Friday, June 30, 2006

"We’re on V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N!"

"…and we’re having a ball!"

That’s the song JG’s dad would sing when his family went on their vacations, and JG has continued on the tradition. We haven’t determined whether it’s an actual song or just a Dad Original, but either way, it’s fun. So yes, we’re on vacation! Tomorrow morning, JG and I are leaving to drive to the Jersey shore to meet up with the rest of his mom’s side of the family:

  • 1 grandmother
  • 2 sets of uncles and aunts
  • 6 cousins
  • 2 parents
  • 2 siblings

Yes, that’s at least 15 people (including us), plus an undefined number of significant others and friends who will be dropping by. We’ll all be in one house for a whole week, and it’s a tradition that goes back at least thirty years. Yes, I am stepping, for the first time, into a tradition that is older than I am.

I grew up with New England beaches, which were very cold, rocky, and inhospitable, so when JG describes Ocean City to me, I just stare back and say things like, “Sand? You go into the water? The boardwalk is on stilts? How does it support businesses and people walking on it?” And then he just laughs at me … I still don't completely get it, but I assume it'll make sense when I see it.

This trip will also be my first time spending an entire week lounging on a beach, which is completely foreign to me. See, my childhood vacations involved exhausting a city of every tourist attraction it had to offer. My engineer father would put together an itinerary that took us from museum to aquarium to historic restaurant for lunch to landmark gardens to probably another museum to city-specific-cuisine dinner to the ballet. In one day. Throw in some frustration over getting lost and thereby being late according to the itinerary, and it was a lot to take for at least five days. I usually felt like I needed another vacation to recover from my vacation, and it’s not that I didn’t learn a lot and gain a lot of culture. I was just tired out. In that sense, I am looking forward to a week where I could possibly read the nine books I packed, but I know that I’ll feel oddly guilty about it.

I know this trip will be interesting, but I have high hopes for its being fun. From what I hear, Mack & Manco’s Pizza, the Shell Museum, mini-golf, donuts from Dot’s Bakery, the Clam Bar, and Hoy’s Five and Ten are all in my future. I’m looking forward to spending time with the bevy of family members, and we haven’t seen them since Thanksgiving. There will be a lot of games played – Catchphrase, Apples to Apples, and Dutch Blitz, to name a few – and I always love games. With a lot of reading and picture-taking, I think I can reach my main goal: by Tuesday or Wednesday, I want to be singing,

“We’re on V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N, and we’re having a ball!”

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