Have we mentioned that we have a really close extended family? No, I mean really close. When my niece Alyssa (Joyce’s youngest) graduated with her masters, she wanted to celebrate by taking a trip with her Mother Joyce and her Aunt Jeannine to Playa del Carmen, Mexico (One of Jeannine’s favorite places on earth!). That Alyssa, she’s a real party girl wanting to take a beach trip with two middle-aged women. Yes, this is Jeannine writing this post so I picked a picture of Joyce at the beach! She’s the sister that does not tan!
But I told Alyssa that it would be cruel and unusual punishment to leave her Uncle behind working and taking care of two little kids, while I was snorkeling in the clear waters of the Mayan Riviera (Besides, I was already leaving him behind in June when I went to Cambodia.)
So Alyssa suggested the white sands of Florida instead.
Okay Alyssa, but I’d still feel a wee bit guilty leaving your Uncle for an entire week with two little kids while I basked in the Florida sun. So Alyssa suggested I bring my children along. I know this sounds strange. But look, my children are angels so why wouldn’t she want to spend a week at the beach with them?! (Wait . . . wait . . . okay, had to wipe a little tear out of my eye. How sweet, they always hold hands this way. Ha!)
Okay Alyssa, but you know your Uncle really enjoys spending time with his children. He would miss us so much if we all just left him at home while we played in the sun all day together. So Alyssa suggested bringing him along. Alright, I know it’s just getting weird now. To some of you this sounds like a recipe for disaster but Alyssa has traveled with us before and we all get along great. Her Uncle didn’t like the idea of being a party crasher, but Alyssa insisted. So her uncle came along and “worked” from the beach.
Well, what the heck, this had turned into a family vacation, so Alyssa convinced Grandson #3’s mom to let him go with us. Let’s see what does that bring us to? A twenty-something, two middle-aged women, 3 kids and an Uncle!
Don’t stop counting just yet! The week before we left for Florida, the swine flu hit Texas and all of the local schools dismissed for over a week. Now you must understand, Alyssa LOVES her nephews so she invited Grandson #1 and Grandson #2 to join the vacation. It was complete: Grandson #3, Grandson #1 and Grandson #2. Can you believe how sweet all of these kids are? (I can’t!)
Drum roll please . . . the grand total for the swine flu vacation: One twenty-something, two middle-aged women, five kids and an uncle! And imagine this. We didn’t even fight or break any plates (well, shhhhh, Joyce might have dropped one). Our strange little vacation bunch actually enjoyed a wonderful week! Did I ever mention our family is close? No, I mean really close!
Who has been your “strangest” travel partner?
I’ll start the sharing. Last June, I met a group of strangers at the airport in Dallas and traveled to Cambodia.
Life with Jeannine (and Joyce and 5 kids . . .)