Wednesday, January 02, 2008

How To Plan a Family Vacation in 10 Easy Steps!

1. Invite alcoholic parents to stay with you, your spouse, and your two small children in a suburban-style townhouse on the edge of a lava field on the Kona coast of Hawai'i at Christmas.

2. Forget to reserve a minivan for your party of six. By divine luck, secure a 4-door sedan one week before leaving. Be sure this is the very last car available on the island, and that it is not large enough to accommodate your entire party.

3. What the hell, invite your brother.

4. Do no research before leaving. Reserve nothing, plan nothing, and laugh that "winging it" is what vacations are all about. Somehow forget that "winging it" with a 3-year-old, a 5-year-old, and two alcoholics in tow is wild and dangerous.

5. Bring along all mental and emotional baggage.

6. Once in Hawai'i, communicate with members of your party by cellphone, no less than 27 times per day. Wish desperately you could throw all the cell phones into the ocean.

7. Toward the end of your stay, become seduced by the notion of staying a few days longer in the warmth and beauty of the island. Don't worry that you're out of antidepressants. Wave off the reality that your change in plans will require dozens more frenzied calls on your motherfucking cell phone.

8. Send parents and brother home. Move into the Hilton at Waikoloa Village. This will cause a surprising amount of inconvenience and irritation among many people close to you, with whom you have plans, appointments, and commitments. Feel only mildly guilty. You're just starting to relax. This could have something to do with being away from your parents again.

9. Plant ass on ridiculous man-made beach at Hilton lagoon. Rent whatever boats and toys the kids want. Watch them have a smashing time.

10. Pretend that money is just a concept.

Bon voyage!


Renee said...

Oh, the seduction of the extended stay. We had some help from the airlines convincing us we needed to stay So Cal for an extra day (short but boring story). A day in the OC was not nearly as fun and exotic as a few extra days at the Kona Hilton (is that the one with the canal ride?) but it was lovely nonetheless. Last year we *almost* got talked into an extra week on a Caribbean sailboat cruise and I nearly cried as we got on the shuttle that took us back to the airport. Moral: when presented with the opportunity to extend your stay in tropical paradise, take it, and consequences be damned!

Anonymous said...

Oh My, that sounded like a total nightmare until the end and money was no object! I guess the first several days made you really appreciate the last few huh?? You are so brave. I was here at home ddealing with all of that and wanted to escape in the worst way but now everyone is gone and school is back in session and all is slowly going back to "normal"
Aloha and Mahalo

susie said...

I would never say money is no object. I meant to convey the idea that if you pretend money is just an idea instead of real stuff that it behooves you to keep track of, then you don't have so many heart attacks on vacation.

Which helps when you're staying at a circus-like hotel resort at the height of tourist season.

Kit said...

Hi darling Susie,
You are right, money is just a concept. Sanity, however.... If money can buy you some sanity, I'd say you got a deal! And not just your experience, but the experience your children had. They had relaxed parents who found their way from a whirling chaos to paradise. They have parents who are willing to go the extra mile to get what they need, no matter the inconvenience, no matter the sacrifice.

If you can do that, i'm sure you can figure out how to do the money and the appointments.

you are inspiring!