sitting pool side

“Mamadaddy?,” Charlie asked. When he doesn’t know who he wants to address, he always just combines our name into one word: Mamadaddy.

“Mammadaddy,” he repeated. “We want to go to the kids’ club.” And so began our family vacation without kids.

For the past few years, we’ve been jetting off to Mexico for our February break. We pick family friendly resorts with beaches, pools, and a place for the kids to play. The kids’s club at the Holiday Inn Los Cabos was so much fun, Charlie and Zacharie ran there first thing after breakfast every day. Gone. Disappeared.

Our first trip to Mexico, I honestly didn’t get the Kids’ Club thing. Maybe it was because our boys were just 3 and 12 months when went. At the time, I didn’t understand how people could just drop their kids in the morning and then pick them up in the afternoon. I mean, if you’re traveling as a family, don’t you want to vacation as a family?

I never thought it would be the boys ditching us.

boys in mexico

The Kids’ Club at the Holiday Inn Los Cabos is just a few steps from two pools. We went there the first day and dropped the boys in time for a coloring session they had asked to see. We thought they’d be there for an hour and then join us to splash in the pool, go for a walk, or explore.

An hour later, the half dozen kids from the club marched past us towards the beach. “We’re going on a scavenger hunt, Mamadaddy!” Charlie cheered. The instructors had planted coins and trinkets around the grounds the kids went off.

We didn’t see them again until lunch. And halfway through our family lunch, they asked to go back again.

It was like that every day.

They’d build pinatas, learn dance routines, play video games, ping pong, make Valentine’s Day crafts, practice Spanish, play board games, explore the beach, and more. A few times they got so excited to go, they’d arrive before the club was even open.

They LOVED Kids’ Club.

pinata building

Both Charlie and Zacharie have been in ‘school’ since they were very young. Zacharie was in daycare at 11 mos, Charlie started preschool before his 3rd birthday. They both love their “les amis” and enjoy playing with kids. I don’t want to say they don’t like playing with their parents, but when they had a chance to be with their people or their parents, they chose their people.

I remember looking over at my wife’s beach chair on the third day as we sat reading our books by the pool. “How do you like your childfree vacation?”

“No kidding.” she chuckled.  We’d just spent a week away on our own in Bermuda the previous month, and here we were doing it again. While Bermuda was us “ditching the kids with the grandparents,” this trip was more about everyone in the family finding their comfort zone and digging in to it. My wife and I liked the pool chairs, the boys loved the kids’ club and everyone was thrilled.

I never thought it was possible to take your kids on a child-free vacation, but we did it.

And it was awesome.

Just ask the boys.

parents on vacation

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