Sunday, June 27, 2010

Newspaper column

I am enjoying the best part of my weeklong summer vacation to Myrtle Beach right now -- the glorious anticipation.

It occurred to me when I started thinking about how much work still needs to be done before we even start packing the car that perhaps vacation is better in theory than in reality. We made reservations in January, and knowing that I would have my toes in the sand in July was enough to get me through most of winter.

And now that it's just five weeks away, I can almost taste the oceanside margaritas. I bought a new bathing suit and a thick novel that looks very promising. My husband picked out a bunch of new "beachworthy" shirts, as he calls them. And our daughter is very excited to have her very own bucket of colorful sandcastle-making tools.

You know, the fun stuff.

What we haven't had to worry about yet is packing. We haven't had to debate over what stays and what goes. What we have room for and what we don't. We haven't had the argument about who's driving or which route to take. Or whether we remembered the sunscreen. Not to mention the fun of attempting our first 10-hour car trip with a recently potty-trained toddler.

And every vacation I've ever been on, although mostly filled with wonderful moments, always has at least one huge disaster in there somewhere -- sometimes more.

I took a trip to Cancun, Mexico, with my college roommates for spring break our senior year. The memories that instantly come to mind are getting attacked by an unruly peacock in the courtyard of our hotel, having my watch stolen right off my wrist by a group of boys pretending to sell bracelets and ending up on the back of a jet ski with a man who spoke zero English because mine broke down in the middle of our snorkeling adventure.

For our honeymoon, my husband and I went on a Caribbean cruise. Although I can easily call it the best vacation of my life, there were definitely some moments we could've done without. Like when my husband missed a spot on his upper lip while applying sunscreen and ended up with a giant Hitler-like mustache blister. Or getting lost in Mexico when the cab driver misunderstood our desired destination. Or forgetting our bag filled with our formal wear. We felt like jerks in shorts when other people had on tuxes and ball gowns.

Before we got married, we took a little getaway to Ocean City, Md. We were in heaven until we realized we had forgotten towels. It didn't seem like a big deal because there were a million stores filled with towels of every imaginable design and color. But the ones we picked, when wet, bled bright blue and red dye all over our skin, our clothes and our stuff.

Then there are the little things like when I locked my keys in the car on a road trip in Massachusetts. Or when the border patrol agent in Canada apparently thought I looked suspicious and emptied my entire car, including the contents of every suitcase onto the road. Or when I ended up staying in a gritty, disgusting motel when trying to be spontaneous and not make reservations.

But even though those things were nightmares at the time, looking back I guess that's what vacation is all about. Experiencing something new and having funny stories to tell -- good and bad.

I can't wait to see what this one brings. Just hopefully not a flat.

9 comments:

The Plainsman said...

HaHa, "The bleedin' towels!" said in his best faux British accent. True, the anticipation is a big part of the fun, as are the extras - those disasters as well as the unplanned great times never imagined. The added plus for you both this time will be to see it all unfold in Alli's eyes, too.

Janice said...

"Like when my husband missed a spot on his upper lip while applying sunscreen and ended up with a giant Hitler-like mustache blister."
HAHAHAHA

Kristin said...

That's the fun of vacations and road trips, thoughh. You never know what's gonna happen(:

Ray said...

"Or when the border patrol agent in Canada apparently thought I looked suspicious and emptied my entire car, including the contents of every suitcase onto the road."

^^OMG, that's horrible! I would have died.

My worst vacation memory would have to be back in 2004 in Florida (my first time to Disney World); getting my video camera stolen! It happened on the last day, as were leaving our hotel----to head in a few hours----to the airport. I had realized that my video camera was missing, as we were packing the car to leave. After me being responsible with it, making sure to never leave it at any of the amusement parks or anything, finally on that last day it was gone.

I'm 100% positive someone working at the hotel stole it. And to this day I'm still upset about it. Its like steal anything BUT my memories (the cruelty of it pisses me off).

BUT ANYWHO: Here's hoping that nothing bad happens on your vacation to Myrtle Beach, and that you all have a glorious time! =D

novelle360 said...

Ray, I didn't include in the column that he rifled through my tampon box, too. I wanted to choke him.

Ray said...

RYC: Wow! O.O What a JERK!

Anonymous said...

I'm sure I'm not the only one thinking this: I miss your posts so much!!!!

I hope you are well.

Anonymous said...

I miss your posts too! I hope you had a great summer and hopefully you can update soon with one of your letters to your daughter. Those were always my favorite. :)

Mia said...

I hope everything's okay!! it's been too long!