Vacation Diary, Part 1: Whiskey, Wine, & Sertraline

As part of a writing workshop I recently participated in, I composed a lengthy recap of my family’s August travels.  I wasn’t sure if I’d ever post it, but I’ve been up to my eyeballs in foster puppy love this week and haven’t gotten anything written, so now I’m subjecting you to it.  Some of it’s old news, and the piece is entirely too long for one blog post, so you’ll have to check back next week if you want deets on the actual trip.

Bruce & Mikey.  A.K.A. the reasons I’m posting old news.

This past August, our ‘we put the FUN in dysFUNctional’ family enjoyed three weeks of holiday in The Netherlands and Croatia.  I’m using ‘holiday’ in the European sense here, which is a questionable choice, because my family is decidedly American, and decidedly bad about being ‘on holiday.’  Chris still takes calls for work (not hating, just stating), I don’t like seafood, and we ALL get twitchy when we’ve  been away from wi-fi for more than two hours.

At any rate, here’s some truthful talk about Holt Holiday 2017 and travel in general.

Logistics with a long time spouse

Come November, Chris and I will celebrate 19 years of pure unadulterated wedded bliss. Please don’t look up the definition of ‘unadulterated’, because it might be another questionable word choice.  In actuality, the components which have helped us achieve such marital longevity include, but are not limited to:  dumb luck, patience, absence making the heart grow fonder, the knowledge that no one else would likely put up with either of us, whiskey, wine, and sertraline. And possibly learning how to deal with certain stylistic differences.  One of which would be approaches to planning travel.

We share NO common ground in this arena.  I prefer plane tickets to be purchased eight to ten weeks in advance of travel.  And lodging reservations booked three to five weeks in advance.  And a rough draft of an itinerary.  The traveling peddler, probably because he is a traveling peddler and spends up to 12 weeks a year in foreign lands takin’ care of bid-ness, is more of a fly by the seat of your pants type.  In his mind, there is no need hammer any of this stuff out more than two weeks in advance.  It leads to an exasperation overdose for both of us, but thankfully has not yet managed to be a deal breaker for us in terms of being mostly happily married.


The one thing all four Holts have in common?  We all hate packing and put it off as long as possible.  It is frequently a last minute harried affair with all three of my cohabitants yelling at me:

Where’s my favorite shirt?  Still on the floor of your room, because you didn’t bring it down when I told you to bring anything you wanted washed for the trip.

Where are my shorts with the pockets?  I love love LOVE that you think I’ve spent today mentally cataloging where each and every specific piece of your wardrobe is.  

Why can’t I find any pajama pants? You’ve outgrown pretty much all of them.  I’ve told you 100 times I’d be happy to order you some or take you shopping, but you’ve failed to pencil me into your busy summer schedule of watching your favorite youtubers.

I can’t find my toothbrush. You cannot be serious right now.  Maybe if you’d use it more than once a month, you’d know where it is.

Why don’t I have any clean underwear?  Because you haven’t put your laundry away.  There are 996 pairs piled up in the laundry room, just waiting for you to put them in your drawer.  

On this particular journey, packing procrastination combined with the fact that Elise’s soccer team’s end of season gathering put us five or ten (or 40) minutes behind of our planned departure for the airport for our 10pm flight, combined with the fact that I’m just generally cantankerous, had us all nice and bristly by the time we boarded our plane.

 Sleeping on a plane is bullshit.

Our ability to make these extended trips is a combined effect of mass accumulations of frequent flyer miles thanks to the traveling peddler husband, knowing a handful of kind and generous folks who live abroad, and, to be perfectly honest, the fact that I’m an unemployed lump of nothing with unlimited vacation time.

Sadly, though, Chris doesn’t accumulate enough miles to enable us to fly first class or business class or, really, any class at all.  We join the other mere mortals in coach, and, thankfully, have done it enough to master the art of sleeping in really effing uncomfortable positions.  It’s still bullshit though, especially when your mom’s bonkers.

Reason #495 to be glad I’m not your mother

This brings us to Europe, and an 800+ word count.  And thus, the most abrupt ending to a post ever.  Next week I’ll tell you about Amsterdam, which is possibly the best city in the world.  Which I’d know, because I’ve been to every city in the world.  OK, not really, but I really, really liked Amsterdam and can’t wait to post about it.

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