It’s always nice to go on vacation and it is always nicer to be back home. Back in your own bed, back on your own schedule, back to yelling at your kids without feeling embarrassed in front of family. Now we are back to getting on a schedule and trying to keep up with the summer commitments that we have made, feeling somewhat conflicted about filling up the kid’s summer vacation with activities that they are not always excited about. In a way I feel like I am robbing them from being a kid and having free time like I did as a child. Swim team has a lot of benefits, like giving my kids a life skill that makes me feel better about being a parent, but it also has the three of us in a fit getting up at 7AM and trying to be dressed, peed, fed and at the pool for warm-ups at 8.
Vacation was great, my husband and I even got to sneak away for a couple of days without the kids. We went to a casino resort in Michigan and had some friends and family meet up with us there. Before you ask, the kids were not locked in the car, as the signs all over the parking lot clearly state that is unacceptable. It amazes me that you have to actually inform people of that fact. They even have a fancy daycare there now for the people that just have to get their gambling fix but can’t find anyone to take their kids. My kids got to go on their own vacation with my parents and their two cousins and there is no doubt who had the better time. At one point my daughter gets on the phone to talk to me and I tell her to quit chewing so I can understand her and she says, “Grandpa actually found a store that makes Oreo popcorn up here!” My seven year old has an Oreo addiction worse than any 80’s rock star has to skin tight pants, long hair and cocaine. The fact that my dad was able to find this is no surprise, he is the same person that stopped at every exit for 200 miles trying to find her favorite restaurant, Bob Evans.
Casinos are funny places, it seems strange to work so hard to make money and then to go a place where the odds are stacked against you to lose that hard earned money. I, of course, have a plan. I take x amount of dollars to spend and when it’s gone I take to buying cheap drinks and people watching. People watching is way more fun, especially at a casino. If you have never been to a casino, then you might not realize that 80% of the patrons are senior citizens. We are not talking the wealthy, old money type, we are talking, ‘I just got my social security check in the mail’ type of folk. Many of these people roll around in wheel chairs with some type of contraption hooked up to their nose or mouth, some even need help getting situated, but once they are get the heck out of their way! I photographed an older couple’s luggage rack that had about 15 oxygen tanks with their suitcases. Really??? How long you plan on staying here???? I actually witnessed a woman with an oxygen tank tube going into her nose while she smoked a cigarette. Does this not go against all common sense? How about rules? Isn’t there a sticker on the oxygen tank that states that it is explosive?
While we are on the subject, let’s talk about rules. Do you know you cannot use profanity in a casino? I found this out the hard way, but was able to keep myself out of trouble. After the fifth bad hand of cards the dealer laid in front of me I started calling him some names that were not exactly appropriate. The pit boss was dispatched to tell me that swearing is not allowed, especially towards the dealers and she asked if I meant it. When I told her that I did mean it, but that I would still tip the dealer (if I had any money left) she informed me that in the future when asked I should always say no I didn’t mean it and apologize. “So, let me get this straight….I can drink, smoke and gamble while I am here in an adult environment but I am not allowed to say Hell, Shit or Damn????” I didn’t really get a response to that question, just a friendly warning to behave for the rest of my stay.
I do love vacation time, it’s nice to turn off the normal for just a bit and try to relax. Relax may not be the right word for it, especially after spending 10 hours in the car with my kids and the wooden Indian flutes my dad made sure to get them at Mackinaw City. Nothing like steering through the mountains of Pennsylvania while the two of them compete over who can play louder and ask me every 15 seconds to name that tune. I don’t know, is it called INSANITY? I am thinking about taking them camping with us where I can “accidentally” make sure both of them get dropped into the fire pit (the flutes, not the kids).
Back home and back to reality, where my version of bliss is sure to blossom with more colorful stories.