Thursday, July 08, 2004

HOW I SPENT MY SUMMER VACATION 7.8.2004

We just got back from what ostensibly was our summer vacation. Five whole days. Four if you don't count driving days, and I don't know of many people who would load up the minivan with three high maintenance children and drive 520 miles, and then consider such an endevor to be a relaxing one.

We kept it short this year, mostly because of Sam. He's at an age where its difficult to keep up with him, and difficult to follow him around when you are iin a room where everything isn't bolted down, put on a shelf three feet high or more, or just hidden.

Still it was good to see all of my family up at Schroon lake, and there were plenty of good times to be had.

We started off on Friday at four PM, which we scientifically calculated was the best way to ensure spending long hours in heavy traffic with tired and unhappy children. It worked splendidly. We arrived at our luxurious accomodations for the night a mere 6 hours later, having kept our average speed below thirty miles an hour by stopping at every third exit for someone to go pee.

The hotel was a Rodeway Inn, a motel that advertises with slogans like, "You can stay someplace cheaper, but its probably dangerous." Sam kept waking up during the night, and probably thought to himself "this is great! mom's right over there across the room! all I have to do is scream my head off and she's bound to come over!" I think I got the better night's sleep that night.

Saturday morning we beat feet up to Glens Falls and hung out at Mike and Loretta's for a couple of hours, and let the kids play in there backyard, which for my kids is kind of like going to the county fair. There's a pool, a trampoline, a couple of bird houses, and old rusty brown pickup truck, an ATV, a big red dog, a couple of cats, and a hot tub. After a couple of hours we pushed on to Sandy Point, our final landing place.

Saturday night we got a fairly early night. Sunday was a pretty big day. Across the road from us Uncle Bernie, Peg, Sean, Drew, and Sean were staying in their seasonal place, and they had a bunch of family over for a barbecue on the fourth. Bernie and Marie, and Chris and Greg were up, as were Jeanie and Jeanie, and even a rare appearance of the mysterious Tom Cahill. We hung out and all the kids passed around PJ's gameboy, and I don't think PJ was too keen on sharing, but he liked the attention.

Saturday night we had to find some fireworks, because Anna had gotten the idea that the fourth of July was America's birthday and you just had to see fireworks on the birthday of America, and when Anna gets an idea like that, well, Lord help you if you try to get in her way. The nearest place that the newspaper said had fireworks was the North Creek Ski Bowl. We drove there around 9pm, loading up Mike and I and the four older kids in the minivan and driving on out. Only thing was, there were no fireworks there that night. The newspaper had gotten the date wrong, and the only fireworks there that night were being launched by a kind Chestertown native named Roy who had a box full of fireworks from Indiana, and was there with his family lighting them off.

PJ took a pretty bad fall off the monkey bars that night. He scraped up his face, I don't think it hurt him that bad but if looked pretty nasty. Despite this, it was, strangely, one of the high points of the whole vacation! Roy and his wife had a girl and boy roughly Anna and PJ's age, and all the kids lined up and lit sparklers, and played in the playground while Roy lit off a large number of fireworks that are probably highly illegal in the state of New York. But Anna got her fireworks, and the kids had fun, and that was the end of it as far as I was concerned. Odd circumstance often makes for the best kind of luck.

Monday we went down to Glens Falls again, this time because of bad weather reports and the frightening prospect of being stuck inside with the little maniacs all day. Sam had been up early that morning, getting up around 6:45. Rather than have Sam wake up Anna and PJ, I took Sam on a tour of Adirondack back roads, which he seemed to enjoy.

Anna and PJ were playing around outside the house, and I noticed that the door to the car was open. I yelled for them to come over. I asked PJ what they were doing. PJ told me that Anna was putting 'piglet' on his face. Anna had scene mom put the anti-bacterial ointment on PJ's face and decided to put more on herself. PJ called it 'piglet' instead of 'ointment'. Too funny.

Later, at Nina's, the kids all went running around in the sprinkler's in the back yard. Anna also had some trouble in the bathroom, at one point opening the door and yelling "MOM, DAD! COME QUICK! POOP EMERGENCY! POOP EMERGENCY!" Boy! Did that make everyone's eyebrow's go up! And we rushed on over to help her out too.

Wednesday, finally, it was time for the torturous ride home. Everybody hung in pretty well, although at some point, while crossing the Maryland state line, we had another poop emergency. Kathleen smelled something, and looked in the rearview mirror and saw that Sam had one of those up the back explosive accidents, and he had poop ON HIS HAND! "PULL OVER THE CAR!" Kathleen yelled, and luckily we were right at the entrance to the Maryland State welcome center. We pulled in, and got sam out on the grass and started to clean him up. A bus load of tourists from DC hasd just arrived, and many of them remarked on what a cute baby sam was, but they must have been downwind. And then a little later we were home and it was all over. A lot of work, but I suppose it was worth it.

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