Family vacation…it sure beats working?

I checked out this donofalltrades.com site and noticed that a post hadn’t been added since July 11th, and that post was a Daily Prompt number.  July 10th was the last unprompted post on the blog, and that was to shout out about the 100th post.  What a lame fuck I’ve become.

I reached 100 posts and then I stalled mentally.

I was frazzled.  Between the never ending files that keep making their way to my inbox at work, to wrapping up the t-ball season, getting ready to coach the upcoming soccer season, remembering to get haircuts and put pants on, secondary work, family obligations, cleaning up dog poop, mowing the lawn, breathing, etc., blogging got the boot for a bit.

Other than a stray comment here and there, I’ve been away from it for nearly three weeks and I didn’t even realize it had been that long.

A couple of people were kind enough to inquire as to my whereabouts though, and I appreciate them for that.  One of my real life friends texted me pleading that I blog again because he enjoys reading my nonsense while he poops.  Shame on me for depriving him of that pleasure.  I’ll go ahead and assume that many of the rest of you missed me as well, but simply didn’t know how to reach me to tell me so, or couldn’t find the proper words to describe the void in your life since I’ve been away.

So what have you been doing besides what everyone else in the world with a family and a job has to do, Don?

Thanks for askin’!  We’d been kicking around whether or not to go on a family vacation for several weeks.  I think we’d resigned ourselves to just staying home this year until on Thursday, July 18th, Wife finally found an acceptable condo in Florida that didn’t require we pawn our kids’ bikes and toys and take out loans to afford to stay a week in some shitty condo.  With a semi-reasonable place to stay found, we decided that we’d load the family into Ole’ Girl and hit the road for some old fashion family beach time after all!  Oh, and we’d leave on Friday, the very next day!

Ole Girl!

Ole Girl! She runs even better than she looks!

We normally like to park our fat asses somewhere in the gulf, especially Orange Beach or thereabouts, but this time we struck out on lodging and had to go all the way across the state of Florida to St. Augustine.  It was somewhere new, so I was sort of excited about a change of scenery.  The drive from STL to St. Augustine, FL is about 14 hours before stops are factored into the equation.  Using mathematics, we know that with three kids in the car, 14 hours feels like 37 fucking days.

Wife left work early on Friday and did an amazing job of Jenga stacking all of our crap inside the van so we didn’t have to use the rooftop contraption that is always an adventure anytime we strap it to our non luggage rack having van.  We left the house around 6 p.m. or so, which was 2 hours later than the latest we were hoping to leave.  At 6:03 p.m. I was already about to turn the van around in a fit of rage.  I know it would surprise none of my regular followers to learn that G$ was the cause of 97.5% of the in car turmoil.  Everything is “mine, mine, mine” which is accompanied by snatching whatever it is that Cool is holding right from his hands.  Cool whines and cries, G$ screams and cries and daddy ponders driving the van right off the goddam highway and into the nearest river.

I’m adamant that the drive be made in a single trip, with no spending the night along with way.  Pushing the little ones to the brink of insanity by keeping them in the car for 16 plus hours is just part of the family fun.

We were making fine time after dropping Jojo off at the in-laws house until somewhere in Podunk Kentucky my debit card was declined at a gas pump.  Apparently, it’s my responsibility to contact my card provider to let them know when and where I’ll be travelling with my card.  After a brief exchange with English as a second language customer support employee Nadia and security department personnel whoever, the matter was taken care of and we were on our way again.

The drive through southern states like Kentucky, Tennessee and Georgia wasn’t wholly unbearable, other than G$ getting pissy at some point and demanding some sort of satisfaction which turned out to be in the form of a ride in his mother’s arms in the front seat for a little while.

Lil fucker...

Lil fucker…

One thing I did notice, unrelated to this adventure, mostly, is that people from South Carolina and Georgia are completely devoid of any sort of driving manners whatsoever.  Whether it be driving 32 mph in the fast lane and not moving over for faster traffic or cutting in front of another car just inches from the other car’s front bumper with no turn signal to indicate that the asshole is changing lanes, chances were good it was a car with a SC or GA plate affixed to it every single time.  Also, I don’t know when or how the State of Georgia became the size of Canada, but it took what seemed like 47 hours to get through the state on the way home.  When I thought we were finally through it and into Tennessee for sure, there was another welcome to GA sign!  What the fuck!?

I digress…

We arrived at the condo and it was a filthy circa 1970’s setup with three floors for us to live on for the week.  Holy fuck, the up and down the stairs to get to the kids was exhausting! The carpet was nasty and the mold and cockroaches were unwelcome surprises, but it was reasonable and as close to the beach as it got in this area.

If I had to guess, I’d say that 83% of our time not driving on vacation was spent walking.

We walked up and down three flights of stairs many times a day to put the kids to bed or get from our room to the front door.  We walked to and from the beach over the protected dunes all the way to the ocean and back several times.  We had a good distance to walk to and from the condo pool, and just when we thought we hadn’t quite had enough walking already, we took a day trip to St. Augustine’s Old Town.

The police cars in St. Augustine read “The nation’s oldest city” presumably because “Boring as fuck to most human beings on a budget and all normal children” isn’t as tourist friendly.  It’s a bunch of shops with crap nobody needs along with some restaurants all of which have to be walked to and from in the oppressive Florida heat.  There are some tours to be taken, but most of them are, yep, walking tours.  They’re walking tours that would cost us nearly $100 per tour and we’re not that interested in learning while on vacation thank you very much.  I’m sure some folks enjoy learning about the oldest wooden school house in the country or about Spanish settlers, but I’m done with school and know how to Google shit like that for free in the air conditioning.

So, we just walked without paying to have to do so.

Here’s G$ walking.

G$ walking his way to a meltdown...

G$ walking his way to an “I’m missing my nap right now” meltdown…

Here’s more walking in the heat.

More walking!

More walking!

Ace carrying G$ because he could no longer walk.

No more walking...

No more walking…

And finally some sitting on a cannon or some such excitement.  Look how fun this sitting on a cannon is!  Holy shit, who needs Disney!??

Sitting isn't walking, yay!

Sitting isn’t walking, yay!

The most fun the kids had outside of eating some ice cream before it melted in the heat 2 minutes and 4 seconds after it was exposed to the air was playing near this fountain with randy green water in it.  Good times!

Yeah, I'd not drink that kids.

Yeah, I’d not drink that kids.

Thoroughly exhausted from our Old Town St. Augustine walkabout, Wife and I got a wild hair that it’d be a neat idea for the unappreciative little fucktards kids to experience Sea World.  This brilliant idea allowed us to incorporate even more walking, spending way too much money AND getting back in the van together for four hours out of the day, so it was a no brainer.

Upon arriving at Sea World, it was immediately obvious that English was not the preferred language of 97% of the guests, so saying “excuse me you dick” after one of them bumped into me for the 159th time was probably a lost gesture of kindness on my part.  G$ must have caught on that we were subjecting him to another day of walking and looking at stuff, because he was in meltdown mode right away upon entering the park.  He was screaming his little head off in Shamu Stadium (I believe we were in the Bolivian section based on the conversations around us) until the whales finally did something amusing.

Look, I'm finally done being a pill!

Look, I’m finally done being a pill!

G$ was mesmerized by the whales or orcas or whatever they’re called.  They were pretty kickass as far as sea creatures go, I guess.

Whoah, look at me jump, G$!

Whoah, look at me jump, G$!

We watched the shows and the kids got to ride on some rides and we walked a lot again.  It was good walking this time instead of bored out of our skulls walking though.  Ace and I rode another roller coaster as well, even though she had her reservations about The Manta.

*Here’s where a funny picture of her scared out of her mind was supposed to be, but I can’t find it anymore.  Use your imagination.

We also lost Cool for a few minutes at the end of the day after we inadvertently got into one of those God forsaken “Quick Queue” lines.  This is the Sea World version of the “Flash Pass” I’ve lamented on this blog when discussing recent Six Flags visits.  The line to this ride was denoted as a line for special douchebags (Quick Queue holders) only by a 3″x5″ card I think.  Everyone was going in the wrong line and it was the end of the day so we were all tired.  Somehow, while leaving the special assholes line and joining the peons in the regular line, we forgot about Cool for a few minutes until Wife finally asked where he was.  Well, it turns out he was still back in the special dickface people line with some nice woman who’d picked him up and had coaxed his name out of him.  Of course everyone there realized what had happened and I felt like a total dick.  There’s probably somebody out there blogging about “some fat straw hat wearing fucktard who lost his kid for a bit at Sea World.” If you read that one, he or she is talking about me.  I know I’d have blasted me pretty good about it.

Nearly losing Cool wasn’t as scary as when he nearly drowned in the real kid friendly pool at the condo whose shallow end was 4′ deep!  What the fuck kind of setup is that?

Cool forgot his waterwing device and while we were waiting on Ace to go and get it for him I suddenly hear Cool say, “Hey daddy watch, I can stand up in the water…” before he inexplicably jumped into the pool without his wings on.  He went under like a rock, came up maybe to his eyes and then went down again immediately.  The poor kid was flailing the whole time before I could get to him while some real fucking dimwit hero just stood there literally 2 feet away from him and watched the boy going under water.  Thanks for nothing, jackoff.  Seriously, if Wife had been there, I may have handed Cool to her and fucking killed this guy for just standing there.  Anyway, Cool was fine but he scared himself and me pretty good.  The pool can can be quite an adventure with two little boys running about with their big sister and only one set of adult eyes to watch them all.

We managed to make it out alive though and had a fine time at the beach.  Cool loved that he could ride his bike on the beach as well as swim and chuck sand around.

Sweet stuff right here...

Sweet stuff right here…

He also enjoyed just laying around in the water.

Chillin'...

Chillin’…

The ride home was pretty awful, what with the Georgians and South Carolinans at it again with their vehicular cluelessness.  I’m also pretty sure my GPS lady, Juanita, was trying to sabotage me for some reason by sending me miles and miles out of the way.

We had to stop at some shit hole for gas and so that I could take a wicked leak when I came across this tempting advert as the Europeans call them.

Nice...

Nice…

Oh, Katie or Debbie, for $50 I assume that BJ means nice blue jeans or that these ladies will find you a better job or something.  My phone never did pick up reception in that area, so I couldn’t call to find out what I was missing out on.

My card was declined at this shithole gas station so I went across the street where it eventually worked.  That it wasn’t working all the time was making me nervous because I was about out of cash.

We found a place to eat that that Goober from Diners Drive-ins and Dives went to in suburban Atlanta called the Marietta Diner.

Yeah, it's just ok...

Yeah, it’s just ok…

This place was a lot of bling and razmatazz, but at the end of the day, the food was just ok. There were about 239,000 items on the menu though, so it’s possible that something they serve is really really good and we just missed it.  When I went to pay the bill here, my card was declined yet again!  What the fuck?!!!

Well, it was the card provider again, trying to protect me from myself even though I told them when I had to straighten it out the first time that I’d be in this area and travelling until Sunday.  It was only Saturday.  Mel the security expert was less than thrilled with my attitude, but I was pissed off pretty good at this point in my relaxing vacation, so Mel could go fornicate himself real good for all I cared.  Mel did get me going again though, and the rest of the trip was nice and quiet.

G$ relaxed to a Shape Magazine while the other two kids slept peacefully.

Only reads it for the articles he says...

Only reads it for the articles he says…

Me, I bought a lotto ticket in Florida and made plans to never do anything again, including shaving.  This is my pathetic 9 day growth.

My face hair growing skills suck ass...

My face hair growing skills suck ass…

There is lots of gray and hair growing where it never used to, but when it comes to face hair, I suck.  I may try to grow a mustache though, just to see if I can!  I just thought of this idea and I’m pretty stoked about it already.

Wow, this got pretty long (that’s what she said!)!

Here’s one more of the kids on the beach because I like pictures and they’re cute fucking kids and I can put as many pictures of them on my blog as I want!

DOAT kids...

DOAT kids…

For those who read this far, I’m sorry, but thank you!  Talk to you all sooner rather than later next time!

This entry was posted in Family, Humor, Parenting, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

51 Responses to Family vacation…it sure beats working?

  1. Susan says:

    Glad you’re back, missed having something funny to read.

  2. Good God, how many of those nightmare trips I’ve had. Praise whomever they’re done with. As for the pool scum who stood by while your kid was flailing, I’d have been less generous with my words and likely, actions. Some people. Sheesh. Good that you returned home safely.

    • I guess the vacations are a part of parenting that we all subject ourselves too in spite of what we know. He had grown kids with him too so it’s not like he hated kids and wanted to see one less of them in his pool space! Maybe he just panicked…let’s give him the benefit of the doubt, but still…what an ass.

  3. Laura Lynn says:

    Favorite pic is G$ mesmerized by the whales… And every pic of Ace being an awesome sister! And Cool chillin’ in the water…what a great vacation, it almost reminds me of my family, all 7 of us loading up for the 1100 mile trip to Vancouver every year. Gnaahhhh…but I wouldn’t change a thing. Maybe the warm bologna sandwiches, but that’s all. For the most part.

    • 1100 miles is a long damn way with 7 people in a vehicle! Even if you owned a full sized bus. We really did have a good time even though the kids probably would have had just as much fun had we all stayed home and swam in the neighborhood pool all week…sigh.

  4. This had me chuckling all the way through, especially at the unappreciative little fucktards comment. I don’t have kids myself, but I have many times witnessed fraught mums and dads dragging screaming, red-faced, ice cream-smothered sprogs round theme parks in a bid to ‘have some family fun’. Looks wayyyy too stressful.
    Fun read, thanks 🙂

  5. gee that picture at the end makes it look like you guys actually had a good trip. sounds like a vacation that might make you never vacation again. no surprising. that’s most vacations with children. anyway, glad you’re back. summer is just flying.

    • We really did have fun, honestly, in spite of the occasional spat of drama. I was really surprised to see that Ace starts school in less than three weeks! Where did the time go?!

  6. Katie says:

    It’s funny, yesterday I visited you and MFE, because I was like, “wait a second, what happened to them?” That’s an old BJ ad of mine, by the way. I’ve raised prices.

    I cannot imagine driving 14 hours with kids. I can’t even imagine spending 14 hours with kids.

    Glad you’re back! Sounds like quite an adventure.

    • $50 is pretty excessive, especially in that dirty Georgia bathroom! Thanks for sort of recognizing that I was away, it’s nice to be missed. 14 hours with kids is as bad as you’re probably imagining, even your own kids. And ours are really really good even!! Well, G$ is mostly good I guess…he’s often pretty good.

  7. aliciabenton says:

    Nice creeper beard! 😉

    This post made me thankful that we missed out on vacation this summer.

  8. ardenrr says:

    Nice duckface selfie douche!

    PS — Sorry for the crappy SC drivers. We suck!

  9. I loved the pic of G$ reading Shape magazine! Hilarious! Sounds like the vacations we used to have. Except that come to think of it, not much has changed. Our kids are 17 and 19 and they still hate walking, they get bored easily, they like puke green looking water and still have melt downs.

    • He has a thing for magazines for some reason! So you’re saying it doesn’t get any better when they’re older? They’re still whiny, unappreciative little bastards? In their defense, that old town was really boring…lol.

  10. Go Jules Go says:

    You should know that I talked to Darla (She’s a Maineiac) on the phone last week and mentioned my concern that you hadn’t blogged in a few weeks! But then we started talking about Sharknado and I got sidetracked.

    “Who needs Disney” killed me.

    Look at you and your duck face pose – why is that not your new FB profile pic?

  11. Of course I know who you mean when you just say Darla. It’s like Cher or Prince. Darla!! Yay, you and Darla talked about me for a second! Lol. Sharknado…how could I compete with that? There’s only so much of my face that the world can handle, Jules. It’s best to not have it out there too much.

    Did you ever get your pool swimmable?

  12. The Cutter says:

    Long driving trip with kids? You’re a much braver man that I am.

  13. I was going to post about my family vacation, but I guess I don’t have to now. You’ve captured the essence of it. The only difference is that we’re not rich bastards who can afford a minivan. We have to cram it all into a car.

  14. Fresh Ginger says:

    Yup. Just did a weekender down to Monterey with the little dude in the car. Pretty much the same trip. $$$$ and all of the frustration. Always makes you glad to come home, though, doesn’t it? 🙂

  15. djmatticus says:

    Good times. I can’t wait until the little prince is old enough to “appreciate” all the long road trips we will be taking him on every year. So far he’s be super boring and just slept through the 8 hour drives into the mountains. And, next month he’ll probably sleep the entire time we are on the plane flying out to Maine too. Boooooring.
    I can hear Karma laughing in the background. But, considering the torment my brother and I placed upon our parents all those years ago, I knew I was already doomed. So, might as well play it up a bit.
    Welcome back!

  16. sassypanties says:

    You should have gone to Maui, dude.

  17. Wow! Maybe I need to be grateful that we rarely went on family vacations when I was a child…. It doesn’t sound like much fun for parent or children…and I can only imagine the money that got spent. (Hopefully not on the $50 dollar bj chicks)

  18. You’re right… they are very cute kids!

  19. WTF is a vacation??? Glad you’re back!!

  20. mistyslaws says:

    They are cute fucking kids. I’m especially impressed at the canon sitting one. Seriously, you got all three kids to look at the camera and fucking SMILE all at the same time for a picture? I only have TWO kids, and that’s damn near impossible. How did you train them? Tell me of your mystical ways, oh wise one.

    Glad you had such a magical and relaxing vacation. Back to work for some real fun now, right? This is my first day back, and it’s once again sucking the life out of me, thank you. Ah, the joys of home.

    • Yeah this first day back has been great. Guess what, the work piles up while I’m away instead of disappearing. What’s up with that? Thanks in the kids, they’re darling, like their daddy. The trick is to use a digital camera bad take 513 pictures quickly and hope that one of them works out.

  21. Glad you’re back. Family vacations make me so exhausted. Reading about them is even worse. 😉 Yet, I’m about to blog about one myself. I know you can’t wait. We ate at the Marietta Diner once too. I agree with you on that overpriced nonsense.

  22. mollytopia says:

    Hooray you’re back! Sounds an awesome and exhausting vacation at the same time – thanks for all the laughs : ) I’m sorry you were tortured by the SC and GA drivers. I learned to drive in SC, so I’ve been fitting right in with the asshole drivers in GA. Next time you’re this close to a shitty Marietta diner, you better tweet or something. I coulda made y’all some chicken salad or sumpthin real dulightful. Next time : )

  23. You were missed! My legs hurt from all of that walking talk and next time you pass through Nashville, let’s meet at Dalts. Good food and good service. Can’t wait to see your mustache!

  24. 1jaded1 says:

    Sounds like a great trip.. Destination, Florida state line. I fly to the moon and back. You drive through Georgia. Let’s see who gets there first!

  25. Melanie says:

    That double dip into GA in Chattanooga is a bitch. Pisses me off every time, going North or South, it’s just fucked up. Why? Why do it? That’s also where the time zone changes.
    And the Marietta Diner is over-rated, just don’t tell anyone from Marietta that.

  26. Maggie O'C says:

    You and your family are darling cuz you’re the Griswolds! You are a brave man (obviously I’ve read the chicken place posts) family in a car for 14 hours to Florida in July. Or you’re stupid. My daughter Annie was 4 when she went under in a pool and I was standing right next to her and looked over and she was underwater staring at me. Ack! And then the kids were taken out by a riptide last summer which was really traumatic. Drowning would suck.

  27. Daile says:

    Firstly – pants are always optional. You know that. And secondly can you please post G$ to me in Australia? He is adorable and I want one.

  28. abbbz says:

    Omg Im cracking up here. At least your venture got you somewhere because mine told me to go fk myself 3 weeks ago and because im cheap as ship i decided to let some idiot from my apt complex change out my engine,. I am now scared to ever take a family vacation ever anywhere. I do go to Florida at least once a year but after the assholes at the airport made me throw away $40.00 in formula but let me keep my matches (bc formula is way more dangerous on an airplane than matches) I just take the autotrain so that I can lock my kids in thier own sleeper car and just drive me crazy! I missed your posts..glad to have you back… oh and your kids are cute as hell!

  29. barbtaub says:

    Thank you Don, for forcing me to relive so many of our family vacations. I thought the drugs and the drinking had put all that behind me.

    There is a ginormous statue near us in the north of England, possibly the puke ugliest piece of “art” ever made. First time I saw it, I was innocently trying to drive from the Newcastle airport to our house before jetlag had me crashing the car (that I was driving on the wrong side of the road and shifting with the wrong hand) when this monstrosity looms over the landscape. It looked like a huge jet made out of rusty iron that’s been planted in the ground by the tail, nose in the air. A sign pointed out the exit for “Angel of the North”, and the ramp was bumper-to-bumper packed.

    My daughter was with me when I asked somebody how in hell this piece of crap has become one of the premier destinations in the north of England. His explanation was simple. “It’s free, and they sell beer.” My daughter looked at me and remarked darkly, “Why does this suddenly explain most of our family vacations?”

  30. Crap, you’re hilarious. This is so funny! You need a selfie of you in the straw hat. You could only catch a corner of it in the G$ pic. We’re thinking about going to Disney next month and I’m leaning toward Sea World. I might be coming to you for some more advice about that.

  31. gimpet says:

    In between reading this, and yes I read every word and did not skim like 99% of your followers did, I had to pee, put my kids to bed, get a snack, brush my teeth and put on my jammies and yell at my husband that this was the last blog I was reading tonight and it is the long one from hell…. 🙂 That being said, your vacation was just like I would have imagined it to be, and then I had to read the comments to find out that you actually did have some fun. Whew. All that reading and no fun in the vacation made me a bit bummed, so the extra comment reading was worth it. Your picture was mildly disturbing. I think you have rosacea, or early signs of alcoholism due to the inflamed veins on your cheeks and tip of your nose. And don’t try and tell me that is sunburn. It isn’t!

    • You’re a trooper to read all of this! I will stick to the sunburn as the excuse for the red on my cheeks. That and the mask I wear when I sleep rubs it the wrong way. I have been drinking less though. It coincides with the kids getting a little older and a wee bit more tolerable.

      • gimpet says:

        Ahhh….a fellow sleep apnea CPAPer! I wrote a humorous poem on sleep apnea and several posts. I tried a horrible surgery a couple months ago because mine was so bad I was obstructing during the day. Still tied to the darn thing, but Im not sucking air all day long. Ok, I am the opposite. I started drinking with all the fits my son has given me! Just you wait, this is the shang-ri-la of childhood. It goes downhill at 12 years.

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