Well, we did it.
We took our first vacation as a family of 6.
That’s right, SIX. Two parents, two babies, two dogs. Oh, and four other couples without children.
And guess what? It was wonderful.
Every other year, for the past eight years, we’ve gone to the Outer Banks with a big group of friends. Normally, we pack our car full of beer, bathing suits, and beach towels. This year, bottles, binkies, and bibs. Oh, and babies.
The drive is about 8 hours and once you get on the island, you DO NOT want to sit in traffic, so, we tend to try to leave our house around 1am, arrive at 9am, and then wait for the house to be ready for us to check in around 2pm. Our current plan, was to stick with our old plan, pack the car up, wake the babies up around 1am, pop them in their seats, and voila! a nice quiet ride down.
Turns out, Keith and I are geniuses. Or… we may just have the best babies in the world. We woke Scout and Griffin up and they were all smiles, which was impressive because they had only technically slept for five hours at this point. They spent the first 45 minutes of the drive talking to us, talking to each other, and talking to the dogs. The next six hours of the trip, they spent snoozing. Not a peep. We stopped around 7am for a snack and stretch at Sonic (my absolute favorite, especially while pumping :)). We parked, laid out a very tiny blanket (okay, it was a dog bed, BUT, it was clean, and it was the only thing that was accessible at that point, don’t judge), let the babes crawl around a bit, pottied and fed the pups, drank giant sodas (rt. 44 diet dr. pepper for life), got so many amazing stares from people passing by, packed up, and finished our drive.
We arrived at exactly 9am, just as our other four friends were pulling up. The house had already been cleaned and was all ready for us. This was really, really great, considering I had no idea what I was going to do with two babies, and two dogs for five hours in the 90 degree heat.
We unloaded all of our stuff into our regular room, which now seemed slightly smaller with two pack’n’plays set up. Originally, we put the pack and plays next to each other so that we could still have some walking and moving space in the room. HA. Leave it up to a set of almost one years olds to show you just how silly and naive you are.
Nap number one was spent giggling, hold hands over the rails, smushing faces into each other through the netted sides, and trying to pull one another into one pack’n’play.
Set up number two was a pack’n’play on each side of the room, one on either side of the bed. Sure, we couldn’t really get into bed without jumping over a sleeping baby, but everyone appeared happy, and everyone slept through the night, every night. Mostly me, Keith, and the dogs, but also the babies.
We spent the week playing on the beach, swimming at the pool, enjoying all the extra hands willing to help (by far, my favorite part), eating delicious food, drinking cold beers, and having adult conversation. We never wanted to come home.
Except we had to, and fortunately, the ride home was equally as uneventful as the ride there, thank goodness. Until 2017, Outer Banks!