Friday, July 3, 2009

Well, my friends, we’re very nearly coming to the end of our wild and crazy vacation extravaganza. Depending on how you see the world, if you see the glass as half full or half empty, today was either the last day of the vacation or the next-to-last day. For me, the eternal optimist, today was clearly the next-to-last day of the vacation because we still have tomorrow and I refuse to notice that the wonderful glass of vacation is emptying quickly.


Oh, who am I kidding? This was the last day. The end is near! Woe is me, woe is me. It’s the end of vacation as we know it! What will we ever do?

I hear you. You’re saying, "Get a hold of yourself, Lousy Writer 13. It has been a great vacation and you’ve got so many great memories! It’s not the end, it’s the first day of the rest of your life!" And then, if you were within arm’s reach of me, you’d smack me. So, in honor of what you would do if you could only be here, I’ll smack myself.

Ouch! You can really pack a punch!

But that is exactly what I needed. I’m better now. Thanks. You’re always there for me.

So, where was I? Oh, Day Seven.

I think I forgot to mention my wake up time yesterday, but today it was 4:23 AM, though I stayed in bed until about 6:30, just to spite the clock. The clock had the last laugh, of course, because anytime that I stay in bed despite being awake I end up with a headache. Today was no exception. But even a headache was not going to cause me to not work hard for the last day of vacation.

Much like the other days, we started out with breakfast. The Boy, once again, didn’t want the sugary breakfast carbs, but he really didn’t want anything else, either, so he ate some of them anyway. The Girl upheld the status quo and ate her allotment of artificial colors and flavors without hassle. I ate some grown-up cereal. I honestly don’t know what my wife ate because, well, yesterday was the one day a year I’m supposed to pay attention to her and I did so and today, well, I’m on vacation. Hmmm. Might be best if you don’t tell her I said that.

Anyway, we packed up for the day’s activities and headed out. This proved a little frantic, since we couldn’t find the visor that The Boy has been using all week for tennis. He wore it to the caves and other attractions yesterday. We’re pretty sure he did NOT wear it into the fancy restaurant for dinner, though it is possible he did. Whatever the case may be, the hat was on his head as we were leaving the Yellow Barn and it was nowhere to be found as of this morning. I’m guessing that he left it at the restaurant, so I guess we’ll have to call them to see if they have it. For today, he just had to use another hat.

First up was diving lessons for The Boy. You might recall that yesterday was a huge victory for him in that he figured it out and vanquished the evil belly flops back from whence they came. Additionally, The Girl was promoted to the next level, so she was not involved in the diving right away (Level 2 didn’t start until 10:30). So, at 10:00, The Boy got to start his diving class. It was surprising to find that he was the only kid signed up and so, much like tennis yesterday, he had the instructor’s full attention. Of course, the dumb aquatics department didn’t see fit to provide two instructors to him today, so the ratio was only one to one. Losers.

Despite this obvious and blatant lack of compassion for my son’s needs, the class went well. The Boy started diving from the side and he started right where he left off yesterday. It helped that it was the same instructor, the first time it was the same one two days in a row. In no time, The Boy was diving off of the diving board… and looking like this:


And this:


The key, critical thing today: Still no belly flops. There was much rejoicing once again!

The Girl’s lesson started immediately following The Boy’s, but he and I had to head down the mountain to the tennis clinic so we didn’t get to watch it. Therefore, since today was not the day for me to pay attention to my wife (see earlier reference to this if you need proof), I have no details of her class. I have pictures, though. This one is her getting ready to do a jumping dive off of the board:


This one… well, I have no idea what she was trying to do here. Kind of looks like she’s pouncing on an unsuspecting bag of chips or something:


Wait – that’s what I would look like if there was an unsuspecting bag of chips floating in the deep end of the pool. I really have no idea at all what she was doing with this dive. If only my wife and I had planned better and had set aside time to communicate today, I might know.

Then there’s this gem from the Level 2 Diving class:


Seriously, this is a diving photo. I am reasonably sure that those black dots are birds, not The Girl. I mean, I guess one of them could be The Girl, but it does seem unlikely that she could jump that high, even with the assistance of the diving board. Therefore, I must assume that this is what she saw after that last dive that looked like me going after a bag of chips… she probably rolled over so that the chips would stay above the water and not get too soaked, just as I have taught her, and this picture was what she saw.

Yes, I’m sure that’s what it is.

Meanwhile, down the mountain, The Boy and I were at tennis. There were two other kids this time so his run of one-on-one (or two) instruction came to an end. I didn’t mind sharing with them, since they were Mets fans. We talked baseball for a bit while we waited for the class to begin. Well, to be honest, we lamented baseball since the Mets have been playing so badly, but I guess lamenting it is still talking about it. Anyway, it was striking how different he performed with the other kids around. It was as if he just didn’t work as hard because he had to take turns or something. Don’t get me wrong – he still worked hard. But yesterday, when it was just him, he never stopped and he went after everything; today he just seemed slow.

I asked him about it and he said thathe was tired from diving. I guess I can buy that, since he was alone at diving and therefore got no rest periods. But it is something to watch as he goes back home for tennis lessons starting next week. Did I mention that? Yeah, he’s taking tennis lessons starting next week. At least two days per week. This was one of the reasons we wanted him to participate in this clinic – to see how he liked it. As I’ve described, he has loved it, so that bodes well for the upcoming lessons. Of course, we know nothing about the lessons he’s about to start, but I have to assume that they’ll be similar to this, perhaps a little slower. I guess we’ll see.

So, tennis finished and The Boy and I hurried back into the car to drive back up the mountain so that we could pick up The Girl and her mother and bring them back down the mountain. After her diving lesson (during The Boy’s tennis clinic), The Girl was going to be swimming while they waited for us.

Well, that’s what my wife told me was going to happen. But, seeing as communicating was not on our agenda today, this turned out to be false information. The reality ended up being that the two of them laid around and spent an hour being lazy. I simply cannot believe that they would waste an hour of vacation just sitting around next to the pool. Don’t they know that vacation time is precious and fleeting? Don’t they understand that they have to use every single minute of it like it is going out of style? I am so disappointed, mostly in my wife. I can’t believe that she would be teaching our daughter to behave this way.


Anyway, we picked up the lazy ones and headed back down the mountain. While we drove, we ate our lunch again, since this had been so successful all the rest of the week. Our destination was the water park for our third day on our three-day pass, so there wasn’t much time in the car. We sat in the parking lot for the last few bites and then headed in. Of course, there was the dramatic and unexpected need to visit the restrooms on our way in, so that slowed us down a little. Upon returning, the lady who was supposed to give us our wrist bands was absent for a while, so that slowed us down, too. Next we had to get a locker key, so that slowed us down, too. Finally, we had to wait for some idiot to change because he didn’t wear his swimsuit down the mountain. I mean, seriously, what nerve of that little brat to not wear his suit and make us be delayed even further.

Oh. Wait. That was me.

So, once all of the swimsuits were on, we set off to get wet. My wife was worried about us being too active in the water after we had just finished our lunches, so The Girl and I started out in the lazy river while The Boy and his mom started out in the little lagoon thing. After our requisite forty minutes of digesting time, we got more active. I spent much of the rest of the afternoon chasing one or both kids through water slides, floating lily pads, water basketball, wave pools, etc. Certain others of our clan decided that the indoor/outdoor hot tub was the only place to be. It was nice in the hot tub, that’s for sure, but I was mostly in it just to transition from the indoor area to the outdoor area or vice versa.

We did the water park stuff for three and a half hours, much like the other two days. But when we were sufficiently tired and waterlogged, we dried off and changed and headed into Diamond Jim’s Arcade for a while. This place uses a pre-paid card system to run the machines and like many other arcades, many of the machines spit out tickets that can be turned in to get crappy "prizes". The Boy and I went around to play games while The Girl and her mom did the same. We played a lot of skeeball… some air hockey… some basketball. There were a few video games in there and a game of pinball, too. Not sure what The Girl did, though I know she did skeeball and air hockey, too. The kids ended up with enough tickets to get: a big pencil, a whoopee cushion, a couple of stickers, a couple of disco ball necklace things, some rings, a couple of card games and a couple of other things that I can’t remember. $1.50 worth of stuff… free for our $20 arcade purchase. It was pretty fun, but it annoyed me several times when the skeeball didn’t work right — every time I got extra balls because I just rock when it comes to skeeball, it didn’t count them all. So, I lost out on a good dozen or more tickets because the machine didn’t count my last rolls. I thought about lawsuits, class action perhaps, but then I remembered that I was on vacation and getting lawyers involved would really just throw off my vacation groove. We really wouldn’t want that, right? So, I just let it go. Of course, if we had another dozen tokens, we might have been able to get a plastic football instead of all that other junk. Who can’t use a plastic football? That’s right… plastic footballs belong in every home. Get two, they’re small.

So, we dragged our worn-out butts back to the car and headed up to the villa. We had been planning to allow the kids to go to another class tonight to make bucket hats, but we were really just too tired. So, we went back to the house, turned on the "Suite Life on Deck" marathon on television and ate dinner (burritos). We spent a little time packing up and planning out how the morning will go, since we have to check out by 10:00. After we got the kids settled down and in bed, we decided to watch a little more "Lost" before going to sleep, too.

One more day to go on this great vacation!