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]


  1. Surely that is the international symbol for midwifery.

    I'm sorry your camping trip was so miserable. You deserve praise for sticking it out as long as you did.

  2. Well that just confirmed it. I'm never going camping. Every bit of that sounds horrible. But hey - school starts soon, so there's that!

  3. Oh wow. You've documented the worst conditions ever. I never knew that KOAs were even public, though I see the signs all over. That description of the neighbor-grandma slayed me. Your poor daughters.

    I bet you were SO glad to get back home.

  4. FWIW, the nicest place I ever camped was Cobscook Bay State Park in Maine. Of course this was a long long time ago, but looking at photos online it still seems to be nice and woodsy.

  5. ooh. This brings back trauma filled memories of camping trips we took when I was a kid. Never again! Glad you survived to tell the tale.

  6. lmao, love it. My husband swears loudly for all to hear when shit like that happens. We haven't been camping yet this year, don't think it's going to happen either.

  7. I camped at many KOA "kampgrounds" in my childhood, most of them with an old (obviously) tent trailer. No A/C, so I don't begrudge you your A/C at all. In fact, it's part of the reason I want a trailer now.
    Your camping experiences are even worse than ours. While we've survived torrential downpours and wild storms, no stranger has ever asked me if I had my period!

  8. Well dang. I was hoping our deprivation of reading material meant your vacation was long and luxurious. Lose lose all around. We did camping over spring break, and the KOA was the Cadillac of campgrounds. We did one campground in New Mexico two nights later with not even a water spigot. Still a fee of course. We wished we had saved the KOA for the last night!

  9. Camping....ummm, nope not for me. Even before your tragic experience, I knew it wasn't for me. Glad you made it back alive.