Vacation: From Fantasy to RealityMay 07th

Around…oh I don’t know, February (for reasons unbeknownst to me) my husband and I get the urge to travel.

It starts out innocently enough with little phrases like:

“Wouldn’t it be nice to get away?”


“I just want a break.”


“I just wanna go somewhere and relax!”

And then before you know it we’re throwing around the V word.

No, not the V word you’re thinking of.


For me, the V word belongs with mythical creatures like unicorns and dragons (except I really believe in dragons, and Nessie, while we’re on the subject). It’s a magical narrative like Santa Claus and the tooth fairy, but geared more toward adults than children.

We like to believe that there is such a thing as a real Vacation, but most of us know that such a state is unlikely to appear around things like–what are they called again? Oh yah, kids.

We have attempted a few mini-vacations with our children. I’ll admit, it was much easier when we only were responsible for one wildebeest. Whoops. I mean kid.

But with our two? Sheesh.

My kids are both very active. When folks saw how my firstborn behaved they would encourage me with little platitudes about my next baby. The next little bambino would certainly be calm, quiet and laid-back. A lovely balance to our vivacious and extroverted little girl.

Welp. Somewhere along the way my little pup in utero decided not to go the predetermined route. Oh no. Instead, he opted to one-up his wild sister with great physical undertakings like rolling over at 10 days old, and climbing up my dresser at 11 months old. Needless to say, I learned early on with this small fry that relax I would not.

So you see? It’s a myth, right? I mean, even if you find a kid-friendly destination, you’re not going to relax while you’re there. Or I’m not, anyways. If we go camping, I worry that my kids will find the three bears house. If we are at the beach, I worry that they will look for the little mermaid and instead find a strong tide or, even worse, a shark.

A pool affords little more comfort than the negation of my mermaid and shark hangups. My kids aren’t swimmers. Yep, I realize that’s my fault [Hey! We were too late to book last summer, ok? And all the other options cost a fortune and involved crazy things like ME getting into the water WITH them. Why would I pay someone to make me get in the cold water and deal with my children who will certainly cling to me like a starving jellyfish with teeth?] but it doesn’t change the fact that I have to watch them like a hawk and have the reflexes of a hummingbird.

As it is, I try not to attach any of the ordinary expectations with the word Vacation. Unless…

1.) I could go somewhere that had comfortable sleeping arrangements. Such as a giant bed so that when both wildebeests crawl into bed in the wee hours of the morn’ I can inch away without suddenly dropping off. Like I do at home.

2.) Someone cleans up after us. I absolutely hate trying to go have a “vacation” where it involves anything that looks like home. Cooking, cleaning, laundry. Heck. No.

3.) There is an abundance of really good food in close proximity to our every location. Yes. If there’s one thing that’s absolutely miserable about traveling with children it’s trying to find food in an unknown environment. Not just any food, but kid friendly food. Yawn.

4.) Babysitting. Yes, I believe this is the missing component from all of those supposed “vacations” we have previously attempted. I had my philosopher/logician husband help me with this so you know it’s actually logical and not the usual nonsense I make up for cheap laughs.

i.e., All good vacations require childcare.

That is the point I wanted to make.

5.) My kids need to have fun.

6.) We need to have fun.

7.) Someone else needs to organize all this “fun” so I don’t have to.

Quite a list, wouldn’t you say? It’s no wonder I cannot find a decent V word. My expectations are verging on the impossible. The mythical.

Well. Santa came early. Not for me, per se, but for my mythical creature. It’s like I finally have proof that such a glorious thing exists. Now, this is the part of the post that is promotional. Enter Norwegian Cruise Line. I’m getting paid to write about this, but I’m not going on the cruise. I want to.

You know I want to.

Yes, I’m talking to you, Norwegian Cruise Line.

Please let me go on one of your amazing cruises! You embody every ideal I adore in family vacations. You are the ultimate family vacation.

Ok, I’m done kissing up. Back to you guys.

Alright, for reals, when you go on a Norwegian cruise you get something extra special: Freestyle Cruising. What is Freestyle Cruising you ask? Basically, entertainment, activities and food for your family’s needs. No matter how tricky or particular your wildebeest, Freestyle Cruising offers options for everyone.

Imagine being able to do all the fun things you want with your kids, and then getting to enjoy all the fun things you want to do with your husband–without the kids!

For instance, one of the things on our family bucket list is to perform as a quartet on the flying trapeze. Yes. You have no idea how often I dream of flying through the air catching my children by the ankles whilst Matt holds me from a giant swinging trapeze. What can I say? I’m a simple woman.

Well whadya know? Freestyle Cruising offers circus workshops. Squeeee! So this means we can finally get the training we so desperately need to become a real circus family, minus a swinging trapeze. And, kids who participate get to BE in the circus. I’d work my way in there as well.

What else?

Um, childcare. Yah, so you can drop the kiddies off to do fun things with their age group and high energy, fun, good youth counselors. Score!

So this means I could hit up the spa and Matt could go do something boring like smoke a cigar and watch football while our kids get to play on a customized playground with trained professionals. Yes! Then, we can go back and do fun things like family games/challenges that involve things like getting slimed.

Much more up Matt’s alley than mine, but nevertheless exciting.

My kids would also probably be flipping out cause Dora’s on board. And by on board, I mean walking around wowing kids with her cartoon to reality presence. Nickelodeon has partnered with Norwegian to provide family entertainment and activities that fit in with the Nickelodeon shows and characters.

I like all this fun stuff for my kids because I see it as a way of getting in on some of this action:

Guys, that could be me. I mean you. Us.


For more information about Norwegian’s family vacation experience, click here.


Well, where there’s a will, there’s a way. How abouts you try and get in on this sweetness with this awesome giveaway!

BlogHer and Norwegian Cruise Line is offering a voucher for a cruise for a family of four to one lucky reader. In the comments, tell me what you look for in your dream family vacation!


No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

  1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post.
  2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
  3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
  4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

Entries from all participating blogs will be pooled for winner selection; only two entries per household.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 5/8/2013-6/2/2013.

Be sure to visit Norwegian Cruise Line’s brand page on where you can read other bloggers’ posts!


82 Responses to Vacation: From Fantasy to RealityMay 07th

  1. Caitlin MidAtlantic May 8, 2013 at 5:40 am #

    I look for all the fun things I can do both WITH my kids… and without them! There’s always that hope that I can find a babysitter, right? Our last trip had a special area for kids, and that was great. I could lounge while my daughter splashed to her hearts content.

  2. April May 8, 2013 at 12:11 pm #

    We have been talking of cruising for while now, my kids would love it so much.

  3. Leslie May 8, 2013 at 5:25 pm #

    We LOVE norweigian! That’s what we did for our honeymoon and it was amazing! Next up is a babymoon! Would love to take future kiddos there, too! They have the best kid stuff!

  4. Natalia May 8, 2013 at 7:24 pm #

    Yes! This cruise! This is the exact vacation I want our family to go on!

  5. Ana May 9, 2013 at 2:10 am #

    Yay for Cruises! Yay for babysitters! Yay for Norwegian for having both!! I have never been on a cruise, and I can’t wait to go on one with my family!!

  6. Aleta May 9, 2013 at 6:37 am #

    I’ve been on two NCL cruises and LOVE LOVE LOVE them!!! They are fantastic and I’d go on another in a heartbeat.. well, maybe when the baby gets a little older, Lol.

    My husband and I were talking about vacations and realized that for the next 18 years, we’ll probably put that idea on hold. Lol.

  7. Maureen May 9, 2013 at 6:41 am #

    A trip where we do not have to worry about where to find our meals and where we can be brought to different places A cruise is a great way of doing this.

  8. sandra May 9, 2013 at 7:38 am #

    fun and sun and relaxation

  9. Rasheeda May 9, 2013 at 9:58 am #

    What do I look for in a dream family vacation? M-E-M-O-R-I-E-S… that last a life time! It sounds like Norwegian Cruise Line would be the ideal experience for our family. My husband and I have a 2 and an 7 year old and it’s pretty tough finding a vacation that’s affordable (my husband lost his job almost two years ago and has since started a business… and boy do we need affordable) and something that both kiddies would enjoy (because of their age difference)… and we have never cruised before… the Norwegian Cruise Line sounds like the perfect solution!

  10. Adrienne Gordon May 9, 2013 at 10:01 am #

    Never done a cruise, but want to.

  11. Margaret Smith May 9, 2013 at 11:56 am #

    My dream vacation would be to go to Bermuda with my family on a cruise.

  12. Margaret Smith May 9, 2013 at 11:57 am #

    I tweeted:
    Thanks so much.

  13. Kate May 9, 2013 at 12:56 pm #

    Dream vacation- Laying by a pool, not having to move, and having people offer to bring me fruity drinks. Oh wait, that’s a cruise! πŸ™‚

  14. Kate May 9, 2013 at 1:04 pm #

    I tweeted too!

  15. Stephanie V. May 9, 2013 at 7:48 pm #

    so many dream destinations, but probably Alaska first. Always wanted to cruise Alaska. Look for all inclusive type environment to satisfy the multiple personalities – relax, explore, eat and rest.
    tvollowitz at aol dot com

  16. Rosanne May 9, 2013 at 10:04 pm #

    We look for a place that is affordable, relaxing warm and fun

  17. Kim H May 10, 2013 at 7:54 am #

    I would love to go on any cruise since I have never been!!!!

  18. Nikki May 10, 2013 at 4:46 pm #

    My ideal vacation is the exact same as yours….big comfy bed, no cooking, no cleaning, me time, babysitting, etc! In fact about half way through reading this I was thinking I need to comment on this blog & tell her to book a cruise because they have everything you are looking for…and then you said it! Highly recommend a cruise! I also have also taken a teenager along with us on a vacation & then you have a built in babysitter…worked out great!

  19. mickeyfan May 10, 2013 at 8:31 pm #

    I think it’d be great to rent a 4 br beach house. We could have a great time together, but yet not be on top of each other.

  20. Stephanie Larison May 10, 2013 at 8:31 pm #

    I’d love to go to FL since there’s so many family friendly things to do there. We need time together as a family, and I’d love to see a beach. I’ve never seen one yet! There has to be fun things for us to do, even for the younger ages. My daughter is 3.

  21. Kathleen B May 11, 2013 at 6:48 am #

    A cruise would be the perfect vacation and celebration for my 10th anniversary this year!

  22. Georgia May 11, 2013 at 8:29 am #

    Pure relaxation, fun in the sun, laying back in the water. Doesn’t get any better than that!

    gmissycat at yahoo dot com

  23. Georgia May 11, 2013 at 8:30 am #

    Tweeted here too

    gmissycat at yahoo dot com

  24. Kerry May 11, 2013 at 4:38 pm #

    I look for relaxation in a dream vacation! My kids look for adventure though:)

  25. Sarah Hirsch May 13, 2013 at 7:37 am #

    for a dream vacation, i want fun, new experiences, and lots of family togetherness time.

  26. Jacob LaFountaine May 13, 2013 at 7:36 pm #

    I’d go to Hawaii by boat

  27. Anne (@notasupermom) May 14, 2013 at 4:24 am #

    My dream vacation involves a relaxed husband and happy kids!

  28. Rachel May 14, 2013 at 5:33 am #

    We love to cruise. It fits all of our needs!

  29. Denielle May 14, 2013 at 6:54 am #

    Man with 3 kids 5 & under vacation hasn’t been on my mind too much… I think any time or place I could go where I don’t have to cook and clean would be a wonderful break but it would be super fun to do a cruise. Haven’t ever gone on one yet but it sounds pretty amazing πŸ™‚

  30. Frugalistablog May 14, 2013 at 7:13 am #

    I’ve never been on a cruise, but I wouldn’t mind winning one. Gee whiz, a floating food buffet, that’s what a cruise is, right?? Yeah! Sign me up! The kids would flip out too.

  31. Frugalistablog May 14, 2013 at 7:19 am #

    Here’s my tweet too!

  32. Davia Reddig May 14, 2013 at 7:40 am #

    I always look for trips that are usually all inclusive! That’s why cruises are so great! There is nothing better than paying the total of the trip and that’s really all you have to pay!!! Sometimes I find great deals for a vacation, but after you go and eat everyday and do some tours, it turns out to be quite pricey!!! Cruises are the way to go!!!

  33. melissa Resnick May 14, 2013 at 10:34 am #

    love when everything is included and theres no surprises

  34. Susan May 14, 2013 at 7:58 pm #

    I look for relaxation for EVERYONE! MOM especially!

  35. Maria May 15, 2013 at 9:56 am #

    I’d love to spend a family vacation having outdoor adventures.

  36. Nicole H. May 15, 2013 at 10:37 am #

    dream family vacation would be a cruise…someone else to do the cooking!

  37. Brittney Neal May 15, 2013 at 3:45 pm #

    This sounds just awesome! My hubby and I have talked about taking a cruise and need to get it done before the little ones come along and cause all the complications Hill outline above!

  38. Stephanie Kirkland May 15, 2013 at 5:27 pm #

    The idea of this cruise/cruise line is absolutely magical & would be such a perfect adventure for my budding family. The mister & I have been saying for years that our first vacation would be a cruise. One day. πŸ™‚

  39. rachel May 16, 2013 at 7:02 am #

    Good food–especially breakfasts!–going out to eat (no cooking for me, either!), shopping and a date night or two πŸ™‚

  40. Bev E. May 16, 2013 at 8:47 am #

    For a great vacation I don’t need much: Good food; a simple, clean room to stay in; and fun things for my family to do together. I think a cruise would be an awesome way to explore new places and try fun new things!

  41. Tracy @ Ascending Butterfly May 17, 2013 at 6:27 am #

    Vacation to me means warm sandy beaches, palm trees, pina coladas, the sand between my toes, the warmth of the sun on my skin and a good book! πŸ™‚

  42. Mariah May 20, 2013 at 12:38 pm #

    Ooooo!!!! Me! Me!!! I want to go! Cruises are the best!!! We didn’t get to go with Norwegian on our honeymoon, but I’d love to find out what it is to love about them!!

    Oh, and I love you Hill!!! <3

  43. Mary May 20, 2013 at 5:53 pm #

    want to win!

  44. BusyWorkingMama May 22, 2013 at 1:26 pm #

    We look for a secluded destination and a beautiful beach.

  45. Lethea B May 22, 2013 at 5:06 pm #

    For a family vacation we tend to look for vacations that have a little of something for everyone in our family. The “fish” wants a pool, the Mom wants a break from kitchen duty and the Dad wants a place in the sun=)

  46. Lethea B May 22, 2013 at 5:10 pm #

    I tweeted=)

  47. ashley May 24, 2013 at 12:24 pm #

    I look for a variety of experiences so we can all have fun!

  48. Wild Orchid May 25, 2013 at 6:43 am #

    I look for fun for the whole family. A relaxing environment for my husband and I, and plenty of fun activities for my son.

    Thanks for the chance to win!
    wildorchid985 at gmail dot com

  49. Wild Orchid May 25, 2013 at 6:44 am #


  50. Samantha Waters May 26, 2013 at 10:18 pm #

    I’d love to take my family on a European vacation!

    snunnrob at yahoo dot com

  51. Samantha Waters May 26, 2013 at 10:18 pm #

    I tweeted!

    snunnrob at yahoo dot com

  52. David R May 27, 2013 at 9:35 am #

    love it need it want it

  53. Lisa May 27, 2013 at 10:19 am #

    I’ve been wanting a vacation since February too. Anywhere. Really. Anywhere.

  54. gina May 28, 2013 at 1:35 pm #

    I look for it to be all inclusive.

  55. Jennifer May 28, 2013 at 2:31 pm #

    I would love a tropical island!

  56. Elizabeth May 28, 2013 at 3:15 pm #

    A cruise sounds lovely!

  57. Therese May 28, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

    It all sounds wonderful!

  58. Kate R. May 28, 2013 at 4:12 pm #

    I have twins, so anywhere away from my kids is a vacation for me!

  59. Eugenie May 28, 2013 at 5:13 pm #

    Our dream vacation would be a cruise to the Caribbean. We love the water!

  60. Ginger Kay May 28, 2013 at 6:45 pm #

    I’d love to do the Alaskan cruise.

  61. Sarah L May 29, 2013 at 4:29 pm #

    My dream vacation would be a cruise to New Zealand.
    Thanks for the contest.

  62. Lisa Baker May 29, 2013 at 6:12 pm #

    We have always wanted to go on a European cruise.

  63. Lisa Baker May 29, 2013 at 6:12 pm #

    I tweeted!

  64. Nancy V May 30, 2013 at 4:33 am #

    My dream vacation would be an Alaskan cruise

  65. diane Baum May 31, 2013 at 12:57 pm #

    For family vacations, I try to find something that all the family members will enjoy and a sandy beach by the ocean

  66. Bruce June 1, 2013 at 5:29 pm #

    a cruise to Hawaii

  67. Chad Babcock June 1, 2013 at 6:20 pm #

    A cruise around Italy

  68. LAMusing June 2, 2013 at 12:00 am #

    My mom has some mobility issues, so cruising is perfect! We’d love to go to the South Pacific!

  69. Alison Wood June 2, 2013 at 4:02 am #

    Our dream family vacation would be one where the entire family finds something of interest to keep them busy and happy.

  70. cassandra mccann June 2, 2013 at 11:36 am #

    a cruise to italy

  71. Elizabeth Ray June 2, 2013 at 12:58 pm #

    A cruise to Alaska would be wonderful

  72. kelly mcgrew June 2, 2013 at 1:07 pm #

    i’d like to take a dream cruise to hawaii or europe!! i like cruises because you get to visit several places, not just one! it’s such a money saver in my opinion!!! this would be amazing to gift my sister with. i would have a blast with her!

  73. Shirley Zolenski June 2, 2013 at 3:36 pm #

    What I look for is something we can all do as a family and enjoy

  74. Shirley Zolenski June 2, 2013 at 3:38 pm #


  75. Vanessa June 2, 2013 at 6:52 pm #

    Any vacation with my husband and kids is wonderful! My husband worked out of town last year and I never want to go anywhere without him again! momlovesdeals at gmail dot com

  76. Mark June 3, 2013 at 11:39 am #

    My wife and I have only been on 2 cruises, both on our honeymoon. We cruised the Mediterranean and the Nile River, both awesome, and now ready for more!

  77. Heidi Embrey May 13, 2014 at 9:22 am #

    My dream vacation is a cruise.


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