Jun 30, 2011
So about a week before our entire-family-beach-trip, Charlie and I started fantasizing about what the three-story condo we were going to rent was going to be like. I firmly believe that anticipation is the best part of any vacation, so we decided to build our preparatory vision out of the best toy ever invented... Legos.
First, we had to be sure our Lego getaway was in fact three stories, which was the most mind-blowing thing about the whole condo-to-be since we usually stay in like hostel-similar hotels when we go to NYC and when we were kids we'd all cram into one motel room. Second most important feature to capture was our very own pool in the backyard. So I tackled the towering condo. Charlie worked on the pool. Then we connected it together...
... and added the most important factor. Little tiny food.
The actual beach house did not disappoint once we got there. Our family went nuts running up every story picking out our rooms and screaming our heads off. Kathleen is doing a great documentation of the beachy-aspects of our trip. So not to be too redundant, here's what happened exclusively "in the house":
Top 5 Actually-In-The-Beach-House Moments:
1. Kathleen and Charlie leaping in the pool with all their clothes on the minute they jumped out of our two-car Honda Fits family caravan after two days of driving.
2. Working assembly-line style in the kitchen putting away the week's worth of food we went out and got that evening from the grocery store. Then Kathleen said she felt like some group of crazies was going to trap us in the house or hold us hostage... or something like a giant post-apocalyptic flood was going to force us to barricade in ourselves on the third floor and we'd have to live off of our cornucopia of snacks from the Publix. Each eating only one Whole Wheat Wheat Thin a day to ration ourselves.
3. Standing on the balcony two days later waiting for Donny and Anna (his girlfriend) to arrive from New York City. When they stepped out of their rental car below we started screaming. Donny told us that when they rented their car at the Mobile, Alabama airport the lady behind the counter told them (as they were both all tall and clad in black and grey with beautiful severe features) that they "looked like people from the TV." They played it cool, but then quickly got in the car and got all puffed up, gleefully repeating "we look like people from the TV!"
4. Playing our own version of Marco Polo in the pool that Donny invented where you start off as a zombie (in his case a zombie with a wet drooping disheveled mustache), and groaning a lot with your eyes closed had to touch someone else in the pool (pretending to eat their brains optional) and then they became a zombie too and so on and so on. Lots of screaming again. The neighboring renters, a nice elderly couple who walked their cute dachshund dog every day, probably just didn't know what to think. Except to keep a close eye on their little dog for fear of him getting devoured.
5. Mom making us write our names in Sharpie on our one blue plastic cup we were allocated and Kathleen writing "Forget You." (A clean homage to the Cee Lo song).
6. Completing jigsaw puzzles with the microwave timer counting down our deadline... you know to keep the pressure on.
7. Dad with his fishing rod out by the pool, trying to catch discarded socks and diving sticks in the water by casting in an actual hooked lure, inches from little Sam's face. I never doubted. My dad casts like an expert archer hits an apple on an assistant's head. Or in our family's case, like Donny can whip a cigarette out of his assistant's mouth (or is that the other way around?)
8. Always forgetting something that you needed on the third floor. A blankie, the sunscreen, an iPod, shoes... underwear. I didn't really mind going up and down the Vertigo-like stairs. It was kind of fun, like a fitness challenge. When you're spending all week in a bikini next to P90-X girl and a girl who dances for a living... um, you can use some extra steps to keep you fit. I just thought of my kids shouting down the stairwell as my personal trainers.
9. The stairwell itself was especially interesting at night. Everyone had bedrooms on different floors. According to my sister, if like Sam would even peep in his sleep in one room, I'd be bounding down two flights in the dark, on marble freaking floors, in an eerily responsive flash. Have I mentioned we are a family of intense sleepwalkers, sleepwalkers... sleepscreamers? Screaming is a theme. Wait, maybe our family is the group of crazies that descended upon the house after all?
10. Taking my kids around the house to say goodbye on our last day. Goodbye third floor balcony where we had an impromptu afternoon dance party during an impending thunder storm and Kathleen pretended to be Lady GaGa, hiking her cutoff shorts up her rear and prancing around with her "paws up." Goodbye giant winged ant bugs that liked to drop down into our bed right when my husband and I were finally alone, cozying up and about to fall asleep. Goodbye marble staircase that no one (thank God) broke our neck on. Goodbye kitchen counter where after biting into one of Kathleen and Jeremy's healthy no-meat hotdogs, Charlie commented "this hotdog is good, but I think it needs a weenie inspection." Goodbye zombie pool. Goodbye beautiful beach house. See you next year. Don't worry, you'll hear us coming from a mile away. Screaming.