Friday, September 05, 2014

Back from the East

My silence over the past several weeks has been, unlike my more typical silences of late, not occasioned by simply having little or worth or note to say.
It was because I was not here.
My in-laws succeeded in emotionally bludgeoning my Bride into dragging all of us back to the Eastern U.S. on a "family vacation" ostensibly because her parents so delighted in their adorable grandchildren that their 40th wedding anniversary would have been barren and meaningless without said nippers. They had gone to the vast trouble and expense of renting a summer house on the island of Mt. Desert in southeastern Maine for a week-long getaway to spend time with their beloved grandkiddies in the pastoral Maine woods.

This struck me as nonsenseical at the time it was proposed and, now that the whole magilla is over, done, and dusted seems little less nonsensical than it did at first. My in-laws are perhaps the least outdoorsy people I know, my sister-in-law (another of the Great Grandkid Anniversary Vacation crew) is so huge as to be practically immobile more than 100 yards from vehicular transportation, and my kiddos are both video addicted and at the stage where merely wandering the woods palls relatively quickly.
So off we went, 3,000 miles, to flop down in a great big rental along the northwest coast of Mt. Desert for a week.

My in-laws, I might add, showed little inclination to do anything with the supposedly-adorable grandkiddos they supposedly so desperately needed to make their anniversary complete. I wish I had a little movie of Grandpa Steviepie getting the word that he was expected to take his grandson to ride the little putt-putt go-karts at "Wild Acadia"; I thought he was going to give birth to something right there, and not something adorable or fluffy.
It turns out that my father-in-law's idea of "vacation" is "to be as inert as possible"; he really thought that his week in one of the most beautiful parts of the Maine coast was going to consist of laying immobile on a couch in this rental house while, I suppose, his adored grandchildren gamboled about his rest like wooly lambs. Or something.

For me the whole business was a mixture of occasional enjoyment mixed with repeated periods of frustrated irritation with the general inertness of my in-laws. The entire business came to a head on the second day in Maine, where my poor Bride ended up on the end of a tirade wherein I announced that the solution was simple; either the group came up with a plan or plans to do and see more of the National Park or I would, myself, and they could go hang.
The result was a little more activity, although the Boy was unimpressed with All Things Park; he wanted to watch television and ride the go-karts. The Little Miss was better about nature-ing, but she was desperately homesick and not inclined to be happy about that. Both kiddos were bored, and their grandparents had no idea how to enjoy them or entertain them.

Taken altogether, a rather sad way to spend a week in a very lovely place.
I'm back now, several thousand dollars poorer, but with little more in the way of inspiration for blogging. My nation still seems to be composed largely of hysterical idiots led by cynical idiots or clueless idiots, and I have no notion of what We the People can do about that assuming the a critical mass of us continues to clamor for more idiocy from both varieties of idiots.
But I'll see if I can think of something.


Leon said...

I think family vacations to exotic/special locations are wasted on the youth. Just take them to the local Chuck E Cheese and they'll probably be as happy (I would've).

Now when they're older, then do the big trips. I did a three city tour in Europe half a decade ago and I enjoyed the hell outa it. Had this been 30+ years ago I woulda whined everyday about everything.

Big Daddy said...

There has to be a happy medium for both grandparent activity levels and ability to hold parent's interest. My mother is very tightly wound and still treats vacations as a race to cram in lots of activity on a tight schedule.
I like to see and do stuff but I appreciate the value of down time. My kids are somewhere in the middle, On the last day of our most recent family trip I'm not sure which they enjoyed more, mountain biking to the flaming chicken, or playing Centipede at the fun center after the bike ride was curtailed by a hailstorm.

Syrbal/Labrys said...

My children, both when small and grown, always loved television and games. However, I was fortunate that they also adored time in the woods, on the beaches -- we often took them to the Olympic Peninsula for every available break.

I lived in Maine briefly as a child, I remember it as beautiful and green...and in my memory it tastes like fresh pan-fried trout.

Brian said...

Pancakes and sausage are a good place to start.