Jul 21, 2013

A Change of Pace

Sometimes I feel like a hamster on one of those little wheels that hamsters run on. I think they’re called spinning wheels. My family and I were all running on our little hamster spinning wheels, busy with our jobs and workaday lives, and I felt like we all needed a break. So I came home from work one day and announced to my sons, “Pack your bags, kids. I need a change of pace!”

The boys were immediately upset. “Are you leaving dad?” one asked.

“Is Liam Neeson going to be our new father?” another questioned. For goodness sakes, you invite an actor into your home, and the family immediately concludes you’re romantically involved.

“For the last time, the only reason Liam Neeson only comes to our house is because it’s cheaper than a hotel!" I shouted. Can’t you see he doesn’t even like us?” (In truth, Liam loves me and Joe. He just doesn’t like the boys. His exact words were, “I hate them.”)

But the boys weren’t listening to a word I said. They were wrapped in their own frenzy.

“Which one of us is going to be forced to live with you?” my youngest asked. Then they began arguing about who gets the Xbox and who gets the GameCube.

“We’re not dividing up any assets,” I said. “We’re just going on vacation!”

“Vacation?” Suddenly the boys’ demeanor changed quickly from frantic to excited. Or so I assume. I really can’t tell what my boys are thinking. I’d have to speak with them and listen and stuff, and I was not up to the task. I hadn’t even had my third beer yet. It didn’t matter. Everyone was happy, so we packed our bags and loaded up the car in no time.

As we were pulling out of the driveway, one of the boys stopped me. “Hey, shouldn’t we wait for Dad to get home from work before we leave?” Oh my gosh, I knew I had forgotten something. It would’ve been so embarrassing to go on vacation without Joe a second time. Joe still nags us about the year we took the UPS guy with us on our vacation to Boston. It took us four days before we noticed that Joe was not a 6-foot-tall Arab. On the flip side, Joe called it the best week of his life.

So we waited for Joe to return home, and then I told the boys our destination. “Dad and I are surprising you with a trip to our nation’s capital.”

“Yippee! We’re going to San Diego,” cheered Raphael.

“That’s a state, dummy,” said Hans, the oldest. “New Mexico is our capitol.”

“No, it’s America,” corrected Roberto. We all turned and glared at Roberto. No one could tolerate his stupidity.

“Why are we wasting money on college for any of these boys?” my husband asked me.

Having no answer, I shrugged. “They may be dumb, but they sure are handsome,” I said. Joe nodded in agreement. Those kids are gorgeous. Too pretty to be smart.

Only 15 hours later we arrived in Washington D.C. We couldn’t wait to see the sites. Our friend Lola (Katie), who lives in D.C., had written out a daily itinerary of the best places to visit. Unfortunately, we quickly realized that most of the sites she recommended were just fictional places from the Harry Potter series, which explains why she talked so much about her new friends Ron and Hagrid.

After the trip, Lola’s husband apologetically explained that his wife often doesn’t take her medication. He said he assumed we knew her long enough not to listen to her. Poor Lola, bless her heart. Thank goodness she’s pretty.

Regardless, we had a blast and really got to unwind. We stayed at an Embassy Suites and walked all over D.C. I took pictures of the boys and Joe in front of the White House, the Pentagon, the Smithsonians, the Capitol, the monuments, Arlington, Embassy Row, everywhere. No one took a single picture with me in it. I even asked them to, and they laughed as if I was making a funny joke. It’s like I don’t exist. But this is not the forum for this discussion. I’ll tell Liam about this later.

Anyway, we wrapped up an amazing week by watching the Fourth of July fireworks from a bridge near Georgetown. The boys left D.C. with lots of memories and some of the lamps and furniture that weren’t bolted down in the hotel room.

Now we’re back to our hamster spinning-wheel lifestyle, but I feel refreshed and renewed. I hope that you've taken some memorable trips and that you are having a great summer too.

~ Jackie

P.S. If you want to post a comment but can't figure out how, just email it to me at Jackiesblog@gmail.com, and I'll post it for you. Will that work for you, Carol? :)