Monday, October 23, 2006

Where have I been?

Last Thursday, I left the kids at school and flew home to Delaware. My mother's 60th birthday was Friday, October 20th. My dad surprised her with a weekend trip to Bermuda; the two of them left Thursday morning. The second part of the surprise came when my brother, sister and I showed up at their resort for dinner Friday night.

She was thrilled, and completely shocked. Yes, that means I flew 6 hours Thursday and then another 2 on Friday morning, followed by a 13 hour travel day two days later, but it was totally worth it. You only turn 60 once, after all. Not to mention, Bermuda! Yet another tropical family vacation, and you know I never say no to that. *

I had never been to Bermuda before, and it's always fun to go to a new spot. We were there less than 48 hours so there wasn't much time to explore, but the weather was gorgeous. The resort where we stayed was extremely nice, and my father booked my siblings and I into a large suite so the five of us would have a place to congregate. My impressions of Bermuda are two: beautiful, as you'd expect from a tropical island, and also a little stuffy, in a British/ New England kind of way. (Lots of blue blazers and madras pants, know what I mean?) Oh, also? Horrifyingly expensive. Moreso than Hawaii, and that's saying something. However, as I said, we had very little time to explore, so those impressions could be way off, and might be more indicative of the resort than the whole island.

I would go back in a minute, especially if someone else was paying.

Here is where I would normally post pretty pictures, but I forgot the camera, so you'll just have to take my word for it. I really wish I'd gotten a picture of Mom's face when she walked into the dining room and saw us there, but even without the photo, I'll remember it forever.

Some things to remember:

The "family" that flew with me on the transcontinental flight fro L.A. to Philadelphia. Mom and 3 year old in front row, Dad and 4 year old in second row. Several times during the flight, I thought to myself, "Hmm, that Dad sure doesn't help much (he had passed his kid up to sit with the Mom very early on)" or "I would kill Lance, if he was just sitting there reading the paper while I dealt with all the kids". Then, when we arrived in Philadelphia, the mom said "Well, thanks for playing with us, Megan!" and got off with her daughter, leaving the stranger and his kid to get off on their own. Yeah. He passed his kid off to a complete stranger for the entire 5-1/2 hour flight while he read the paper.

Water. This particular resort does not have mini-bars in the rooms; instead, they send you a list of possible items to choose from before you arrive. My sister filled out the form, and decided that we'd need several bottled waters. Assuming their bottled water was the standard, 8-12 oz kind, she ordered 18-- 3 a day, per person. The bottled water came in liter size, which, if you're not quite sure, is slightly larger than a bottle of wine. 18 liters of water to drink in less than 48 hours. This led to much hilarity, in the form of water-pounding competitions, and jokes along the lines of "Gosh, I just wish I had some clear liquid to drink. You know, that doesn't taste like anything, but is refreshing. Where could I find something like that?" or "Maybe we should take the water with us to dinner--do you think they'd charge a corkage fee?" For the record, my brother and I won the who-can-drink-the-most-water contest, and in fact, we did get through all 18 liters, not to mention 12 beers, a bottle of rum and 1/2 a bottle of champagne. This doesn't include what we drank at dinner.

Family. It hasn't been just the five of us in years--probably 20 years. We had such a great time, and Dad stepped right back into his preferred role of director, getting out the maps and tourist information at dinner Friday night and organizing our whole day Saturday for us. This was much more endearing than it is on longer vacations: there was no sense that he was trying to control our holiday, since this was only a weekend, and we were there just for Mom anyway. Nobody bickered (again, it was only a weekend), and we all left in better spirits than we arrived. I love my family and miss them, and holidays like this just reinforce that lucky feeling--I am truly blessed to have these people in my life.

The one stressful moment occurred when we decided to rent mopeds--two doubles and one single. My dad and Chip drove the doubles, with Mom and I as passengers, and Ann rode the single. Mopeds are big--bigger than you think--and unsteady--and in Bermuda, they drive on the left side of the road. My dad has a bum knee, so it was difficult for him to steady the bike, and I felt pretty unprotected, riding behind Chip. Fortunately, after we spent a good twenty minutes learning how to ride the bikes, with my stress level rising every second (it was scary, y'all) and my dad furiously licking his lips in concentration at every turn, we went to sign the contract and discovered that they only had 24 hour rentals. Since it was already 4:30 pm and we were leaving the next morning, we decided to skip the mopeds and hop in a cab instead. At that point, I don't think anyone was too thrilled about the moped ride (with the possible exception of my brother), but no one wanted to be a kill joy for anyone else. When it became clear that the rental terms would give us a way out, we all sighed in relief.

I'm glad to be home, and, even better, Lance is glad that I'm home. He's a bit tired from a weekend alone with the kids (she says, with just a trace of smugness). Hope everyone else had a nice weekend too!

*I didn't mention it here because it was kind of last minute and also I felt a little sheepish, having just returned from Hawaii a few weeks ago.


stefanierj said...

he passed his kid off to a stranger for a 5.5 hour plane trip?? The only question I've got is: HOW DID HE DO IT?? My sister babysat her friend's kid for 24 hours for FREE this weekend, and I was like "hello, please get me some of that!" Why do I never meet people like this woman? :)

I'm kidding.


KathyR said...

Yeah. But, sadly, I can totally believe that the dad would palm his kid off on someone else for a whole plane ride. The stranger mom was lucky the flight wasn't longer.

Bermuda sounds amazing and your dad sounds like a pretty great guy and your siblings sound like fun. Hmm. Need a big sister?

isimsiz kahraman said...
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