Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Snaps for Vacation
Our vacations haven't been going so smoothly over the past year. Case in point, last year's vacation of DOOM.Anything that can go wrong, has been. While we've managed somehow to stay away from emergency rooms, the vacations have still been a little less than relaxing at times.
We make the best of it. We have a family that laughs a lot, that can find something funny in just about everything, that loves being together, no matter where we are.
But just in case the location was jinxed, we thought we'd go back to where we know we love.
We've had a beach we're crazy about in Florida, but finding a hotel room there lately (there is only one hotel) has been difficult. So, we decided to get almost as close as we could, and try a new hotel a dozen or more miles down the road. Nothing but beach and sand and ocean and relaxation, right? And a hotel that came very, very highly rated despite its reasonable price tag.
If only reversing a curse were that easy.
Halfway between Virginia and Florida, I realized that, despite my obsessive worry and second-checking, I'd forgotten a key piece of diabetes equipment: the small plastic double-sided needle that gets the insulin into my pump. I had insulin. I had a pump. I had no way to get that insulin into me.
I went over all the options I could think of, which involved calling my dad to break into our house and find the needle and ship it to me overnight. Or call my sister, who also has a pump, and ask her to overnight it. Problem here is that it was Sunday, and they wouldn't be able to even get it in the mail until the next day, which would mean Tuesday before it would get here. Which would mean I wouldn't be able to eat until Tuesday.
I thought about calling my doctor (on Monday) and having him fax a prescription to a local pharmacy for a regular syringe, which I thought might be able to work. Then, once in Florida, after hours of panic, I realized that I didn't think you needed a prescription at all for needles - the AIDS crisis bringing needle-sharing health to a crisis point. So we swung by a CVS, and the pharmacist asked me a lot of curious questions, which I think defeated the point of helping out drug addicts who need to not share needles, and I walked away with a 25 cent syringe that worked like a charm.
(This is long, I know. Bear with me. We're getting to the snaps.)
Off to dinner, happy I was. We stopped at a favorite restaurant down here - a quick-stop burger joint. We'd just spent 13 hours in the car with only one stop. We were tired and thirsty and hungry - especially me, since I'd spent ten of the last hours envisioning not eating for three days.
I cannot over-emphasize how poorly run this restaurant was. We waited fifteen minutes before a waiter even came by to get drink orders, then another fifteen before he brought the drinks. We needed refills for another ten before he came back, and it was at least another hour before we got our food, which was burned. It took us two and a half hours to get out of this place that is a semi-fast-food service restaurant. We'd missed the sunset at the beach. We were all grumbly.
In complaining about dinner and the horrid service, I said, "Well, he did always at least get our drinks right. Snaps for getting the drinks right." And I snapped.
Which no one got.
So then I had to explain the clip from above from the movie Legally Blond (2), and how, when one is tempted to gripe about something, instead one can find something good about it, and then snap. Kind of like mini-applause.
So we snapped for the waiter getting the drinks right.
Then we found our new hotel. I'll tell you right now, I will never look at online reviews and trust them again, even if there are 408 positive reviews of them. This hotel is next to the worst I've ever been in, and that's saying something since our Vacation of DOOM hotel was no picnic.
I won't even go into all the details of the hotel. It is very, very old. Looks like a prison. The pool is miniscule. The rooms are sub-par. The bathroom might as well be an outhouse. You can hear everything through the walls. And they "upgraded" us to a "beach view," which consisted of being on the beach side of the hotel, only the beach is blocked by the nightclub which blares live rock music until 2am. Which, of course, we can hear all too well.
Finally, after talking about just packing up and going somewhere away from the beach, or heading home, my husband said, "At least the rooms are clean. For a beach hotel, there isn't any hardly any sand on the floors."
And we all said, "Snaps to the cleaning lady for no sand on the floors!"
And so began our tradition.
I'd like to say things got miraculously better, but only marginally. What has gotten better is our ability to laugh about it all, and to find the little things worth complimenting.
Waiting another hour and a half for food to arrive in another restaurant and missing another sunset and having the food arrive cold? "Snaps for the pretzel bread, which was unlimited!"
Getting horrifically sunburned despite having SPF50 painted on us liberally? "Snaps for it not raining!"
The list goes on, but for every bad, there is a snap, and that keeps us laughing. We are together, at a beach, where I do not have dishes or laundry and my husband does not have all the politics at work and 4am wake-ups and my son does not have summer school (which we just found out he got an A in! Snaps for the brilliant son who got an A in advanced Spanish over the summer so he could take more science classes during the school year!). We have swum hours and hours in a perfectly clear ocean, rode the waves, watched the fish, had great service at one restaurant that we absolutely didn't take for granted. From the balcony of our room (which is, I promise, much more glamorous sounding than it is, since we share it with three other couples who smoke profusely and it overlooks, as I mentioned, a bar), I can reach out and touch a palm tree laden with coconuts.
And we did finally get to see a sunset. Snaps for a beautiful sky!