Hick-Bry Family Vacation 2023

Where should I start?

First, let me tell you how we travel. Typically we RV. You heard me, a Camper. A Camper that sleeps 10…that is if half of us were tiny elves with cute short legs. Luckily, that does include a 6 and 5 year old. They still have cute legs. John, he is turning 18 this week. He does not have cute legs. He is what I consider a “hairy legged teenager”. Although I guess this week he’s now a “hairy legged adult”. Oh God 🤢 , do you know what that means? It’s the same reason age spots are showing up and also the reason I am now drinking Collagen like it’s the new Tito’s in town.

Honestly, I have really loved watching him grow. It’s been a pleasure and honestly a God-given miracle. Do you know how many ER visits this kid has had? I’m kidding, I’m a nurse, we take our kids to the ER only when an ACE bandage and a splint can’t fix it. Those are stories for another day. Good ones, too!

Anyways, back to our vacation. It’s day 3, and we made it through a 12 hour road trip, a very close rear-end to our own vehicle, 2 jelly fish stings, and someone (no names) pooped in the pool. I feel like it’s going very smoothly.

Dynamics around here are interesting.

Who’s the early bird that gets the worm?

There are 8 of us right now. Conner is 19 (and is leaving for the Navy soon, 😢), John is 18 this week (ugh), Makena is 15, Phoenix is 13, Kate is 6, Knox is 5, and Kevin is 36 (lol). You don’t need to know my age as much as I don’t want to know my age.

Just about every night, we know that process of what is going to happen in the morning, regardless of the night/day before. Knox (5 year old) will be up first, typically about 6am ON THE DOT. Then, Conner will appear but then dissapear. John might be up if he went to sleep the night before. But then, Makena and Phoenix will act like they are sleeping until they have a reason to get up. Then Kate, usually 3rd to last to wake up believe it or not! The 6 year old loves her sleep! A girl after my own heart lol.

Who gets along best?

Makena and Phoenix are constantly fighting for snail slime face wash? Or shirts, or pants, or hairbrushes, or bras, gosh you name it, they’ve argued about it. Conner always has a smile on his face. He and John always seem to find something to laugh about. It’s usually other siblings, content is easy.

Then there is Kate and Knox. They are “best buddies” for about 6 hours out of the day then they turn into savage midgets ready to battle. Nonetheless, Kevin and I do a lot of mediating. At least once a day I ask, “ok let’s talk about this like reasonable people” (insert smile and awkward calmness). In turn I typically get, “this rat is not reasonable. I know she stole my shirt and she won’t admit it.” Mom: “We don’t’ call each other rats”. Kid: “Yes we do, when it’s true.” Mom: “Give me the shirt, it’s mine.” And that my friends is your friendly parenting advice for the day lol.

Truly, day in and day out, we all get along SO well. We have so much fun together, if the fussing went away, then we probably wouldn’t be alive. Therefore, I love it. I’m gonna miss it one day.

Stick that in your RV and…pack it.

Regardless of how we have traveled, wether that is hotels, VRBO, rental, or RV, we have found this works for us. It gives us our own space, and our own space to mess up. I’m not having to freak out about someone’s decor going missing or simply breaking. We also can cook and snack all we want! I find this to be an ultimate cooking challenge being RVs have tiny sinks for washing dishes and 3 burners that don’t fit 3 pots (again maybe midget pots). It makes me wonder what the designers think while they are building them. Probably they are midget designers themselves. It makes the most sense.

The grocery count.

For one, that’s 1, DAY we will go through:

  • 2 loaves of bread (easy)(1 makes about 8 sandwiches)
  • 1 gallon of milk
  • 1 lb of pasta
  • 2 packages of bacon or 2 lbs of sausage
  • 18 eggs
  • A bag of chips (of any kind)
  • Snacks-sometimes all of them
  • 3 gallons of water
  • 3 cups of rice or 3lbs of potatoes (for dinner or breakfast)
  • 2 lbs of fresh chicken or 2 lbs of ground beef

You don’t want to see the grocery list, much less the grocery bill. AND MY KIDS ARE SKINNY! I swear. Honestly, this list is definitely a minimal list. Like 2lbs of beef minimum in one day. I still get a little surprised by this every week. I think, “oh I’ve got ‘em now! I’m gonna get more so I don’t have to shop next week”. Humph. I always go the next week. I’ve tried many ways to not go. It doesn’t work. I’ve also tried to to fit more than 2 days in the RV. That dosen’t happen either. It’s ok, I’ve accepted it as it is.

What we have accomplished?

The beach, the beach, the pool, the pool again, the USSA battleship, Pensacola Beach, Fort Pickens on Santa Rosa Beach. We’ve had Ice cream, Italian ice, smashed peanut butter and jellies with sprinkles of sand, margaritas (also with sand) and a really good night at Olive Garden. I used to hate on Olive Garden until I realized it was one of the rare places that enjoy having large parties. Most places tend to get scattered and make us wait 2 hours. Now bread sticks and endless iceberg lettuce is so great 🥰 and —brainfree eating. Can’t go wrong with pasta!

To be continued… but first, here’s a photo dump. Bon voyage mi compadres!! 😆

USS ALABAMA. Posing like a boss.

Love you guys! Send me your pictures! 🙌🏼

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