Thursday, February 24, 2011

Vacation report

You may have noticed that I haven't posted for a few days. I've been on vacation and had many and wondrous experiences that I'm not going to tell you about. I don't know about you, but I only like to hear about vacations that go badly. I'll listen for hours as people tell me how they had dysentery but no luggage as they trudged through a Tibetan sandstorm trying to figure out why the airline didn't take them to Hawaii like their tickets said. If someone tries to tell me about a vacation where they relaxed, had wonderful food, and expanded their spiritual horizons... Well, I'll either try to strangle them or fall asleep (Yes, Jessica, this is why I didn't read your blog about Japan yet.).

Since I don't want to alienate all both of my readers, the following is an account of all the bad things that happened on my vacation, magnified a thousand times. If it helps, read this out loud in a stereotypical New York Jewish mother voice.

I was deathly ill and congested. As the plane descended, my ears couldn't equalize the pressure and I had sharp pains in my head for about an hour. Ow. It turns out that, when my wife told me she had packed pants for me, I had been dreaming. I still blame her. We went to my nephew-in-law's wedding in south west snomamawamadingdong. Or something like that. Our GPS died on us on the way there, probably choking on the name of the town. When we came across a wedding, we were so fed up from driving around lost, we went in without making sure it was the right one.

In spite of being in the Pacific Northwest, you have to drive several hours to get to the snow. While the drive would be a gating factor for most people, everybody else decided to go sledding on the same day and the same place as us. Every fifteen minutes or so, we'd pass a sign that flashed "SERIOUSLY, NO PARKING. TURN BACK, JERK." We went anyway, circled the parking lot like a school of sharks (Do sharks school? Maybe we circled like a truant of sharks.) before finding spaces. Kids on sleds are like drunks in cars, crashing into each other at high speed before rolling out of their vehicles and laughing while spitting blood and teeth. I bruised my hip right where I keep my wallet, making paying for things even more painful than usual. Oh, that reminds me, on the way home I bought some pants. Ow.

Another long drive, this time to the Great Wolf Lodge in Big Lump or Creepy Hill or Giant Barrow Washington. I'm not sure; my GPS failed me again. The GWL is where they put all the rejected animals from the Disney Safari Cruise. They have this game where you wave toy wands at the animals and they light up or cough oil at you. It's supposed to be fun for kids, but adults have to listen to them running through the hallways all night looking for the magic chipmunk who will give them the lost amulet of Wopnoo. The line to check in was too long, so we went into the other area of the lodge: the indoor water park. I scraped my knee in the kiddie pool. Ow.

More finger-prune making in the water. More waving over-priced plastic wands at creepy statues of wolves. My younger son got my cold just as I was getting over it. We drove back to my brother's house slowly, playing Sesame Street songs the whole way, hoping he'd fall asleep. He did not. It snowed. Why did we drive to go sledding?

My parents arrived. I bought an XBOX Kinect and watched the kids (five boys for those of you keeping track at home) jump around the room, pretending to be contestants in a reality show. If they ever make a show called Real Juveniles of the North West, I blame myself (and Microsoft, because everybody blames Microsoft). We also saw Boeing's Museum of Flight and saw such marvels as the Concorde encased in so much protective plastic, you can't fit in the aisle and the collection of stewardess uniforms.

We flew back. On the way there, Alaska Airlines failed to tell us when they changed our gate, making us nearly miss the flight. This time, we got to the right gate and were having lunch, when the airline announced they were boarding and were going to shut the doors in five minutes, so hurry the hell up already! We decided to hold off going to the toilet to get on the plane. Ow. Then we sat for an hour doing nothing before the plane took off. They claimed a United 777 airplane was blocking them, but I happen to know a United 777 pilot and it wasn't him, so I suspect foul play. On the bus ride back to the parking lot, some guy swore at my three year old for not covering his mouth when he coughed ("cut that s- out."). I threatened to cut his tongue out if he bad mouthed my kids again (although I did it about three hours after we got home).

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