Family Helps — a bunch!

As you know, we traveled to Hawaii with Paul’s family last week.  We had a great time!  My kids did an amazing job of being troopers and enjoying themselves.

We had no big issues with Zippy.  There were times when he was close to totally losing it and having a big ol fit.  There were times when I expected him to lose it and have a big ol fit.  There were times when it would’ve been okay and understandable if he lost it and had a big ol fit.  He is such a child of routine — and we were way off of our routine!  We stayed up til 1 or 2 o’clock Texas time every night.  The fact that he survived that is simply amazing.  Our meals and snacks were so out of our ordinary schedule — and I’ve mentioned before how important food is to that child!  Most days we went and went and went, and he always enjoys down time to recover and prepare for what’s next.  He did GREAT!

(I’m sure as our family who traveled with us reads this post, they might disagree with the statement, “We had no big issues with Zippy.”  Because the truth is we lost Zippy at the hotel for about an hour one evening.  All the rest of the family was waiting and waiting and waiting at the restaurant in town while Paul searched all over the resort for him.  Finally after what seemed like a long time to everyone, security helped locate Zach who had reported himself missing to the nice ladies at his favorite resort restaurant.  To me, this incident wasn’t a big issue for a couple of reasons.  First, Zippy is a wanderer.  He has a history of taking off from the crowd.  We watch him like a hawk and give him constant cues and reminders to stay close, but he doesn’t.  And second, this incident was the only time all week that the family plan was held up by Zach.  On a normal week with Zach, many plans are postponed or changed or cancelled as we decipher what his limits and needs are.  The fact that the family was affected for only an hour of a whole week is quite remarkable.  🙂 )

But I know that a big reason that Zach’s week was so successful and pleasant is because we traveled with family.  There were 20 of us!  My 3 kids had 7 other cousins — all very close to the same age — traveling with us!  There were 10 adults, too — aunts, uncles, and Meme and Papaw!  One of Zach’s biggest fears is having an all-out, big ol fit in front of people.  He would be horrified to have a fit in front of all of his aunts, uncles, and cousins.  And the fun and activity level of traveling with them helped keep him occupied and happy.

(Paul and I also catered to him on vacation more than we normally do.  Again, you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do for peace.)

We loved traveling with our family.  Everyone loved being together and experiencing Maui together.  We made some awesome memories together!  We were all 20 together for dinner every night, and usually we were together several times during the day.  Being together like that was such a treat since we are scattered across the state of Texas:  Fort Worth, Waco, San Antonio, and Corpus Christi.

We even had bright yellow matching T-shirts for our trip.  All 20 of us!  Imagine us all in our bright yellow!  The shirts said Hawaii 2010 on the front and listed all of our names on the back.  Before the trip, I asked everyone in an email if we were going to wear our shirts on the airplane to Hawaii.  I got a quick negative response back.  Paul later commented that he was glad we weren’t wearing the shirts on the plane since we would look like a bunch of dorks.  I just looked at him and asked, “Paul, when are all 20 of us going to wear these matching bright yellow shirts and NOT look like dorks??!!”  🙂  Funny.  We did all wear the shirts one day, and we were glad to have them!

Another awesome thing about traveling with family is the help that they were to us in trying to fit in activities for our kids.  One day, the plan was for everyone to do the Road to Hana — a fun and beautiful road trip to the other side of the island.  An all-day road trip.  There are great stops along the way with fun things to do and amazingly beautiful things to see.  Paul and I would’ve loved to do the Road to Hana, but we knew that neither Zippy or Chloe would appreciate such a day.  But family to the rescue!  An uncle quickly offered to take Elliot along with them so he could enjoy it.  And the rest of the family seemed pleased to have him join them.  The result:  Elliot got to experience the Road to Hana (a DON’T MISS experience when visiting Maui), and Zach and Chloe didn’t have to endure it.  Paul and I stayed behind with them — we swam and took a boat ride.  The boat had windows on its lower level so we were able to see fish, a turtle, and the divers who brought cool things to the windows.  Both Zach and Chloe were so tired at this point, I think they would have been happier hanging out in our hotel room, but I think they enjoyed the boat ride.  The best part for Zach:  they served snacks on the boat!  🙂

Another day, Paul and I took the boys parasailing and again, family stepped up and offered to take care of Chloe so that we could do it.  A couple of Chloe’s sweet aunts hung out with her in the kids’ area of the pool while we were gone parasailing.

Family rocks!  Thanks, y’all!  🙂

Here’s a slideshow from the day that Paul, Chloe, Zippy, and I took our boat ride.  Zippy also got to climb on the big Banyan Tree in Lahaina while we waited for our boat excursion.

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4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Tia on July 31, 2010 at 10:12 AM

    What an incredible experience and how awesome that you had so many loving people with you to help out. I know how hard it is to travel with my two kids keeping them happy and occupied on long trips, but I can’t imagine the challenges you go through. What a great family memory you have now. Thanks for sharing all of these beautiful pictures with us.


  2. I’m with ya on the sand thing:-) I LOVE the look of the beach and walking on the beach. However, I can’t stand the sticky feeling of salt and sand when you’re hot and sweaty! That being said, I’m still extremely jealous! What a great time to spend with family.


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