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Archive for the ‘Vacations’ Category

Time: July 2006

It was a unanimous family decision that we all needed a vacation, but none of us were quite sure what destination was least likely to make us go bat-shit crazy. I suggested a cruise, where we could eat 24/7 and re-enact scenes from Titanic. Then when we got tired of each other, we could scatter to different parts of the ship or simply jump overboard. This was apparently the worst idea my mom and step-dad had heard since the last time I suggested we take a cruise.

In a maniacal, bitter frenzy to think of somewhere to go, I blurted out, “Fine then, how about a trip out west?!”

“OK!”

Soon we were ass deep in AAA books about the wondrous sightseeing destinations of the west. Mom and step-dad decided on Zion, Bryce and Arches National Park – three places in Utah that we had already been to on a Grand Canyon excursion six years prior.

If we had re-watched the video footage my step-dad took on that trip, it probably would have stopped us from making such a horrible mistake all over again. About half of our hiking footage is commentated by my mom’s out-of-breath cursing and sudden bouts of appreciation as she observed nature’s beauty.

“Oh, wow, this is absolutely gorgeous! ………Jesus Christ, look at that god-damned hill ahead of us we’re gonna have to climb up. I’m never gonna make it. That fucking sign that said this trail was a mile was full of shit!!”

mom hiking

But we ended up going anyway, and to preserve some of my sanity, I invited one of my friends who I knew was able-bodied enough to go on some of the more strenuous hikes with me. So me, my friend, mom, step-dad, sister and nephew all piled into the van with all of our shit and endured 16 hours of family merriment as we drove to our vacation destination where I figured at least one of us would either a) die of of dehydration, or b) get eaten by a mountain lion.

Fortunately none of those things happened, although my inevitable constipation was triggered by the fact that we were over a thousand miles away from the toilet my bowels were accustomed to. I couldn’t go for anything until the night we had dinner at a place that gave me diahhrea and made me vomit simultaneously, so that was certainly somewhat of a relief.

Sleeping arrangements were made even more awkward with my friend being part of the equation. It was always three people to a bed, and we had to keep switching it up as my baby nephew apparently wanted to sleep with a different combination of people every night. Otherwise he’d complain – a lot. And I wanted to hate him for it, but then he’d say something cute like, “We have a drawer!” everytime we got a new hotel room. Like that drawer or that chair was the most awesome thing he’d ever seen.

So anyway, it was the second to last night of our vacation that I had to sleep in the same bed as my mom and sister. My step-dad, friend and nephew were in the other bed. We were all lying there and waiting for our Tylenol PM to kick in. My mom had passed them out to everyone, and if someone had walked in at that moment, we could have been mistaken for a suicide cult.

The room was a little too quiet for my liking, so I decided to say one more stupid thing before we all fell asleep.

Me: Anyone up for a dutch oven?

Mom: Lord, I could probably use one of those right now.

Me: Um, do you know what a dutch oven is?

Mom: It’s a drink, isn’t it?

Me: ………

Mom: It’s not a drink?

Me: It’s when someone farts and pulls the sheet over your head, which forces you to smell it.

Mom: Oh, nevermind then. Good night, hon.

And it’s conversations like that that pretty much make up for any discomfort or inconvenience I have to put up with on a family vacation.

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