Successful Family Vacation!

In a previous post, I shared that we were taking a short trip.  There were a couple of “surprises” during our time, but decided that we would go back with a few minor adjustments.

Initially, we were happy about the complimentary continental breakfast. Normally this allows for choices and works well with our son’s food restrictions.  We entered the room where breakfast was served and immediately our TBP was NOT happy.  Through the windows you could see a gorgeous view of the lake and mountains, but inside it looked (and felt) like a retirement home.  My son was very agitated and said that he would not be staying.  He continued to fuss while we were gathering possible food options and I was losing confidence that this meal could be saved.  We decided to move outside instead of staying at the table we selected.  Once outside, his demeanor changed.  He was talkative and cooperative.  After we talked later, we realized that we weren’t thrilled with the facility; however, we had a slower dislike feeling instead of an immediate disgust!  Explosion was avoided by the gorgeous view and fresh air.

Beautiful View

We had heard about an amazing water slide park.  We drove the night before to find it and check the hours of operation. We knew that it would be important to arrive early before the crowd & heat became unbearable.  The next morning, there was mild excitement from the backseat…until we pulled into the parking lot.  Even before it opened, a long line had formed.  My son saw the line and said, “Oh No. I don’t think so!”  “Are you sure?” we asked repeatedly.  “I’m sure!  Totally sure!!”  We pulled the car close to the front so he could get a glimpse of the slides.  “Oh, that is not for me!” This was not an issue that we were willing to fight…after all, we were going there for him.

So we left the slides and discussed renting a boat.

“We can’t rent a boat…s..p..i..d..e..r..s!”

“Do you know the consequences of an overturned boat on your electronics?!”

“Will it be dirty?”

Despite the worries, we pushed forward and rented a boat. We heard the rules, got the life preservers and headed out.  We brought a tube with us, but it was not used as expected.  Instead of being pulled behind, it was used like a security nest INSIDE the boat.  In fairness, WE weren’t comfortable pulling him behind the boat so the apprehension was really a family feeling.  We were in the middle of the lake, he is not a strong swimmer, and we were not familiar with the boat.  He was unsteady on his feet and preferred sitting in the tube on the floor.  Soon after, his sensory issues peaked.  The heat from the sun was bothering his neck and making him uncomfortable.  To gain ourselves a bit more time, we let him steer (with an adult sitting right behind him) the boat.  He took great pride in this responsibility until he was distracted reading about possible carbon monoxide poisoning.

Security Nest

Togetherness on the boat


It was lunch time and his hunger was taking over. He grew quieter and anxious to get back on land (worry of carbon monoxide?).  Once back to land, he walked cautiously as the dock wiggled, he moved as if he had been at sea for days.  Truly, he was not himself until back in the car (air condition on) and talking about his plans for Mine Craft!   There were a few rough moments, but in the end…the boat trip was a success.

The closest we came to an eruption was dinner of Day 2.  We had received a recommendation for a BBQ place located at a beautiful winery.  Having never been there, we explained that we would be going to a restaurant for dinner.  He wanted room service (there was none) or to eat in our room (only he had food).  We arrived and were told that the BBQ was located in back.  As we walked up the brick path, we saw a crowd sitting under a large covered structure.  It seemed loud and busy.  Immediately, my TBP started complaining.  Maybe he got the impression that we would leave because we left the water slides earlier, but we were hungry and tired and that wasn’t going to happen.  He grew progressively agitated and refused to eat…until we used the IPad as leverage.  After he realized that no dinner equalled no IPad, we had cooperation.  In fact, after the dinner (which was fantastic), we played hide and go seek in the vineyard.  After playing, he was tired and ready for home.  He begged us to leave immediately an drive home that night.  We reminded him that he wanted one more evening swim and that we could leave first thing in the morning.  Luckily, he agreed.  He swam and then we packed so that we could keep our word.

Grapes at the Vineyard

Fantastic BBQ

Hide and Seek

Overall, we had a great time.  What would we do next time?  Skip the continental breakfast, offer up the water slides again and let him decide, and stick to the boat rental; however, we would bring food/drinks and something to shade our vampire!  Although it wasn’t a fancy hotel with room service, we decided that it was a great location, nice pools and would return!

Gorgeous Water view

Exhausted Puppy

Now…he can write about this successful family trip when he returns to school.  But most likely…he will STILL write about Mine Craft! 🙂

10 thoughts on “Successful Family Vacation!

  1. I like the inner tube nest!! I like the way you compromise. We are working on that. My son thinks if he’s not having fun than nobody else should either. We are working on it slowly but surely. He likes to remind us that he will be moving away and not going on trips with us when he is 18!

    • @Carrie-We are always working on the compromising so it is a win-win situation as much ad possible. When all else fails…we can usually get cooperation with IPad/ Mine Craft. I think the part that has really helped, is our understanding that many times there are sensory issues that cause problems. We have had our “if I’m uncomfortable then you will be too” situations and I know those are hard! It does usually help to talk about his reasoning for feeling that way and to see if small changes might make a big change. Thanks for your comments! These discussions add SO much to the blog!

  2. I admire you for your patience, that cannot always be easy.
    I also like the way you compromise and how you challenge him from time to time while still showing compassion and understandung for his wants and feelings.
    I really hope this trip makes it into his report. 🙂

  3. What a nice vacation. Don’t worry…no matter any protestations to the contrary…it was a trip he will remember with great fondness. I’ll bet he especially loved piloting the boat. That is real heady stuff for a child. Your son was exposed to beautiful sights and to an experience he will look upon with pride. The picture of him behind the wheel of the boat will be one he will wish to show his classmates.

  4. @Shiroi,
    Thank you so much! I have been inspired (by you and Hanabi boy) to add some pictures to my posts after seeing the impact those pictures have on telling the story. I think that was my favorite one too! My son is funny that way where he acts like it wasn’t big deal, so I make a point of telling him that it should tremendous responsibility and faith on our part to let him do that!

  5. Hi Kelly,
    We just returned from our own little vacation and I can relate to this entire post. 🙂 Looks like you made some good choice… we probably could have done a few things differently in hindsight, though I think it is impossible to avoid all problems when you venture out. Looks like a beautiful area you went to… I think I’d prefer to eat out and see the view, too!

    • Yuji-I agree that it is hard to avoid all issues-we try to remember that it is a family vacation and should not be only about our son. We try and predict or control most of the trip to prevent real problems, but I think some of the unexpected is allowing for growth that can be celebrated 😉

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