I so remember fondly the days when I could throw some clothes in a bag, grab my passport and hit the airport for a vacation abroad that I threw together a couple of weeks before.
Those were the days.
Today, I grasp at shreds of vacation dreams.
Now I take trips instead of vacations, and I feel all kinds of ways about that.
On the one hand, I love the idea of vacationing with Hope, and even taking Yappy along. I dream about having the opportunity to have fun with her, to show her lots of amazing sites in the country and world.
On the other hand, I just miss the days of old.
This year, I rented a small condo on the beach in Virginia. Substantially less expensive and much closer to family than last year’s trip to Martha’s Vineyard. Oh and it was a fraction of the cost of our trip last year, which is good since the first payment on Hope’s braces is due next week. And finally, Yappy was welcome to tag along on this journey to the beach, where he would see sand for the very first time.
Since I traded in the Mini Cooper last winter, we would be traveling a lot more comfortably and with nothing strapped to the roof of the car.
I went into the trip feeling guardedly optimistic about all the precautions I had taken to try to make sure that it would be fun time for us all.
And then we headed out.
We traveled nearly all the way to the house when I caught a flat tire. And when I say “all the way” I mean, we were 2.4 miles away from the rental.
When we finally get there, the landlord had not obtained a mini-box for the TV so the cable didn’t work. The landlord also didn’t respond to my 3 phone calls and 2 texts about the WiFi password. And that was day 1.
Day 2, I managed to get in some exercise before I headed out with Hope to go buy a new tire. Of course Wallyworld did not carry my tire size, so then we had to hit a service station where the only tire the right size was the most expensive tire that was about $200. #HappyVacation Hope complained about the wait, pissed off the service station staff because I couldn’t censor her anti-Trump tirade because her ability to self-censor at critical times, like in mixed company, is non-existent. It also underscores her inability to read social reactions. By the time we bought groceries and hit the Starbucks my nerves were shot. When the barista messed up my drink I started to cry. ETA: How do you mess up a venti iced coffee with sugarfree vanilla syrup???
While sobbing on the way back to the car, I began to wonder why I keep trying to take these vacation/trips at all.
I hit another coffee shop, got my fix, got some Yappy snuggles and hit the beach. Managed to burn my feet on the sand. They are still sore and red. Oh and as soon as we got the umbrellas up and I got settled, Hope announced she was hungry and wanted to go inside, but not by herself, to get something to eat.
I said no, as I was still wiping the sweat from my brow from dragging everything to the beach and getting us set up.
Then there was the spider sighting at 9pm that spun night 2 out of control. We’ve been doing so much better with the bug thing so I was able to be a bit more patient and consoling about it.
I relaxed on the couch most of today with Yappy. It was just so hot, that there was little reason to go out. Hope pulled up a chair because I never located the spider, which meant the comfy furniture was contaminated.
After a few hours out and an about, we returned back where she quickly spotted a moth and the freakout started all over again. I killed it, but that hasn’t abated the evening meltdown.
Tomorrow afternoon we head home, and I’m left wondering will we ever have a truly, truly enjoyable time? Should I just plan staycations from now on? Should I just rent a bug free, hermetic bubble? Is there a happy medium?
Sure there were moments of some contentment, but they were fleeting and the crush of anxiety, phobias, and PTSD always seems to outweigh those few moments of relaxation.
Yeah, this was definitely a trip. It’s always a reminder of the hard place my kiddo survived. It’s just hard to enjoy a good life. I hope that she continues to heal and is able to just enjoy the world around her.
Despite all of the drama of this trip, I am optimistic for her healing. She is much more mature than she was last year. The ability to manage the bug phobia is improved. The drive and desire to heal is such much more than it used to be.
There is hope for Hope. I believe that.
But for now, vacations are still trips for us. Yappy seems to have had a blast though. He traveled well, killed bugs and has snoozed like I thought I would while on vacation. I am jealous.
July 25th, 2016 at 4:19 pm
Oh boy do I feel you on this whole trip/vacation thing! We tried to go away this past weekend, just two measly nights! The trip started off with tire issues. It wasn’t flat, it was the caliber which my father was able to fix only to discover two of the bolts holding my tire on were broken and he snapped a third taking the tire off. So, we had to spend the night with my parents in their un-air conditioned house, on a sweltering and unbearably humid night. There was also a bug incident, which sent my 16 year old son to share a bed with the 5 year old. Meanwhile the only way the little guy would sleep was stuck fast to me – and I do mean stuck, by his sweat and mine. Needless to say, I didn’t sleep very well. We did manage to make it to our destination, where they gave away our room and the only thing left was the suite, for more money. When we went to hike, on the hottest day of the year, the oldest got mad because the youngest (he just turned two) was scared and initially unwilling to walk (we went to see waterfalls and the sound scared him). The 5 year old was angry about something, but eventually she came around only to announce she had to pee and we were barely half-way through the hike with no bathrooms and she wouldn’t even consider other options. Sigh. I tell myself it was the thought that counts, right? And, the kids did get to see some nature and beautiful scenery. Then, I came home to loads and gobs of laundry and trying to get ready for this busy week and really felt like the whole ordeal was simply not worth it…. Anywho, I hope you have a calmer week this week to relax after that stressful vacation, er trip! 🙂
July 25th, 2016 at 4:35 pm
We just got home and I didn’t even bother unpacking the car. I bought anything perishable in and I intend to lay on my need for at least an hour. I started bawling at my parents’ house mid trip home. You definitely win though .. no AC might have made me do something crazy.
July 26th, 2016 at 11:04 pm
I wish I knew the perfect thing to say. Since I don’t, I’ll say all your cries sound very well earned. That sounds like the least relaxing vacation ever!
I wonder if Hope would be down for listing 2 things she liked about the trip, and you do the same. Maybe it would make it feel a little more worth it to hear she enjoyed some part of it? This has backfired on me when nothing can be thought of, but sometimes I am surprised at what was considered fun or memorable.
July 26th, 2016 at 11:05 pm
August 5th, 2016 at 3:08 pm
I’m in vacation/trip with kids solidarity with you friend…this ish is the PITS!