You are here

The #1 Upside of a Family Vacation

Erin Zammett Ruddy

Since my last post was about how much our vacation really wasn’t a vacation, I thought today it might be nice to share the best part of our trip: The photos.

Because no matter how intense the days were, whatever the camera captured makes us look like the freakin’ Bradys on their Hawaiian adventure. Fortunately, the memories of butt wiping and meltdowns are fading and we’re left only with these shots.  And when I look at them, I feel so happy and so lucky and, sure, really glad that I’m working today and my kids are at school. Here goes:


Alex is a fish—he and Nick spent about two hours playing in the Atlantic while I held Nora, who was “fared.” (Full disclosure: I was fared too—of sharks—so I didn’t mind sitting out.)

On our second day at the beach, Nora got really into it and we all played in the water. We sat on the edge of the surf and let the waves run over us just like my sisters and I used to do.


Our friend Scott came for a visit one night and we dined at our favorite beach spot. His presence was a huge diversion for the kids, who are obsessed with him. Nora called him “Uncle Fotty,” which still makes me laugh.



Call me crazy but the fact that my 4 year old and I shared snow crab legs (and he ate more than me) was one of the major highlights of my week. His entrée: A crabcake sandwich, which he devoured.


We were in the pool pretty much nonstop everyday since the Florida weather was absolutely perfect (i.e., hot as hell). Bonus: My parents have an outdoor shower next to the pool so we never had to bathe indoors the entire week. I’m seriously thinking of putting one of these in my backyard. 



Yes, we spent a 90-degree day at a theme park. But it was relatively empty and we all had a ball. A sweaty ball, but still.


We sat in the soak zone at the Shamu show and it was definitely worth getting wet—the kids are still talking about it.


Looking for the sea turtles!


Alex was the only one brave enough to feed the stingrays. Nick was totally freaked out (and googling Steve Irwin), and Nora and I steered clear. 


This hat was mine as a little girl—it’s from Barbados and it’s made out of a flour bag. Love that my mom thought to save it. Guess I should stop calling her a hoarder!


Nick and Al golfed a bit—Alex is actually decent and super interested—so Nora wanted in on it. This was her first lesson. It ended badly, of course. But regardless of how intense and un-vacation-like our trip was, I still feel damn lucky to be able to do this stuff with my kids.