The highs and lows of parenting and real estate.

Family Vacay Is…

We started doing ‘Family Vacay’ 7 years ago. Back then it was just my parents, me and Jason, Bennett (5), Gray (1), my sister and a boyfriend and my brother (briefly). We did a week just off Mission Beach in the upstairs portion of a duplex. Mostly I remember that Gray put his tiny, razor-sharp top two baby teeth through his bottom lip. He still has a scar.

Since then, Family Vacay has almost doubled in numbers and become a source of anticipation for everyone in the family. When it first started, my mother had to beg everyone to set aside time in their schedules to come. This summer, getting the week of Family Vacay off was a negotiating point in no fewer than three job contracts of various family members. I think everything looks pretty good, and I love the signing bonus, but I’m going to need to start AFTER the week of July 14-21st or it’s a deal breaker. 

I’m sure everyone has their own vacation traditions and rituals, but for us, Family Vacay is:

Johnny Hangovers, sure to live up to their name (container of frozen lemonade, lemonade container refilled with cheap plastic bottle vodka, 5 Mexican beers, mixed and served over ice)

Community dinners where one family is responsible for cooking each night

Mid-morning beach walks for exercise and to detoxify the system in preparation for more Johnny Hangovers

Twilight movies watched Mystery Science Theater 3000-style (this year’s was THE BEST)

Homemade Minute to Win-it competitions

Bacon cooked in the oven on a cookie sheet

Kids in every corner of the house, bonding with cousins or siblings over video games, crafts or a fight with one of the other kids

Sand in every possible corner and crevice

Trashy magazines passed around and discussed as though they are fact

Backgammon, dominos, mancala, pass the pigs

Boogie boarding and body surfing

An unending obsession with digging up sand crabs (which are really just ocean cockroaches)

Familial mocking from which no one is exempt

Sun-burned eyeballs, shins and backs of necks


My sister had to get a note from her doctor to even come on vacay this year because it's so close to her due date. I love this picture but she is not amused by it.

Girls on the beach (photo by Todd).

Gray was born two days before his due date. Catalina was born a month early. They were born 12 hours apart. Of course now she's a foot taller than he his, but they'll always be Birthday Twins at heart.

Last year Gray was still afraid of the water. This year he's the boogie boarding KING (photo by Jason).

And Catalina is our acrobatic beach entertainment (photo by my sister).




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