1. Remember your camera. Or, if you forget it, bring your mother who is great about taking pictures. Then just steal hers.
2. Order your rental bicycles before arriving at vacation. Because apparently they will be sold out before you arrive. Particularly during the week of 4th of July. Hopefully, you - like us - will finally find some after 5 or 6 phone calls.
3. It is a bad idea to slap the mosquito biting your very sunburned leg.
4. Also, don't scratch mosquito bites on your very sunburned leg.
5. Also, put sunscreen on your legs (in addition to everywhere else), because even though having tan legs sounds fun, having sunburned legs that will inevitably go back to white, is not. Particularly when they're covered in mosquito bites.
6. Apparently your children can actually sleep in the same room.
7. They will still be up at 6am, though, because they could care less that you'd like to sleep in on vacation.
8. White is generally not a good choice for bathing suit if you're planning to get wet. Unless you're under the age of 7.
9. You know that old saying. "it's like riding a bicycle"? Well, riding a bicycle is like, well, riding a bicycle. Even after more than 20 years, your body will still know how to ride the bicycle.
10. Taking a walk on the beach in the evening is romantic. Getting lost when it is pitch black on the beach however, not so much.
11. White shirts and khaki shorts/pants for beach pictures are popular. Really, really popular. Perhaps other combos will become popular. Soon. Otherwise, all the Christmas cards this year will look the same.
12. Riding bikes on the beach sounds fun, and romantic, and all that crap. Until you try to ride bikes on the beach. And then you realize that it's actually hard, and you go really slow, and it's, like, sandy. Stick to the bike paths.
13. When your mother offers to watch the children so you and your spouse can go out to dinner, don't be an idiot. Take. Her. Up. On. It. Then go to bed early. Because the children will be up at 6am.
14. Dessert should be eaten every day of vacation. Sometimes twice. Trust me on this.
15. Vacation is the perfect time to use that $500 SpaFinder gift certificate you won. And, because you can only have so many services done in one day (thus it's hard to spend the whole thing), you should leave a huge tip and make the day of the ladies who provided the lovely services. $150 tip, anyone?
16. Relax your standards about the children's TV consumption. Because every time you turn around, someone will have turned on the blasted thing. So, either go with it, or your head will explode. Which would ruin everyone's vacation. Next week, the hammer can come back down on this one.
17. Don't check your work email while on vacation. Just don't. Really.
18. When you've been in the car for hours and the children won't nap and they're picking at each other and crying and whining and driving themselves/each other/you crazy and you think you are going to scream (!!!!!), turn up the music really loud so you can't hear their whining and crying and look out the window. Pretend you're rocking out by yourself. They'll eventually shut up, either because they're worn out, or because they think you've lost your mind. Doesn't matter, because they'll be quiet.
19. 85 degrees and 90% humidity really is too hot to babywear the 33mon/35lbs toddler. He needs to learn to walk a few miles eventually. Now is as good a time as any.
20. It doesn't matter how prepared you are, something will not go as planned. Decide how important that one thing is before you react. Otherwise, lots more things could go wrong.
21. Only stay places with washer/dryer access. I mean it.
22. Check with locals and Yelp before choosing a restaurant.
23. Go ahead and put swim suits on your children, even if you're just "walking" on the beach. They're going to "accidentally" get in anyway.
24. Have fun! But don't feel pressured to make every moment memorable, perfect, or "the best". Let it be what it is.
25. Relax. Try to at least. Try hard.