In order to not be on the “outs” with my in-laws this past Labor Day Weekend, my husband and I decided to meet them half-way instead of in their spotless home for our family holiday. This decision was unanimous once the “rules of the abode” were expressed by my in-laws in frequent phone conversations. The truth is, when our party of five enters the building, three of us go in three different directions. It is extremely difficult to spend time in a very organized and immaculate home with three kids, four and under.
We changed our family holiday plans and met in Sturbridge, MA. Why Sturbridge, MA? There is a lot for kids to do at Old Sturbridge Village. This place is beautiful! Your children will fall in love with the picturesque landscape of antique homes, buildings and water-powered mills straight out of the 1830s. If you need to bring a stroller, make sure that it has real tires. It was hard for us to push our delicate stroller on the dirt roads and up small hills. We still enjoyed our first day!
Some of the highlights from our first day included a discussion with a costumed historian that explained the process of milking a huge cow. We also saw a one month old baby calf down a bottle of milk. My two year old was so amazed by this that she almost went in the barn and grabbed a swig for herself. You can go back for a free second-day visit within 10 days. Two entire days without sirens and airplanes arriving at either JFK or LaGuardia was needed by all of us.
By the end of the day, we were relaxed from the simplistic way of life in Old Sturbridge Village. We loaded up our kids and kosher cooler in the car and met my in-laws at the Comfort Inn and Suites Colonial in Sturbridge, MA. I was very impressed with the cleanliness of the lobby, friendly staff, and fresh smelling rooms. The best part, my kids would see Bubby and Zaidy (Yiddish word for Grandma and Grandpa). None of us had to worry about where to go for dinner or cleaning up the kitchen. Like a kosher traveling mom, my in-laws also travel with their own food. Both of our rooms had a small refrigerator and a microwave oven. While the two big kids, all of four and two, swam in the indoor pool, I caught up on email and tweetdeck (amenities include free wireless internet, free continental breakfast, and indoor & outdoor pool). My girls could have kicked and splashed all night, but by 9:30pm we were all ready for sleep! Good thing, we had another day scheduled at Old Sturbridge Village.
The morning started out with my five year old telling me that her stomach was grumbling and that she wanted oatmeal for breakfast. So, at 7:00am, we had oatmeal, orange juice, bagels and cream cheese. These items did have the kosher symbol on them, so we were able to eat them. After breakfast, the two big kids went in for another swim while I packed up the room (and checked email and tweetdeck) so we would be ready for our 11:30pm late checkout.
This type of all-inclusive family vacation was perfect for our situation, and it could be for your family as well. Everybody had what they wanted, when they wanted it. At the end of the day, my in-laws were able to spend quality time with their very young and rambunctious grandchildren. No mess to clean-up or sheets to be changed, it was all about us spending time together. That is what all-inclusive should be about, isn’t it?