Sunday, July 10, 2011

Vacation at Paradise Point Resort, San Diego California

We have planned this mini-vacation ( two overnights ) for months, thanks to the generosity of she who shall remain un-named -not like Voldemort, more like Mother Teresa- to Paradise Resort on the bay. It's 40 odd acres of private island up against the bay waters, made to look like a Hawaiian paradise; Dakota just returned ( with his biological Dad and grandparents ) from the actual Hawaii two days before this. Above is the main swim, colored like a ruby and filled with enough chlorine to kill not only bacteria and feces but possibly a child with a cold and lowered immune system and a propensity for drinking the pool water. Gorgeous to look at, with alternating Hawaiian/eighties music filling the warm air, and the lip of the pool comes to a sandy alcove on one side, it is smartly the first thing you see when pulling into the resort.
We arrived after 4pm, the checkout time, chipper and excited, nervous energy completely deflated as we greeted the wary bell hops and check in staff to be told Our computer system is down, we can't check anyone in, so sorry, here's a pool key? - said like that, as an apologetic question slash irritable command, half I'm so sorry this sucks and half What the hell do you want from me, it's not my fault and I'm sick of rude tourists! We aren't tourists, but we weren't happy, with four kids including a seven month old baby who needed to nap and a truck stuffed in the back with our stuff, nowhere to lie down, nap the baby, nurse comfortably. OK. Regroup. Mr. Curry and I looked at each other over the heads of our grumbling children. Vacationing with four kids ages 7 months to 17 is possibly the stupidest thing we've ever attempted, making all of them happy with good attitudes at once so impossible that we might have been better off paying the boys to stay in a cheap hotel for the nite. But we proceeded stubbornly ahead, as any American family would, becuase GODDAMNIT WE ARE GOING TO HAVE FUN IF IT KILLS US So we headed, after some fitful wandering around and edgy group discussions ( this being one of THE MAJOR pitfalls of having your children so far apart, the older two feel like they have to choose between being associated with the young kids or the parents, and choose us, ie: they think they are a parent, with all the power that comes there and of course, none of the responsibility ) we ended up at the pool.

Mr. Curry and I set about Setting A Good Example In The Face Of Things Not Going Our Way and I gave myself an internal scolding for being ridiculous to feel so put off when I'm in the middle of a beautiful resort. We ordered drinks and all loosened up, began laughing, enjoying ourselves. Time passed. More time passed. More. Time. Mr. Curry and I huddled privately. Check: We attempted a huddle and failed. It was almost 7pm. I went back to the front desk, and no, the computers were not up, not yet, and no, they had no way of informing us of when they would be. I felt like crying, and I felt like crying partly because I felt like a failure for not being able to feel happier in the circumstances. I was failing the Make The Best of Things parenting job, and my kids could feel it, little co-dependent buggers. I put on my best face and made chit chat but still- Mom, what's wrong? Why does your face look like that? Oh my sons and daughters, one day, your face too will age approximately three thousand years a child, and you will be equally unable to hide the scrunchy tell tale lines that fall across your eyes and mouth whenever you fail to 'perk'. My mother met us for dinner, and was obviously unhappy with the wait at the restaurant, and the fact that the computers were down- making our wait-time possibly a mystery. I rallied at the restaurant. But at this point, something else had gone on, because I can't emphasize enough that our older two? Are now entire human beings with entire personal internal and external lives that are very. complicated. The emphasis is for me, not you. It's hard to catch up when your oldest becomes this complicated person and you still see him with a fire truck in one hand and your hand in the other, curls tumbling into his blue eyes, saying ' Momma what we do next? ' Instead he had a host of his own wants and needs and upsets that all had to be addressed. So I took off from the table and sat with my boy and we talked. We worked it out. We said I love you and hugged. By the time we arrived back at the table, the room had just become available. It was 8:45pm.

Above you see four children at 9pm at night who are trying to be on vacation and have fun. They were trying. Sweeties. The hotel offered us a $50 credit, and I said No thank you, I think our room should be comped! We didn't even USE it for five hours! Except I said this very calmly and nicely. Oh, they said, not surprised at all, we'll have someone call you. She called later, and bargained. How bout $100 credit and late check out? OK, I said. I didn't and don't agree with that, but I didn't feel like using up any more of my vacation time feeling stressed out.
We refused to be stressed! And we relaxed, and had a blast.
The girls slept with Mr. Curry and I on the King bed and the boys on the pull out Queen couch bed, and we watched Arthur and had room service dessert. It was relaxing. It was vacation.
The next night was 4th of July, and it was one of the top three best fourths I've ever had. We had let Dakota leave to go stay with his friend Jake in Pacific Beach, whose parents ( who are 'cool parents' ) were having a party, and so after spending the day mini-golfing with us, Mr. Curry very nicely drove him the fifteen minutes there and came back. So it was us five. The resort is on the bay, as I said, and so we walked two feet to the sand (not literally, but close) and sat down on our blanket around all the other resorters and their kids, next to the bonfires and cookouts, and watched the fireworks from the Yacht Club. Lola made easy friends along the shore and ran screaming while Ever sat in my lap, perfectly happy and not scared at all. Ian and Mr. Curry sat next to us, and we watched the sky, silent. Back at our room at 10pm, we ate from the cooler of foods and snacks we had brought, and played this game that Ian had picked out at Target, laughed a lot, and fell asleep exhausted.
Lola took three of her best dolls and cared for them most carefully.
Mr. Curry ripped his foot open on something at the restaurant that first night there. Natch.
Dakota seventeen, Ever seven months. She's wearing the dress he bought for her in Hawaii!! Where he turned seventeen <3
We swam for hours, both days. The girls loooved it.
Ever's new suit :)
I love this picture, total goofballs, and Ever is licking Daddy's arm, which she does to all of us.
My new swimsuit. I was reallllllly nervous to be in a bikini. I mean, like I felt like crying. I have lumps ( you can't see them but they are there ) where I never did before, bruises all over my legs from anemia, my stomach is not as beautiful as it once was, my thighs are jiggly and I have cellulite. But Mr. Curry made me feel confident and loved so that I could see the beauty in myself, and that's what love will do. I ended up tan ( despite sunblock ) and comfortable.
A lovely place.
Thank you. You know who you are.
Rebecca said...

Oh My Word. You look stunning in your bikini! Wow. I only have 2 kids and my youngest is nearly 4 years older than YOUR youngest. You look fabulous. Wear that bikini proudly!

Amelia said...

You look gorgeous! I too have some issues surrounding bikinis, and have been known to tell people to look at my beautiful collar bones and ignore the rest. Sounds like a much needed wonderful vacation.

Amelia said...

I love the picture of Lola hugging Ever on the bed. How do you not gnaw on those chunky baby legs?!!

gojirama said...

What a beautiful vacation, depsite the mess ups! I am just amazed that Dakota is 17. Where does the time go?

Jeanne Estridge said...

A. I'm SOOO happy you all got to do this. Kudos to your Mama Theresa.

B. The fact that you can wear a bikini and look that good in it after 3 kids made me grind my teeth just a teeny bit.

C. But I'm still glad you got to go (because that's how nice I am).

Lone Star Ma said...


Brigindo said...

I'm glad you had a lovely time in spite of the incredibly late check-in. Dakota looks like he's getting his "man face." I remember that well. Both wonderful and sad. And you look amazing in a bikini!!!!

Hannah Stephenson said...

Sounds like you had a wonderfully well-deserved time, Maggie. You all look so happy (and you look beautiful!).

Ms. Moon said...

Maggie. Oh my Maggie Girl. I am so glad you have that picture of you in the bikini because when you are my age you will look back and say, "My god! I was fucking gorgeous!" and you won't even think about bumps or bruises. You will see the beauty of you. Try, my sweet, to see it now.

C.M. Jackson said...

wonderful!! btw you rocked that bikini!! glad to hear you ahd some fun and sun!!

Annje said...

I am so glad you got a mini-cation and HELLO... you are HOT! and cute bikini!

Alexicographer said...

I first came here from Anymommy. I love your writing and as a mom to two (truly) adult stepkids and one preschooler, I loved this. Over the years, I have found myself on many occasions saying (usually only internally), "OK, this isn't much fun now, but it will be great in the retelling." The start of your vacation sounds like a time I'd have been repeating that one to myself (yet again). I'm mystified at the thought that malfunctioning computers would for hours preclude checking folks in, but hey, I've been mystified by such snafus before.

Glad things turned out well.

michelle said...

ummm.... maggie?... you are totally HOT!

Lola is adorable with Ever.

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The Beckster said...

Very cute pics! Bikini shot very adorable!

I can't believe they didn't comp your room -that's crazy.

bron @ baby space said...

Oh yes. I relate! Holidays with kids of varying ages... the baby situ... the face situ. You nailed it (for me anyway).
And I relate to those bikini feelings too. But you really do look beautiful :)

Glimmer said...

You are totally hot!

Mwa said...

I'm so impressed with you all for keeping it together and then negotiating on the compensation. That must have been tiring. We're going on holiday soon for a loooong road trip with three little kids and I'm kind of dreading the driving.

Caroline said...

I LOVE that you got to go on a great vacation and relax. The pictures of you and the girls swimming--you can see so well the FUN you are having!!
You look AMAZING, Maggie. So beautiful and HAPPY!
Sending love and so glad you guys had a wonderful vacay. xo

Courtney said...

oh vacation how I love thee!

Petit fleur said...

I love ALL the pictures. I especially like the juxtaposed expressions of you and Mr. Curry with Ever. You seem to be thinking, "I did it! I kept the course and stayed cool"~ He looks sort of looks happy, yet vacation weary and ready for a nap. And then there is Ever. "Hey ya'll, look how cute I am.. and yes, my finger is YUMMY!"

I also loved the the kids on the couch. Classic.

Of course, you and Ever looking gorgeous in your swim gear!

I love em all, the arm licking, all of it! Thanks for sharing.

Shelley E said...

Sorry the start of your vacation wasn't so great...we went to Paradise Point a few months back and the kids had alot of fun in that pool...
You look fabulous in your bikini...:)

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