Sad to say, but we are not a big ‘vacation’ type family. Not to say that we do not enjoy a vacation. It’s just that our bank account isn’t fond of us taking vacations. I know, what an asshole. Anything/anyone who tries to hold a person or family back from taking a vacation should be stoned. I shall throw rocks at my on-line ‘Summary of Accounts’, or should I say, ‘Summary of Negative Accounts’ next time I review my online bank statement.
Justin’s family rented a cabin months ago and this gave us no other reason than to save up a few bucks so we could spend the fourth of July in a beautiful cabin in Big Bear Lake. I was beyond excited and went a weeee bit overboard. I mean, just a little. I like to be prepared in all situations. I have learned that this can come in handy when….well, you know, let’s say, you’re stuck in the middle of Big Bear Lake where there are stores on every corner to meet any need you may have.
Regardless, I packed and prepared as if we were going on a trip to a far away land where there would be nothing but us. Unfortunately, there were some ‘Ashley-ism’s’ to my packing (as usual):
- I brought about 6 different board games from Pictionary to Scrabble. I contemplated Twister but thought that would be a bit overboard.
- I made sure we had Ziplock bags, rubber bands, and scissors. Never underestimate having scissors and rubber bands. EVER
- The entire First Aid Kit, including Immodium AD. Trips can get hairy REAL quick if you fail to keep in mind that single time you decided to eat ‘adventourous’ and ended up over the toilet bowl all night. Even worse, I imagine/fear that situation in a cabin where you are stuck with 6 people——I never leave home without it—-and you shouldn’t either. Also included was deet free bug spray, Neosporin, anti-itch cream, an inhaler, and an Epi-Pen.
- I looked over the forecast for Big Bear and all looked sunny and bright aside for the first two days. ‘Possible thunderstorm’. I made sure that while packing I put warm clothes and a couple pairs of pants in the suitcases. Problem was, I didn’t check the size of the pants I threw in Haydan’s bag and she ended up walking around in jeans that looked like dis-proportionate ‘capris’. Justin was not happy. I told him they were capri’s and that’s the ‘new hip style’. He went with it…sort of.
- Did I mention I forgot to pack Haydan a jacket? A sweatshirt, even? Yeah. Not to worry, I had two sweaters and a jacket packed for myself. I know, what a jerk-off parent I am. Who packs themselves three jackets to wear in case of bad weather and then packs their child only summer clothes. Yep, that’s me! Problem was, I had just enjoyed a trip to Gymboree (my favorite children’s store ever) and they had SO many summer outfits on sale and I went bananas. When reviewing her suitcase, it seemed full to the brim—-I had even remembered to pack three swimsuits and a coverup. I knew I was on top of my game. Sadly, I was not. I was so, so off. She spent fourth of July evening watching fireworks under a blanket wrapped in a ginormous sweater, wearing pants that were just plain awkward.
- I did remember sunscreen though, organic and the regular poisonous kind. I use the organic sunscreen when I am in one of my ‘I Hate Monsanto’ or ‘Chemicals are the Devil’ moods. Those moods are often, however, when you are flying out the door to hop in the car with multiple others whom are anxiously waiting on you, the last thing you want to do is sit and try to rub in organic sunscreen. Have you even tried to apply organic sunscreen onto a child’s face? You have to rub so hard to make the white fade into their skin that you damn near rub the first layer of skin off. Regardless, this doesn’t take the fact back that I still hate Monsanto and all things chemicals. Somedays, I am just lazy. Being on vacation gave me good reason to use Neutrogena sunscreen. Whatever.
- I packed winter hats. You know, in case of a snow storm. No jackets, but two beanies did indeed make the journey to Big Bear with us….in July. I bet you’re wondering if I brought my snowboard?
- I packed enough nail polish and nail polish remover to do a complete ‘4th of July’ theme on Haydan’s millimeter fingernails. The results were beyond impressive, if I do say so myself.
- I packed enough undergarments to last us until….well, let’s just say that we had enough if we never came home. Same goes for shoes. I remember being a kid and leaving to go on a camping trip in our 84’ Ford Motorhome. I was SO excited and was helping my mom pack while running around barefoot. I never wore shoes as a kid when in the home and around the neighborhood. We got all the way to the KOA campground and I realized I had not packed, nor worn, one pair of shoes. True story. I always seem to remember that situation I created for my mother (whom was on a VERY tight budget at the time) and always bring a plethora of shoes and underpants wherever I go. You can never pack too many pairs of underwear. Did I mention our cabin had a washer and dryer? One that was definitely nicer and more reliable than the one we currently have? Again, I’ve warned you before—-my logic, flawless.
- I even remembered sunless tanner! Not that my experiences with sunless tanning haven’t been bad enough. You should have seen what happened this time. I was peeling from a bad sunburn from a few weeks prior and decided to get a spray tan to cover up the white areas. Problem was, I wasn’t done peeling. I continued to peel off my sunless tan in HUGE WHITE SPLOTCHES. I looked absolutely ridiculous. I’m sorry to disappoint, I do not have a photo for this one. I do have a reminder of what happened last time I sunless tanned though:
- Did I mention that we brought a kayak? What did I tell you? Uhm ya, P-R-E-P-A-R-E-D-!
- The only thing (aside from the jacket) that I really did forget—-alcohol. Not to worry, there was a bar on every corner and Justin’s brother and girlfriend came well equipped with a liquor cabinet full of alcohol. I drank two dos equis rita’s on a beautiful boat ride we took around Big Bear Lake and was happy, happy, happy! I was so happy, I jumped in the lake. It was absolutely freezing. In that moment, I was glad I packed myself three jackets. ha ha ha. Not to worry, Haydan had the wheel.
- The only thing that I did seem to really forget (putting Haydan’s jacket aside again) was my Disaster Preparedness Skills. Living in California, you get used to a small quake here and there. Well, the cabin we were renting was pretty much built on stilts and an earthquake rocked Big Bear Lake just at the same time Justin and EVERYONE were out on the lake for early-morning fishing. Haydan and I had stayed behind because we do not deem 5:00am as an appropriate time to wake up…ever. Not even for fish…not even lobster…if a lake offered lobsters. I was enjoying my morning coffee ‘camping style’ and when I say ‘camping style’, I mean I was Facebook stalking all of you. Haydan was enjoying her breakfast on the couch and very abruptly the entire house starting shaking. I did what any normal person does in an earthquake. I sat in my chair and looked around the room curiously as the ceiling fan was swinging above my head. I looked back at Haydan and just as I stood up—-it stopped. Haydan looked at me and said: ‘Pretty sure that was an earthquake.’ I responded with: ‘Pretty sure you’re correct.’ Haydan went back to cartoons and I sat down thanking Jesus above that I didn’t have to remember on the spot what the eff’ you are supposed to do in an earthquake. Especially when you’re in an earthquake and the cabin you are staying in is built on stilts. (Note to self: Brush up on personal disaster response timing and proper hiding techniques) My first instinct was to stand under a doorway or go in the bathtub with a mattress over our heads—-however, I think that is for tornados. Why do I know the techniques for responding to a crisis I’ve never once experienced? Furthermore, why do I not know the proper protocol for earthquakes in the one single state that is most notorious for earthquakes? Maybe this is God’s sign of telling me to move to Kansas. Justin’s stepmom, Wendy, was kind enough to gift all three of the boys (Justin, his brother, Jerod, and his dad, John) a gift to play ‘Rocketman’ for part of the afternoon. It was QUITE amusing to say the least. Good for them.
Anywho- we had a nice time together visiting with everyone and enjoyed each other’s company, each other’s jackets, and a nice little 4.6 earthquake. Hope you all had a wonderful fourth of July.
P.S. I ate so much on my mini-vacation, I can no longer fit into my mom jeans.
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