I’m Good On the Vacation Now

So I mentioned the other day that we are on vacation. Specifically, we are visiting family in Central Oregon. This will be the longest visit we have ever made here.

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In the past, we’ve come up for two or three days at a time. This time we made it a ten day jaunt; and let me tell you guys…on Day 7 I’m ready to go home.

There is no such thing as a “vacation” for mothers.

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Sorry, but there isn’t.

Anyone that tells you she has small children and was able to go on vacation with said children and actually came back feeling relaxed is a fucking liar.

I’ve still been doing laundry. I’ve still been ref’ing the fights. I’ve still had to cook and clean and administer medicine and answer “can I have a snack” thirty to fifty times a day and tuck in and bathe and homeschool. And then there was that whole incident when I learned that they had not packed appropriate clothing for the weather.

It sounds cliche, but by the time we get home Sunday night I’m going to need a vacation from my vacation.

My husband caused some major shade to be thrown my way by his family.

The first three nights we were here, we stayed at his grandparent’s home. But when it was getting to the point where he had to fly home for work and a job interview, he realized that the arrangements there were not going to work for the whole ten days.

Besides their bedroom, they have a very uncomfortable couch, a double sized bed in a tiny extra bedroom, and a whole lot of hardwood floors. Beyond that, they go to bed around 8 o’clock every night, and get up around 6 o’clock every morning. So from the time they go to bed until the time we go to bed, we’re desperately trying to keep everyone quiet. And then first thing in the morning we’re woken up with their chores, their music, their breakfast, and their bickering.

For a few days, we could all cram into that space and deal with it. But for ten days? It’s not very realistic, especially with the dog sleeping halfway up my asshole all night long and the children getting more and more difficult by the day from having been woken up so early every morning.

So my husband drove down the street to the first nice hotel, and checked us in for the remainder of the trip. He then flew home for the whole work and interview thing I mentioned before; then tomorrow he’ll fly back and enjoy the comfortable beds in the hotel room as we have all week.

In response, since he flew home, I have gotten some major shade from his grandparents over the issue. They don’t think it’s right that when you stay in the same town as family that you would stay in a hotel. They think we should all just deal with being uncomfortable, and that it’s not a big deal to have to get up early every morning for 10 days.

They’re old; they’re set in their ways – I get it! But that didn’t make the flack I’m catching daily any easier to take. Tonight his grandmother yelled at me that when he gets back tomorrow night, I should let him sleep on the bed alone and sleep on the floor to give him space to rest. Because he works so hard.

FUCK THAT is about all I have to say to that one.

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There isn’t a lot to do here.

We’ve shopped. We’ve eaten. We’ve shopped and eaten more. We went to the lone, local museum. Then we shopped and ate again.

Now everyone’s bored. Today I knitted an entire scarf. Yesterday I did an entire scratchboard drawing (that typically takes around 12 hours to do).

And the children are going stir crazy. If they have to do one more puzzle to keep busy, I may have to coax them down off a ledge.

We’re city folk. How terribly hillbilly and rednecked for me to say that, but it’s damned true. Of course we enjoy the peace and the quiet. The vegging out on the couch eating loads of Italian food while Clark Gable movies play in the background.

But we can only take so much. We’re getting antsy and bored. We’re ready for our regular lives to resume.

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You know, there was once a day when I would have loved to go on a vacation and never come back. I could live on hotel food and in different rooms weekly without batting an eyelash. I guess as I get older, though, I have become more of a homebody. As if what came shuffling through the front door along with my 30s was a sense of stay-put-edness. Or maybe I’m just on burn out with the visiting family thing – I need a vacation to somewhere exotic where I know no one, and can therefore be entirely myself.

Whatever the case may be, our daily routine of tennis-school-tennis-school-laundry-clean-laundry-cook never seemed so attractive.

 

Vacation Reports 2, 3, 4, 5: I Feel Nice Again

Apparently I am becoming nice again. In fact, as I write this there is a large group of about thirty people in the lobby of our hotel, all making noise and being the biggest pigs humanity has to offer – and I’m not even going to blog about them. Half of them are not fully clothed, with large guts hanging out the bottom of their shirts. They’re eating loads for fried chicken and all of their kids are screaming. A separate group brought down buckets of beer and have begun what appears to be a drunken Magic the Gathering. And some lady just came down having gotten locked out of her room with nothing but a towel to cover her. Well maybe I am blogging about these slovenly members of society by virtue of mentioning them, but the point is it isn’t even annoying me as much as it normally would. I feel nice again.

But I digress.

So I’m a little behind on my vacation reports, mostly because I’ve been so freaking busy that I barely have had enough time to sleep. We still have roughly seven days left of our trip and while it is winding down, there is still a lot coming up. So excuse my lateness of posting, but here are vacation reports 2, 3, 4, and 5.

Vacation Report 2: Heather has changed a lot in the 10 years away

All of you faithful blog followers may not believe it, but I wasn’t always the snarky, misanthropic bitch I am now. I mean, I’ve always been blunt and no-nonsense, but I also didn’t have such a virulent hatred of humanity. I wasn’t such a diva either, which I clearly am now after living in California for over a decade.

On the first night I got into town, my closest friends gathered at the local bowling alley for bowling and drinks, and immediately it was reported how much of a California girl I have become. I talk like a Californian, I have mannerisms like a Californian, and as my cousin Clayton informed me today, I’ve become a little posh.

I don’t like this.

After a few days of being back in my city, I felt like myself a little more. I could hear more of my accent returning, I felt calmer and less high-strung (like I do in California), and more than anything, I felt comfortable being myself. In California, we are very concerned about what everyone around us thinks. We gossip. We  judge. And we are fake. In the Midwest, I am sure there is still a lot of that, but people seem to care a lot less about what others think.

What hasn’t changed much, though, was the house I grew up in. It looks the same, which I documented with about a hundred photographs from different angles.

Vacation Report 3: My family reads my blog

So I just assumed that no one read my blog. Seriously, I know that I have a pretty good following of faithful blog followers – many of whom I have never met; but I never actually thought my family read it.

The first weekend we were in town, though, at least four of my family members said the words “… yeah, I read about that on your blog.” Then today, my cousin Scott told me that every time he read my blog I seemed pretty “liberal.” Whether or not I am liberal put to the side (to be honest, I don’t know if I am or not), I now feel this new pressure put on me when I blog. I even, for a moment, entertained the thought of cleaning up my content. Of course, that would mean no more donkey dicks, f-bombs, use of the term cunt, or talk of hooking and blow jobs. Clearly this is not an option, but you get the point – from now on the thoughts “what will my family think?” will be stuck in the back of my mind as I write.

But then I hearken back to Vacation Report 2 about being myself, and I realize that if they are reading my blog and able to tolerate such ridiculous, foul-mouthed verbal debauchery as has been my writing up to this point, then I say fair game.

The real Vacation Report 3 is that I love my family so much, which this trip has reiterated for me ten-fold. I don’t know how I will go back to daily life without them after these last few weeks.

Vacation Report 4: the Korean Hooker situation is a California thing

Holy mother of God, I went to a nail salon in the suburbs of Chicago with one of my long time friends last week after a great lunch and did I ever realize just how much the Korean Hooker situation is an isolated incident. I know, I know – it probably goes on in other nail salons around the country, but my nail salon in California is a total crack house compared to the place we went to this past week.

The real dilemma I have now, as well, is that I have a new standard by which I judge my nail salon experience. The place we went to had amazing chairs, more foot treatments for the same price, and they even gave me a bottle of water. Not only is my nail salon with all the slut-bag behavior and questionable customers a crack house, but the experience (by comparison) seems trashier than the lady that deep-throated the banana that one time after doing my nails.

 Vacation Report 5: I don’t want to go home

I know, I know – the grass is always greener on the other side, right? I’m not an idiot, though. I lived in Chicago for 18 years: I know that it’s fucking freezing in the winter, much harder to find work, and tornado alley in the summer. I know that what I’m seeing of friends and family now are the happy times, not the “everyone is mad at each other” times.

But there is something to be said for the fact that I know just how miserable I am in California, more so now that I am out of the situation than ever before. I always said I would not stay there longer than five years. Five turned into ten, though, and now I am about to turn 30 and wondering just why in God’s name I’m still on the west coast. Maybe it’s because there is nothing for me in California – after graduate school, I seem to have lost all semblance of order or purpose. Or maybe it’s because my family is all in the Midwest. After my mom left us when I was only 8, my family (aunts, uncles, cousins) became the most important thing in my life. Possibly it’s because my friends are more down to earth and available in Chicago – we have shared experiences and a history.

Or really it’s probably just that I’m a Midwestern girl. I was born and raised here. Since we got here over a week ago, I have been happier than in the entire time I have been in California. Whether that be just because vacation is fun, or something else, I am sure I will never know.

Apparently I’ve Become One of Those People…

I mean, I knew that I had become “one of those people” – you know, someone in a general group that does something other people look at and say “oh, you are one of those people.” I do it all the time, so I’m not surprised that others would do it to me; although, it wasn’t until I began to pack for our upcoming vacation that I realized I have become one of those on a number of levels.

One of those people that wear pajamas way more than they should

When I started packing, I realized I have quite the dearth of actual clothing one would wear out of the house. I dress pretty nicely when I do go out, but I guess as a housewife with very little meaning behind her existence, I wear yoga pants and pajamas a lot. When I started paying attention, I realized that I get into pajamas pretty early in the day as well. Today, I was in them by 2:00 pm.

One of those people that is a total germaphobe

Maybe it has to do with the fact that we get sick constantly with the grimy shit germs that kids generally carry with them, but I realize now that I have become a total germaphobe. When I was packing the carry on bag of snacks, wipes, and other miscellaneous kid-friendly necessities, I went out and purchased a new bottle of hand soap “just in case the public restrooms are out.” I know, I am hanging my head in shame as I type this.

One of those people that makes homemade travel snacks

Again, hanging my head in shame. I know how to find healthy snacks when I travel – I’ve done it a ton of times. And yet something has changed because now I insist on making my own snacks. I suppose it has something to do with my new psychosis that every meal we have must be homemade. This isn’t to say we don’t eat out – actually we eat out all the time. But when I cook, it’s always from scratch. That’s how mom would have done it (if she wasn’t a dead beat, or could still cook that is).

One of those people that falls for happy-pappy “it was meant to be” bull shit

Okay, I’m not really one of those people, but I must admit that today while eating my orange chicken and chow mein lunch at Panda Express, I felt a tinge of this “it was meant to be” when I opened my fortune cookie. It read: “A much needed vacation will bring a great deal of enjoyment.” Could it be that the gods of buffet-style Chinese food knew that I would be there?

So I’ve become one of those people, or maybe I am in the process. The ones that wear pajamas all the time. That are germaphobes and insist on making their own food from scratch, all the time. Next thing you know I’ll be drinking Coors Light like those people do; shopping at Home Depot every Saturday for home goods and projects to take my mind over how mundane my life is. Maybe one day I’ll even become like the ones that watch Dancing with the Stars and post ad nauseum on Facebook about what happened on American Idol.

No that’s wrong – I will never become one of those people.