Wow, I've missed this. Missed you. I'd gotten very used to the indulgence of writing and posting daily. This two week “sabbatical” has been a learning and growing experience, as I think most family vacations are. I have a lot of stories, and they're all swimming around in my head. For tonight, I think I'll just make a list of...stuff. And get to the “serious” writing later.
“Stuff” I've learned:
It takes a LOT of sunscreen to keep a family of four in the sun for two weeks. And they'll still get burned, have a rash, itch, complain, turn their feet purple when the sand abrades said sunscreen off, and then peel. But love every minute of it.
An eighth of a tank of gas isn't enough to take nine people tubing, taco-ing (inflatable, draggable water toy which folds you into it like a...taco) and water skiing. You will need the nice people in the yellow speedboat to drag you to the fuel station, take a representative home for the credit card, and then deliver her back to that fuel station. And it's VERY hot on a boat that isn't moving.
Some people have a strange definition of rest. They ride they're ancient bicycle around the rest area, in circles, round and round again, while you wait for your children to conclude their “business”.
Whenever you get three generations of family together, someone will irritate someone. Daily.
Sailing is like riding a bike. The skill never leaves you, no matter how long it's been since you've had the pleasure.
Kayaks tip over if you're not careful.
Even seemingly innocuous waves can knock you on your a#$, and make you lose your second pair of sunglasses.
It's a really long walk from the Bureau of Printing and Engraving to the National Air and Space Museum. In 95 degree heat. With 147% humidity. And no lungs. But it works pretty well to sit against a wall to recover while your intrepid men continue on to several exhibits. If you fall asleep, no one bothers you. And they have air-conditioning.
I can survive without popcorn every night. Just don't ask me to do it two nights in a row.
Though lots has changed over the years, the boardwalk is just as sleazy as ever. You'll still find the desperate girls seeking the attention of the ogling boys (while wearing far too little clothing,) the shopkeepers promising you something for nothing, and greasy, over-priced food. (Though I will admit that I've never seen deep-fried Oreos before...and probably shouldn't again. Just watching my men devour them sent my blood sugar to dangerous levels.)
There's never enough time to do all that you've planned. But plenty to savor along the way. We have two more days of driving, and then we're home. I'm melancholy that our vacation is almost over, but parts of me are looking forward to my regular routine. Life is still good. Even the regular days.