Saturday, August 13, 2016

A Joy To All

Gifford's ice cream in the evenings, too...
Having not learned our lesson from earlier this month, Larry and I are embarking on our main camping vacation of the summer, up to Acadia National Park in Maine. Considering that it has been over 90 degrees here forever and that tells me Bar Harbor has been topping out near 75 degrees every day, I'm willing to risk it. Besides, we are familiar with this campground, the one of the excellent bathrooms and the morning pastries.

Of course, I have no idea how we will manage to pack up the car and load the bicycles and all that, as the heat wave here shows no sign of letting up before we leave. I'm thinking it will be somewhat akin to a space walk, where Larry goes out there in a climate-controlled suit and tied to a rope, so we can pull him in should the 100-degree temperatures and overwhelming humidity render him disoriented and unable to function.

I went to Panda Express with Susie today (because she thinks it is the BEST PLACE EVER, and haven't I raised kids with refined tastes?) and my fortune cookie said Your sense of humor is a joy to all. I made sure to show that to Larry, because he doesn't appreciate me enough.

Apple cider vinegar and rotting grapes - yum!
I appreciate him, however. We had the fruit fly invasion to end all fruit fly invasions this past week. Despite Susie's diligent efforts with the fly swatter (we pay her a quarter per bug and she's earned upwards of 6 dollars so far) and our handy-dandy homemade fruit fly traps, we weren't making much headway until Larry nobly cleaned out one of our cabinets, wherein resided a bag of potatoes that were apparently spontaneously generating these little pests. This beat my approach, which would have involved a flamethrower or two.

And that's all, folks! Larry and I need to start arguing over what has to go in the camper this year.  I'm thinking rain ponchos might be a good idea, for starters...

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Not Dead Yet

Well! Looks as though I took a vacation there, doesn't it? I didn't really, I just didn't feel like writing anything down. Which is scary, because once you take away this blog, I have nothing to do but look at the Facebook and wonder why my kids don't listen to me anymore.

I think I'll write a book: How NOT To Live a Fulfilling Life.

So, yeah, I found out over the past week that the company I had a contingent job offer from was not awarded the contract. So, no job for me. I'm still trying to figure out if another contractor that I applied to got it, but I am not too hopeful.

Another book: Life Decisions That Guarantee You Will Never Be Employed Again.

We did take a mini-vacation last week, to the beach. Or, more precisely, we got it into our heads that it would be FUN to hitch up the camper and take the youngest two to the seashore, staying at a local campground for 3 nights.

I don't even know where to begin detailing all the things wrong with this plan.

Last year we tried something similar, staying at the state park near the beach. That would have gone well, aside from camping next to a major highway and aside from Larry's having to pack up the entire camper in the dark the second night because I thought I was dying and preferred to experience my demise closer to home.

You may not want to know
So THIS year, we nixed the highway camping spot and decided to try a KOA. We've never done that before. But they always look like fun, and hey, for camping they are price-y, so the amenities must be pretty great there, right?

For starters, the mineral-rich water tasted terrible. Seriously. The girls tried it first and complained, so of course I told them to stop being fussy. Then I tried it and spit it back out. I couldn't even rinse my mouth with it when brushing my teeth. The smell was so strong that showers were a nauseating experience.

Larry pretended it was fine.

The extended family camping next to us were right out of a bad sitcom. The grandmother was a dead ringer for Carol Burnett, when she plays a family matriarch type hailing from rural America. Within 5 minutes of meeting me and the girls and introducing 2 of her granddaughters, she asked if my daughters had started their periods yet. I don't think Rachel and Susie will ever forgive me.

The weather couldn't make up its mind, but it did seem to have it in for us (and, yes, I do know that is not the KOA's fault).  It kept alternating between devastatingly humid and rainy. It got so humid, in fact, that we did something we've never done while camping before - we zipped up all the windows and turned on the air conditioner.  Seriously, it was either that or drive back home. Let ye who don't vacation in air-conditioned hotels and bungalows throw the first stone.

Our second day there, we left the beach just as thunder started. By the time we got back to the campsite, it was raining torrentially. Picture it - we're sitting in the van, water streaming down the windows, the camper 20 feet away a mere blur. And Larry says, "Okay, I think we can have the girls start loading the suitcases into the van." And I said, "No, we can't. Why don't we stay until tomorrow morning, as we planned?"

International symbol for ping pong, apparently
Have I mentioned that deep-woods-camping Larry really hated the campground? His way prevailed, so Susie and I splashed over to the activity room to play ping pong, leaving poor Rachel to help Larry pack up the van and camper in the torrential rain. After a mishap where Larry managed to drive the van over the large metal fire ring (helpful hint: DO NOT try this at home) and a tense interval when Larry discovered a problem with the trailer hitch and swore not-so-softly under his breath, we finally departed.

The rain stopped as we drove off.

[KOA sign image: KOA]
[Ping Pong symbol: Free vectors]