We had another family first. We went on our first "destination" family vacation together. In other words, we went somewhere we wanted to go, without obligating ourselves to travel to visit family. And we survived.
We went to San Antonio and it was beautiful. We visited during Fiesta, in which the whole city shuts down and celebrates its' history and culture together with parades, parties and tons of fun. All of us partied our little fiesta behinds off, and I don't think I've ever seen Big C and J smile so much.
We paraded, we danced, we ate, we drank (well, some of us drank) and we enjoyed each other. We took Big C and J to the Alamo (History lessons, yo) and we took them to a saloon, where we allowed them to sit at the bar and flirt with the bartender. We toured the Riverwalk, we took a taxi ride into a historical district of San Antonio which was hosting a neighborhood fair, we threw confetti, and we saw Miss Texas.
We saw a group of PeeWee Herman impersonators, J screamed when he saw the Texas Longhorn Band, and we saw a gorgeous man in a pretty, blue dress.
Here's what I learned from my first family vacation:
1. I enjoy my family more than I knew I could. The four of us are not only family, we're friends. We laugh and we truly enjoy each other's company.
2. Not only have I found a soul mate in UncleR, but J and Big C have found a comfort zone in their relationship with each other. It's not a normal uncle/nephew type relationship in regards to their positions in our family. It's a friendship and camaraderie which is deeper and more loving than I knew it could be. They have their own language, humor, and rules in their relationship. UncleR and I are not privy to every layer of their relationship, nor do we want to be. It's a joy to watch them grow to love each other as family as we are learning to all navigate this next portion of our journey.
3. UncleR is my best friend.
4. One hotel room is too small to share for three nights with 4 people. In this family, we need a suite. The symphony of sleepy sounds emanating from some of my family members was more than enough to drown out the mariachi bands playing outside of our hotel balcony, but they were not conducive to allowing this light sleeper to actually catch some zzzzzzz's.
5. Heat can make people cranky.
6. Prickley pear margaritas are pretty, but they do not taste that good.
7. Always pay more for the expensive, reserved parade seating. The cushy seats rock.
8. It's okay to take an extra bagel from the buffet home with you in your backpack.
9. Mariachi bands are cooler when traveling on a boat.
10. It's always good to come home. You never quite appreciate what you have until you get back from where you've been.
So, we survived. We even had a bit of fun. I'm ready to do it again...next year (maybe). I really am one lucky broad.