Of course, it was only the latter that felt like the traditional definition of vacation, but I'm not complaining.
I am neither an athlete nor a daredevil, and I am the only girl in the house. One of the main reasons I plan these "non-stop, on-the-go" vacations is to give my two boys -- 12, and about to turn 15 -- a true chance to bond.
The truth is, they are very different boys with very different interests, and at home, with other options at their fingertips, they don't always spend the kind of quality time together I had hoped they would.
But shoved in a car with new things on the horizon, there is truly the need and opportunity to bond. To cuddle up together. And to find common ground.
There were silly, fun, exhausting matches of us against them (we lost, we lost, and, er, we lost), and, more importantly, there were Federer-Nadal quality matches between them that lasted more than two hours.
In the end, the older son bettered the younger son by a few mere points, which in our house is a very good and important thing.
For me, the vacation had high highs (I am now officially a zipline addict) and low lows (sometimes, in a family of three men, I am the only one to rally to do anything and everything, and yet, still, the far less appreciated and, -- harder -- the less "wanted" parent).
But the knowledge that my boys, for a few short days, bonded and admired each other, was well worth the money, the heartache and the trip. And, my own personal exhilaration was a bonus.