Friday, August 5, 2011

Top Ten Things Learned on My Family Vacation (and it's not over yet. . .)

She is the substance of my dreams, a spectra in the wind
--Psychomania, The Damned
Ah, vacation.  In my mind’s eye, gentle waves lick the shore of a sugar-sand beach.  I hold an umbrella topped concoction in one hand, a romance novel with a cover celebrating man nipple in the other.  
I’m set to recharge my inner gypsy.
Hubs and I haven’t had an official getaway for over five years--since back in the B.C. era (Before Children).  But this week, we packed up the cooler, a pile of electronic toys to amuse and delight the senses of little boys, and enough inflatable beach gear to make the Macy’s Thanksgiving day sponsors shudder with envy.
We’re on vacation.   
However, to get to the beach from my beloved landlocked home requires a trek of Griswold style proportions.  I have traversed eight states in four days.  Which translates to about twenty-three hours of driving/riding so far.  Time in a confined space, especially when any minute, a hard turn could result in being crushed by six boxes of Capri Sun, a Nike bag filled with coloring books and a boogie board, will teach you a lot about yourself.  
For instance, I can’t read in a car.  Gives me a raging headache.  And despite a fashionable neck pillow in the shape of a giant letter “C” I am unable to sleep bolt upright in the passenger seat of a Jeep with questionable shocks.  Hubs, being the self-appointed driver, is not much of a conversationalist.  He grips the steering wheel white-knuckled as dually trucks with naked lady mud flaps and those obnoxious rubber testicles hanging from their back axles try to kill us.  That means I’m forced to entertain myself. 
So around hour eleven, delirium set in, along with ass numbness.  In retrospect, they could have been one and the same.  I had a vision, and here it is:
Top Ten things learned on my family vacation (and it’s not over yet. . .)
10.  A gym membership costs about $30 a month.  A good pair of running shoes about $100.  But the quadriceps strength to hover over a truly disgusting bathroom toilet in an Oklahoma truck stop is freaking priceless.  I knew I was doing those lunges for something.
9.  Twelve hours of SpongeBob Squarepants sends me into a near homicidal rage.  If I ever find you, you moronic yellow cleaning implement, I will scrub every toilet from here to Pensacola with you and laugh at your screams.  And that goes for your little starfish, too. 
8.  I am a goddess of cougar proportions to redneck adolescents.  I know this because a toothless dude in the gas station winked at me as his mom chain-smoked in their Reliant K-car outside.  I was wearing a tank top, flip flops, and what was left of a bag of Doritos.  Hubs was curiously not threatened.
7.  If you sit long enough in one position, your entire lower body will go numb.  Do NOT attempt to shake out the pins and needles while in the passenger seat because your husband will scream at you to sit back down, truckers will honk at you, and the Louisiana State Patrol will not understand the need to restore circulation to the lady parts.
6.   After sixteen hours in a car, you don’t notice there’s blood on the door of your hotel room until it’s way too late.  Hubs tried to reassure me that it was just ketchup, but I know better, the splatter pattern was all wrong.  I didn’t bring my gun, but at least I had my bed bug spray.  Actually, I may be more scared of the bed bugs.  
5.  I have the bladder of a hamster.  There’s a lot of things I will do, but peeing in a Big Gulp cup at 70 mph because Hubs doesn’t want to exit the interstate is not one of them.  I still have some pride.
4.  Slim Jims and Pixie Sticks make a poor substitute for a meal.  When mixed with a Red Bull and E-Z Cheez, a vision from the spirit world will visit you on a desolate Oklahoma highway, precisely at the same moment the radio station plays that song by Europe for the twenty-third time.  Then again, it could have been a Chupacabra.  They love hair metal.
3.   After you commune with God via Pixie Sticks, Satan will communicate with you in a different manner via your bowels.  That one won’t be near as pleasant, and will occur just when you have left the most pristine restroom of the journey.  You will be forced to share a two holer with a one-armed dude named Jo-Bob at a truck stop in Mississippi who will tell you about the joys of catfish noodling.
2.   Hubs finds joy in posting vile vacation photos of me on Facebook with cute little tags, like “Mommy drooling” or “My beautiful wife with a bacon mustache.”  But revenge is a dish best served in a Big Gulp cup.  And he thought it was just old Mountain Dew.
1.  There is a wandering tribe of porn dependent interstate travelers that need an adult novelty store every ten miles.  Several thousand square feet of prime billboard space is dedicated to advertising the carnal delights.  Then again, maybe the dude beside you on I-10 is just buying that blow up doll to fool the people in the HOV lane. 

Happy Friday!  And for all you traveling this summer, hope you have a safe and inspiring journey.


  1. You killed me from the first one! That's why I don't like vacations. And even more grateful I still live in BC.

  2. Now you've just killed my wife as well, who had to come in to see what I was laughing at...

  3. OMG,OMG, OMG. You must stop being so funny. You are giving me bladder spasms. Also, now I have visions of you squatting in Oklahoma bathrooms and it might possibly ruin our professional relationship forever.
    Not really.
    I do believe, however, you might have eaten enough preservatives to keep you looking young until the year 3000.

  4. I just peed a little bit - stop already. Reminds me of the time my husband and I crossed Kansas. Five legged cow 300 miles ahead - we had to stop!

  5. I learned to bring my own toilet paper on every vacation...

  6. Alex--I did not mean to verbally assault or maim you in any way, it's in violation of my probation. Just wait, some day you'll be standing on the side of a busy interstate while your toddler sits on the potty chair in the bed of a pickup truck, too.

    Lydia--As if you don't have enough other dirt on me to ruin any modicum of professionality I may have once had. If I eat one more Twin Bing, they can stuff me in a jar and exhibit my carcass at the Smithsonian.

    YONKS--Kansas was one of my eight states. And now you have guaranteed I'll be seeing a 5 legged cow on my way back home. I will also work on the Kegels in your honor.

    Sarah--that is an important tip. I always make sure to have those mini tissue packs in my purse when I venture into truck stop toilets--some strangers don't take kindly to a disembodied voice from the next stall hitting them up for toilet paper.

  7. I'm so glad you stopped over at Lydia's blog so I could come meet you over here. You are H.I.L.A.R.I.O.U.S.! You are giving me visions of next week when me and the fam are going on vacation. Oh Lord - I'll remember no Pixie Stix and Slim Jims! Thanks for the laugh and the laugh and the laugh...!

  8. Great post, SO, funny! I just came home from a little vacation myself. The drive wasn't nearly as long, but we were subjected to watching Dora and Spongebob for the whole five hours! :)

  9. So funny! Travelling for long hours with little ones is so not filled with joy and sunshine!

  10. I haven't laughed so hard in a long time. All of us who travel by car have experienced these things, but none have said it as well. Kudos.

  11. thanks for those hilarious travel notes and tips =D

  12. ROFL... I just got back from a vacation of my own, but we didn't have nearly as many interesting events as you did. The main thing I learned is that any trip goes a whole lot better if you don't let every little thing irritate you. Way to go for turning life's little irritations into a humorous post. =o)


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