I love beach vacations. I love soaking in the sunrays as I tread water in the warm ocean. Or my version of treading water, which consists of squatting in knee deep water and kicking frantically whenever a wave crashes againt my body. But then there are those vacations where relaxing is far from the itinerary. Yup. I speak of a beach family vacation.
Bringing my family together on vacation, especially a beach vacation, leads to a multitude of trouble. First, there are the sunburns. Painful shoulders when touched and noses that peel. Second, there is the boredom. Laying on the beach is great but there needs to be something else to do. Lastly, there are the actual family members. The one who is often drunk, itching for a drink every hour and wobbling as if on stilts once the alcohol is consumed. The one who takes an hour to shower. The one who shouts when speaking as if my ears weren’t only a foot away. The one who is on the phone all day. The one who wants to plan everything or plan nothing. The one who wants to watch TV on vacation. And then there are those who make me want to punch a hole in the wall because they lack consideration and keep me waiting.
I’ve written about how much I loathe waiting on line. Well, I may hate waiting on others who dilly dally much more. I want to pinch them awake. Grab their baby hairs in between my fingers and squeeze until they jump. I want to push them toward our destination. Drag them by the ankles until we are at the restaurant or the bar or wherever it is we were supposed to be an hour ago. Actually, I don’t want to be on vacation with them at all.
Too bad I can flap my arms and fly home.
Home. This vacation was supposed to be my escape from stress. My time at Hilton Head Island was supposed to be relaxing. Tension free. Instead my shoulders are in knots. My shoulders refuse to drop and so a photo is snapped and I look like the bride of Frankestine. No. This vacation, this beach family vacation, is not what I imagined. I hoped for laughter and smiles and family unity. Instead one group is here and another is there, everyone making their own plans, doing their own thing, making their own way that is in no way familial. And so I sit here alone. Feet dangling by the pool as I type on my new iPad 2. I sit here alone, not waiting for anyone, enjoying the rest of my time on a beach vacation that’s not the beach vacation that I love.
It is not a vacation at all.