Friday, April 19, 2013

The First Ever Vacation With Kids

It is rainy and gray and warm today. I have to run from the car to avoid getting my hair wet.  My grandson who visits every Saturday won't be able to go outside and play and will need entertaining.  For that there are his grandfather, father and Nintendo.  I do the reading and puzzles.

Rainy days can be good sometimes.  There are books to read, cooking to do, forbidden naps and even quick trips in the car. The rainy days that spring to mind, however, were not happy ones.  Rain fell on our first ever family vacation.

Children, ages two, four, six and seven and a half, were packed into the station wagon with luggage, food and beach gear.  I was getting over a mystery virus--low temperature, occasional chills and headache.  There was no real cure but time and I really was looking forward to a week at Ocean City.

The trip was uneventful and we arrived at Russell's cottages smack in the middle of Ocean City on a busy highway and next to a combination gas station and store.

The cottages (there were eight of them) consisted of a tiny screened porch, two bedrooms, kitchen and bath and a wide hall where we bunked the two youngest down on mattresses.  At the end of the hall, there was the refrigerator which when touched improperly gave out warning shocks.  No problem, we would be frolicking on the beach.

We did just that after unpacking and making beds up.  The sun was out and the kids were full of wonder at the ocean and all that sand.

We awoke to rain and the resurgence of my mystery virus.  The day was spent in preparing breakfast, changing diapers, washing dishes, reading stories, preparing supper (time out for martinis for the adults), getting kids ready for bed and falling asleep ourselves.

Monday there was more rain as well as on Tuesday and Wednesday.  My mystery virus ebbed and flowed and I tried to find time to sit on the miniscule front porch with my terrific library books.  To make matters worse, the people in the next cottage seemed to find things to do all day and returned, after we had gone to bed, laughing and playing cards in their kitchen.

On Wednesday afternoon, I escaped to the warmth and conviviality of the Laundromat.  A change of scene.  There were just so many trips to take in the car, just so many stories and games of Uncle Wiggley to play and so many trips to the exotic A & P.  We were getting desperate.

God was good and on Thursday the sun shone on us and the beach was again attractive.  The mystery virus seemed to improve and we even survived losing the kids only to find Stephen, the eldest, taking the rest of them for a walk on the Ocean highway.  They were rescued and the rest of the week was sunny.

I am glad to say that we never again returned to Russell's cottages.  I couldn't bear any more enforced togetherness in the rain in the tiny rooms with the shocking refrigerator.

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