FAMILY VACATIONS: THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE EMOTIONALLY SCARRING

FAMILY VACATIONS: THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE EMOTIONALLY SCARRING

Adrienne BoettingerTuesday,17 September 2013

The Snap:

Whilst I type this, I’m sitting on a glorious porch at a beach house. It’s 1:30pm and I’m drinking a beer. It is vacation week at Rehoboth Beach and I can hear the sounds of my friends raucously laughing in the kitchen. Since I’m in a vacationy mood, I’m taking a break from writing about America’s political nightmares to discuss the pros and cons of family vacations. Although this particular multi-generational vay-cay typically goes off pretty smoothly, I hear annual tales of other friends’ vacations from hell with offspring and in-laws, making me think it would be more relaxing for them to spend their summers declawing feral cats on the set of Fox and Friends.

The Download:

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a bitter, bitter crone sans hubs and kidlets so I don’t have the privilege of hauling my cookies on a 6+ hour car ride to duke it out with in-laws in an overcrowded, under-bathroomed cottage. I don’t understand why some friends return to these hellish trips year after year when they spend several months before and after complaining about the amount of work they have to do on supposed “vacations.” One friend typically finds herself not just looking after her children but her sister-in-law’s kids as well because said sister-in-law sits on her butt with a vacant look while her children try to operate heavy machinery and dare each other to jump off of things. Another friend spends the whole week cooking for an increasingly ungrateful mob of hooligans until she collapses exhausted, too overwrought to even finish a glass of wine.

Meanwhile, I return to the beach most years with the family of my best friend from high school and do copious amounts of ass-sitting, imbibing, eating and laughing my head off. There are no small children so we typically pick a week when school is in session and the town is pretty quiet. Her grandparents come and I make them drink things like Alien Secretions. Her husband is the deejay for our evening porch fiestas, her mom and aunt get into as much trouble as “the younger generation,” we inexplicably show our underwear to proprietors on the boardwalk, and she and her cousin and I make up elaborate dance routines ‘til the wee small hours.

These are relaxing, if not the most active of vacations. When I need more activities, I travel with my unable-to-sit-still sister to destinations far and wide, searching for the world’s largest rug or slowest alligator. Other times I travel to my uncle’s cabin in West Virginia with my cousins and our dogs. The main activities are drinking, ridiculous songwriting and wearing headlamps while the dogs run themselves silly.

Each of these trips is highly enjoyable in its own right; that’s why I continue to go on them. My vacation time is too precious to spend doing things I don’t want to do with people who irritate the crap out of me. As Aunt Cee says, “Life is short. Stay tipsy.”

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Hat Tips:

Dumb Laws in DelawareThe OnionYlvis, Image Credit: Flickr



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