The result of the vacation from last month was in my opinion nothing short of less-than-exciting. After two days of me trying to balance work and play, my wife decided that this is no vacation and that we should turn around and go home.
This would be okay with me, but where we were (26 hours away from our home) wasn't the destination, but was 4 hours away from my mother and the beach (the ultimate destination of what was to be a two-week trip). [To recap in one sentence, my wife did not want to spend the two weeks that our four (4) kids had home from school sitting in the house, so we agreed that even though I still had to run my law firm remotely (we are still a one-man-show), at least she could have "bubby" (my mom) taking care of the kids and helping out while she and my wife went to the beach each day with them.]
Yet, even so close to our destination, my wife essentially threw an attitude that she has no interest in watching the kids at a destination outside the home, and that she wants to go home. Now. She had no interest in continuing the trip to our ultimate destination (mom, beach), and she blamed the whole thing on that she cannot stand me working on our vacation. Mind you, all I needed was 2-3 hours in the early morning, and an hour in the evening.
So instead of fighting her on it, I let her make the decision that we should turn around and go home, and even though we purchased the resort hotel room ($225+/night) for that night as well, she wanted us to immediately drop everything, check out early, and leave immediately home.
So we're in the car for roughly 2.5 hours driving home, and I wasn't arguing with her on the decision. I was obviously pissed (this was my vacation also, AND I rearranged the whole law firm and our schedules to allow this vacation to happen), but I went along with it. 2.5 hours into the trip, she decided that maybe it wasn't so bad for us to go to Bubby and the beach, and so we turned around. A total of 5 hours later (2.5 hours each way) and now late at night, we arrived again at where our hotel was, but because we already checked out, we lost our room (and they did not have any other rooms available).
So we (I) continued driving to our ultimate destination. 5 more hours later (we were driving at this point for a total of 10 hours), we arrived in my mom's city, and my wife wanted us to find a hotel. Knowing that my wife has a fetish for big named hotels (and that she won't stay at anything less than a 4-star hotel), I looked on my smartphone on the Hotels.com app and found a Marriott (or Sheraton), who knows. It was a big named 4-star hotel. Exhausted, I drove over there, and checked in. I think the smell of smoke and 1980's wallpaper should have tipped me off that this wasn't going to be a good idea, but it was 3am, and we were all exhausted.
We get to the room, and it smells like smoke too. In fact, the beds were made, but there were crumbs in between the bed sheets. "SCABIES!" my wife screams. "We're going to get SCABIES!" "Sleep with your clothes on!" We slept there for four (4) hours [what a waste of money], woke up already dressed, didn't let the kids touch anything, and we went into the car and checked out. Funny enough, later on in the trip, my wife broke out with a heat rash, and she was convinced that she was infected from the shitty hotel that "I" chose. It went away a day or so later, but still, I couldn't help but to find the humor that with all of her precautions against getting scabies, that she was the one that got infected. She didn't, but we still had a fight over the fact that I couldn't help but chuckle when I heard that she got infected.
In sum, the vacation was fine. We stayed at an overly lavish (meaning expensive) apartment overlooking the water, where we could leave the apartment, walk outside, walk past the beautiful pool, and we were on the beach. My mom came over almost every day to help with the kids, I did my work, and we all spent quality time together. At nights, my mom babysat, and my wife and I went out to do who knows what. We met up with her friends; we went out to dinners, spent an evening at an arab hookah bar, and I even caught a 3D movie ("Prometheus") with my mom's husband while my wife had a girl's night out with her friends who live near my mom.
As for the cost of the vacation -- well, I didn't look at the cost until we returned home, and it wasn't pretty. Every meal was anywhere between $65-$120 (simply put, where we were, EVERYTHING was very expensive, and kosher restaurants were obscenely expensive -- in one place, $70 for a crappy sandwich for two adults), but quite frankly, I wasn't phased because 1) I knew based on where we were going that everything would be overpriced, and 2) we budged for it and already had money for the vacation fund set aside.
As for me, quite frankly, I was wiped out. Normally I work every day and spend time with the kids in the mornings and shortly before bedtime during the week, on Shabbos, and on Sundays. Ugh, Sundays is like 24 hours with them, and they require so much energy I am wiped out by it. Well, on this vacation, pretty much EVERY DAY WAS A SUNDAY (and on top of that, I still had to run my firm for a few hours in the morning before everyone got started on their day). My wife, however, was happy, and she thought we had a very successful vacation and is now planning our next trip (as if this one wasn't big enough)... Israel.