Okeeeeeey... where to begin.
So we went to Costa Rica
And took all the kids - including C - she is a Kibbe you know
And we didn't tell them!
So basically from Chrstimas until New Years I was packing for 6 people (Lee packed himself)... insert questions about why I have a suitcase out of the closet and why I'm going through the bin of bathing suiting - I promise I have the world's
nosiest most perceptive children when it comes to everything that ISN'T their business.
The trip had been in the works for months and the stars aligned and they didn't have to go back to school - we left January 2 (because GERMS!). I didn't get any of their make up work to take - they missed 5 days. Our only requirement was reading. And we had a fabulous family trip (most people call it vacation but really, family trip) thanks to Lee's work. It was not without it's ups and downs and smiles and tears because let's be real... this is us.
We woke up the kids and left the house at 3:30 in the A to the M on Wednesday morning - They thought they were going to be going to school.
E and R pretty much knew when we got close to the airport that something was up - and no they didn't sleep on the way to the airport
Lee parked the car after dropping the 6 of us curbside with 2 rolling carseats and like a zillion and a half bags. I discovered the night before leaving that one of the bags I packed was overweight so I grabbed another bag out of the closet and threw random stuff in it. I had basically packed a suitcase of PJs and bathing suits (and sand toys and pool stuff) and a suitcase of clothes plus each kid had a backpack of books and headphones and coloring stuff - which they were so locked into their seatback screens they didn't read at all on the way down and had some mandatory reading on the way back.
I think M was the most nervous about flying and C was the least happy about being in a contained space. She had her own seat and we planeside checked her roller carseat after the Atlanta flight because I knew she couldn't handle 4 hours in a carseat.
She FINALLY gave in and slept with Lee. She NEVER sleeps with/for me.
We had a lot of family time this trip and siblings playing with siblings and kids needing to step up and pitch in for the greater good.
Case in point
The resort we stayed at was over an hour and a half from the airport. It was off a dirt road and 'looked' like it fit into the bay that it had been built on. It was respectful of the surrounding if you will.
This is us at check in. C had gotten carsick just about 2.5 seconds from the hotel - that was great - a reminder to me to expect the unexpected. We got settled in our rooms - yes rooms. We had requested adjoining rooms and they couldn't accomodate that which was kind of a bummer because I packed everything based on that but it worked out.
The kids burned some energy off on the trampoline - which they weren't supposed to be doing but.... We did room service that night and settled in. E was probably the most out of sorts. She's a planner like me so I think she needed the time to wrap her head around the trip.
Practicing backstroke starts
Belly Flopping in the pool
A insisted this was an alligator
The Christmas was up until Epiphany/Theophany
The beach! The sand was really crushed shelly and the water was super cold
Happy with strawberry and pineapple drinks
A and M and me shared a room because A screams for me at night and E and R and C and Papa shared a room because C gets up earlier and she's better for Lee.
Taking an 18 month old on a trip is hard. People asked if we were bringing her and the answer was always yes but would the trip have been way easier without her yes but she's a Kibbe and we all banned together to get each other through the valleys of self-centerness and we all gave a little for the greater good of the group - someimes more happily than other time (looking at myself)
This is C almost every night when we tried to go to dinner. That was probably the single most frustrating thing was we could not figure out C at mealtime. She mostly didn't want to sit so that was interesting
Costa Rica is very straw concious. There are signs everywhere about straws and adults did not get a straw with drinks and most times the kids didn't either. I contrast that to if we were at Disney (for example) our family would have used between 20-30 straws a day - easily!
There was a poolside chess game which as really neat.
See she can be peaceful!
Strategizing. We now own a chess set.
Afternoon ice cream
I was on morning beach duty with the little people - after the first day E and R and Lee were DONE with the beach and the sand. So we'd do the beach for a few hours and then wash off and get in the sandy lower pool and make our way up to the upper pool - which had a slide which I will dedicate an entire post to.
There were monkeys on the beach!
C consumed enough sand for the entire YEAR. She literally stuffed her face full of it.
This is the ONE dinner C made it all the way through but it was more like she made it a third of the way and then I took her out by the pool for a third of the time and Lee tookd her a third of the time. But the food at dinner was worth it. The room service food was nothing compared to restaurant food. Also, all the kids tried mussels at lunch one day- any extra dessert was dangled to make it happen - but it did.
This is more accurate
We hit the hammocks on the walk back to the room
Lee and I did have a brief hour somewhat completely to ourselves. We had C in one room and A in the other and we sat out on the balcony while the big girls when the the kids 'club' and jumped on the trampoline and decorated cupcakes.
This was after breakfast one morning. We'd get bathing suits on, go to breakfast, sunscreen up and head straight to the pool/beach
A's endless sandbox
We discovered an ice cream spot!
And we hit it several times and on the last day we went after lunch and before dinner. By that time everyone was hitting their strides and I think we could have stayed another few days.
Mint chocolate reigned and you can all thank me for that
On the trampoline
The guy would grab their legs and they'd go super fly in the air
R was probably the bravest
And then there was A
He's definitely a 3 yr old and he wants to run with the big girls
M way up
R lost a tooth on the trip (not on this) and I knew I should have packed the gold dollars but I didn't and the tooth came home in a Q tip container but now I can't find it but the girls think I did because the toothfairy came
E did a backflip and a front flip
C loved to be on the balcony with the OJ juiceboxes from the room frig
A helping himself to a towel
Oh and puffs too
A view from the top of the hotel
The last night we went to the closing dinner and they had people dressed as animals - leopards, birds, a lizard and a monkey. C lasted longer than I thought. A was TERRIFIED of the animals. Like screamed and grabbed on to me and closed his eyes. I was pretty sure he was going to have nightmares that night about them - but he didn't.
He couldn't be convinced but I think they were pretty neat.
The day that we left we hit the earliest breakfast possible and then we did the pool until 40 minutes before our bus left. Which involved lots of water sliding. And a lady who looked at me in my bathing suit and saw our departure time and said - are you going to have enough time? Of course we did by about 3 minutes but you know... that's us
A view from the top
Coming back was tough. C was a total wreck. Like needed to sleep but never slept. Screamed. Squirmed. Typical 18 month old. My nerves were shot. Then customs was a wreck and we waited for over an hour and a half and the kids were done and they were hungry and we were exhausted. We made it to the gate at 9:15 and ate hamburgers and snacks.
Everyone passed out on the plane except for C who squirmed the entire flight.... It was crazy.
Anyhow we collected all our belongings in Raleigh and trekked back home and tucked everyone in bed around 1:30 in the AM.
We made memories
We are glad we went - but happily at home.