Saturday, July 23, 2005

The Most Awesome Vacation, EVER

This, according to my kids, was the most awesome summer ever! Not only did we finally get direct TV so that they could watch cartoons ad nauseum, but we went on our very first family vacation! And the utterance of "this is the most awesome vacation , ever!" was heard many, many times!

Its always been difficult to get everyone together for a summer vacation. We get our daughters at different times during the summer. And of course theres the Tiger situation. He doesn't like change too much. But these last few months I have been practically forcing it on him and he has been great about it. I refuse to let his Autism be the only focus of our lives. I've seen other families that have every little thing revolve around their child's Autism. And that just seems so wrong and unfair to the rest of the family. But I have to admit that a big reason we went to the beach this year was specifically for Tiger. He can play for hours in the sand and water in the back yard. We felt the beach would probably blow his mind. All of his sibling agreed and thought it would be funny to watch his reaction to all that sand and water!

So the first night we get there we wander to the nearest public beach. None of us have our swimming stuff on. Tiger's face lit up like I had never seen. As if this was what he had been looking for his whole life long! He ran and ran and ran. He sat in the sand and scooped it up omto his legs. He even put it on his head. Alex and Zoe also ran right into the water. And Jacqui and Dezzie tip toed around it too. Then, Alex got stung by jellyfish. Which I should have predicted because he is always the one that gets hurt. Its almost funny. In fact there is a saying in our house, "its all fun and games til Alex gets hurt!" It wasn't too bad of a sting. But I could tell it hurt him a lot. It took us awhile to get Tiger back to the van. It took us even longer to get the sand out of our shoes and clothes!

The very next day we sought out a nicer beach. We ended up somewhere on Padre Island by some really big condos. We stayed for about 4 hours! The kids had so much fun. We all got sunburned, but no one got it worse than Dezzie! She blistered up and couldn't move her arms the next day. It was awful.

The trip was alot of fun, and a lot of hassle. the hotel was lame. Not everything went right, but we had fun anyway. My mom and step dad arrived the day after we got there. I hadn't seen him in a few years. He has Alzheimer's now, so it was really weird to see him. He is worse off than mom let on. I don't know what she is going to do with him. I don't know how she can work and take care of him. Maybe she will finally move back to Texas near me, so I can help them.

The day before we left Jacqui and I went horseback riding on the beach at Mustang Island. It was great! My horse was freakin' huge! The guy before me refused to get on him.(wimp) After I got on, the horse walked up to the front of the line and put his hoof on the gate a few times, as if to say, "Lets Go Already!" Jacqui's horse was smaller and faster, and pretty much led the whole way. She just loved it. If we go next year, which looks like a major possibility, we will go horseback riding more often. The horses are gentle enough to take all the kids. Jacqui and I are going to try for the last ride of the day, because the horses know its the last ride of the day and they run like hell!

It was really a good vacation. I can't wait til next year. We will stay longer and do more stuff. And now we know which hotels and condos look good. And to bring major sunscreen.