Finding relaxation while travelling with 3 kids can be impossible. Usually, travel involves the same daily routines as home life just in a new location. When I book a vacation, additions like meals included and housekeeping service are not high on my list because these luxuries can also mark up the price. I gravitate to locations that provide as much entertainment for the kids with easy access to our room/home for the best price. Finding a spot with all that and more seems rare, especially close to home. We were grateful to experience Fern Resort, Ontario’s All Inclusive Resort, once again with the Life With A Baby Annual Conference. This year our kids were all that much older than Mommy had more free time available. This year I was able to take in all the little additions that truly make this resort a full family service resort. You likely have read all about the kids club, swimming pool and water sports. The great care and quality the resort staff put into making these activities inclusive, enjoyable and engaging for all ages are above top notch. No, this year I spent time enjoying services that made my life on vacation more enjoyable. Fresh, clean towels by the pool, daily afternoon refreshments at the main lobby, waterside Muskoka chairs each morning with hot coffee, courteous and kind staff who remembered me each morning and brought my coffee just right without asking. Tiny things that made me feel like I too was getting a vacation.
As a busy mom, I often spend my vacation time making sure my family has a memorable experience. Photo ops, belly-busting laughs and all the little things they express joy in (like an unlimited cereal bar at breakfast!). Providing these things means I can come last. Still drinking cold coffee, eating last or schlepping towels to the pool and back each day. At Fern, every member of the family can have the vacation they desire. My children enjoyed all the kids’ activities and they certainly had more than enough to keep them happy. My son enjoyed horseback riding, my oldest had his face painted to his heart’s content and my daughter swam all day so that her favorite new word was “pool”. My husband enjoyed the kid-free time at the gym, beachside with a coffee and his book or in the pool socializing with other dads.
As for me, I loved our evening dinners without the kids, quiet early morning walks and waterside yoga (ok I went once but still it felt great!). I started and finished a terrific book with hot coffee and cold water poolside while my kids swam safely under the close supervision of lifeguards and Daddy. I kayaked with my kids and they built a huge trench on the beach splashing in the water while I listened to a podcast series I had stockpiled. While all this sounds more about me finding time versus Fern providing a service I should clarify that it only happens with the support of others. Fern provided the means to experience these great moments and with it, right at my fingertips, I had to take it all in.
My very last tip/brag/plug is the poolside bbq. There is nothing better then when your kids get “hangry” after a morning of kids club or swimming, then throwing on a coverup and grabbing a few plates of hot and ready summer grub right next to your beach loungers. The kids loaded up on burgers, dogs, salad, fries, tacos, ice cream, freezies – you name it! A little rest in the shade and back in the pool. Easy for Mama, fun for kids – a true win-win.
So if you need an idea on where to rest your head, relax and recharge while still enjoying your family – add Fern Resort to the list.
(Julie is the Community Manager for the Stouffville and Durham Chapters of Life With A Baby. She has three children Jack (7) Ben (5) and Kate (2). You can read more of my writing at http://www.wordpress.com/BuiltWithJoy)