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Thursday, July 28, 2011

A trip to simplicity.

We were recently invited to visit my dearest friend at a lake home that she shares with her aunt and mom in Northern Wisconsin.   We have been invited before, but this summer seemed perfect, especially since
1. I wasn't pregnant or nursing and
2. The boys were at an age where I could be sure they would have fun.
The trip is 7 and a half hours which took us over 9.  Blame it on google maps, Don, or the numerous potty stops..*hint,  if you picked Don as your answer you are correct! Regardless, we arrived unscathed.   I find that road trips are a lot like gambling.  You think you can make it to the next exit which you fantasize will have a clean McDonald's but your realize that you are gambling with your bladder, and the city engineer who decided to have a cluster of McDonald's together, than nothing but truck stop buffets for the next 40 miles.  And before you know it you are holding a cup while a 4-year-old pees in it, all while going 80 miles per hour down the free way praying you don't hit a bump.  I do all the driving on road trips.  I do this for few reasons.  The first one is that I get terribly carsick and cannot think about reading directions in the car.  Secondly, Don can jump in the back without getting nauseous to put out fires, change the dvd or open a juice box and lastly, Don can sleep. I cannot sleep while he is driving ever since the rainy incident in the mountains of Kentucky on our way to Florida last year. Just as I was dozing I was awaked by my heart flying out of my chest because a semi slammed on its breaks 3 feet away from us.  So we agree as long as I can drive, I do.  We arrived to a beautiful house and learned that we would have the entire lower level to ourselves. Three bedrooms, a bathroom, living room, kitchen, workout room and a walkout to the lake.  Pretty rockstar accommodations if you ask me. My only complaint was that the gates we brought along (mandatory when you have a 16 month old) were not wide enough to block the stairs. We figured it out with creative barricades or piano benches or upside down chairs.  What also was unexpected was the lake toys that were left in each of the boys room so they could catch bugs or read a nice book before settling in.  Did I also mention that one of our friends is a gourmet chef? She made us fresh dinner, lunch daily and one brunch.  Best of all, other than travel expenses it was free.  I had to go grocery shopping twice in the 4 days we were there, but that is because the boys were more than active while there which led to extreme appetites.  Because my friend does not have kids, they eat dinner (like normal people) when they are hungry, not because its 5 o'clock on the dot. So that meant the boys had two dinners, the first one of macaroni and cheese and the second of something delicious that they have never had and never will have again because it requires cooking skills, which I do not possess.   They went tubing and skiing for the first time. Explored the lake with snorkels and even had smore's. Don morphed into a 12 year old within 24 hours and was water skiing around the lake. I must say, its pretty amazing when you discover that someone you have been with, even had 4 children with in the past 11 years, can do something that you had no idea they could do.  Obviously, he hadn't skied in at least 12 years and he got up after 4 tries.   It made me feel a little inadequate because I don't have any of those things up my sleeve. What you see is what you get, I spent all my A game in the first year... now I'm on to my B or even C game trying to do new things to impress and falling extremely short, like the time I tried knitting. Trust me, nothing is more sexy or impressive than to find out that your wife is a knitter. Well, at least a knitter wannabe.   Don did learn some facts about me that he didn't know, albeit maybe not as impressive. Like, the story of when I went to my first kegger and blew my underage cover when I ordered milk (much to my friends horror.)  Or the fact that spiders and mosquitos LOVE me.   I was able to spend an entire 15 minutes by the campfire or as I call it, the mosquito thanksgiving, while they feasting on the other white meat, which was me.  And I have also handed that trait down to Jack who was bit by a spider which resulted in him having three bumps, two of which looked like Lucifer horns, this resulted in a reaction that made it look like he had 50  massive bug bites. After a while we decided there was no way he could have been bit that many times, especially since I had sprayed him. ( Did I mention there was a fully stocked bar?)  So the only option was Benedryl. I have been extra cautious about this drug ever since a co-worker gave me a Benedryl before a work reception( with wine) and it resulted in me telling my boss he looked like the bartender, who was an 80 year old toothless woman. So I cut the benedryl in half, and then in half again and gave it to him. The warnings were extreme excitability or noted drowsiness.  Once again, a gamble.  We noticed him stumbling so I decided it was time to take him to bed. As we were walking down the hallway I got a glimpse of his future fraternity persona. He kept repeating. "My name is JAAACCCKKK, J. A. C. K. Jack".  Yep, he is his mother's son. He slept like a rock.
Not only was this a vacation for us, but it was also a vacation from my makeup. I didn't wear an ounce, and I wore a sundress and my hair in a knot at the top of my head the entire time, and they still recognized me.  You know you have life long friends, when you can do that.  I can't even do that around family. It would only be a matter of time before my mom would ask if I was going to clean myself up, or before my mother-in-law would offer to watch the kids so I could take a shower.  I did shower by the way.
Before we knew it, it was time to go. Re- packing always seems to take twice as long.  We were sad to go, but knew that 4 boys and 2 adults are a lot for a previously peaceful house. No matter how much they say they love your company, you always kind of wonder if they are wishing they could sleep past 7 a.m. and go a day without hearing screaming.    We said our goodbyes and took off honking and waving goodbye, blowing kisses. Only to return 3 min. later because we forgot the bottle.  I swore they would be doing the jig in their lawn when we returned but they weren't. They actually had tears in their eyes.  And to solidify that they had just as much fun as we did, I received a text that they hadn't cleaned the little hand prints off the glass just yet. A little reminder to them of how laughing kids can make an already loving house even more of a home and a reminder to me that surrounding yourselves with good friends, laughing so hard you cry and taking a break from all that is stressful is what vacation is all about.

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely wonderful Noelle! This really sums up the entire week perfectly. And yes, Don did revert to a young child! ha ha. So funny :)