Snapshots of a vacation

June 5, 2011

Hola! We are back from Mexico, tan (all of us), healthy (the girls) and wiped out (Mr. and Mrs Geezer, here).  Anyone who claims that family vacations are relaxing is full of cucaracha, let me tell you.  The girls arrived home looking bronzed and bushy-tailed, and hubs and I lurched and limped behind them, demanding a wheelchair, waving a white flag. Those minxes kicked our collective butts.

A few vacation observations:

~United Airlines has the worst flight attendants ever. Damn, those ladies are pissed off. I think it’s because they’re all of prime age for menopause–not one under 50-years old in the bunch. No dudes, either. It’s like a coterie of vicious ex-librarians and lunch ladies–all on the verge.  On the way down to Cancun, one attendant flipped out at some poor man who dared hint that she’d ignored him (she had) and threatened to “Turn this plane a-round, Mister!”  The veins in her neck popped out like Christian Bale in The Fighter. She then proceeded to stalk down the aisle, hang out in First Class for twenty minutes and then emerge, smile in place. What are they serving up there in First Class? And where can I get some? I suspect a Valium salt lick.

~No matter how many snacks and drinks you purchase before the flight, your children will plow through them, like locusts, within an hour.

~Small children, twenty minutes into the flight, decide that the best entertainment option around is the airplane bathroom. The airplane bathroom rocks! Number of times I took Miss M. to the loo on a 3-hour flight: Seven.

~Those same small children will not actually need to use the bathroom until the plane hits big turbulence, and then they will have to go for real. Right now. Code Red. United Airlines flight attendants are not sympathetic to this plight. They give new meaning to the title, “Snakes on a Plane.”  Lots of hissing. Lots.

~The customs line in Mexico blows.

~Employees at resorts in Mexico are amazingly friendly. They also work like dogs. I don’t know who came up with the stereotype of the Lazy Mexican, but they’re full of shizzle.  Our buddies Fredy, Juanita, Guillermo and Juan-Jose worked every day, for up to twelve hours.  I’d see Fredy in the breakfast lounge, then at the activities desk, then working the pool at lunch, then manning happy hour and the dinner rush, all with a smile.  Mexican employees put US workers to shame.  Believe me, we need more of those kind of workers in our country, not less.

~If you vacation in Mexico in late May/June, prepare to spend all of your time in the pool.  Playing with your own children. Which is why hubs and I look and feel like octogenarians.  4-plus hours a day of constant pool activity has rendered us useless for at least a month.  Times this haggard butt went down the water slide this week with Miss M: Fifty one. I ain’t-a-shitting-you.  We were there for six days, so you do the math.  And this is with hubs and I alternating shifts.

~My children have two speeds: full throttle and collapse.

~Collapse invariably happens at dinnertime, when I am trying to drown my exhaustion in my first, blessed glass of Pinot Grigio.

~Dinnertime collapse=room service=french fries at every evening nosh.

~My ass no lovva the new caloric intake via french fry. This makes me wicked pissed off–I am spending 4 hours in traction at the pool–those things should be melting off me like butta, right?

~The despair over my expanding backside is short-lived because a new friend, La Turista, comes to visit the last two days of vacation. This is entirely my fault.  The first few days in Mexico, I was paranoid about getting sick, and followed the don’t-eat-fresh-veg-salad-fruit-salsa rule to the T. But then, when I didn’t get sick, I got cocky. Screw this myth about Montezuma’s Revenge, I told myself. We’re staying at a Westin, dammit.  The Westin puts it’s shine on everything, including the Caesar Salad and the ceviche.

~Yeah, I ate ceviche in Mexico. Twice.

~It really, really sucks to ride a plane with La Turista. For everyone involved. I apologize to anyone and everyone who had to use that sardine-can airplane bathroom after me. I was walking hazardous waste.

~United Airlines sucks. Did I mention that? We got to the airport, adults in potty-land, only to find that our plane was delayed for THREE hours.  Which they didn’t tell us about in time, so we had to spend those three hours in a small airport, with small children, taking turns running to the bathroom.

~Fascinating place for a small child: airport duty-free shop. $$$

~Days La Turista lasts: 3.  Which feels like 12.

La Turista, pool burnout and airline gripes aside, it was a successful vacation.  The girls loved every minute of it, and even though they tore us to tatters, we adults had to admit that we loved it, too.

The icing on the cake? As we got into the taxi to catch our flight home, Miss M. said, “You know what my two favorite things about this vacation were? Spending time with my family and the water slide…Oh wait. And the waffles in the morning. Can’t forget the waffles.”

She’s right. Waffles in the morning are best, bro.

I’m still kinda down, folks.  But I’ve missed you all, and I hope to make my way back to you soon.  Not sure if it was a blessing or a curse, but our Internet access was almost non-existent at the resort, so I know there’s a lot to catch up on.  I can’t wait to see what I’ve missed.

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