I'm pretty certain that my husband thought that our summer here in Saigon was going to suck big-time. No matter how cheerfully I assured him that the only holiday I was taking with kids was a holiday in which he came with us and that we'd be happier at home with our own beds, books, toys, etc., he didn't quite believe me and predicted massive boredom. Right until the last day of classes for Madeline, Chris kept asking if he could send the kids and me to places like Singapore, London, or Hong Kong for a week, just to break the monotomy. He presented me with a listing of children's summer activities in Bangkok, even. He even offered to send me and the girls to the US a week ahead of his arrival, and I turned that down. A week in a nice hotel by the Smithsonian wasn't even a little tempting - my kids grow tired of museums (and walking to museums) quite quickly.
I've traveled alone with my kids three or four times now, and while it might look like a vacation on the surface, going alone is really a lot more work for me. The "vacation" part doesn't really happen the way that it does when the four of us travel to together. So this year, I'm waiting.
We're staying in Saigon except for the two weeks that Chris has booked off. It's been fine, actually. Life here isn't really any more boring than it normally is, and it's a little nicer, in some ways. I can take the kids out for lunch at the local cafe, and their playground area isn't crowded. I don't lose sight of Sadie in amid the packs of children that are there during the school year, and it's a lot less likely that a group of eight year olds have commandeered the swingset. The grocery store hasn't yet run out of anything that I wanted to buy, so my kids are happy because I can always find strawberries and the their favourite breakfast cereal.
Since the kids have been off for summer holidays, I've been planning special cooking projects a couple of times a week Rice Krispie squares are a consistent success, though last week's attempt to make sunflower seed butter has been put on hiatus until I troubleshoot what we were doing wrong with the food processor.
The children from next-door have been around as well, so all the kids have been running between our houses a lot.
Madeline starts two weeks of art camp the week after next. There aren't a lot of choices for summer camps here, but she did have the option of chosing dance or sports instead. Sadie was too young for any of the summer programs except for the one at the Montessori school, but it was ridiculously expensive (nearly $300 for five half-days/week).
I know that summer would be a lot more fun if we were living in somewhere like St. John's again - there'd be more summer camps, playgrounds, parks, a library to visit, and probaby more friends at home to play with, but staying here in Saigon for most of the summer hasn't been a bad experience at all.