It's spring break and it never seems to arrive too soon. Unlike a lot of other schools, my daughter's school scheduled spring break for the week after Easter. The plan was to escape the local digs and obligations for the week. The stesses of those was wearing on me. Changes need to be made at the homestead. Cleaning needs to be done, furniture needs to be removed to make way for new furniture that hasn't been purchased yet.
Work has its own pressures and I feel like I'm right in the middle of it, although I may not be in the middle of it at all. I have a lot of responsibilities at work although I'm not in a position of any real importance. I've been back there since a week after Thomas' funeral and at times the exhaustion is overwhelming. In fact I'm likely foregoing a long summer vacation in favor of this long spring trip.
But sacrifices must be made. I needed a break and so did Ariana. She's been working really hard going to school and going to Sylvan Learning Center twice a week for tutoring. She's shown significant improvement in her reading and didn't have an anxiety episodes during the week of testing last week. And the amount of work required for me to keep up at home, keep her up at school, get her back and forth to the learning center, take care of both her and Elijah, work everyday and everything else was wearing on me. And finally, if his reactions to being dropped off in the mornings was any indication, Elijah needed a break too. He'd begun to whine at drop-off and was trying to follow me out the door as I left. He loves daycare and would not actually cry, but it was different from the usual kiss and walk away routine I was used to.
The plan was slow to develop. The budget was perused constantly in my deciding what I could afford and what I could not afford and what would be fun and give us some nice memories. Ariana would also have her 8th birthday during the week. The news that she wasn't having a party for the third consecutive year did not go over very well. But what was I going to get? Likely a load of "Sorry we'll be out of town" responses whether it be in notes, emails, phone calls or a quick verbal in the school hallway. So I figured the best thing for us to do was to go out of town ourselves.
The location? Virginia Beach. We'd spent our summer vacation there in 2010 and there were enough activities available for me to make a spring break work as well. Ariana loves animals, fish, science and nature. So we'd visit the zoo, aquarium and science center. She loves nice hotels, so I picked a good one with an indoor pool and lazy river. To celebrate her birthday on Thursday, we'll hit the local mall so she can do "Build-a-Bear", which is such a rare treat, she's only done it once. I'm also getting an oreo cookie ice cream cake from the local Cold Stone Creamery, after we do a little additional shopping. The mall is perfect for her actual birthday because thunderstorms are predicted and she loves shopping.
Friday is predicted to be a clear day and that's what we need. That is to be the highlight of the trip. I've planned a day trip to Busch Gardens. It's a bit of a drive from our hotel, but not nearly the drive from our house. There's a lot of additions to the place since I was there last. There are a lot of rides Elijah can get on and an entire area based on Sesame Street complete with character interactions. Fortunately even though she's into Hannah Montana, Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber, she still loves Nick Jr. Disney Jr. and yes, Sesame Street. We have a reservation for a character lunch at noon where we should get some nice pictures like we did on our Disney World trip last November. She is very excited.
And this trip won't be as much work for me because Elijah is a toddler now. He can walk on occassion. He no longer has to have formula, he eats regular food and can now drink from a straw. I also have some nearly grown up company on this trip. My children have Godparents and their now 17 year-old daughter babysits for me on occassion. She and Ariana go to the same school so her father asked if she could go with us. I agreed without hesitation. She's a good girl, the children adore her, I adore her and the best part...her parents can afford to send her. I did opt for a suite instead of the regular room I had originally reserved for us, but her tickets to activities, her meals and such, her parents took care of it. Her parents can't get away until June, and she's been working hard in school and everything that goes with being a junior in high school, so it worked out well. We'll fully achieve that mix of her being able to relax and giving me a little help. So I'm luvin' me and my 3 this week. I'm sure it will be great. As I say, time off from work is well...time off from work. I'm grateful for a break.