Sunday, May 1, 2011

Back to Reality

We have returned to reality. We flew home yesterday without issue and shivered as we walked outside. It’s funny how quickly we acclimated to the warm sunshine of Myrtle Beach. In all, I have very few complaints about the week away. It was a little bit of heaven. The only thing missing was EN being with us.

It was somewhat difficult traveling with family. My sister parents much differently than I do and it was sometimes hard to keep rules in place with my girls when her kids had more freedom. Her kids really don’t have a set bedtime and then sleep until all hours. If my girls stay up late, they still get up early and then suffer from extreme cases of crankypants by midday. My girls know their mama well enough though, and really behaved well.  It was hard to fight when we were all feeling so relaxed. We spent oodles of time on the beach, shopping and just hanging out. It was fabulous spending time together without the pressures of everyday life weighing us down. We had no appointments or commitments and just flew by the seat of our pants.

My outrageous sunburn is finally fading to peeling skin. Most of it is hidden under clothes but for my nose. It’s still raging red with flakes of skin shooting off all over the place. Another day of me being amazed at how smoking hot I am.

I was also lucky enough to get sick while I was away. This is becoming tradition. I was sick on our cruise in 2000. I got sick when we went to Mexico in 2005. On Wednesday I woke up with a sore throat. I thought it was as a result of having too many Bud Light Limes the night before. You know, that citrus can do a real number on you… By Thursday I was miserable and had a sore throat, stuffed nose and fever by the end of the day. Thankfully my sister was very kind to me and told me to go lay down while she took charge of the girls. She told me to go to an urgent care facility for some antibiotics, but I chose instead to hit CVS and stock up on drugs. During the flight home, I realized I should have listened to her.

I have hearing problems anyway and still at my ripe old age suffer from ear infections regularly. I know better than to fly in that condition, but I ignored the problem. So I was stuck flying home in misery. My ears were nearly complelety blocked in the air and I couldn’t hear a word my girls said to me. They’ve popped a little since then, but I’m still having issues. It could also be that I got used to to the sound of the ocean out my bedroom window and the yelling of my sister’s family.  I always thought we were a loud family. We have nothing on my sister’s!

We have some great memories of this vacation. My sister and I realized together, like deprived children, that we had always wanted to have some of those tacky Old Time Photos taken and never had. The kids got decked out and had pictures taken. It’s really hard to say who enjoyed it more. The four youngest kids got henna tattoos. After all, what’s a trip to the beach without a tattoo? We consumed gallons of ice cream. We collected hundreds of seashells and leapt away from dozens of washed-up jellyfish. Spice performed some wacky shovel burying ceremony on the beach and screamed at anyone who dared to kick one over. We couldn’t figure out what that was about and were too scared to ask. The girls were introduced to buffet-style restaurants. Spice was delighted to find loads of “that orange stuff” (cantaloupe) and “that white gravy that I love so much” (Southern-style sausage gravy). I also introduced them to hush puppies, quite possibly the yummiest bits of badness in the world. Sugar and her cousins boogie boarded nearly every day, while Spice simply walked around with hers attached to her wrist. We walked the beach daily and just hung out together without a care in the world.

By Friday, the girls were dying to come home. They missed their dogs and their dad. Spice cried a couple of times because she missed her daddy so much. She cried Friday night and again at the airport on Saturday. More than anything, I think she was simply exhausted. Why waste your vacation time sleeping?

After we collected our luggage and walked out to meet EN, Spice was an absolute wreck. She took one look at EN and broke down in tears. She stood on the airport curb sobbing like her little heart had broken. Then Sugar started. I think their hearts just overflowed with happy when they saw their favorite guy.

Even though EN couldn’t go, I’m glad I seized the opportunity to spend a week away with my girls. I feel closer to them and I am quite proud of them. They behaved well. They were polite and happy. They enjoy meeting new people and caught the attention of everyone from the women working at the Harley store, to the flight attendants and pilots. They are always thrilled to experience something new. I knew the vacation was a huge success when Sugar said, “I guess we don’t have to go to Disney to have a blast. When can we go back to Myrtle Beach?”

So tomorrow, we go back to school and work and obligations. I hope the carefree feeling of the sand between our toes and the sea breeze in our hair sticks with us for just a little bit. 

Ice Princess

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