Vacation, is a lovely word and a lovely thing!

Why can’t we be on vacation all of the time?  The quality of everyone’s life soars on vacation. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying there should be a law or something saying vacations should be what life is.  It’s a dreamy thought?  Well any ways, last week we returned from 10 beautiful days in blissful Los Angeles.  The first three nights were in Anaheim, which is the only thing that was planned. When Carla & I were loading the family truckster we literally had no formal plans. We have been planning this vacation for months, but purposely not making but one formal plan/reservation (and to be honest, we only made the Anaheim reservations the night before we left).  We have never taken a vacation like this before.  Previous vacations we would have everything, every activity, every hotel perfectly planned, scripted and reserved.  On those prior vacations we could tell what the activities where going to be for everyday, weeks in advance.  Everyday was filled before we even left our driveway!


That is an interesting word.  The dictionary says: not scripted; lacking a script; that has not been planned for or anticipated.  Well we can tell you that it most certainly was anticipated and planned, but everything else is pretty accurate. We had many ideas of what we would like to do; we just decided to “wing it”.  Some of you might think were a little nuts, and prior to our leaving we might have even agreed.

When I was a child and my family took vacations from the moment we left the house it was “a race against the clock”.  My parents would wake us kids up at some un-Godly hour, still pitch black outside having already prepped for breakfast and lunch packed and in the ready.  My Dad would be one step removed from laying a smoke show in the street and “vaaaroooommm” we were off on vacation.  God forbid you have to go to the bathroom!  “Dad I have to use the restroom”, his response “sorry, we don’t need gas yet!”

Leaving for our unscripted vacation had a very different flavor then the one’s I left for from home.  Both Carla & I woke at our leisure, enjoyed some morning coffee, read the paper.  We both had work that had to be completed prior to leaving.  So we actually didn’t even get on the road until the afternoon. The ride was wonderfully uneventful.  No flat tires, no steam from under the hood.  We had a great ride all the way there.  There really is something to be said for those mobile DVD players, DSi’s, Leapsters, etc.  All of the stuff that wasn’t around when we traveled as kids.  So with the kids completely entrenched with their electronics, we got to enjoy the open road.  In fact, we (the adults) didn’t even turn music on the entire drive to our hotel, we talked and enjoyed each other.

OK, over the next nine days we let each day script itself out the day before it arrived. One thing we can tell you if you are planning a trip the L.A. area and are planning on going to amusement parks, etc. get yourselves a “Go LA card”.  You buy

that card and it gets you into a ton of places, like most of the list you are about to read.  So a list of the craziness that was our vacation is:

Knott’s Berry

Santa Monica Pier

Six Flags Magic Mountain

Lego Land

Universal Studios

Queen Mary

Hollywood tour

Glass bottom boat tour

Zip Line  (Not for Carla & Joey!)

Catalina Island

North Pacific Coast Highway (PCH)

South PCH

Huntington Beach

Now when you look at that list and go “W

ow”, there is one thing I’d like you to remember about my lovely bride, she LOVES adventure rides. Being twenty something weeks pregnant doesn’t work very well on those fun rides!  So I felt beyond guilty about riding the rides and doing the attractions.  One thing I can tell you, she handled it much better that I would have.  I even told her that.  I think I said, “Love, I’m so sorry you can’t ride everything, but I really believe you are handling this MUCH better that I would”.

One of the things that we set out to do and didn’t get done was to write Jody’s name in the sand as the sun was setting and get a picture. 

We love California, we will be back and get that done.  Because by the end of each day my lovely wife was “Done”!

So there were really the only two negative things that happened the entire trip.  So we went to Huntington Beach as we indicated above.  Carla is an incredible Mom, she really is.  She is always taking great care of all of us.  She was spraying sun block on the kids, feeding them, and tending to them.  She even made sure to spray me too and I’m not a big fan of sun block.  While in the process of making sure she was taking care of everyone else, she was under sprayed herself.  Yikes!   That is not a good thing when you plan on spending the day at the beach.

Let’s just say Carla did not like her new nick names, “Rock Lobster” and I also believe I may have call her “Tonto” as well.  We tried remedy after remedy to sooth her aching skin.

The aloe was the very first thing we attempted; let’s just say this burn laughed at the aloe.  The other remedies that this burned laughed at:  Saturating hotel towels with milk and reapplying every few minutes for 30 minutes. (Doesn’t work).  Per the Internet you should soak in a bath after adding 1 to 2 cups of vinegar to the water, I thought if 1 to 2 cups were good, maybe a 1/2 gallon would be better.  Soaking in a vinegar bath for 30 minutes, pat dry. (Doesn’t work).

Thelast attempt at a “home” remedy was to fill bath with warm water, add about 50-60 tea bags let simmer and seep.When the bath water looks like a large mug of tea, add a lot of ice and wife.  Let wife simmer and seep, remove after 30 minutes, pat dry. (Doesn’t work).

So I mentioned earlier the sunburn “laughed” at the remedies, darn sunburn won the early battles. Given the amount of pain Carla was in I made sure when she was laying in a vat of vinegar I did not laugh (too much) about it.  Actually we both had quite a few laughs, because really we looked crazy doing all of them!  Fast forward; Carla is now well into the “Peel” portion of her California burn.  We will more careful from now on!

Okay, so we are on the last morning of the vacation we are pre-packing everything in the room.  I have to run down to the car to move it closer to our room.  I jump in, turn the key, “click, click, click, click”. “Crap!”  The battery is dead.  On the brighter side, the battery did wait until the very last day to die.  After a couple of requests to other guests for a jump (that doesn’t sound very nice, but you all know what I mean) a semi-nice lady (or maybe she was in a rush) helped and we got the car started. We got the car loaded and we where home bound.  After almost 2 hours we needed gas, I figured the battery would have picked up at least enough charge to restart.  Nope!  We found another semi-nice guy to help with the jump-start.  Now we know we can’t turn the car off the rest of the way.  Long story short, from the California border we had to drive all the way to Phoenix for a Sear/K-mart that had our battery.  The battery did pick a very nice time to quit; we had 4 days left on our warranty.

We are back to our normal routine, which there really is something to be said for Normal.

Still we find ourselves drifting off on vacation every now and again!