Monday, July 03, 2006

Talk about a rip-off

Before our recent vacation I had a few ...let's call them "concerns." I've already professed to not being much of a worrier, but a couple things about this trip were stressing me out. Since I didn't get a chance to post them before I left (what with all the packing and the worrying and the laundry and oh yes, the job), I present them now along with the update on what actually happened.

Concern: Food. We (two kids with typical kid diets, + omnivore/sweet-tooth me) spent this vacation with my parents (low-carb, low-fat), my sister (vegetarian), and my brother and sister-in-law (vegan). While none of them are at all dogmatic or judgmental about their diets, I thought things might get a bit uncomfortable in the kitchen.
Result: Sort of valid. No one batted an eye at what I or the kids ate (and they both liked tofu and curried buckwheat noodles) but I was starving quite a lot of the time. Two years of pregnancy and nursing have really revved up the ol' metabolism. After a few days my sister and I begged for ice cream and things were much better after that.

Concern: Single parenting. Jeff couldn't come with us on this trip so I was the PIC (parent in charge) for a solid week. I knew I'd have lots of help (including on the plane, thank goodness) from my family, but it would generally be confined to daylight hours.
Result: Oh so valid. Opie did not sleep well and each and every wake-up was all mine. One night he was up at 10:30, 12, 2:30, and 5:30, with a bonus, gory nosebleed for Jo at 5. The following night he was only up twice, but each waking lasted for a good hour. Yeah, so that part sucked.

Concern: Seaside kitsch. Would there be cheesiness at every turn, as Nancy described?
Results: Invalid. Tackiness was generally limited to the shops selling innuendo-laced t-shirts, personalized shot glasses, and "tan enhancing" lotions. The condo complex we stayed in was quite tasteful as were the areas we visited on foot and by car. Of course, our unit had some questionable design choices (stenciled seashells, anyone? fake plants [seriously, why bother]? rattan?) but overall, absolutely tolerable.

Concern: Lack of internet access. I wasn't sure I could last a week without my friends in the computer.
Result: Valid! I only made it to the Internet cafe once during the trip, and I had 15 minutes there--only enough time to do a quick email check, not look at my bloglines or squeeze out a quick post. My fingers ached for you, oh keyboard!

And here's what I should have been concerned about, but was blissfully unaware prior to the trip:
  • Sunscreen application. For the love of George Hamilton. Smearing the kids and myself twice a day (minimum) was really enough to drive me right around the bend. Why hasn't anyone yet invited some kind of sun-protective soap (wash it on, it works for 24 hours)? Or how about a pill? There has to be a better way. Although, from the looks of the people baking themselves around the pool each day, perhaps there is little market for such products.
  • A dull razor. Yeah, probably would've been a good idea to check that before popping it into my cosmetic bag. At least I took care of the bikini wax before I left. To the tune of $ it just me or is that extortionate?
  • Feeling cheated. You all know I love my kids. I loved spending time with them. I had lots of help with them (my brother spent literally hours playing with Jo in the pool). But I never got to just sit on the beach and read a book. I didn't get to enjoy any of the three meals we ate in restaurants. I didn't get to go see a movie with my sister or play an uninterrupted round of Scrabble.
  • How glad I'd be to get back. Great trip, lovely family, nice break from work, but I truly am a homebody at heart.


bubandpie said...

Yeah. We do the "beach vacation" thing at the in-laws cottage each year, and I love watching Bub splashing in the waves, but it is NOT a vacation - more like a heavy-duty workout.

mothergoosemouse said...

Hear hear on the sunscreen. As expensive as it is, I'd be happy to buy it in pill form - at least I'd know that I was fully covered (literally - I hate those tiny little splotches of sunburn on those areas that I just couldn't quite reach or simply missed).

I'm sorry that it wasn't as relaxing as you'd hoped - with the wake-ups and constant kid duty.

Nancy said...

Wow, sounds like my family vacation in a nutshell. I don't think J and I eat very unhealthy by any means, but my brother and SIL were all about the low-fat and very healthy stuff, and I worried they were looking askance at our food choices.

We were luckier with the internet access though. But not with the solo relaxation time, even though we had the babysitter with us. (Yes, I am still bitter.) ;-)

Jamie said...

We took our daughter to the beach when she was 2 for the first time and as my husband was videotaping our walk over to the beach she rubbed sunscreen in her eyes and screamed bloody murder until we turned around and went back to our condo. Vacationing with the kids (especially as the sole parent) is not truly a vacation, unfortunately. Welcome back!

Lady M said...

Welcome back!

I think I wouldn't make it without internet access. You're a tougher soul than I.

Have you seen the SPF-OneMillion outfits in the kiddie catalogs? Long pants, long sleeved shirts and hoods- the kids look like they're in HazMat suits. An alternative to sunscreen, but we've haven't gone there yet.