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©Copyright 2009-2010 Out Of The Blue.
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By MICHELLE McALLISTER   
Published: July 24, 2010
Vacation Unplanning
My husband started telling me at the beginning of summer that he was going to take a week off
work at the end of June. I figured since I had just paid someone to rebuild those steps my son fell
through in May that vacation was out of the question. Plus, I’m a Slack Ass and planning things is
definitely not my forte. As the end of the month neared, it dawned on me that my husband being off
for a whole week with no planned activities would result in a lot of cleaning and yelling. I’m down
with the yelling part, but I’d rather stick sharp things in my eyes than clean.  That’s all the motivation
this Slack Ass needed to turn into an instant travel agent.

So, just a mere 5 days before his vacation officially started, I took the internet to find the perfect
family vacation spot. I wanted to go somewhere near water and it had been several years since we’
d been to a beach.  After spending all day, every day on the Internet, on Friday, I finally found a
house on the Outer Banks, reserved it for the week starting Sunday, and started frenzied packing
for me and the kids. And amazingly enough, I was ready to pull out of the driveway at 5 AM Sunday.

We weren’t even out of the county when we got the first “are we there yet?” from my youngest one.
I reached down into my travel bag, where I keep all essentials for dealing with children while on long
road trips, and felt to make sure my iPod and headphones were in there. And then I mentally gave
myself a kick in the ass for forgetting the Benadryl, but felt a little better knowing that if things really
started going South (and I’m not talking directionally), there was a fifth of Goose hidden somewhere
under all the bags in the back.

About four hours into the drive, I remembered that my husband is the Travel Nazi. Instead of being
deprived of delicious soup, we were deprived of bathroom breaks and the occasional stop to move
around so you don’t die from getting blood clots in your legs. When he finally did stop, I was so
grumpy that we had a little tiff in the McDonald’s somewhere in Virginia. That probably explains his
response to the guy cleaning the parking lot who offered to trade his Mitsubishi for my Navigator,
“Sure, but you have to take the wife and kids, too,” he told him.

On down the road, we kept encountering these signs that said to make sure your gas tank was full.
I thought that was strange until we finally saw the tunnel up ahead going UNDER the Chesapeake
Bay. I’m not a fan of tunnels, and especially not ones that go under large bodies of water.
Thankfully, it wasn’t a long tunnel and my panic attack was a short one. Upon exiting the tunnel, the
Candlemaker looked over to the land across the bay and said, “Is that England?”  My husband
replied, “Um, NO!” “Oh, oh, oh, I mean Great Britain,” Candlemaker retorted. All I can say is kid gets
his geography skills honestly.

After 11 long hours, we were checked into our house, the kids were swimming in our own private
pool and I was admiring the view of the ocean from the top deck with my cocktail.  And that was the
first day of the best vacation I think we’ve ever had. Let’s face it, when you book your rental a mere
1 ½ days before you leave, it doesn’t give you much time to fret about preparations. And I have to
admit, it made me feel a little bit like Super Woman to get a family of 6 ready for vacay in such a
short amount of time.

If you ever finding yourself in search of an excellent vacation spot, I highly recommend the OBX.
And that’s not a feminine hygiene product, as it sounds, but the abbreviation for the Outer Banks.
The beaches are beautiful, there are lots of historical landmarks, and the liquor is cheaper down
there. I do however recommend that you don’t try to round up other people’s children at the Wings
Beach Store (it will get you some odd looks from the parents of said children) and I also wouldn’t
recommend that you make your dining selections on which places serve chicken fingers. Oh, and if
you have a kid who is deathly allergic to seafood (thus the chicken fingers), you might want to plan
on eating in for the week. But sign up for your Food Lion MVP card first, because the employees
don’t want to be bothered with signing you up for one while you are in the check-out line. Oh yeah,
and if you rent a house that comes with a pool, you should make sure to turn off the hose in it
before going to bed, or you will wake up with a flooded back yard.

I’m definitely going back to the OBX. And next time I might even book the house three whole days
before I want to leave.
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