Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Vacation Advice

  1. Before making the spontaneous decision to hike up the highest mountain on the island with the 4 younger kids, take into consideration that one of the children is only 4 years old, you yourself are wearing flip-flops, and a trail labeled moderate by the National Park Service might be anything but.
  2. When, against all odds, you get to the top of said mountain and espy the parking lot full of cars driven by people who are apparently too fat/lazy/smart to drag themselves up the mountain the hard way, do refrain from snatching the cameras away from these people's faces and shouting, “You have to earn this view, dammit!” Such behavior embarrasses your spouse.
  3. Laundromats are expensive. Go naked.
  4. Menfolk, please realize it is the menopause talking when your wife spends the first evening in your nice vacation cottage crying because the top sheet on your bed is not only rust-colored with an ugly floral pattern but also has a ruffle that sticks in one's face.
  5. Remember to pack every container of leftover prescription medication that you can get your hands on. Otherwise, you may find yourself midweek regretting that half-full bottle of eardrops you left home in the medicine cabinet. You may also find yourself using a Qtip to insert antibiotic ointment into a suffering 9-year-old's ear. (Ever-skeptical Larry, upon hearing of this particular incident, asked, “What's next? Using the nail clippers to perform an appendectomy?”)
  6. Do not, under any circumstance, expect your teen daughter to express awe or wonderment in the presence of any natural marvel, be it mountain or sea. To do so would be to violate the hallowed code of sullen adolescent behavior, a code to which she steadfastly adheres.
  7. Understand that, if this same teen daughter (for the first time in her life) offers to do the family's laundry, she is not motivated by any sort of laudable desire to help out and be part of the team, as it were. Rather, the laundromat down the street boasts free WiFi.
  8. Make sure your loud and articulate 4-year-old understands the proper nomenclature for whatever carbonated beverages you may treat her to. Else, you will hear her announce to whomever is within earshot that Daddy bought her a beer.
  9. Do not assume that your husband is a tyrannical despot when he berates your teen son (on vacation!) for having hair that is “too long.” It just may be his own lame way of springing the news that said son's long-hoped-for Army ROTC medical waiver has just come through. (Oh, happy day!)
  10. It is most assuredly time to go home when your educational family vacation (natural wonders! geography! history!) degenerates into Uncle Matt teaching all the kids (including the 4-year-old) the ins and outs of poker.
  11. Those zucchini in the lefthand vegetable drawer that you forgot to clean out before you left? They're still there. And it ain't pretty.


  1. You're back!

    I have a rule about laundry and vacation. It's not a vacation if I do laundry. So, no.

    Yay for the ROTC scholarship. Money in the bank, baby!

  2. Sounds like a real family vacation!

  3. I didn't see anything about knitting...

    you said a few posts ago that you packed your knitting supplies? LOL!! I bet they stayed packed away while you supervised the mandatory family fun.

  4. Ah, vacation! Welcome home, SC. Sorry about the zucchini.
    We had pour the 'juice' of a scraped onion into a one-year-old's ear to relieve an ear infection. Garlic would have worked, too, but we only had an onion. The kid smelled like an Italian restaurant for days, but it did the trick.
    I occasionally make pina coladas for my kids. I've tried to train them to say "pina-colada milkshake" (just forget getting them to say "virgin") but they still get funny looks from outsiders.

    Congratulations to Theo!

  5. Sounds like a wonderful vacation. ;)

    Welcome back to reality! (Although it sounds like you never left!)

  6. I missed reading your posts all these days :( I am so glad you are back!

    Love your funny interpretation of your vacation!

  7. you're back!
    Laundry on vacation? I just bring extra underwear.

  8. The internet was so boring while you were gone!!!

  9. Welcome back! Now get to work (on your blog - not that other job).

  10. Welcome back! Sounds like you had a pretty good vacation.

  11. YAY! You're back!

    If we ever go on vacation again, I will remember all of this advice.
    You did, however, leave out the best vacation advice ever.
    "Be sure to schedule yourself another vacation so that you can recover from the first vacation"

  12. You're back! Sounds like it was fun - and I, too, didn't notice any mention of your knitting. I took mine with me and didn't touch it. It seemed like work on my vacation.

  13. You were missed sorely...

    When the kids were younger, I found myself explaining to a girl friend how I would get away from the cabin every 4 days or so to go in town to do the myself. It is a sad fact that I used to savor that time alone.

    They're grown now, the baby is off to college in two weeks. I'm thrilled, yet miss the good old days. I guess I should have had more than 4.

  14. I'm so glad your home. I've missed your posts.

    I am also glad, for very selfish reasons, that your vacation was not boring. :-)

  15. Congratulations to Theo! And a pokey ruffle would make me cry, too.

    Sounds like you have fun though. ;-)

  16. Family vacation----biggest oxymoron around!

    Glad you made it back in one piece!

  17. OH, this was choice.

    It reminds me of the time we dragged two teenagers and a preteen across the continent of Europe expecting them to be in awe, utter appreciation, and cheery the entire time.

    Not so much.

  18. Despite the fact that family vacation is a play on words, I am glad you got to hike in your flip flops to see great things, learn the shape of an ear canal, value the sheets and bedding at home, and grow a cure for cancer in your fridge.
    Welcome back!

  19. laundry on vacation.

    now *THAT'S* an oxymoron.

  20. Thanks for the advice, it made me smile and chucle to myself at 12:30 in the morinig. It is better to chuckle to oneself at that time, otherwise the children think I have lost my mind.

  21. Did you enforce point 3? I know it would go down fine with my 4 and 2 year olds but it's hubby that might not like that idea.

  22. If there are no gross pictures of old food then I believe someone has kidnapped you and you had sex with that person and you're trying to pretend you didn't.

  23. We were at Yellowstone marveling at people who were doing a "easy" walk down to the Lower Falls. Only a third of a mile - but a 600ft drop in elevation. They have benches at every corner of the switchbacks for a reason. At first I was sympathetic to people wearing flip flops. Then I decided they were delusional. Especially those in PLATFORM flip flops on a trail of loose gravel that was STEEP. Um, did you really think about this?

  24. Quick, take over his room!

  25. Oh, wait, that comment goes in that other post. Heh. Must have been busy moving furniture and yarn and got distracted...