My dad chartered a power catamaran, large enough for the five of us to eat, drink, sleep, cruise, swim around, dive from, and sun ourselves on for seven days. It was actual paradise. We hit a new island everyday. We were in the British Virgin Islands, and it was so easy to get from one spot to the next. We didn't even get out "to sea" really, because we were almost always in sight of Tortola (the largest island) and at least 4 little islands or cays. Dad was the captain and we were his crew.
Loc was also appointed "dinghy captain" and his skills were tested on one of our last adventures when we took the dinghy through a downpour to get to a tiny islet, called Sandy Spit, on the other side of the rain. I believe halfway through he said something like, "can't go back now!". Todd was our "galley boy" and prepared most of our meals on board, including an adaptation of the new-to-him classic Mitchell-Family-Vacation summertime specialty "mac & cheese & hotdogs". This trip we got fancy with Velveeta Shells & Cheese & Spam. His life and culinary prowess will never be the same. He also made other delicious things that were actual non-processed foods, but who cares about that stuff? (I do. Please don't stop feeding me, Todd. I love you.) What was my role, you ask? I took the most strenuous job on the boat: "sunpad supervisor". I spent everyday laying on that sunpad to make sure it was still there. It was. You're welcome.
We are also now officially a full dive family! Loc passed his certification dives while we were down there, so we all got to dive together for the first time ever! (Todd completed his certification on our honeymoon last year.) I also love diving with my sister. She is the most fun underwater. No offense to the dudes, but they don't quite understand our underwater talking language yet. I was so excited to be diving with her again that she talked me into pushing my free-diving skills when one of our towels blew off the railing and sank 33 feet to the ocean floor below our boat. You see, she is a very good free-diver/breath-holder/buoyancy-controller/body-pressure-equalizer. I would also like to be good at those things, so when she said "you can do it, just try" obviously I was going to try. I'm 30. Can't be the baby sister forever, right? (RIGHT?) So I strapped on my mask and fins and a weight-belt, and plunged into the sea. And well, the rest is history.
It really was an incredible trip. I know family vacations are different for everyone - some people love them and some people dread them. I wasn't sure exactly how this trip would be, but everyone was so relaxed and so on board (literally) for everything anybody wanted to do. This was the first time we travelled with just the five of us, and it was a perfect family bonding trip. (Great idea, Dad!) We had one day back on Tortola after returning the boat before we all went back to normal, non-boat-living life. It was nice to just relax and ease out of it all a little bit. Get our land legs back. There were also cats at our hotel, and I befriended one and gave him chips, so I felt a little closer to home already.
P.S. If you want a daily breakdown of this trip, Todd's been breaking it down over on his blog lately.