Tuesday, August 2, 2011

From the Annamaniacs Files: Merrily We Roll Along - 2001

This post was first published in 2001. Children's ages have changed since then. They tend to do that.
We went on vacation this summer.

And I see your eyebrows raise. “So?” You might ask.

Let me explain. We went on vacation this summer, and we have seven kids.

Okay, now that you’ve picked up your eyeballs and put them back in your head, I can tell you more.

Two vehicles, seven kids (plus a couple of extras on the trip there) and two drivers.

I learned some things from this experience.

Make sure the sliding van door is completely closed before you allow someone to lean against it while you go 100 kilometers down a highway.

The trip from Kelowna to Golden is twice as long as the trip from Golden to Kelowna. I don’t know why this is. It’s the same road.

If I start to feel sleepy and headachey while speeding down the highway, stopping for a nutritious lunch for long term energy, is not going to fix the problem. I need a coke, a chocolate bar and aspirin. With that combination I can leap tall buildings in a single bound.

From now on I will not trust my sixteen-year-old daughter with the map. She found a bug on it. So instead of picking the bug off like any normal human being would do, in an effort to get the bug off, she rolled down her window, took the map, hung it out the window, shook it, and watched it fly into the windshield of the car behind us. My first thought? We’re going to be fined several thousand dollars for littering. And if someone finds an Alberta/BC map on the highway, it is not mine. I know nothing

Even I, who loves heights (been parasailing) and has never suffered from sea or air sickness, can get slightly nauseous in a six seater recreational plane. By the way, it was so cool when the pilot played chicken with the mountains. I can’t wait to go up again.

Teenagers think that a great way to spend a day with the aunt who has a beach house, is to rent movies and watch them all day.

No matter how I try, I cannot hide from people who want to take pictures.

While renting a condo, young children are required to repeatedly jump on the floor above other residents’ heads. Once you are in a cabin with no one beneath you, jumping is no longer required.

When going to the Enchanted Forest, beware of cute little houses that two-year-olds can get into but anyone much bigger can’t. She decided that she liked living in the three bears’ house. She liked eating baby bear’s porridge. She sat in baby bear’s chair. She wanted to sleep in baby bear’s bed. She was not coming out. No matter how much we huffed and puffed.

Kelowna is scarier to drive in than Calgary.

Even though slower speeds are posted on mountain roads, you still must drive prairie speeds. You just have to learn how to take the turns on two tires.

Under no circumstances can the bag holding my 8 year old daughter’s coloring supplies and books, be buried under 300 suitcases. I will not be able to survive unless she has her coloring supplies while riding in the car. It doesn’t matter how much my husband complains about unpacking the van and repacking it. He is not the one driving the vehicle she is in.

If you send three teenagers up a mountain so that they can ride mountain bikes on the way down, one of them will require rescue services.

At one point we rented a two bedroom cabin. It was charming. It was darling. I spent time furnishing it in my head. For myself. No one else. Not one child. Not even a husband. Just me, me, me. I dreamed about where my computer, stereo and TV would go. I imagined my collections throughout my little home, undamaged, unbroken, safe from harm. I pictured myself snuggled peacefully in front of the fireplace, reading a book, or happily engaged in my sewing room, or at my computer working on my 100th best seller.

And then someone would scream.

I kept telling myself “this is the last vacation with all of us. From now on they start moving out. That 17 year old is out the door next summer. The 16 year old is not far behind her. I only have 16 more years of family vacations.”

I will survive.


Mary and Eden Z said...

Love your last line. Funny post!

Cindy Beck, author said...

Way fun. :) I loved your line, "By the way, it was so cool when the pilot played chicken with the mountains."