Vacation recap

Yesterday was my last day of vacation staycation off. I just don’t know what to call it. It’s probably no secret that a vacation with two kids 3 and under is hardly restful, so while calling it a vacation is wrong, even the “-cation” part of staycation just rubs me the wrong way. Here are some handy reminders that I may need to review when planning our next trip to ensure sanity next time around:

  • If at all possible, avoid making the first day of your time off a 19 hour day of packing, travel with the two kids 3 & under, trying to coax the two kids to sleep in unfamiliar beds and surroundings, and picking up all members of the party.
  • When hiking, make sure none of the children goes too far ahead, potentially selecting the wrong trailhead. You know, that one that goes 600 miles to the Mexican border? Avoid that happening.
  • Keep in mind that all sightseeing road trips are for everyone else. You will be spending every stop feeding a child, calming a child, or helping a child use the bathroom.
  • But fear not! You will have plenty of time to sightsee blue skies and trees from inside while you man your station at the kitchen sink, where you will be stranded doing dishes for 9 people, 4 of whom graze throughout the day, requiring an endless supply of clean dishes.
  • Be sure and eat out as much as possible at restaurants you’ve been dying to try. Because restaurants are tons of fun with kids 3 & under, am I right?! You may not get to eat the food you ordered your Better Half selects for you (because you’re not given the chance to read a menu nor are you around when orders are taken) until hours later but you’ll be sure to enjoy the ambiance of the potties, on account of the parade of children who decide one after another, but never simultaneously, that a trip to the potty is necessary.
  • Bring a bottomless supply of coffee because you will get no naps. None.
  • And/Or bring benadryl for the children.
  • And/Or BYOB. So you can doctor up your coffee so you can prevent yourself from becoming a total witch to your family. You won’t be going anywhere most days anyway.
  • The day your time off ends, you will get to go to bed at 6:00 p.m., though and sleep a glorious 11 hours. And it will not be enough.

Judging drivers by cars

For the past week, my family has been here visiting. In order to accommodate everyone, we had to rent a vehicle, and when it came time to select what to rent, the only two vehicles that would fit everyone were a minivan and an SUV. I was not looking forward to driving a minivan but we thought it would be easier for my dad to get in & out of (he has physical difficulties) than the SUV, and probably more spacious for everyone crammed inside. So I reluctantly hit reserve.

Turns out it is awesome. With one notable exception of black leather seats – a bad idea anywhere in the summer but most especially so in Phoenix- it was undoubtedly the right choice. Comfy seats, enough room for everyone, cup holders galore, and…an entertainment system that allows us to play movies. Okay, yeah yeah, those have been around awhile, I guess, but not for those of us driving a 2001 vehicle. So we decided that Dawdler Toddler would get to ride in the “special vacation van” to take advantage of watching Cars…in a car. Her little mind was blown. The very first thing she said to me after getting in the van & me showing her that it played movies was “Mommy? How come our truck doesn’t play movies?!?” And she cried when we told her we had to take the van back last night.

I always knew our kids would eventually judge us for driving a piece of crap car. I just never thought that would happen before one was even 3 years old.

What is this ‘Vaca’?

I’m in LA for a couple different work things, and had dinner last night with my BFF & her fiance Josh in Santa Monica. I was mulling over their beer selection, and said something about how the beer I wanted was kinda pricey but since I was on vaca, I’d get it anyway. Then Josh tore me a new one. “Vaca?! VA-CA?? You are here for WORK. Yes, you might be out to dinner with friends, but this is no vaca.”

He went on to explain that, in his world, vacation is time off from work used 1) for fun and 2) not to visit family or go to a wedding or a funeral or a birthday party or anyone else’s event. By that definition, I have not had a vaca since Thanksgiving 2003. You read that: SEVEN YEARS. Because we live in Arizona but our family lives in Tennessee, Minnesota, Massachusetts, New York, California, any time off I take from work is for traveling to visit family. Especially since certain family members refuse to visit here. I can’t remember us having had any family visit us since January 2007.

That’s it. Plotting a summer vaca. A real vaca.

Rants & Raves of the Year (2006 edition)

It’s tempting at this time of every year to look back and reflect on what has passed in the previous 360 or so days. So why resist temptation? In no particular order…

Raves to you, Slate Ad Report Card. I often think that if I could dream up a job, it would be ad critic. That way I could still apply all of my analytical skills & intelligence but to something I really care about: TV. Still I have to say (albeit humbly), you missed a few on your worst of the year-list. What about the Cingular Stop the Catbox piece? Even when I didn’t know what a casbah was, I still knew the name of the song! Not to mention, last I checked you gotta know the name of a song to download it, you retards. And don’t even get me started on that Gap ad featuring Common.

Rants to you, Fergie. You drive me all the way from the C to the R to the A to the Z-E-Y.

Rants to you, Twitwit. I’m still putting out fires started as a result of your staggering incompetencies.

Rants to you, Time magazine. I assure you, they were not thinking of me when they chose You as 2006 Person of the Year.

Raves to you, vacation time. June spared me barely two weeks between the day I landed a job and the day I had to start work. Knowing I might never know this “vacation” again, I immediately took flight. Visiting friends and family accompanied my long stints of doing absolutely nothing and relishing every moment of it. Good thing, too, because with all of my job duties, I may never see you again, Vaca.