just when the caterpillar thought that life was over,
it became

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Vacation...Family Vacation????

Just brings the Chevy Chase National Lampoon's Vacation movie theme song to my head, Holiday Road.. This post should probably be in my other blog, Everything Happens for a Reason - but this vacation was just as much a Training...FOR LIFE! Event as anything.

Yes Kevin, Grace and I embarked on a trip to the east coast on July 3rd. Some background first... Kevin asked Grace probably back in Jan or Feb of this year.. where would you like to go on vacation this year? I'm sure had I not been around, or I know the question certainly came up later, before she put in her decision... will Kim be going with us? I can almost guarantee it.

And ok did any of your parents ask you as a kid where you wanted to go on vacation? IF and I mean IF we ever went on a vacation as kids (and mind you I am going over this in my head and I recall zero, none, zip, nada times of vacationing with my mother), I would have had no choice in the matter, I would have went where my mother decided we were going. But whatever... Grace decided she wanted to revisit Washington DC.... Hey fine by me... that is uber close to my good friend Debbie...

Well mind you because Kevin doesn't want to hear Grace bitch and moan months in advance about a plan he knows she wont' like...he holds off on telling her we'd likely be staying with my friend Debbie. No way in all that is holy am I going to Washington DC and NOT staying with my buddy! And if it had been an issue for Kevin... well dude you and Grace go stay where ever I'm staying with Debbie. Deb was totally fine with the idea of us staying all week and just site seeing from her place... DC was about 1.5 hrs away, beaches 45 min or so...

Well over the course of several weeks after her deciding where she would like to go and coming days... somehow she does find out we are staying at my friend Debbie's and oh don't ya know she is NOT happy....She assumed that because she said DC that meant we were staying in DC in a hotel all week... NOT! Then of course the bitching came of how we won't do anything fun just hang with Kim's people all week...So now we hear about this for months before the actual vacation even... I was so close many times to saying I'm not going and in retrospect would have been the smart thing to do.

So finally vacation leave day arrives... July 3rd with car loaded for bear... we head out of Illinois at 5pm. We drove to Sanddusky OH and stayed the night... getting on 294 at 5pm on a holiday weekend was a fucking nightmare! can you say PARKING LOT... sure I know ya can! So getting to Ohio should have only taking 6 hrs/7 with time change... it was a bit longer than that...up the next day and back on the road for the rest of the drive....

Finally arrive in Dover DE, and just hang out for the night go downtown to watch fireworks, got rained on....which would not be the first time on this trip...

Up early Saturday for a 5 mile run that ended up being 5.25... all the while knowing later that day is walking all over DC... get to DC around 10am and its raining, but I have cheap rain poncho and they have my umbrella...so the haze/mist/fog in the pictures... well that is exactly how the day looked 90% of the time...Parked by the Washington Monument but was to late to get tickets for the day to get in there. Checked out WWII memorial. Its this huge memorial with a large granite pillar type thing on both ends, one says Atlantic, the other end Pacific and then a pillar type thing for all 50 states and a water fountain in the middle. Saw Korean Memorial, the reflecting pond, which looked sort of nasty at the moment as they used the center area as a light off of 4th fireworks and had not cleaned it all up yet. Next stop Lincoln Memorial... the Veitnam Memorial... damn so much I just forget... Went to an interesting resturant in Virginia, Bilbo Baggins.... I had this chilled tomato gauzpacho that was out of this world... the salmon/crab cake, was good but not GREAT.. least not for what I'd expect from a crab cake on the Eastern Shore - put some crab in it damn it!

After lunch came the National Archives... or should I say standing in long lines and waiting... to get into the building we stood in line outside for a good hour... then once you get in, to see the Declaration of Independence, etc..... you stand in another line as they only let so many in the building and so many in the rotunda area. OH my feets were hurting... and now the sun is out so its humid as heck... and my head is pounding.

The next day we head back to DC to visit Arlington National Cemetary......I remember my uncle taking me there as a early teen...13/14ish... I was fascinated by it then and even now at 42 I still am.. in so many sections no matter what way you look every tombstone is perfectly in alignment. Then the sheer somberness of all these people that died for our freedom hits home. Yes rules allow immediate family to be buried there too but still. Then of course the changing of the guards ceremony - again fascinating at 14ish and still now! Next was a guided tour of the Lee/Custus home, that was interesting as was the view from the top.

Monday was my girl day with Debbie.... We headed to Ocean City and had a blast.. Kevin and Grace did Williamsburg VA for the day and 1/2... I had my share of history and really wanted some girl time.... they got back late Tuesday from Williamsburg. Worked for me gave me more Debbie time - and honestly what I love most about girls I call friends... is being able to hang with them and not really do anything but enjoy each others company, no one feels the need to entertain the other, we can watch a movie, chat, read a book, just a comfortable relationship where no words really need to be spoken.

So Wednesday we attempted the beach... first it was darn chilly and windy and rainy, hardly anyone was on the beach if that's any clue as to how the temps were. So we did much of nothing, that's Kevin, Grace and I. We offered to do mini golf, bowling, etc. nothing was clicking for her. Finally its dinner time and Debbie is meeting us at Big Fish Grill - I felt we needed to treat her to a nice dinner as a way of saying thanks for letting us crash all week at your place. The food was AWESOME!!! Afterward we just headed back to Dover with another attempt at the beach on Thursday...

Thankfully mother nature cooperated weather wise... but guess what Grace doesn't like the sand... hhhmmm don't think I've ever seen a BEACH that was concrete... nope think they call those POOLS! So we find a spot on the beach in Rehoboth and finally I get to soak in some rays. Well the sun was pretty hot and as fair skinned as I am, Grace is even fairer... even with 50 sunblock I could see her turning pink/red... so we decide to go somewhere for lunch... Kevin wanted crabs but the one place I saw in Rehoboth wanted $50 for a 1/2 dozen.... fuckin' eh crabs have gotten REALLY pricey. so instead we drove into rehoboth to Casapulla's they have THE BEST subs. Ate lunch and Grace wants to go back to the beach.... I'm done with the I don't like sand bullshit so I decided to do some shopping to take something back for the ladies at work, told them to text me when they were done, I'd window shop. Did some of that then hit Grotto's beach bar and slammed some captain and coke's and texted back and forth with Erin.

So early Friday we are back on the road heading for home... We got on the road at 4am and drove thru to Muncie IN. Kevin was doing a 1/2 Ironman on Saturday in Muncie. So after being on the road for 13 or so hours, setting up our tents for the night, browsing packet pick up and expo, we decided we were going to eat somewhere besides the place Kevin mentioned he and Lori ate at last year... And this was the straw that broke this camel's back... Grace pipes up from the back seat of the car and I quote "why do I have to be punished"... uh please to explain HOW you are being punished... "well dad said we were going to eat at a nice restaurant and now we aren't, we are going to do fast food, so why do I have to be punished because he changed his mind".... uh excuse me little girl, FIRST you have NO FUCKING idea what being punished is even about, 2nd both your dad and I have spent more money then we intended on this vacation, we'd like to save a few bucks for gas to get our asses home, and 3rd you are going to eat, we are not planning to make you go hungry... OH MY GOSH I was biting my tongue so hard I'm surprised I have one in my mouth.

Had I been so ungrateful in my day... my mother would have driven my ass home, got out the peanut butter and jelly and said you think your being punished, here ya go, eat this instead..course reality is I can probably count on two hands the number of times as a kid my mother took us out to eat.

I think the only time I really had a good time on this vacation was the day alone I had with Debbie. I have come to the conclusion I vacation much better with my girlfriends. I have also decided that it will be a long time I mean a LONG time before I EVER vacation again with Kevin and Grace.

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