It’s Finish The Sentence Friday again (see link at the bottom of the page) and this week’s sentence is “The last time I went on vacation…”
But I’m cheating a tiny bit and adding a couple of explanatory phrases before I start my story “The last time I went on vacation with my entire immediate family AND my husband BEFORE we were married, things were a hilarious disaster.”
See, even though we’re all grown up and out on our own, my 2 brothers , their families, and I all go on an annual vacation with my parents. The year in question, 2010, Opie and I had been dating awhile, things were getting serious but we weren’t yet engaged. Still, my parents liked him and decided to invite him along.
And who wouldn’t say yes to a free vacation—particularly since we were going to Jamaica?! He made immediate arrangements to take off work for a week and a half and come with us.
What he didn’t realize was that this was a total bait and switch vacation.
We offered him Jamaica…but if you remember watching the news in 2010, you might remember a little story that started with the line “Over 40 Dead In The Streets of Kingston!”
And the thing about drug wars is that they really put the kibosh on my family’s vacation plans…my parents are unreasonably sensitive about taking their children and especially their grandchildren to a place where drug dealers are stalking each other in the streets.
So, where did we end up?
The Wisconsin Dells.
We offered Opie a fabulous trip to Jamaica and ended up in The Wisconsin Dells.
It’s a miracle he didn’t sue us for fraud.
And now let me turn my attention to our no-star accommodations. My parents had asked friends and family about a good place to stay—unfortunately, the recommended place was booked solid. So, they decided to get a place on the same street. Thinking that it would be of similar quality.
This was the view from my room:
There isn’t enough ewwww to express how gross that was. A situation not helped by the fact that when my dad asked the front desk for an ice bucket, they gave him a small plastic bag. And when my mom let the custodial staff know that the trash in her room was still full of junk from the previous guest, the guy actually said “There’s a dumpster out back,” like she was making an unreasonable request.
If you know my mom at all, you know she DID NOT haul the leftover trash out…and I’m pretty sure she made the guy cry.
But my family didn’t care that we weren’t in the place we had really wanted to be, we just cared that we were all together…we had a great time. We went to waterparks, we went to amusement parks, we went out to eat…we even did the cheesy “everyone dresses in personalized matching t-shirts for a day” thing.
Don’t hate—I buy the t-shirts every year and the whole point is that it’s cheesy and kitsch and completely unlike anything any of us would wear in our real lives.
Then my parents decided to up the ante and convinced us we should have one of those Old Time Photos taken…you know, one where we all dress up in period costumes and pose in an appropriate background.
But my mom took me aside and awkwardly suggested that, since Opie and I weren’t married or even engaged yet that, maybe, you know….
“Don’t worry,” I assured her. “He knows it’s a family picture. He’s not going to feel left out if he’s not included.”
And all would have been fine…except no one explained this to my 5 year old nephew.
While we were all bustling around the shop, he tugged on Opie’s sleeve and asked “Why aren’t you in the picture?”
And, because Opie had next to no experience with children, he decided the best course of action would be to just ignore the comment and go about his business.
Which, as anyone who has dealt with a 5 year old knows, only convinces the kid you are either a little stupid or a little deaf. Seth tugged harder on his arm and shouted each word as a separate sentence “WHY. AREN’T. YOU. IN. THE. PICTURE?!”
And Opie fumbled around, mumbling about how it was a family picture, and he wasn’t family, and it wasn’t a big deal, he wasn’t upset.
But Seth waved that nonsense off…after all, he had already seen right to the heart of the matter and wanted to make sure that he cleared things up for poor, slow, Opie. “If you would MARRY Aunt Kimberly,” he said. “You could be in the picture!”
Then, when Opie—a little wild around the eyes—related the story to my brother and I, my brother patted him on the shoulder and said sweetly, “It’s so easy, a five year old figured it out.”
Which is when I kind of wished I was related to other people…because these are the kind of things that happen when you vacation with my family!Check out other FTSF posts at: