only two chances for us to plan a vacation together as a Family Unit.
In all likelihood Hansel and Cinderella will both be attending a summer camp which runs for the months of July and August.
That leaves us with the choice of one week in June and one in late-August.
Summer's gone! And it hasn't even started!
It's been 4 years since we have had a vacation as a Family.
Now we're a family of five. We have a 10 y/o, 4 y/o and 1.5 y/o to contend with.
We're faced with the challenge of finding a destination that has something for everyone. Including us.

(Yes, I know I'm being delusional but indulge me for a bit, K?)
We've looked into cruises. The self-proclaimed "Fun Ship" does not offer any discounts for kids. You pay as much for them as any guest to the tune of $900 a pop. ARE THEY INSANE?!?!? No thanks.

Moving on...
We're considering
Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge because of all the fun Disney-style perks like free airport transportation that INCLUDES getting your luggage FROM the airport TO your hotel; having stuff billed and sent directly to your room so you don't have to lug it around all day. And we all know how much crap is involved when you are travelling with young kids.
Downside? The lure of the other parks. I mean, how can you go to Disney and NOT see the other parks? Fear of spending a GAZILLION dollars, that's how.
Ok, next...
I was totally intrigued when I heard about
Jamaica's Franklyn D. Resorts and their BRILLIANT! concept of Vacation Nannies. They give you free childcare for the duration of your stay.
As in People!
To watch your children!
And keep them entertained!
Downside? What exactly are their credentials and competancy? Can I trust a perfect stranger to watch my children as diligently as I do? My girlfriend's Aunt lives in Jamaica. Her Aunt has a friend who works at one of the resorts. We're investigating.
And, finally...
But to where?
Please advise. Quickly!
Prince Charming has to pick his first vacation week soon.
(Oh yes, the custody agreement is VERY SPECIFIC about who can pick what and WHEN.)
(Can you say, P.E.T.T.Y.?)
(At least it's not me, for once.)


Amburgular said...

I went to Jamaica with my sister in law who used the nanny service for parts of the day (different resort) we found the nanny's to be wonderful caring women, who really let the children have a great time, while watching them diligently. I mean I can't vouch for everyone but we had a postive experience. Good luck and have fun on your vacation!

erinls88 said...

what about the Disney Cruise? I hear it's wonderful and semi-affordable... you get a few days at the parks and a few days on the ship that goes to the Bahamas.
a year later i still hear from stepdaughter(5) "member when i went on that HUGE boat to the Bamammas.." =)

TheStepfamilyLife said...

We had a similar scheduling problem in years past when the skids were younger, compounded by the summer swim team schedule which meant that the vacationing with ex-wife and dad got crammed into August just before the skids went back to school. And Dad inevitably got the worst end of the deal. You are smart to plan ahead now.

Resorts can get expensive quickly. The thing that worries me about RV-ing is that you inevitably end up making a marathon drive to get from point A to point B - and it becomes more about the drive than the time together.

Rent a house at the beach for a week - go someplace where there is fun stuff to do during the day if you want, but where you won't feel guilty if everyone wants to sleep in and you don't make it to the attractions. If there's a babysitting service in the beachfront town - you can book a sitter for a night out with hubby.

Anonymous said...

When I was a kid, we used to go to Smuggler's Notch in Vermont. It's awesome. There are activities for every child at every age, and for the adults. (Or the adults can just relax by the pool while the kids are out doing fun stuff.) I looked forward to going there every summer. I'm sure you'd find the site if you google it. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I found your site while googling "who dictates summer vacation". Though I am sure you think its cute and witty, giving such euphemisms to all of the "characters" in your soap opera will, in some way find its way into little Hansel, Gretel and Cinderella's subconscious. As someone who has more divorces in my family than even you, two words of advice...Grow up.

Sarah Mickalson said...

can I just say that this is my life to a t! My husband picked his vacation weeks back in January to avoid problems...the past two years he picked in May and his ex planned activities for the kids and then said he either had to take them or couldnt have them. The one week we had nothing planned she refused to allow him to have the kids,
So this year we planned ahead...way ahead..even giving her the first choice. She still has tried to take our weeks and plan things on every week we have them...