Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Vacation Update

Bottom line, we had a great time. Vic got a little sick from the car ride, probably due to the meds, but otherwise was headache free the whole trip.

The first night we went to the beach and let the girls splash in the water till after midnight. It was the first time on a beach for Gracie and Alyssa was only 8 months old the last time she was on a beach. It was a little scary for them, but they adjusted well. Didn’t get to bed till after 1am. This late start didn’t prevent them from waking up at 7am ready to go.

We got up, got the mongrels dressed, had a huge breakfast and hit the pools.
Liberal amounts of sunscreen were applied. My rule to Vic when purchasing the sunscreen was to get 12 oz, per child, per day. And we used it. Me, I had so much sunscreen on my face I looked like a member of KISS.

Kids Pool:
The resort calls it Aqualand, a fenced in area with lots of kid friendly water stuff. The water is only 8 inches deep at the most and it has a lifeguard assigned. The girls spent 5 ½ hours there on Friday. They loved the place. Especially Gracie, who got in trouble with the lifeguard twice for going up the slide backwards.
Gracie also proved to be quite the social butterfly. She had to introduce herself to every child and parent there and insert herself into any game or activity they were engaged in. Whether they wanted her to or not. No one can say she’s shy, that’s for sure.

Main Pool:
After a bite of lunch and a quick nap for Gracie we hit the big pool. Hailey’s doing very good with her swimming. Alyssa and Gracie used floaties. Alyssa also had a diving mask and spent an enormous amount of time face down in the water looking at the bottom. (I always said she was going to be the first female US Navy Seal.)

We spent about 3 hours at the main pool meeting people, playing and chasing the girls. Since I’m a big, loud cut up while playing with my girls I became somewhat of a magnet to totally strange children. They’d come from out of nowhere climbing on me, wanting me to sling them around, throw them, bounce them etc. I never turned a kid down, but I was a little uneasy not knowing where their parents were.

It became apparent a LOT of parents were off doing ‘other’ things and not paying attention to their children. This was painfully apparent at one point when I saw a 4-5 yr old boy floundering in the middle of the pool (5ft deep). He was going under for the second time when I finally got to him and pulled him out. He latched on to me like a leech, scared to death. I held on to him, told him it would be ok and took him to the side of the pool. As soon as I got him there he ran off like blur. No idea where his parents were or what he was doing in the middle of the pool. When our girls were in the pool Vic or I were right there with them, on the side or in the water.

They say a business has to ‘know’ their customers. Or an artist must ‘know’ their audience. Well, I would say a DJ needs to know who’s listening to their music.

On the whole pool deck area of the resort there were speakers mounted, including the main pool, kiddie pool, grill, bar etc. They played the musical selections of our 50’ish, tall, white, over-weight DJ. No one was immune to his choices be it noise or music. Regarding this, I have a few comments.

1. After a few hours on Friday morning I told Vic it felt like Christmas, cause the DJ kept playing a lot of rap where they kept making the Ho noise. It was Ho this and Ho that,,,and some times Ho’o Ho’o. I was expecting old Saint Nick to pop out of the pool at any second. Everyone seemed to accept this noise around them, but I made a personal note that on Saturday I was going to choose the pool chairs farthest away from the speakers.

2. While everyone seemed ambivalent to the rap being played it was quite the opposite whenever he put on Lynrd Skynrd or Molly Hatchet. The pool area would erupt with whoops and hollers, beer cans being raised in the air, hands over peoples hearts, voices singing, tattooed women dancing,,,,,,,. It was a sight and sound so moving, so touching it brought me to tears, ‘sniff’ ‘sniff’,,,,,,I’m all choked up just thinking about it. Where’s my Dale cap?

Anyway, I didn’t understand why the DJ kept playing rap since it was obvious the audience preferred southern rock or country to the rap noise and Ho sound. So, I’ve decided the DJ was under orders from the resort or perhaps the city itself to only play southern rock or country about 20% of the time. Otherwise the pool would turn into a NASCAR event with unending drinking, debauchery, fights and perhaps drownings, which might hurt business or tourism.

Friday night we were headed to a nice restaurant for dinner, when our children decided to change plans. While headed to the restaurant, we passed a 3-story pirate ship which housed several restaurants, pirates, shops and fun for kids. We went there instead. I have two comments about this place.

The good: There was a roaming magician who, for a nice tip, would entertain the kiddies with lame magic tricks. Well,,,,they were lame to me,,,,the girls LOVED them.

The bad: The fare at your neighborhood Denny’s was as good or better than the grub served by this place. Only 5 times cheaper. Never going there again.

We started this day on the beach. Playing in the water, looking for seashells and making sand castles. It was a lot of fun till it got too hot. After the beach we retired to the pool area for the rest of the day. Nothing exciting, just a repeat of Friday.

Dinner Saturday was Domino’s pizza, they showed National Treasure 2 on a movie screen by the pool,,,a really great evening.

Vic and Alyssa went to the beach to gather shells while I slept in. Then it was pack up time and drive home. Uneventful drive really,,,,,except 1 minor thing. We fed the girls muffins for breakfast anticipating stopping at a Cracker Barrel or something on the way home. BIG MISTAKE. Between PCB and Columbus, there are plenty of Hardees’, Waffle Houses and McDonalds, but no descent restaurants. So, we got the girls some snacks and trucked on to Columbus. Then on home.

Well, that’s pretty much the story of our 2008 vacation. After I recover from my surgery, sometime this fall, we may do it again, but that’s a big question mark right now.

Posts I forgot to make:
Alyssa graduated from Pre-K last week. It was a nice little ceremony and we're very proud of her.

While getting ready for the vacation, Alyssa and Gracie had a minor conflict with Hailey. They resolved this conflict in the normal manner.

OK, that's all for now. Surgery is 1 week from today and needless to say, I’m not real excited about it. But it’s better than having my nose rot off. Gotta look at the positives.


Steph Bachman said...

Sounds like a great trip! Very fun. We've made the mistake of visiting the restaurants with gift shops inside or attached to them - almost always a bad choice.

Good luck with your surgery. We'll be thinking about you.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you got to take Vickie Darlin` and the girls to the beach. I'm sure you enjoyed it too. Loved the pictures too. My thoughts and prayers are always with you little brother, even more so now. Give my love to all and you know I love ya too.

Tat said...

Please, do not eat turkish apricots, they are leathal!