Vacation and all that goes with it (tf)

I have returned from vacation. I need a vacation.

It was the beach kind. The kids love the beach. I love my kids. So that sorta ends the argument.

Ocean City, Maryland is our beach of choice, mostly because it’s not in New Jersey. It’s also much cheaper than New Jersey. And there’s a lot less people from New Jersey in Ocean City. The trifecta.

It’s a 5 hour drive under normal conditions, but expecting normal conditions when you’re driving to the beach is silly. It took 7.5 hours, but part of the appeal of going on vacation is the torture endured in getting there.

We stay at the kind of place that an optimist would call “rustic” and the pessimist would call “condemnable”. But the price is right and the view is spectacular and the air-conditioner works, so it was easy to overlook the large stain on the bed at groin level and the fact that the lock on our door looked like somebody took an ax to it. The people at the hotel are really nice and they have a strict “no-party” policy that they enforce like German storm-troopers, so packs of wild-eyed high school seniors filled with cases of Natural Light are treated unmercifully. When I was 17 this would have bothered me but now that I’m….er….not…..I applaud such tactics. I’m all for Democracy and Freedom and all that, but not while I’m on vacation.

I think it was our first or second night there when I saw it. The full moon. It burst over the water, making it look like some sort of gorgeous, welcoming runway. I called the kids out to see it. They too were stunned. I was so tired….but it’s amazing how something beautiful can energize you. I’ve no doubt that we miss such beauty every day, trying as we are to scratch out our little piece of ground. But maybe something so overwhelming as the way that moon peered over that water is our reminder to not go so bloody fast all the time.

The rest of the week….well….how to live up to that? We tried. Did all the beach things. Baked and peeled and worked like hell to get the sand out of our pants. We tramped the boardwalk and bought trinkets and ran for our lives when a sudden storm crashed on our heads. We saw the Harry Potter movie and we had ice cream for breakfast and stuff even unhealthier for dinner, sitting at the outdoor grill trying not to get shit on by the birds. We fought a little but mostly we reveled in being a family with only ourselves to entertain. We took goofy pictures of each other and discovered a beach ball is much more fun when you play with it indoors and the stuff you might break ain’t yours.

Our last night the fire alarm went off at 1:30am and we had to walk down 19 floors of steps. The guy behind us was carrying his infant son and slipped on the humidity soaked steps, wrenching himself backwards as his wife miraculously saved the baby from injury. Her husband had to be helped down the rest of the way, and everybody around pitched in….and stayed with him until the ambulance guys took him for x-rays. It was a sad way to end the week, but it reminded me that most folks are inherently decent when they need to be. We take care of each other….and we don’t wait for somebody else to do it first.

The drive home took 5 hours. The girls didn’t vomit once and only threatened to a few times. I somehow managed to get on the PA Turnpike without going through a toll booth and had to talk my way out of a $33 fee at the end of the line. I later learned through a well placed informant that in an 8 hour time frame, 152 other cars managed to do the same thing I did at the same exact location, which made me feel better for myself and worried about the mental acumen of Turnpike engineers….along with the usage of my state tax dollars.

But still, home. To our dog and our burned grass. Temps inside the house when we entered were a balmy 88 degrees.

Kind of made you want to go back to the beach again.

Next year though. Here’s hoping.

–Tom Flannery

~ by admin on July 25, 2011.

One Response to “Vacation and all that goes with it (tf)”

  1. Vacation in Maryland? I thought you went to New York to get married 🙂

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