Family vacay 2021 update
When I last posted, I was dreading the annual family vacation, this year for the first time at our new lake house rather than a beach house we rented at great expense. Overall, it was much more positive!
As expected, the savings was HUGE! We used to spend $12k to $15k for one WEEK, renting an ocean-front beach home with pool, renting beach chairs and umbrellas for 10 plus people, and buying all groceries and paying for all meals out. We only spent about $1k this year, so cha Ching!! Obviously, it cost $0 extra for the lake house we already own, and we already have plenty of chairs, lounges, etc. on our dock. The biggest surprise was how much we saved in groceries. We used to spend a fortune upon arrival at the beach buying basic things such as condiments, coffee, paper towels, toilet paper, garbage bags, etc, plus snacks, breakfast foods, bread, peanut butter, lunch meats and cheeses, etc. etc,, with MANY trips during the week to purchase more, most of which we left or threw away because we had no room to take it home. Then many nights out at restaurants in a resort town with SKs ordering appetizers, the most expensive entree on the menu, plus dessert. This time, I already had all the basics, bought on sale, and we cooked in a couple nights and ate out a few nights at non-resort priced restaurants. We even had one "activity" day paid for by us, since they were bored with the lake by Day 3, and it still was only around $1k for the week! Just thinking about that makes me smile!
Another thing that contributed to the overall tolerance was, it only lasted five days, four nights, instead of 7 days and nights. DH informed SS27 that DH had to be back at work on Day 6, so we all left on Day 5. (I'm not sure if DH scheduled it that way on purpose, but DH told me he hopes next year it will just be a long weekend.) Because it was shorter, there was a lot less time for there to be issues. (And yes, I stayed the entire time because it was abbreviated, and DH and I went back to work Thursday and returned Friday evening for a weekend with just us and our bios!
Also. while SS26 and his DW only live 20 minutes away, they only came for part of one day and ate breakfast prepared in. They did not stay the night and cost us $0 extra.
What was difficult? The usual of someone having to cook and clean up after SS27 and family for every meal eaten in. However, I told DH going into it if I stayed beyond 2 days, HE had to be responsible for catering to grown SS27, SDIL & SGDs 6 & 8. DH did that, and the beauty of that was, not only did I do less than ever, I'm pretty sure that's what contributed to DH's comment that maybe it would just be a long weekend next year. Lol. I will say, SS27's DW did ask ONCE what she could do to help prepare one breakfast, and she was told she could cut up fruit and given things necessary to do so, which she did, although she left everything she used dirty on the counter to be cleaned up.She also washed their dirty towels and sheets on the last day, which I thought was huge. Someone has suggested SDIL knows better and has just been following SS27's lead in letting us do it all, and I think that's quite evident.
Of course, the BEST part of the vacay is that it is over for another year! DH & I are foregoing a separate trip this year and hoping to go on a larger trip next year with our bios to Europe. (No, SKs will not be invited.) Although there are still issues, I feel that following the advice here helped me to make it the best possible while keeping my marriage happy. I have no idea when we'll see SS27 and family again, but I won't be surprised if it's not until time for SGD6's birthday in the fall. In the meantime, I plan to enjoy the rest of my summer at the lake with my family!
Edited to add: I took a look at my last blog and was reminded of the issue of SDIL spraying sunscreen inside the house. Outside of my hearing, DH asked SS27 to make sure that didn't happen again and told him about the slick, greasy spot it left on the tile floor, and as far as I know, it did not happen. Yay, THANK YOU, DH! And THANK YOU to all of you who have given me advice to get me this far!