Tag Archives: family vacation

Tips For Surviving A Family Vacation


The fam and I just got back from our vacation to the sunny (actually not so sunny) beaches of South Carolina. Weather was cloudy and overcast with threats of rain each day which actually made the trip delightful — not too hot, no sunburns, and the occasional afternoon cloudburst. Batteries recharged; time to get back to work around here.

Here, then, are five things about vacationing with family.

  1. Kids’ Energy Management. Being back and forth to beaches and pools and outdoor events and sights will wear the kids out. And I dunno about your kids, but when my kids (especially my adorable little girl) get tired, they get angry. You gotta keep their energy up. That means feeding them sugar in irregular large doses. Candy, ice cream, funnel cakes … just shovel it in. Eat meals at odd times. Routine is for the boring. And don’t even think about feeding them a vegetable — this is vacation, for science’s sake.
  2. Your Energy Management. All the problems your kids will have go double for you, because you’re old and tired. Luckily, the same advice also works. Lots of sugar, lots of huge meals at odd times (preferably fried food whenever you can get it, which is always). The golden ticket? You’re grown, so you get to add alcohol to the mix. Do so liberally. Bedtime is for suckers.
  3. Putting the Kids to Bed. Odds are, the sleeping arrangement is gonna leave something to be desired. It is what it is. And if you’ve been doing it right so far, they’re hopped up on sugar anyway. Leave them to their own devices, and they’re gonna invent games to play, babble at each other for hours on end, and otherwise avoid falling asleep. You need help, and the TV is your friend. It’s full of all sorts of programming that will distract and then zonk your kids right out. We discovered that the Weather Channel is excellent for this — their programming is somehow fascinating and boring enough to make you wish you were watching paint dry all at the same time.
  4. Mornings Are The Best Time. I know this never happens, but you might get lucky: since the kids are so wiped out, there’s a good chance they could sleep in an extra twenty or thirty minutes. You might feel compelled to seize the opportunity for a few extra Z’s yourself. Fight this impulse. Morning is a magical time — you just don’t appreciate it at home because you’ve seen it. Away from home, the magic is unmistakable. Have a tea. Meditate. Write. Run. Whatever. You can nap later.
  5. If At All Possible, Get Your Mother Drunk On Margaritas. Man, oh man, the things that will come out of her mouth.
Myrtle Beach, 6 AM. Got the street all to myself. Magic!
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Channel Surfing At Its Worst


I’m gonna keep this brief, because I’ve got leftovers to shove down my neck.

The Pavs are staying at a hotel this Thanksgiving, which means all the delightful things that go along with staying away from home as the parents of toddlers (packing a literal vanful of stuff for a two-day stayover, remembering that the 18-month old doesn’t do well at all with staying away and therefore won’t sleep or nap, and therefore, NEITHER WILL YOU… you know, minor inconveniences).

But today, I’m sitting here, both kids asleep (amazingly!) and with a little time to kill, so first of all I’m blarging a bit, and second of all I’m looking around to see what’s on TV, which is of course a mistake. Nothing’s on TV on Thanksgiving except a bunch of Black Friday ads that I don’t care about and the first in several networks’ series of holiday marathon movies. In short, I could turn the TV off from now until January and probably not miss a thing.

Anyway, I’m flipping through channels and not having a lot of luck, and I find this handy-dandy reference card by the TV. You know, the list of local stations. But there’s a problem…

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Just look at that abomination. Who in the name of all that’s holy designed that monstrosity? It’s totally unreadable and useless to anybody who might be looking at it. Channels arranged alphabetically? Who in their right mind, staying at the Holiday Inn Express from out of town, knows enough to wonder what station KET, Scottsville IND, or Trojan are on (these are all stations on the card, for the curious)?

Sorry, channel card designer, when I am sitting in my hotel room looking for something to kill thirty minutes on the idiot box, I want to know first what’s on the channels as I’m flipping through them, second — maybe — what I can expect to see in a few minutes on the same channel. Like, I’m flipping, and I see what looks like a documentary on giraffes, but I want to make sure I’m actually watching Animal Planet and not Fox News, where they’re about to replace the lovely peaceful image of a giraffe with some idiocy about how the giraffes have ruined the plumbing at the zoo and Obama is to blame.

Further, if you ARE going to list the channels alphabetically like an absolute tosspot, at least have the decency to list them left-t0-right. Top-to-bottom listings should be reserved strictly for numerical sortings. What are we, savages?

How dare they call this thing a Channel-Surfing Guide. More like a do-it-yourself instant aneurysm kit. My eyes won’t uncross.

On a more serious note, it’s Black Friday Eve, so I’m stockpiling ammunition and taser cartridges for my shopping sortie tomorrow. If you cross my path, it’s nothing personal, but I’m getting that last Minion doll.

Happy Thanksgiving.


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