Tag Archives: vacation

Is Vacation Really a Vacation or Just Another Way to get Further Behind?

The strange thing about vacations is packing up a vehicle with all your stuff and driving many miles in order to take it to another place. The normal time period you will reside at this other place is a week. Considering you left on a Saturday, this means you will not return home until the following Saturday. More than likely, you have rented a house or condo and will be cooking all your meals. If you’re at the beach, you’ll swim, lay in the sun and possibly fish. After your seven days are up, you will re-pack all your stuff and drive many miles on the return voyage home. When you reach your abode, once again you will unpack your stuff and place it where it resides fifty-one weeks out of the year.

I bring this vacation scenario up because my assistant is taking one of these rituals this entire week. No matter how I have pleaded and cried for her to stay, she will have none of it. She is determined to take time off with her husband and leave me without a typist. What gives her the right to help me fifty-one weeks out of the year, and leave me to my own devices on the fifty-second? . . . Ahh, anyone that can put up with me for as long as she has, deserves a week away, but I am gonna miss her.

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Are We There Yet?

Vacations! Aren’t they something? Once each year, you load your vehicle full of personal artifacts, drive hundreds of miles to a house that you have rented for the week, unpack your vehicle in which you have brought all of family vacationyour treasures from home, and fill your home away from home. Now that you have your home away from home just like your home, you can relax because you feel like you’re at home.

This year we had a house full (twelve in all); four generations together for an entire week. I know, it sounds like a lot, but I do believe it was one of the best vacations I’ve ever had.

  • My dear mother (whom I was happy just watching enjoy her first vacation in years) was in attendance, along with my mother and father-in law. (Please allow me, for clarification purposes that amidst all the in-laws jokes that circle nowadays, I have been blessed with a pair that I consider my second set of parents.)
  • Next my sister and her husband (she oozes sweetness while my brother-in-law sweats hilarity).
  • From the loins of a proud father, my son in all his glory stretched across the couch doodling with his smart phone and his wife of two years, reading or better yet, playing with the little person.
  • My daughter, having pushed through difficult times and emerged victorious along with my son-in-law (he doesn’t have much hair, but he’s all right just the same.)
  •  My wonderful wife, who is just as lovely on the inside as she is on the outside.
  • And introducing, the one and only L’il Ed!! (His real name is Elijah and most everyone calls him Eli, but PaPa (that’s me). I call him L’il Ed. It’s a long story and one that bears telling; just not today. That’s fodder for another post.)

L’il Ed belongs to my daughter and her husband (You know the one without much hair, but even though he is follicley challenged, he really is a great guy.)

L’il Ed is two years old. Some folks would say that he’s twenty-six months. Since this is my blog, said blog is subject to my laws.

First law: no child over the age of twelve months may have present age stated in any other form than in one year increments. However, if applied for six months prior to next birthday and approved, parent may add (up until the age of four years) the suffix “and a half” to the child’s present age; i.e., 1 ½, 2 ½ etc.

I mean come on. Don’t you get tired of saying (for example) I’m 437 ½ months old when they ask your age? It’s either that or “none of your business.”

As for the rest of the vacation L’il Ed and PaPa swam in the pool; hit the waves and frolicked with the dolphins; caught several hundred fish and 30 pounds of crab in the surf; and built a sand castle 2 ½ miles long.

Second law: see law number one. Numbers are applicable when determining the proper distance for sandcastles.

Yep, me and my namesake had a great time. Have the same place reserved for 2015. The little fella doesn’t know it yet, but next year I’m gonna teach him wrangling and riding waterspouts 101…… Yee Haw!!

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Downsize…Downsize…Downsize

It’s that time of year again. School is out, ice cream, grilled hot dogs and hamburgers, swimming at the lake, fishing and all manner of fun stuff.

I’m speaking of none other than summer…….What’s that you say? Summer doesn’t officially arrive until June twenty-first. You’d be correct with that statement, but I’m not talking meteorology; I’m talking, good-timin-bombastic-blasting-crank-a-danken-smacka-my-head-till-the-sun-turn-it-red-funarama-in-the-middle-of-summer-ology. In layman’s terms: “Memorial Day.”

I would like to say that Memorial Day is set aside to honor the brave souls who gave it all so that we may enjoy the freedoms we are blessed with today–everything else is secondary.

God bless America!

The family vacation:My-wife-packing-for-vacation

We take a week each year to spend at the beach. Our grown children, one grandchild and last year for first time, we had the pleasure of my mother and father-in-law joining us for our yearly sojourn. This year, my mother plans to join us which will help even up the teams on our beach tackle football game.

Here’s a little bit of the preparation that goes into a week’s stay away from home:

Now, of course, we want everything in our home-away-from-home that we have in our home-not-away-from-home. This is easily accomplished if we will incorporate one word, “downsize.”

My wife and I eat very differently. So instead of one large freezer to house a week’s worth of food, we require two smaller versions to house our vittles in transit. When we get to our home-away-from-home, we will once again transfer, said vittles into a larger freezer to await our dining choice of the day. And it just so happens, purely by coincidence that several nearby grocery stores are ready to supply all the goodies that we didn’t bring from our home-not-away-from-home because we can obtain these products at the stores at our home-away-from-home.

Since we wouldn’t want to spend the week in the same clothes, we pack garments and such, accordingly. Of course, packing clothes for each day would take up entirely too much space which is why we are careful to rent a house with a washer and dryer. We bring along detergent and dryer sheets in small containers that we pilfer from the mother load, nestled in our home-not-away-from-home. No need in purchasing items from a store that’s close to our home-away-from-home, when we have plenty in our home-not-away-from-home.

Being a writer, I must have something that I can write on. A piece of granite and chisel?……Nah. A pencil and paper?…….Nah. A really, really good number two pencil and a really, really nice piece of paper?…….Nah. A typewriter?…….Nah. I know I’ll bring a baby computer that folds up and everything.

Let me see:

Have food to cook which generates dishes to wash. Have clothes to wear which generates more washing and drying. Have minicomputer–I’m all set to work. Have strategically placed grocery stores so that we can shop.

I do believe we have done it once again. Our home-away-from-home is just like our home-not-away-from-home…….Oh, there is one thing I forgot. At our home-away-from-home we get to deal with enormous amounts of sand on a daily basis…… There, now I’m done.

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Are We There Yet?

Κεφάλια, Mugil cephalus, Flathead grey mullet

grey mullet (Photo credit: dimsis)

I just returned from the second great American pastime, “vacation.” Ah, a week at the beach, what could be more relaxing? I had a chance to do some writing. I also came up with an idea for my next book.

Seven full days of good food, wonderful family, including my mother and father-in-law, a son and daughter complete with spouses, my magnificent wife and our fifteen-month-old little slice of heaven. The family’s first grandson, none other than the, “I’ve got everyone wrapped around my little finger,” the one and only, Lil’ Ed.

The weather was absolutely perfect. The water an emerald green, and prime for swimming. My son even caught a nice sea mullet. What could be better than a week of sand, surf and, well, just great stuff?

Let’s backpedal a few steps and see exactly what it takes to create a magical week such as this.

We book our accommodations a year in advance, in order to procure our desired property. Two days before departure we (and by we, I mean my wife) begin to pack. Now it will be easier and consume less paper to tell you what we don’t pack as opposed to what we do. With that being said, the list goes as follows: refrigerator, oven, toilets and various sinks.

After the necessary items are gathered they must be loaded……………………………………………………………… Now that the vehicle is loaded and everyone is hot, sweaty and worn out; we board the personnel carrier and settle in for a short five and a half hour drive.

We’re there! All we have to do is unload, but this time we get to climb stairs…………………………………….

The house that we have rented for a week is finally full of our stuff. In a few short hours our stuff will be spread about so that it is just like home.

It’s almost time for our vacation to begin only one more thing to go, food. A quick three-hour jaunt to the grocery store, and now we can play, eat and everything… Only right now we’re too exhausted… maybe tomorrow.

A good night’s sleep and we’re ready for anything. This goes on for six straight days and once again it’s time to round up our stuff. The morning of our departure we pack our vehicle, only this time we are assisted by gravity due to the fact that stairs also work going down.

We’re finally loaded and ready to head home. Five and a half short hours later we pull into our driveway. Once again we unload our vehicle. And by four o’clock in the morning all of our stuff is right back where it was a week earlier.

Even though I had a great time and enjoyed spending time with family, I’m forced to ask myself this question: why do I unload my house, pack it in my van, take it on the road to another house, pack it into that house for a week, pack it back into the van, take it on the road one more time, only to end up where I started and all my stuff back where it started?

I’m entirely too tired to even consider an answer. And knowing that I will do it all over again next year, I choose to defer and go to sleep.

Good night!

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