The trip was not without its challenges (more on traveling with baby twins in an upcoming post!) but overall, it was a nice, relaxing weekend. We spent the first night in a chain hotel, using up some rewards club points we'd accumulated during our trip to San Francisco a couple of years ago. It was a little crowded once we got everyone and all of our stuff into the room - especially the playpen we'd brought for the girls to sleep in - but we had a nice view of the ocean. Plus, a free room is a free room, right?!
The biggest challenge related to traveling with kids, in my opinion, is trying to keep their routine constant without packing up your entire house. For example, bathing is still a necessity. However, Emily and Erin don't sit up well enough for a regular tub bath. Bringing their bathtub was out of the question, so we improvised by handing them in and out of the shower with me. They got clean and it was quick and easy, although both of them hate the sound of the shower on a good day. Changing diapers can also be a bit challenging - we stuck with disposables for the trip, though we brought along a few of the cloth diaper covers to minimize leaking in the car. While it wasn't nearly as cold at the coast as it gets at home, standing with your back in the wind and rain while trying to change a diaper on the seat of the car is no fun for anyone involved.
The blessings of this trip, therefore, were twofold - we got to spend a lot of quality time as a family; walking on the beach, wandering through the little coastal towns, and riding in the car along the breathtakingly beautiful coastline - but it also made me appreciate anew the ease with which things are done at home. I jumped into my chores with renewed fervor when we got home, doing laundry and getting the babies fed and cleaned up. Everything that normally feels so tedious suddenly felt easy, just because we were doing it at home and not in a hotel room or in the car.
So this week, I'm thankful to be home with my family after our trip. I'm thankful that we have the opportunity to drive just an hour or two and be by the ocean or up in the mountains. I'm thankful that we are able to travel away from home, even if it's not as often as we used to. And most of all, I'm thankful for beginning this year as a family of four, and for how much my life has changed since this time last year! What are you thankful for as we begin 2013? Share in the comments or link your post below - I can't wait to read!