Ah, vacation…relaxation, freedom from responsibility, quiet and sleep. I can almost hear the ocean waves gently lapping at the sandy beach, can almost taste the Portuguese wine and the crusty bread, can almost hear the children screaming – wait, children screaming? Oh, that’s right - I have children and that changes the whole vacation thing a bit. Vacationing is now parenting in a different place…with jet lag. This doesn’t mean that going on a vacation with your family is not fun – it’s just tiring. You see, children have their own ideas about vacation and they think vacation is all about the FUN! Miguel: When are we going to do something fun?!? Me: We just spent the morning at the beach and the afternoon at the pool. Wasn’t that fun? Miguel: Yes, but what’s the next fun thing?!? Me (spoken quietly to self): A glass of wine, a novel and about 18 hours of sleep.
Children expect a lot during vacation. They expect raucous good times, lots of activity and unusual amounts of ice cream. They do not expect rules or bedtimes or anything that can be construed as limiting to the FUN. Quiet, calm, sleep – they are, apparently, the harbingers of FUN doom. They are reviled by the vacationing child. This is, of course, unfortunate for the vacationing adults.
So, we are about to embark on one of these adventures. We leave for Portugal tomorrow at 12:35 p.m. There will be long plane rides and layovers and much wrangling of children. We will get to engage in fabulous games like “Contain the Toddler in the Airplane Seat with Minimal Amounts of Screaming” and “A Gazillion Questions” (because “20 Questions" is for wimps). We will arrive in Lisbon* on Thursday morning, haggard and mumbling to ourselves. Don’t worry about the children though, they’ll be raring to go. Let the FUN begin!
*We will spend the first few days in Lisbon before traveling up north to Pocariça. Once we are there, I will be blogging. I hope to have interesting things to say but, if nothing else, you can read about the food, the wine and how much sand Zeca has eaten...