Tuesday, August 7, 2007

"Vacation," or "Mom and Dad have lost their minds"

With the exception of our annual autumn trip to Vermont, nearly all of our family vacations have involved trips to see more family. So, there was that week spent in Virginia in early July, and later this week we'll drive down to northern Virginia to spend time at my brother's home and see my parents, who will drive up from the Norfolk/Virginia Beach area. Sure, it'll be fun, and we're even planning a Saturday trip by Metro to Washington and the Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum. The kids will love it (and so will I). But as fun as it might be, one can't avoid the extra baggage that one has to "check" with any family visit. That's particularly true in this case because we have my family, my parents and grandmother, and my brother with his wife and kids. (Thankfully, we're not all staying under the same roof. I insisted on staying at a hotel just five minutes from the house. If the kids get crazy we can just throw them in the pool while we soak in the adjacent hot tub.) By Sunday, no doubt the usual family tensions that revolve around politics, religion, and child-rearing practices - held in check behind fresh smiles since Thursday - will resurface. There won't be any nasty fights, but we'll be sick of each other.

Well, god help us. We decided to break the mold and actually go somewhere - a resort - independent of extended family. Figuring we needed a real getaway, we booked into Great Wolf Lodge in the Poconos from August 23rd to the 26th. We'll have three nights and three-and-a-half days of pools, water slides, games, and fun. Normally I'm not the kind of person who looks to a resort for vacation ideas. Recalling my earlier posts you'll realize that I prefer to load up the car and "see the USA in your Chevrolet," to borrow the old Chevy jingle. A vacation is an opportunity to visit historic sites, marvel at scenic drives and natural vistas, while looking for old diners for our meals. Nevertheless, wooed by the siren song of TV commercials, my wife and I decided to abandon family convention and take the resort route. (To see if my younger son was ready for a water park, I took him to Water Country USA when I was in Virginia back in July. He loved it. And so did I. But I have to admit that after eight hours of careening down waterslides, some of them quite steep and fast, I was exhausted and sore. My elbows and knees hurt from the pounding.)

Friends just returned from several days at the resort and they loved it. Even the mom, whom I wouldn't really peg as someone who'd enjoy three days of waterslides, was nuts about the place. Given the rapturous reviews we're hearing, I'm speculating that our biggest difficulty for this trip to Great Wolf will be getting the kids to leave. Hmmmm, I'll have to pick up one of those waterproof throwaway cameras and take pictures for the blog.

1 comment:

One Wink at a Time said...

Having trouble leaving comments today...

This sounds like a great family vacation you have planned. Have a great time and a safe trip and take pictures!