I Need a Vacation From My Vacation: A Travelogue
My husband travels to Florida for work sometimes. He was going to have to be there the week our kids have spring break, so he suggested we come with him. "I'll go to work Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday while you guys lounge by the hotel pool. Then Thursday we'll drive to Orlando and stay at the Nickelodeon hotel and go to Legoland on Friday." Sounded great to me.
What? Do I need my head examined? Why would I think this sounds great? We have 8 year-old twins and a one year-old. Lounge by the pool? Ha! In a nutshell, here's what those first 3 days were really like…
Breakfast: Baby yells and throws food. Kids are done in 10 minutes and spend every minute after that asking when we can leave. My tea gets cold before I can drink it. Run back up to the room to put baby down for a nap. He screams while the kids and I sit in darkness. They play on my iPad and phone while continually asking, "When can we go to the pool?" Get everyone lubed up with sunscreen.
Lunch: Same as breakfast, but poolside. Spend the next three hours stooped over, helping baby walk while kids demand that I witness every cannonball and handstand they do. Text husband to see when (the hell!) he's coming home. Get everyone upstairs, showered, dressed and downstairs to go to dinner.
Dinner: Same as breakfast, but with wine (smiley face). Go back to the hotel, wash baby's bottle in bathroom sink, wrestle baby into a diaper and pj's (I actually break a sweat). Shush the kids until he falls asleep, then they fall asleep, and I fall asleep right after them. Wake up at midnight to baby crying. Change diaper, make bottle, hold him while pacing hotel floor for 2-4 hours so he doesn't wake the kids/wake hotel neighbors/get us kicked out.
Repeat three times and that's Monday-Wednesday of vacation.
Thursday: After a 2.5 hour drive that included .5 hours of crying (the baby, not me, though I would be within my rights) we arrive at Nickelodeon hotel. It looks like a Howard Johnson's, but with large pictures of cartoon characters in the lobby. My husband waits on line for 45 minutes.
We reserved a deluxe room. Here are some pics. My kids are thrilled...
We change into bathing suits and head to the monstrous pool area, which requires us to walk almost the entire circumference of the hotel because every pool entrance but one is closed. I tell my husband that this is good, it's for the safety of the children. He's not convinced.
There's a bar serving alcohol in the pool. So much for my "children's safety" theory. There was a pool bar at our last hotel. The difference is it wasn't a kids' hotel. What were they thinking? "Let's get about a hundred little kids in a huge pool with big mushrooms spraying loudly, water streaming from two dozen different places, slippery stairs and dark, tunneled water slides so the kids are nearly impossible to keep track of. Then let's up the ante and get their parents drunk!"
Quite a few parents are imbibing, including a gentleman by the name of "Mr. Don't Play." No, we haven't been formally introduced. I know his name because he has it tattooed in large letters across his back. Mrs. Don't Play is also holding a cocktail. When they're pre-teen daughter falls down a couple of water slide stairs, they laugh heartily, revealing matching gold teeth.
After the bucket of highly anticipated "slime" is dumped on an eager crowd, revealing itself to be dyed-green water (how else could you dump it into a swimming pool?), another father holding a beer yells, "We waited fifteen minutes for that s--t!" It ain't Disney, folks.
I've been to Sesame Place, Dorney Park, and now Nick Hotel. I've learned a few things from water parks:
A. There are a lot of people in this country.
B. There are a lot of people with a lot of tattoos.
C. There are a lot of people who are perfectly comfortable being pretty
much naked in non-pool areas and eating areas.
D. There are a lot of people who haven't read "Choosing The Perfect
Bathing Suit For Your Figure."
We're about to leave for Legoland. Wish me luck!