Aren’t vacations wonderful?

Especially if it’s the type that includes sun, warmth, maybe a beach and a cocktail or two?

Actually I was never a fan of beach vacations. Don’t get me wrong, I like sun and warmth and water, but I’m not much of a lay on the beach and do nothing kind of person. I could handle 4 hours of doing that in a weeks time. I like adventure. Sight seeing. Immersing myself in local culture. No offense but the last thing I want to do when I’m on vacation is meet someone from Ohio.

I know Ohio. I live in Ohio. Ohio’s perfect for me. But on vacation I want accents. I want interesting cuisine. I want that wow factor of God made this for me!

Enter kids though and that changes.

Beach vacations become the norm. Sand (after they grow past the eating it phase) becomes something of a built in baby sitter. Throw some brightly colored plastic toys on the ground and voila, mom and dad can sit in a chair and unwind for 20 minutes. If we’re lucky, drink a nice cold beer from a sand covered aluminum can.

And that’s exactly where I’m at now. Finishing up a 10 day Florida vacation. The first half started at my in-laws on the east coast. The last half in a rental steps away from the west coach beach and a row of local, beachy themed restaurants.

One thing I learned quickly once I had kids was that AIRBNB and VRBO was the only way to go.

First of all I found it way cheaper than hotel living.

Second, my kids (2 of 3) are still in the napping phase. Or at least function MUCH better with a midday snooze.

Three, I’m not a fan of going to bed at 8:30p on vacation. Any work day though and that sounds heavenly. When everyone’s stuck in 1 hotel room, don’t care how large, the kids seem to dictate when bedtime is. Or it’s meltdown city if pushed too far and well that does not make for a happy vacation for anyone within 20 feet of us.

And fourth, the MOST IMPORTANT reason for ditching the Holiday Inn, my own kitchen!! The thought of eating out for 2-3 meals a day, everyday for more than 2 consecutive days nauseates me. I don’t need a continental breakfast with it’s array of endless steam trays and nifty flip waffle makers. I need a bigger than a dorm sized fridge, a coffee maker, a stove or at least a microwave, ideally a toaster and a decent chef knife. And at least one frying pan and sauce pan if there is said stove.

Even with all those luxuries which I have now, we still average one dinner meal out each night. We have an extra cocktail, we order “vacation food” even if it’s fish tacos, blackened mahi, grilled shrimp there’s hardly enough vegetables and whole grains to round out the extra butter, oil, salt traditionally used in restaurant fare. And don’t get me started with the kids. Even if there’s “healthier” items on the menu the 7 year old bats her eyes and sweetly says “but it’s vacation mommmmmm.”

Enter what I call “vacation belly”. That rock in the pit of your stomach feeling. My husband has it too. As he said this morning:

“I think I know what you’re talking about. You shouldn’t feel your stomach, but I do. I can tell that it’s there.”    

I hate to say this out loud, but I’m ready for home. I’m ready for routine. I’m ready for inclement, complain about midwest winter weather (I’ll kick myself for that one), but mostly I’m ready for my kitchen, my pantry, my knives.

I’m ready to cook! Every meal! Every day! I’m ready for my 7 day Ultimate Misfit Nutrition Meal Plan guide I created not just for you, but for me!! I’m ready to follow it. To not think about what’s for dinner or where should we go? Instead I’ll immerse myself in post vacation laundry and mail. (or fudge, 10 days later and I just realized I forgot to postpone it… oops)

I hope you join me. In a few days I’ll be posting “what’s for dinner”, however, you’ll be able to grab the whole 7 days if you’re impatient as soon as I’m back home, get settled and finish some designing touches.

Sign up here so you don’t miss it.

In the meantime, tell me are you a “yes! vacation = no cooking” or “I miss my pantry” kind of vacationer.

As always, Misfit Hugs!