Sunday, July 09, 2006

The Much Anticipated Vacation blog

What vacation would ever be complete without the little misadventures that burden us in our quest for fun and "escape"? It seems my vacation was fraught with these. Below is a list of highlights from our trip to the wilderness with twins, Eighty-Eight Fingers and Big J, the teen boy, to my in-law's mobile trailer campsite.

1) We have a HUGE eight-seater station wagon that is absolutely necessary to fit all the bodies in this family (never mind the luggage). The Hubz took the behemoth in for an oil change two days before the trip where the nervous pimply clerk informed him in a squeaky stress-cracked voice that they would be unable to perform the oil change due to a dent in the oil pan and some huge leak from a broken gasket. It appears the wagon has been doing some off-roading in its spare time (you know, because it is so huge and guzzles so much gas it basically sits in the garage most of the time unless it is absolutely necessary to haul it out). My theory is that the thing has been sneaking out at night, riding the curb to visit the cute minivan down the street. Anyway, no time or money to fix the beast means that we crammed the little boys in the sedan with us, while my stepson, 15-year-old Big J, rode up with Grandpa. Actually, that was fine with me because the sedan has working air conditioning and it was hotter than heck the day we drove up.

2) Before we realized the behemoth vacation mobile was disabled, we had decided to do something about our luggage dilemma. The beast is big enough for all of our butts but our luggage usually has to be squeezed in with a shoehorn. Driving 3 1/2 hours with compacted luggage in your leg space is so not fun, so we decided to purchase one of those cargo bags for the top of the beast, which, conveniently, has a luggage rack. I found an acceptable specimen at Target online that said most stores stocked it. So I called the two closest stores. We live in a big city. The stores were in the inner city. Evidently there is not much call for rugged travel/luggage equipment in the city, or the stores don't sell it because people don't buy it because they would just as soon steal it off the neighbor's car. In any event, at the two city stores I called, the first one did not even know what I was talking about and the second one transferred me to three departments and had me on hold for fifteen minutes before they realized they did not stock it at their store. So I called the suburban store. Sure enough, they had multitudinous cargo packs in various styles in stock. The Hubz picked one up before taking the beast in for its unsuccessful and fateful oil change. So now we have a lovely cargo pack that we did not even take out of the box (no luggage rack on the sedan).

3) Because I didn't have a decent swimming suit (all of mine were either faded, shredded or missing parts) I decided to buy one. Because I don't like to shop in the malls, don't have much time for it, I do a lot of my shopping online. I found a clearance sale (the Scots again, with the clearance sales) Victoria's Secret tankini that I thought would be nice, cover up the twin skin, but be a little sexy at the same time. The photo showed that it had ties on the sides that I thought were there for decoration. I did not realize that the sides actually tied closed. Okay, fine, not much I could do about it now. I was stuck with it and the suit really was cute. So, at the appropriate time, I donned the suit, double knotting the ties and hoped for the best. I never imagined that my little Boompas would be so ambivalent (afraid yet loving) of the water that he would feel compelled to cling to me and rake my sides with his monkey toes, untying my double knotted suit in the water while I did not have hands free to retie it because I was holding him ! Thank goodness Hubz was nearby to tie it back up--in three knots this time! Then there were the numerous times Boompas pulled at the revealing halter top to reveal a little more, which he found hilarious, although I was less than amused. So pool time was an unintentional strip tease for me. Yea! Next time I get a suit, it is going to be a full piece with locks, skirts, buckles and many bolts of spandex fabric. Something like a Muslim woman would wear swimming aught to suffice.

3) My twins never cease to amaze me. Just when I think I know them...Taking them to a new place with new experiences, a novel situation, revealed that Stink really is a fearless barbarian (in a good happy-go-lucky sort of way) while Boompas, for all his superhero play, is more reserved, less likely to try new things, while more likely to need his base, his mamma, for support. While Stink jumped repeatedly into the water at the pool without barely a second's pause, Boompas clung to someone, usually me with both hands despite his special flotation suit. Another example of Stink's fearlessness, the trailer is on a cul-de-sac in a very wild, secluded area. There were only maybe three other campsites on the cul-de-sac, while the other lots lacked any development. So for fun, occasionally, we would Take a Walk Around the Circle. Stink pranced exuberantly around the circle, while Boompas wanted go around, but only if someone would carry him. Also, Boompas was much more likely to want to stay in the trailer and watch a movie. The Outdoors was a little too big and scary for him. Finally, Boompas was ready to go Home, asked repeatedly for it, during the last day and a half.

As an aside, those floatation suits are incredible! They are one piece suits with floatation foam pieces sown into the top. Although they make the kids look like multi-colored mutant sumo wrestlers, they are terrific at keeping the kids above the water in a convenient one-piece device that does not require inflation, attachment (except putting the suit on, easy enough), or memory of additional parts/pieces. It makes it really easy for a mom of twins to hold both the rascals safely from time to time when they both must have Mommy and no one else will do without either drowning.

4) Stink discovered fireworks are Hot and now understands why he should Not Touch Them. Every night, before Feller Bedtime, Big J would conduct a fireworks show. During one of these performances, Hubz and Big J lit sparklers, which Stink, who ran wild during the performances while I held Boompas (again, scared but awed). One of the sparks fell on the ground and did not extinguish right away, so Stink dashed out to grab it fast as a shot and tried to pick it up before anyone could do anything. He burnt his fingers a little, but after Magic Mommy Kisses, he was good to go.

5) Stink fell out of bed three out of four nights, waking everyone up with his screaming in the process. One night, he fell out of bed twice.

6) Eighty-Eight Fingers was in his element. He thoroughly enjoyed total freedom and the ability to spin like a top, whirring from activity to activity all day every day.

7) Potty training kids during long trips=many wet pants and pit stops.

Thank god we had the in laws with us, otherwise I don't think the vacation would have been possible. Because three wild Fellers in the wilderness is A LOT of work. My step MIL loves cooking. She cooked dinner every night and they cleaned up the campsite after we left. Overall, everyone had fun. But I needed a whole day to recover from my vacation and wipe the grime off the Fellers afterward.


Anonymous wolfbaby said...

ohhh wow I stand here looking on in amazement and awe at your super mom abilities

your vacation sounds exhausting;)

but fun!!!

09 July, 2006 16:37  
Blogger HomeFireBlue said...


I MISS my station wagon! I had a mid-70's Chevy that I got for $400 and it ran like a TOP until some ... chick pulled out infront of us and totalled it.

The insurance company gave me $75 dollars for it.


I'm glad your holiday went well, though, even sans station wagon.

11 July, 2006 07:19  
Blogger gingajoy said...

whoah--i recognize this whole tale! especially potty training bit. part about the bathing suit had me cracking up--i was *totally* going to get one like that, but the same thing would happen to me I just know.

thanks for your comment on my post today--i appreciate the reassurance!

11 July, 2006 15:57  

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