Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Day 5 of 9, You Wonder Why I Never Take Vacation

Today started out like any other middle-day-of-the-vacation day. That is, I woke up with a terrible sore throat. This came as no great surprise, as I went to bed with one the night before. Normally, I would have knocked down the sore throat during germination with my homeopathic gin'n'tonic remedy, which had been holding it at bay for a couple days already. But I had to go pick up Fat Moother at the airport last night, and then I had to be on my best behavior all night because we had company, and then I didn't want to listen to a lecture about how gin'n'tonic actually makes a sore throat worse if for some bizarre reason the remedy didn't work. Like that time I had pneumonia, for example. But I digress.

I mentioned to The Mrs. that my sore throat had not improved during the night, and that I wanted to make a run to Walgreensberg to pick up some medicine, since we didn't have any, and tomorrow being Thanksgiving and all it'd probably be closed. She said, "I'm going to take my shower."

Which was a bright spot in the day. The shower did not leak. Sure, it still leaked after $9000 of rebuilding. Sure, it still leaked (though in fewer places) after I recaulked the door seal where it was leaking. But the contractor came back and redid one of the grout seams, and now it doesn't leak.


While The Mrs. was in the shower, HannieC started complaining vociferously. How is that different from normal? Well, it isn't. Only this time she was upset because her hamster had peed on her nightgown, and it was a special nightgown covered in cows that she was wearing because Granny Moo Moo (aka Fat Moother) was a cow fanatic. I don't know why.

So I had to dump the special cow nightgown into the washing machine so that it would be washed and dried before Granny Moo Moo got up. As I was doing this I said to myself, "Self, I wonder which of these 5 baskets of laundry I could throw in with this load? If I choose the wrong one, I'll get yelled at quite heartily. I am, after all, banned from doing laundry because of improper color matching. But, if I wash only one tiny little girl's nightgown, I'll get yelled at for being too lazy to put in any of the other wash. Well, self, since almost all roads lead to getting yelled at, you might as well take the lazy route."

So I washed only the cow nightgown. Oddly enough, I didn't get yelled at. "Self, laziness is clearly the right direction."

After The Mrs. got out of the shower, I went to take mine. As I am accustomed to do, I locked the door. I do this as The Childrens seem to always miss me right when I get in the shower, and there's nothing more annoying than screaming little childrens pounding on the shower door when you're trying to wake up.

I'm not so much a morning person.

When I got out, The Mrs. lectured me about having locked the door. See, she "needed to talk to me" while I was in the shower. Why, pray tell? Well, she had talked to her The Sister, and they had decided to get Fat Moother a digital camera for her birthday (which is Sunday, I think), and I needed to get it today because Fat Moother had forgotten her film camera at home and wanted to go out and buy a couple disposable cameras today. She needed to tell me this while I was in the shower because, at only 5000 square feet, there isn't any possibility of being out of earshot of Fat Moother anywhere in the house other than the master shower.

Not to mention Fat Moother was still in bed asleep when I got out of the shower.

So now I was going to Walgreensberg and to buy a digital camera. Now, back where I'm from (silicon valley), they sell digital cameras at Walgreensberg. So, if you don't mind not getting the absolutely best price or selection, this is still a one-stop trip.

"Oh, and can you stop at the library and return these books? They're due today."

"Oh, and pick up balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing, too, for Fat Moother."

"And take HannieC with you. She'll be ready in a minute. HannieC! Daddy is leaving without you if you don't hurry up! What are you doing? Put the hamster back! Daddy is leaving. Hurry up."

About 20 minutes later, we left. Just as we were leaving, Fat Moother called The Mrs. from the basement on her cellphone to announce her awakening. I don't know why. I left.

Dropped off the library books without incident. Hit Walgreensberg. No salad dressing. No digital cameras. Great. That's two more stops.

King Stoopers is right next door to Walgreensberg, so we score some salad dressing quite quickly. I worry because it says "fat free" on it, and I don't want Fat Moother to be offended by me suggesting she might be fat and buying her fat free salad dressing. But all the balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing says "fat free" on it, so maybe it's just naturally fat free, like beer.

Though none of my beer says "fat free" on it.

Now, after the third stop of my running out to get sore throat medicine, I can finally head down to Loverlyland where there is a Worst Buy. I like Loverlyland, cuz it's not as populous as Ft. TomCollins, so the stores are less crowded. We live midway between, so it's a pick'em drive-time-wise.

Went into the Worst Buy, and looked for the camera I owned. I'm pretty happy with it, and it was reasonably priced. Well, they've now incremented the model number by 10 (from A520 to A530), added 1 more mega-pixels, and deleted a couple of the strange shooting modes that I have never used. I talk to the dude.
Me, CherkyB: "Hey dude. I'm looking for a digital camera for XXX price. I see you've got four of them. I own one like this, and I like it a lot."
Dude: "That's by far the best camera at that price."
Me, CherkyB: "OK. I'll take one of these."
He grabs it, we grab a 1GB memory card, and he takes me to the checkout, where there is no one in line at all. That's why I love Loverlyland.

Next to Worst Buy, there's a ColdStoned. HannieC sees that and suggests we stop by for a little treat. What the hell. We're on vacation.

Go into ColdStoned, and it's a little dark. Guy comes out from the back, "Uhh...we're closed. We don't open until noon." It's 10:30. Great.

Sorry, HannieC. Why don't we head over to Dick's to look around?

At Dick's, we try on ice skates. She needs childrens 13, and they only have down to youth 1, which is one size up. I lace them all up, and HannieC tells me these are great, they fit perfectly, I really think we should get them. Then,
Me, CherkyB: "Are you sure they fit perfectly? Are you sure you're not just saying that because you really want them? We can go to another store and get the right size if these don't fit."
HannieC: "We should go to another store. I really need the 13's. These are too big and uncomfortable."
So then we go do what I wanted to go to Dick's to do - check out youth-sized pellet rifles. Shhh...don't tell The Mrs.

I talked to the gun counter guy. He didn't have any youth-sized pellet rifles. He wasn't even aware that they made them. But, and this is what I love about Colorado, he did suggest an alternative. The Rossi Triple Play. This is a youth-sized stock with three interchangeable barrels, a .22LR, a .243, and a 20 ga shotgun. Then he says this to me:
You start her out now just playing with the .22, then when she gets to be about seven, you can move her up to the shotgun.
Uhhh...I'm really just looking for an air rifle, cuz we're just shooting in our garage right now. Thanks for your time.

Damn tempting, though.

When I got home, my life was planned. We were going to the local hotdog/gyro place for lunch, and then we were driving to Rocky Mountain National Park so that Fat Moother could see the mountains. I asked, "Who's going to sit in the way back seat?" The Mrs. said she was. I mentioned how she gets carsick, and this was going to be a two hour drive each way through a winding mountain pass. She then volunteered her mother. We argued about that for a while, given her mother's propensity towards carsickness, but The Mrs. insisted we couldn't displace HannieC from the middle row because she wouldn't be able to see the DVD screen as well from the back row.

Jesus. You're just provoking me again. What is it with you womens?

I said, no, HannieC sits in the way back seat. You and your mother can decide amongst yourselves who sits in the front and who in the middle row.

The Mrs. immediately claimed the front.

We were just about one hour into the drive, just before Estes Park (which is a town, not a park, oddly enough), when I heard from the middle row something no driver of a brand new minivan wants to hear. "Is there any way to get some air back here?"

Oh rats. Fat Moother is getting carsick. Luckily, in modern minivans, the second row of windows opens wide, so I opened her window. The Mrs. opened her air vent and aimed it at her, too. It was dicey for the next 5 miles, but we made it to the Estes Park Visitors' Center, where they have wonderful bathrooms. It was a planned pitstop location, since Rocky Mountain National Park is mostly outhouses.

We spent about a half hour there with me watching the Childrens down in the riverbed where they were throwing rocks into the water, when Fat Moother decided it was time to purge. Luckily, she had two shirts.

The Mrs. went across the street to Safeway and bought some dramamine. I put The Childrens back in the van to watch DVDs cuz they were getting bored with the spectacular scenery of the great frigging outdoors in the Rocky frigging Mountains, and they preferred Monsters, Inc.

We waited around a while for the dramamine to kick in, and made a run back to Safeway to buy barf bags while we left Fat Moother in the cool air sitting on a bench right near the door next to the bathroom. Then, for some bizarre reason, they all piled into the minivan and The Mrs. said, "We just need to drive somewhere where there's a bench for my mother to sit down and rest."

I noted that we had spent the last hour some place where there was a bench to sit down and rest on, and it was right next to a bathroom to boot. Literally and figuratively. But, I was overruled as per usual, so we headed off into the tourist trap that is downtown Estes Park. Downtown Estes Park is like three blocks long, so we were immediately through it and headed up the road to Rocky Mountain National Park, since that's the only thing on the other side of Estes Park. Luckily, we immediately spotted a herd of elk between the highway and a parking lot. We decided to go back for a closer look, which required us to circle back and get on a parallel road.

When we found the elk, whose parking lot were they right behind? Estes Park Brewery. The local brew pub. There I am with a queasy mother-in-law, a cranky 2-year-old who missed his nap, an angry 6-year-old who wanted to go to see the snow and wasn't going to get to, and a harried wife, and God deposits me in the parking lot of a brewpub.

God was screwing with me.

Or, just maybe, God is pointing the way to salvation. Maybe, just maybe, I am like Moses, and the brew pub is like the parting in the Red Sea, and who am I to look at it and wonder if I might get my feet wet? So I took the shot.

"Uh, ma'am (I call The Mrs. "ma'am" in person), you think I have time to run in and have one while your mother rests and The Childrens look at the elk?"

Yup. God is just screwing with me.

The ride home was touch-and-go, but we were able make it all the way home without incident. It went like this: MaxieC shrieked as loud as he could, then he kicked the back of Fat Moother's seat, then Fat Moother moaned and said, "MaxieC, don't yell and stop kicking my chair." Then repeat. For one solid hour. At least HannieC slept through the whole thing.

When we got home, the womens headed for the bathrooms while I got MaxieC set up watching some TV and having a snack so I could cook dinner. The Mrs. showed up first with this:
I laid a big load in toilet upstairs, and it didn't go down at all. Just leave it. I'll bail it later.
Then, the mother emerged from the first floor bathroom and headed downstairs to the guest room. The Mrs. was in there shortly thereafter mopping up puke.

After that, The Mrs. packed Fat Moother off to urgent care. I microwaved some kiddie meals for The Childrens. MaxieC stood up from the couch, and I could see his butt was wet.

With diarrhea.

Changed his diaper and pants, got his meal out of the microwave, and called him to the table. He came right away, and immediately threw up on the kitchen floor right next to his chair. Hot dog with ketchup - that was lunch.

The Mrs. called to say they were bouncing Fat Moother from urgent care to the ER for "additional tests".

I gave MaxieC a cup of ice chips, at HannieC's insistence. Max took one chip and promptly dumped the rest of the cup on the floor right next to the pile of puke.

HannieC ate her dinner.

MaxieC declared himself tired, too tired to watch TV even, and insisted on bed. I put on his night-time diaper, got out his jammies, and he promptly barfed on his bedroom floor. More hot dog with ketchup. Ketchup. I paid $12k for this rug in August.

The Mrs. called to say Fat Moother would be there a while, and did I want her to come home. I tried to not sound desperate.

"It would not be unhelpful if you were here."

She came home.

Now, dinner is ready. I'm going to go eat.

How is your vacation going?

[Update: MaxieC barfed on the toilet lid of a third bathroom just as soon as we sat down to dinner. Good thing we have four bathrooms. I'm heading out to pick up Fat Moother from the hospital now. She's OK.]


Anonymous said...

"God is screwing with me.

Or, just maybe, God is pointing the way to salvation. Maybe, just maybe, I am like Moses, and the brew pub is like the parting in the Red Sea, and who am I to look at it and wonder if I might get my feet wet? So I took the shot."

Good to see you still got hope!

I think that was the saddest part of the story. Sorry Fat Moother and MaxieC, but I still think CherkyB had it worse than you!

Nava said...

If you ask me, I think it's that cranky Yan Ching assassin, killing you slowly...
As for your "Maybe, just maybe, I am like Moses" pondering - well, both you and Moses never made it to the promised land.

Hang on.

Anonymous said...

omigod you could have the latest holiday film! You know everyone would be laughing with you...


This is also my long awaited vacation - my first trip to Colorado and the first time I have seen the Grandchilds in over a year, not to mention my own darling daughter Mrs.CherkyB and her wonderful husband CherkyB. And Nava - you may be correct- that probably was the Yan Ching assassin- good thing CherkyB drove the wife's car so the ass-ass-in did not recognize CherkyB.

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