Monday, July 25, 2011

Thank God for Small Favors

So summer vacation came and went and now it's gone for good. Thank God for small favors.

Back in February my friend Lynn and I went to the travel expo at Boston's Seaport World Trade Center looking for vacation ideas.  I brought home brochures, two grocery bags full, from every travel company and every possible travel destination, dumped my booty on the dining room table, and gave 96 and 98 carte blanche:  "Pick a place, boys," I said, "And we'll go there for vacation.   Pick a destination, pick a mode of travel, pick a meal plan. Pick anything at all, and we'll work it out somehow."  Camping in Maine? We can do that (fingers crossed they didn't pick that). Drive to Nova Scotia?   We have passports at the ready. They speak English in England, so that could work out; they drive on the right in Italy, so I'd be willing. Cruise the Galapagos? I'm in. RVing in New Zealand? (This was probably my first choice.)   I even brought home a brochure about the Orient Express. "We don't want to go on vacation," came the response.  "Why do we always have to do stuff?"   I calmly explained to them that if they didn't pick a vacation spot, I would pick it on my own, and encouraged them again to think about where they'd like to go for vacation.   "How can we pick a place if we don't want to go in the first place?" came the unified, lawyerly response.    So I decided to spend our money domestically, and  issued the edict:   The boys and I would be headed to the Grand Canyon by way of my sister's house in San Antonio so she could join us for the fun.

I have her reassurances that it won't hurt her feelings when I tell you that this was the worst family vacation ever.    She's the divorced mother of former teenage boys, so I'm sure she's seen her share of worst family vacations ever, and even she thinks this one was a doozy.

No, you can't have the $400 (each) Continental gave us for taking a bump just because your name was on the ticket.   My name was on the receipt, so it's all mine.

Hoover Dam?   I know it's hot.  Thermally freaking hot. I'm sorry it's so hot.  And boring, too. And no, we didn't have to come here, but I wanted to, and I'm driving.

Grand Canyon? Yeah, it's just a big pile of rocks. Sue me.

Cirque du Soleil? I was already aware, thank you, that it would be just  (okay, no more saying "just" in front of any noun for the rest of the trip) acrobats in and above the water. Really, anyone can do it.  I don't know why they even bother paying those people.

The best thing about Oklahoma City was that I didn't make the boys do anything. Any. Thing. In fact, OKC totally rocked because I left them behind at the house when my friend Jack gave my sister and me the grand tour and treated us to a wicked good cheeseburger at Earl's in Bricktown.

Did you wake up in a bad mood? Yeah, I know I deserve all the blame. And how is it a vacation if your mom makes you brush your teeth and hair every day, just like every other day?  Clean underwear needs a day off, too, I suppose.

Still, I took pictures to, what? Preserve the memories? Yeah, not so much.

Hoover Dam

Grand Canyon National Park, South Rim

Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument

Oklahoma City National Memorial
Beautiful. Beyond breathtaking.


  1. When granddaughter Amanda was that age and she came up to our cabin in Maine, and later went to Arizona with her parents, it was the same thing.

    Her parents stopped visiting us in Maine. They wound up going to the Jersey Shore where Amanda could hang out with her friends. It was a compromise. Next time, check out Hampton Beach or something, I guess.

    Funny though, Amanda now has great memories of those vacations in Maine, and wants to come back.

    Hope if nothing else you and Jeanne had a great time and enjoyed the awesome splendor of Arizona and Nevada.

  2. It really was spectacular, Carolyn. I'm already having that "selective memory" thing, and thinking about next year. I thought I'd better write this one down before it was too late!

  3. Next time, leave the boys at home and bring me!