Sunday, January 17, 2010

Hell is a Waldorf Astoria

I've seen Hell. It is a 10x10 room in a Waldorf Astoria in Key West, containing a teething infant with cabin fever and freak 40 degree weather plus monsoon. Oddly enough, Hell is apparently also my recent family vacation.

In January we took our very first vacation as a three-person unit which meant the vacation didn't revolve around ME and MY needs. It SUCKED. If Ben and I had weather ruin a beach vacation, I could handle it. I mean, give me lemons and I'll make a damn good lemon drop martini and new friends at the hotel bar. Give me an infant, a parka and a monsoon and I can't make shit except maybe a really bitter glass of lemon juice, squeezed to perfection because violence towards humans is frowned upon and something had to feel my wrath.

I mean OH MY GOD. Truly, I tried to write this post a few times and failed because I couldn't seem to adequately describe the sheer misery of our family vacation. Kate couldn't sleep because she was teething, we couldn't sleep because Kate was awake and I flooded the bathroom and bedroom very nearly electrocuting myself in the process. We didn't see the beach until the last day, we didn't have clothes that were warm enough for Kate and we couldn't walk anywhere because it was raining so hard most of the weekend. We spent too much money on crappy hotel food and spent $20 to walk for 5 minutes through a butterfuly museum because we were desperate to get out of the hotel room. We probably watched 48 full hours of cartoons because my whole "Kate shouldn't watch too much TV" parenting stance changed the instant I realized I had exactly FOUR toys to entertain a nine month old for FOUR days. I knew it was too much when I heard myself saying, "Oh crap, we've seen this Handy Manny. It is the one where he teaches the tools to wash their hands" I mean, shit. SHIT. We also watched about six hours of a VERY creepy show called Imagination Station, with a cast of grown men that I'm certain all share a nice joint after each taping.

We were so desperate to leave, we almost didn't stick around our last day, but decided that flying standby with an infant was a gamble that we just couldn't take. And lo and behold, the sun came out that last morning before we had to go to the airport. Kate got to feel the sand between her fingers, and I got to take the first picture of the trip to show "HA! We DID go to the beach when you were a baby." Then we headed to the airport where of course, the bad vacation fairy visited us again and our flight was canceled. Five extra hours in an airport with an infant? NO PROBLEM. Seriously, the Universe was being a complete ass-clown that weekend.
I have never been so happy to come home from a vacation. While Ben and I were seriously disapointed in our experience, I feel like somewhere deep down there was a lesson in there. One lesson I learned is that if the government wanted to crack some terrorists all they need to do is stick them in a small room with a few infants and no entertainment. Although, I don't think that is the life lesson I was supposed to come out of this with. Maybe it is the fact that while the vacation didn't meet expectations, it was time together, and I should be thankful for it. Because for all the crappy moments, it is worth that one single moment when Kate is experiencing something new, something joyful. Something that we get to be a part of.

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