Slacking – vacation, family drama

Sorry friends for slacking. It’s been one of those months where I just don’t want to think about things. On top of that, we went on vacation last week and I vowed all I would do is just passively engage in the internet during my brief breaks in mandatory overtime child rearing. Seriously, there is no actual relaxing on vacation with two kids 3 and under, it is just … “doing lots of different fun stuff”. Morella was so happy with vacation that she didn’t want it to end and just wanted to go to another hotel. She kept asking us what we were going to do next.

I have a lot on my mind and I don’t want to bog you down with all of it. Wait, what is that? You do want to be bogged down? Ha ha, okay.

1. Vacation

Monday we used the whole day to prepare. We bought a personal/car dvd player with a split screen for the girls, packed out bags and cleaned up the living room and kitchen. Gave the neighbor a key to the house and instructions for taking care of the cats and pick up the mail.

Tuesday – Dropped the dog off at the Puppy Hotel, loaded the car and headed out by 10 to go to Manitowoc to catch the S.S. Badger Ferry. We arrived a 1/2 hour early and so we got lunch at A&W’s car hop. The kids enjoyed having a car picnic, and I enjoyed how easy it was to corral them. The boat left by 1:55, and we arrived in Ludington around 7:00. It was a four hour trip and we went back in time one hour. It was a great trip, no one got motion sick, bored or crabby. There was a lot to do and it was incredible to be on the deck of the boat and getting blasted by gusts of wind. It’s so refreshing. We did lose on Neeners little People kitties — one of her long time faves under the Cabana deck. We also indulged in a photo booth session and I accidentally cut off Neeners head in two of the four shots. Nuts! Morella looked so cute too. Heck we all did. One we arrived in Ludington we piled into the car with the hope that the kids would take a nap while we drove to Traverse City.

Alas they did not nap. And my phone with it’s incredibly old calling plan blew up with phone calls. My stupid brother Shane got drunk and got into a car with a drunk friend who ran into a pole. Shane doesn’t like seat belts, so he went flying and was in the BRF hospital with a busted up face. He’s lucky that is all that happened. TWO days before the anniversary of my Dad’s accident. Sheesh. I was/am so angry with him. Anyway, my Mom kept calling me to tell me the bad news (thankfully Lori was able to leave the first message which was brief and to the point) because my Mom loves tragedy. I asked her what I was supposed to do about it since I was in Michigan, and what good would it be to call when all I could do was talk to a nurse.

Anyway. We got to Traverse City, checked in and the girls crashed right away. Tim got us Subway to eat in the dark/bathroom.

Wednesday – Got up, ate breakfast, had a fight and then went to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. It was pretty awesome — we went the visitor center, went on the scenic drive, hiked the Cottonwood Trail, ate lunch in Glen Haven, climbed a dune and got ice cream and coffee. After that we went back to the hotel to “try out the hotel pool” followed by spending time on the beach until it was dark – collecting zebra mussel shells and looking for snail shells. Tim finally admitted that he might not be experiencing allergies — but was in fact sick. Like I had been telling him all along. We all went to bed by 8:00 after I ran across the street to get some dinner from Ruby Tuesday. They messed up our order .. but whatever. I got to have a large beer while I waited for them to prepare it and talked with some fellow patrons who told me about the Butterfly House on Mackinaw Island. As I said, we all went to bed at 8:00 because when you have one hotel room with two little kids, that is the only way to ensure they go to sleep. I later got up around 1 to surf the internet for an hour.

Thursday – Got up early, ate breakfast and then I had Tim take the girls the beach (we had private beach access at the Sugar Beach Resort) while I took a shower and packed our bags up. Tim was pretty miserable with his cold, so I had the kids for the rest of the day while he tried to sleep as much as possible. We we left I stopped at an apple place with a playground, sheep/goats/chickens access, cafe, store, rope maze, etc. We spent a couple hours there before driving off to Mackinaw City. I find it a little ironic that I spent the day at an Apple Orchard on the anniversary of my Dad’s death. That is what I did after I found out he passed last year. I called Tim and asked him to come home, and took the kids to the apple orchard like I had planned. I needed to do something … normal then…to wait until we found out what needed to do. I had thought I would never do that again on that day…but maybe it isn’t such a bad thing.

We got to the hotel which was Bridge Vista and it had a water park! Our little fish was in heaven. We got dressed and “checked it out” for awhile before getting dressed and eating a subpar dinner at an Irish Pub. Then while Tim retired early I took the girls to check out the private beach on Lake Huron. It was quite different than Lake Michigan, not many shells – but you could also tell that Lake Huron still had living plants in it. :P Wait, maybe this was the night we went to bed early. Yeah Tim was reallys ick so this was the day. But we did go to bed early the night before too.

Friday – Up and at em – and off to catch the Shepler’s Ferry to take us to Mackinaw Island. While we were getting coffee and drinks for the girls I got a $5.00 bill that had “Vote Pro-Life” written all over it in large letters as well as “God Bless America”. I handed it back to the cashier and asked for a different $5 dollar bill. She obliged me. I went out and stood in line with Tim while waited for the ferry. There was a man in a business suit ahead of me looking at an Ipad, and had a bunch of yard signs covered in a black bag. Tim took the girls for a walk and I asked him if he has an Ipad (because it has some sort of weird covering). He said it was and that the covering was magnetic. We spoke a bit more on the awesomeness of an Ipad (as long as it doesn’t break and you live next to an Apple Store) before he started talking political things with me. “Darn so and so dropped out of the presidential race” — which he repeated three more times to my stony silence before I hollered out to Tim “TAKE MORELLA TO THE POTTY!” at which point, he got the hint and dropped it. Tim came back to me and whispered in my ear to take a look at the schedule. I walked over and saw “Young Republicans Leadership Conference”. Well that explained a lot!

Anyway. So Tim’s favorite part of this story, was that the dude I was talking too was some kind of small potatoes celebrity. Lots of people were saying “hi Chuck!” and some reporter even interviewed him and took his picture. I had assumed, because of the signs and suit, that he was a real estate agent. So in a stretch of silence, I asked him if he was a real estate agent. He was embarrassed and said “No they are political signs” and then made sure to tell the next person he spoke with in extensive detail about what kind of political signs they were.

Mackinaw Island was cool. We played at the park, took a carriage ride and had the best meal of the trip at Horn’s. We got some souvenirs at 50% off and visited two Butterfly houses. Morella could spend all day in those darn houses. We took the 6:00 ferry, went back to the hotel and spent another hour at the water park. I am thinking Morella would like a trip to Wisconsin Dells for her birthday to spend at the water park in November.

Saturday – ate breakfast and headed out. It was a long drive through the Upper Penninsula, we missed the Mystery Spot because Neeners had just fallen asleep and it’s a general rule of thumb, that if a kid is sleeping we keep it that way as long as possible. There was a teeny bit of drama when our gas light went on and we weren’t sure if we’d make it to the next gas station – but we did. We ate lunch at the the Swedish Pantry in Escanaba and then went to our hotel in Green Bay. We checked out the pool, searched for a grocery store to buy milk and then went to bed. I was sick by then and Tim was feeling better. I was going to meet up with my friend Jen but she was sick too we were two ships in the night. Boo.

Sunday – got up, ate breakfast and then went to Bay Beach for a few rides before it started to really rain. We left after that and drove through solid rain, stopping once to eat some burritos at Chipolte before making it home by 4:00. I was miserable the whole ride home and last night, though I did manage to play some new Gears of War III with Tim before crashing at 10:00.

There we go. That was vacation. This morning Morella came into the room complaining of various ailments: her tummy hurt but wasn’t a headache, she was dizzy, her throat hurt and cheeks felt crazy, and she felt strange. I felt her head and it felt hot (Tim couldn’t detect it – hurray for mother’s magic fingers) and took her temperature. She had a temp of 101, and a glance at her throat confirmed a sore throat. No ballet for her, but we were okay with that because we are all sick and feeling poorly (except Neeners, but she has been nursing like a fiend so maybe she has a natural vaccine in her favor). Today is a TV holiday.

What else. There is water in our basement. Lawyer business I don’t want to deal with, and I am still sick. I busted out the crock pot to make chicken and dumpling stew for dinner so that is nice. I made Morella some sick girl tea (throat coat with generous amounts of honey). My brother Josh got out of the hospital the day Shane went in, but he is out now. Mom called to say that she is going to live with Shane for a month to help out. This outta be good, she can barely walk 6 or 8 steps … what is she going to help with? I don’t know. I just don’t know.

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