Monday, August 24, 2009

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Vacation: a period of suspension of work, study, or other activity, usually used for rest, recreation, or travel; recess or holiday.

Well, we’re back from “vacation.” (Right now you’re supposed to picture me with both hands in the air, two fingers on each hand making the silly quotation sign.) But I wonder . . . was it really a vacation?

Recreation. Sure.

Travel? Definitely. (We’re talking almost 2,000 miles on our car.)

Rest? No way.

I’d have to say that over the past few years, our favorite family vacations have consisted of not much more than a pair of flip-flops, a towel, and a beach. We’ve spent many a peaceful, reflective hour on Kiawah Island in South Carolina where the toughest decision we make all day is what to have for dinner.

Not so last week. We were animals. Vacation animals we were. We ran around Washington D.C. like chickens with no heads, and we sweated like pigs. See? Animals.

But while we were sweating and clucking, one of my friends was lounging her week away on Kiawah. Resting. Relaxing. I sure hope she slept enough for both of us because on this “vacation” I didn’t get much sleep.

It could have had something to do with the full-size bed I had to share with B, which left me exactly 6 ½ inches of sleeping space when we normally share a king-size bed. But I don’t know. It could just have been that we went to bed late and got up early and kept going and going and going.

Oooh, I just thought of another animal analogy—the Energizer bunny. Yes. That was us last week. Little pink bunnies marching all over the nation’s capitol.

Anyway, we’re home now and so happy to be here. School starts in two days. My parents arrive today for a visit. And life is getting back to normal.

I’ll post a Travel Tuesday tomorrow about our vacation, but for now, I want to give you the good, the back, and the ugly about our, um, vacation.

The Good. I’d have to say that Williamsburg turned out to be a pleasant surprise for all of us. Who knew that you could have so much fun in a place where people put on “period costumes” (don’t even get me started on what our family thought THAT meant!) and act like colonists all day, never once breaking character? And who would have thought a town where every store, restaurant, and business name is preceded by the words “Colonial” or “Settlers” or “Village” would end up seeming charming to us? O.K., the “Colonial/Settler” thing got to be a joke with us, but a charming joke for sure.

Anyway, Williamsburg was fun and quaint and beautiful. I have a feeling we’ll be back someday.

The Bad. Imagine standing in line for 10 minutes, being herded into a movie theater to watch a 20 minute film you don’t want to see, then standing in another long line for 15 minutes. When your tour guide finally comes, he herds you, without a word, up an escalator and down a corridor. He takes a breath and begins: “WelcometotheCapitolbuildingmynameisTonyI’llbeyourtourguidetoday.” Slight pause. “We’restandingintheCapitolrotunda.Thepaintingsyouseeonthewallsbehindyou . . .” Two rooms, 15 minutes, and a dizzying lecture later we were back on the escalator to the Visitor’s Center, scratching our heads in disbelief. Could it really be over? Is that all we get to see?

The Capitol Tour was, without a doubt, the worst tour I’ve ever experienced. Don’t do it unless you’ve arranged a private tour with someone from your Congressman’s office. Just don’t.

The Ugly. My car right now. After 1,800 miles the windshield is covered with bugs and the inside smells like old socks. Later on today it will get a bath and will be as good as new. Oh yeah, it IS new.

All-in-all our vacation was great. Just being together was fun (well, except for those “low” moments, but I won’t mention those because I’m sure our family is the only family that snipes at each other about whose turn it is to sleep on the floor or who gets the last swig of Coke out of the one bottle we’re sharing. You know, the truly rare moments that nobody else has. Right?).

Be sure to come back tomorrow for more Wild family fun and my Travel Tuesday post.

In the meantime, leave me a comment telling me about your summer vacation. Where did you go? What was good? Bad? Ugly?


  1. My summer vacation consisted of a long weekend trip to see my BFF in Stevens Point, WI. And it was GREAT! And is the month of May considered a "summer vacation?" If so, my trip to the central coast of California was also GREAT!

  2. Ah yes, the Cali coast was truly a vacation. And it was great, wasn't it?!

  3. We did indeed love Kiawah - that beach is awesome. But BOY was it hot! Spring was probably the perfect time to go.

  4. Glad you had fun, S!!! I think that's the most beautiful beach, EVER. And, hey, it was hot where we were too. I guess that's summer. (Except here, of course.)

  5. Welcome home. D.C. is not ever relaxing. Interesting, but never restful. On my last visit I was helping chaperone 86 high school students. Talk about tired! No way I would ever consider riding the bus from FL to D.C. again either. Sore tailbone and tired. And the smell of old socks... that would have been an improvement over the bus fragrance. LOL.

  6. So glad you are home! Our cars could tell stories to each other:)