Please, Please, Let There Be a Train Table
If you could travel back in time, what era would you live in? I like where I am now. Facebook. iPhones. Movies on Demand.
How do you unwind after a long day? DVR'd TV with my husband, who always makes me laugh.
Three things you cannot live without…My family, my iPhone, my coffee.
I am a member of the Coffee-mate Brew Crew.
My husband and I used to joke that if we ever wrote a book about vacationing with young kids (the perfect light beach read for adults vacationing with young kids), it would be called, Please, Please, Let There Be a Train Table.
This was all part of our discussion on how family vacations—while lovely, memorable experiences—were really more that: experiences for the kiddos, rather than actual vacations for us. A break from the monotony? Yes. Relaxing way to recharge? Not at all.
My boys still rise with the sun, except we are all trapped in one room when it happens. And while I welcome a few days of not cooking, I dread the inevitable long waits at family-friendly restaurants (some of which aren’t so friendly, we learned, when a manager scolded us for allowing our then 18-month-old to play with sugar packets: “He’s rendered them UNUSABLE!” she scowled, despite our offering to pay for them.) It’s no surprise that I usually come home from vacation more exhausted, moody, and overwhelmed (unpacking! laundry! grocery shopping!) than I was before.
Which is why the aforementioned train table—when we’re lucky enough to find it—is always such an oasis. Consider our trip to Baltimore last year. Around the corner from the hotel was a big chain bookstore with a large children’s section, which was home to—you guessed it—a mammoth train table. After two days of chasing the boys around the Inner Harbor, the aquarium, and various museums, the hour Dave and I spent sitting with our cups of coffee (another bonus—the bookstore has a café) while the kids amused themselves at the train table was probably the most relaxing part of our getaway.
Funny, isn’t it, how in our quest to escape the routine, the most soothing part of vacation is often the comfort of routine—our shared ritual of sitting down and enjoying a simple cup of coffee?
We’re not quite sure what our summer plans are yet; we’re considering a popular theme park, a lakeside resort in the mountains, or maybe both. It seems doubtful that either of these destinations will have the desirable bookstore/café/train table trifecta in a 10-mile radius, but dare I say the boys may be outgrowing the train table, anyway? I’ve come to realize it’s coffee that’s the constant, and fortunately, you can find that anywhere. And thanks to the miracle of easy-to-transport Coffee-Mate powder, you can pretty much always have that, too.
What are your summer vacation plans? Do you have an everyday ritual that comes along wherever you go? Have you been known to pack a supply of Coffee-Mate for your trip?