Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Family Vacations

I’ve been in sort of a writing slump lately. I think it’s my keyboard. I de-funkified it last week and when I took the space bar off to clean it, it didn’t seem to fit back in the slot correctly. And now it makes a big clunking noise every time I press it, which – you know – it’s the space bar. You hit it a lot. Maybe the dirt kept the clunking noise to a minimum, I don’t know.

Oh well. Probably I should’ve just bought a new keyboard, which I totally deserve. I mean, I’ve used this keyboard so much that half the white letters on the keys have worn off. It’s a good thing I’m old school and know how to type without looking at the keys or I would’ve been in serious trouble.

But anyway…

Because I love you all so much, I’m going to ignore the clunking noise and try to write a blog today.

My friend Barb suggested I write about vacationing with adult siblings and their families and she wanted to know if it was a good or bad idea.

Well, thank you, Barb, for that wonderful suggestion. I happen to be an expert on that topic! (What are the odds?!)

The answer is: It is both a good idea and a really bad idea at the same time. Mostly it depends on the accommodations.

I have vacationed my whole life with relatives at our family cottage on Cape Cod. Every year. This means that over the years I’ve been there with grandparents and parents and single siblings and married siblings and aunts and uncles and a niece and a nephew in various combinations and at various times. I’ve been there with just one other person and I have been there with a mind-boggling 10 other family members. Only once did I go there by myself, which was a much different vacation experience. (Don’t tell anyone, but I was actually not unhappy there by myself!)

This year will be no different. Vince and I will head up there in a couple weeks to spend a few days with my parents, brother, sister, brother-in-law and niece. In a small 3-bedroom cottage with 1 small bathroom.

This is where the accommodations discussion takes place.

Now don’t get me wrong, we will have a lovely time. We will drink wine and eat lobster and talk and laugh and, if the sun is out, will probably walk to the beach and dunk ourselves in the oil-ball-free (so far) ocean. We will probably also snip at each other and complain about the fact that there is no air conditioning and there is only one small bathroom for the eight of us.

My parents stay at the cottage throughout the summer, so their bedroom is safe from calling dibs. The second bedroom has a double bed that is, quite frankly, hard as a rock. You might as well be sleeping on the floor. And the third bedroom features twin beds. The mattresses on these twin beds should’ve been replaced years ago. Thus, when one lies on a twin bed, one sinks. And when one gets up in the morning, one vaguely resembles a soft pretzel.

I sort of feel like Goldilocks when I visit the cottage: This bed is too hard…this bed is too soft. Haven’t really gotten the ‘this bed is just right’ thing down yet.

My brother – the smart one – decided years ago to avoid the bedrooms altogether. He brings his air mattress and sleeps in the closed-in porch. There is always a cool breeze coming off the ocean. Thus, he sleeps comfortably and wakes up well-rested.

And I think my sister and her family have decided to stay at a local hotel this year.

Ah, the times they are a’changin’.

I’ve always envied extended families who gather for annual vacations at a large resort where everyone has their own room. They have their own bathrooms and kitchenettes. They have their own control for the A/C. And the beds probably don’t cause pretzel-like contortions of the spine that require months of chiropractic work to straighten.

But since my family doesn’t do those “large resort” vacations, Vince and I are already thinking about our sleeping arrangement options. We can’t load up the car with our own air mattress since we’re flying. But maybe if we wear the same clothes every day we can pack the air mattress in our carry-on luggage? It’s an option. On the other hand, there is no washer and dryer in the cottage and I refuse to make a daily trip to the Laundromat.

Maybe instead we should just make the trip to the local Mattresses-R-Us so we can say, “Ahhh. This bed is just right!”

I don’t think, however, that I added New Mattress Purchase to the vacation budget so I guess this means we won’t be bringing back anyone one of those “My friends went to Cape Cod and all I got was this lousy T-shirt” T-shirts.

(Hope no one is too disappointed.)

No comments:

Post a Comment