Friday, August 26, 2011

My fabulous vacation (don't hate me)

We just got back from our annual beach vacation. Let me start by saying that as a stay at home mom it was less of a vacation and more of a relocation of my regular job. Kind of like if your job moved to a big new building right on the beach. With a basketball court and a hot tub. But you had the total chaos of having to move all the things in your office and now the network is down and you can't find the file you desperately need and the fax machine isn't working and you still have all your regular hum drum work tasks and stresses.

Regardless, it was fabulous. But before you start hating me and my vacation, and thinking to yourself *wow, she is a total bitch for rubbing it in our faces*, I should clarify that what qualifies as fabulous by my standards in all likelihood would be considered a total debacle by anyone else. But my bar is low. Really low. So I can employ an adjective that designates it as a success without a trace of irony.

For starters, it took ten years to get to the beach. This was not made easier by the fact that 20 minutes into the trip my son was already asking how much longer until we get to the beach? I also have come to despise the little clock on the GPS that tells you the estimated time you will reach your destination. And that sinking feeling you get in your stomach as that time gets pushed out further and further as you sit in traffic that isn't moving. Or may even be moving backwards. And toward the very end of the journey it took us an hour to go 10 miles. I could have walked from Norfolk to Duck faster. It sure would have been more peaceful. My children were fighting so fiercely and with such malice that I turned around in my seat and started beating them with the 15 stuffed animals they insisted on bringing. Don't worry, I wasn't driving.

But the drive was fabulous. I made my automotive captives watch Free to Be You and Me, and they let me sing at the top of my lungs without asking me to stop. And then they watched Annie, and I got to sing along to that as well. And they were pretty entertained by seeing mom flip out to the point where I lost my grip on rationality and beat them with a stuffed seal and shark. And they begged me to do it again and they couldn't stop laughing.

Finally we reached the beach and the weather was perfect. I woke up early the next morning and enjoyed a cup of coffee while watching the sun rise. Then I got dressed for a long anticipated run. I had been abstaining for almost two weeks while recovering from my injury and was giddy at the thought of getting out there again. And I had a really cute new running skirt and headband. So I started running and felt okay, and less than a quarter mile in there was a big pop in the tendon and the leg felt like someone had set it on fire. Which isn't a good thing. So I limped home and for the next four days couldn't walk very well and had to shuffle up and down stairs sideways, like a crab. But a happy crab because the weather was awesome and I could sit in my chair in the sand and sun and read my book. And then another. And another. And the entire current issue of Vanity Fair. Fabulous.

So the next day I decided to try riding my bike. Since it is flat at the beach I didn't have to expend a lot of leg strength there was no pain. I rode about 15 miles and was feeling great when I got back to the beach house. And then I braked in front of my kids and husband who were outside playing basketball. And my feet got caught in the clips. And I fell over. Hard. And my shoe flew off. And my right leg (not the one previously injured by the running the day before) was scraped to hell. Blood everywhere. And I just laid there for a bit because the pain in my non-scraped up leg makes it hard to bend it and stand up from a laying position. But I didn't break anything and the bike was okay. And I was wearing a really cute biking outfit. And once you injure one leg running so you can't bend it and scrape the hell out of the other biking you receive a free pass to sit in your beach chair the entire day. Fabulous.

Later in the week I came down with a terrible cold that required me to stay in bed for a while longer. Yes, I was sick. But I got to And because it was vacation my husband was around to take care of the kids. Fabulous.

And then on Thursday we had to evacuate the beach due to the hurricane. And I had many people offer words of consolation about having to cut our vacation short. But I wasn't too upset because two years ago when we were at the beach it rained six out of the seven days. On this vacation we had six straight days of sun. So I was winning even with the evacuation. Fabulous. 

Our drive home took 8 hours. Partly because of traffic, partly because the kids needed to stop every two hours because they were hungry, or had to go to the bathroom. Or both. But on this leg of our journey they watched The Sound of Music, one of my favorite movies of all time. And I got to listen in as my daughter expounded on all the best parts to her brother. And hear the delight in her voice as she sang all the songs. Fabulous.

So yes, a sane person would say my vacation, or *relocation* as I prefer to refer to it, was an unmitigated disaster. But I prefer to refer to it as simply fabulous.

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