Wednesday, July 1, 2009

For those keeping score at home, today’s wake up time was 4:27 AM. Well, in reality, it was about 2:30 AM. That’s because it was at 2:30 when our upstairs neighbors decided to use the hot tub or take a 2 hour hot shower or something. The pipes are, apparently, loose or old or poorly insulated because we could hear them creaking and popping.


My wife thinks they were, uh, wrestling up there…. While that may very well be true, all evidence would be purely anecdotal and in this country even wrestlers are innocent until proven guilty.

But since we’re speaking of evidence and hypotheses, specifically related to whatever it was our upstairs neighbors were or weren’t or might have been considering doing at 2:30 in the morning, I suppose that they could have been doing aerobics or acting out a safari or something like that. I know that whenever they come back to their villa, they sound like a herd of thundering, drunken elephants on giant trampolines in the forest when a tree falls. I also know that they cannot seem to park correctly, either, as they are often taking up portions of several spots. Based on all of this indisputable evidence, I am able to come to one clear conclusion: they must be Phillies or Flyers fans. There is no other conclusion possible based on the evidence I have presented. My findings will be published on liveJournal, in this article in fact.

Okay, so that’s enough science for me. I’m on vacation, remember? Shame on you for making me work through all of this evidence when I’m supposed to be resting. You know how worked up I get when we start talking about science and baseball and… wrestling. So now it is back to vacation for me. Ahhhh, so much better.

So, after dragging everyone through another breakfast that included some sugary, food-colored, vitamin-fortified cereal for the kids and some slightly less sugary, slightly less food-colored and fiber-fortified cereal for the adults, we packed swim bags, clothes and lunches and headed out for the day. Our schedule for today was much like yesterday’s except that the afternoon was planned to be spent at the water park instead of being spent arts and crafting or participating in demonic sports.

First up was diving class. The Girl did her usual stellar job of making everything look easy and graceful. By the end of class she was doing jumping dives off of the diving board. The Boy, who usually also makes anything athletic look easy and, well, athletic, had a tougher day. By the end of class, after having done a zillion belly flops, he was on the verge of tears and refusing to continue. Luckily, it was the end of the class and for the last thing in the class the kids were allowed to do anything they wanted off of the diving board. So, I convinced him to do a cannonball. Have I mentioned his uncanny ability to get two splashes from one cannonball? Well, off of a diving board, this is downright impressive. Still, even with the successful cannonball, he decided he was not doing any more diving this week.

Not a good start to the morning, that’s for sure.

Next up was tennis. So, we rushed down the mountain, thankfully being able to go directly there without a side trip to the villa to find a rogue pair of underwear. As much as I like my official title of Rogue Underwear Hunter, I don’t need to practice the art of underwear hunting to stay good at it. Anyway, with The Boy still smarting from his difficult diving session, I wasn’t sure what to expect from him at tennis. Luckily, he was able to compartmentalize the aquatic trauma and he looked like a miniature Pete Sampras on the court. Well, a miniature Pete Sampras with a Gary Sheffield home run swing, but that’s alright at this stage.

The Girl didn’t feel like being supportive of her brother, so she convinced her mom to abandon The Boy and me. They went across the parking lot to the pool. The Girl swam and the mom didn’t swim; this did not make The Girl happy. I know this because she ranted. And ranted. And then ranted some more. Seriously, this girl needs a blog. She rants about anything and everything and she’ll do it with passion and eloquence. Seriously. Don’t get her started about the school board. Or previews on DVDs that you are forced to watch because they don’t let you skip them or fast forward through them. Oh. Wait. That one’s mine.

So, after tennis and swimming (or not), we headed further down the mountain to the water park. It was mostly the same as on Monday. There were rants about locker keys and lines to pay for them and rants about the wristbands and their lack of reusability, rants about the lack of crosswalks in the parking lots, rants about the slice of pizza The Girl had on August 21, 2002 at 1:13 in the afternoon which had one too few olives and two too many mushrooms on it. Or something like that.

The one real difference with today’s visit to the water park was that we used the indoor/outdoor hot tub. And it was awesome. It was more like a warm bath than any hot tub I’ve used before, but what’s really awesome is that it is half indoors and half outdoors. My favorite part of it was standing right along the inside/outside line, so that I was in both areas. I’d put my left side in. I’d put my left side out. I’d put my left side in… well, you get the idea. It became our primary entrance and exit between the indoor and outdoor parts of the water park. It also became the only thing that The Boy and his mom wanted to do. Like at all.

After a few hours, everyone was tired and sufficiently waterlogged, so we headed back to the villa for dinner and a movie. We had vegetarian sloppy joes and watched "Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo". Ah, the wacky adventures of Robin, Cyborg, Starfire, Raven and Beast Boy. If I wasn’t already married… and if she weren’t an animated superhero, I would seriously be trying to get people to introduce me to Starfire. I heart Starfire. But that’s a different story.

Tomorrow, July 2, is Ginny’s and my 15th anniversary. We’re going to go visit caves and later on go out to dinner. I was working on writing out some plans and as I sat here struggling to spell the word for an eating establishment that isn’t a diner or a fast food place or a pizza joint, I realized that I have never been able to spell the word and I lamented it out loud. My son, The Boy who is seven years old, chimed in and said "Dad, it’s r-e-s-t-a-u-r-a-n-t". Right. He just finished first grade. Resturant restarant resturauant, grrr… RESTAURANT… isn’t a spelling word for them until third grade. You know, I’ve never been able to spell that word. I think I got it wrong in third grade and it was one of two words I spelled incorrectly that year, the other one being the word "use", which I spelled "you’s". I think it was a bit of foreshadowing for my future life as a waitress.

"Wait," you say? "You, Lousy Writer 13, a man, were a waitress?" you ask? "That makes no sense?" you cry? Ah, but it is true. I worked at the wonderful Harrison House of Mullica Hill as a busboy for several years before being promoted to a lower salary as a server. I was the first male server and so all of the guest checks said "Waitress" on it in the spot that I was supposed to write my name. So, I went with it. I’d go to a table and say, "Hello, I’m Rob and I’ll be your waitress today." If I was lucky, the customers wouldn’t run away screaming. Later, when more men were hired as food service artists (as we in the biz called ourselves), they spent a lot of time crossing off the "ess" in "waitress" because, well, they were men and could not be waitresses. Right. So, I asked… "What’s a ‘waitr’?" They had no answer.

The moral to my waitressing story is simple: sometimes it is just better to take what life gives you and find a way to go with it.

By the end of the day, it seems that The Boy came to this conclusion as well and he informed us that he was, in fact, going to do the diving lessons one more time. So, he is signed up for tomorrow’s lessons. Hopefully, he’ll take the belly flops and find a way to go with them. Or a way to make them go away. I know he can do it.