We take a family vacation every year in Myrtle Beach, SC. We stay at this awesome oceanfront resort that’s got a lazy river, and like 29 other swimming pools of different shapes and sizes. The rooms are spectacular and provide a stunningly beautiful view of the ocean. The resort itself is located just a short drive away from two huge shopping/outdoor entertainment complexes…Barefoot Landing and Broadway At The Beach. Both brag touristy type shops, famous restaurants, and a laid back Southern atmosphere. There’s also the beachside boardwalk and strip.
I’m sure most folks are reading this and going, “Oh, wow! That’s so cool! It sounds so fun and relaxing…you guys must have a blast!”
And we don’t.
Let me elaborate by showing you any given day of our vacation:
9:00 AM: Wake up and immediately argue with wife over whether we go to the beach or the pools. I prefer the beach, because we have a pool at home I can swim in. She doesn’t like the beach because it has sand. And lots of people. And the ocean. And the ocean has fish. Which she hates. I counter offer with something intelligent like, “Why don’t we just sit in the parking lot and look at each other for a couple hours?” After she calls me an asshole, she reluctantly agrees to go to the beach. But only until she gets annoyed, then she’s going to the pools.
9:15-10:30: Breakfast and getting everybody ready for the beach. It’s truly amazing how long it takes to get ready to go to a place that you only wear the minimal amount of clothing. If it was up to me, we would have been out the door in about four minutes, but my wife needs to ensure that each kid is so completely slathered in sunscreen that they could probably sit directly on the sun and not get any color.
10:45-10:53: At the beach. I barely get the beach towels down and convince the then seven year old that there are no ginormous killer sharks waiting in the surf, before the wife informs me that she’s annoyed and we’ll be going to the pools. I’m pretty sure her annoyance has something to do with the fact the three year old rolled around in the sand, and with his two foot deep layer of sunscreen, wound up looking like a human sand sculpture.
10:54-11:30: Walking the kids back and forth to the water to rinse the sand off. 23 times. Yelling at the kids to stop rolling around in the sand after they’ve been rinsed off. Shaking sand off towels. Blowing sand out of three year old’s eyes. Arguing over who has the room key. Digging around like desperate archaeologists looking for room keys. Getting halfway to to the pool when the five year old shrieks that she lost one of her seashells. Back to digging around. This time for an apparently really unique, missing seashell that my daughter “loves more than anything else in the whole wide world.” We eventually find the seashell, which spends the rest of the vacation under the couch in our room, completely forgotten about.
11:30-2:00: At the pool area. It’s here that I discover that my kids are afflicted with pool ADD. They’re not just satisfied with staying in the one big pool. Nope. They have to go to every pool at the resort. And stay in it for approximately 7 minutes before getting bored and wanting to move along to another pool. The reason is usually something intelligent, like “Daddy. But that water looks much gooder than this water.” During this time at the pools, I also contemplate writing a letter of complaint to the bathing suit industry: bikini division. You guys are making those things smaller and smaller, to where it makes it almost impossible for a guy not to turn his head for a look. This in turn makes it almost impossible for a guy not to get into a full blown, five alarm argument with his wife.
2:00-2:45: Back to the room for lunch.
Tommy (7): I…I..I. Uh. I want a steak. With barbeque sauce. And Marshmallows. And some mustard.
Raylan (3): Beeb A Goo! Beeb A Goo! Beeb A Goo!
Emma (5): I would like mac and jeez, with some cheese on the side, but most portantly, cookies.
Tommy: Hey! If those guys are having cookies, I get a cookie toowah! Where’s my cookie? It’s not fair I wanna coo….
Emma punches Tommy in the nose, and I make them all a bag of microwave popcorn.
2:45-3:15: Naptime. Well, to be more exact, the actual napping part of naptime only lasted about 3 minutes. The rest of the time was spent getting them in their beds and then chasing them around and getting them back in their beds.
3:15-4:00: Get everybody dressed to go to Broadway At The Beach, so we can get dinner and do some shopping and walking around.
4:00-4:22: Drive to Broadway At The Beach and argue about where to eat.
4:22-4:45: Park. Sit in car and continue argument about where to eat. Wife wants something with a dollar menu. I want the Hard Rock Cafe. I complain that she’s too cheap. She complains that if we go to the Hard Rock, I’ll give everyone a lesson on the significance of 80s hair bands. We agree to go to Margaritaville.
5:05-5:39: Wait in line at Margaritaville. Behind a really drunk woman from Ohio who believes Jimmy Buffet is actually waiting tables there. (I might have gave her that idea)
5:40-7:05: Arguing over what to order. Ordering. Arguing over who ordered what. Waiting for food. Eating. Dropping food on the floor. Crawling under the table. Crawling on the table. Wife and I argue because I’m giving everyone a lesson on the significance of Jimmy Buffet and The Coral Reefers.
7:06-7:09: Walk into Margaritaville gift shop. Wife looks at one price tag. Dragged out of Margaritaville gift shop.
7:09-7:16: Tell wife I have to go to the bathroom. Sneak back to the Margaritaville gift shop and buy $25 dollar tee shirt. What? I’m a huge Parrothead.
7:16-7:18: Wife sees bag from Margaritaville gift shop. Informs me I can sleep with my new tee shirt, because I won’t be getting any from her. Becomes obvious to me that I didn’t think my plan out very well.
7:18-8:45: Walk around and window shop. I’m not allowed to go into any stores. Wife gives me the cold shoulder for a bit, then gets sidetracked yelling at the kids for a vast array of reasons, including, but not limited to the following:
* Tommy purposely tripping Raylan
* Emma laughing at Raylan cause he’s crying about being tripped
* Raylan tripping an elderly woman from Pittsburgh
* Emma laughing at the elderly woman from Pittsburgh
* Raylan having to pee
* Taking Raylan to pee and standing in the bathroom for 10 minutes while he doesn’t pee
* Emma calling Raylan a pee pee head that can’t go pee cause he smells like pee. She actually made that into a song
* Raylan peeing on Emma’s shoe while we were standing in line, waiting for a funnel cake
8:45-8:52: Driving back to the resort.
8:52-8:59: Turn around and drive back to Broadway At The Beach after Emma informs us she left her shoe in the parking lot because it smelled like pee.
9:00-9:22: Drive back to resort. Everyone and their shoes make it there safely.
9:22-9:40: Circle parking garage looking for a spot. Wife tells me this is all my fault for knocking her up with kids that do shit like pee on each other and leave shoes in parking lots.
At this point, we made it back and manage to get the kids into their beds. The wife goes off to take a bath and I grab an O’Dhouls and sit on the balcony, contemplating jumping off.
For as frustrating and absolutely crazy as the vacation can be, everything is made better when Emma sneaks out of her bed and joins me on the balcony. She crawls up on my lap and gives me a big hug.
Emma: Daddy? Thank you for a nice kay-shun. I weally like it, even since Tommy and Raylan are being assholes.
Me: Aw, sweetie. Daddy loves you and I’m so happy you’re having fun. Now please stop calling your brothers “assholes.”
Emma: Ok Daddy. Lub you.
Me: Lub you too, honey.
This pic is in front of the Hard Rock Cafe, which has a great collection of 80s hard rock and metal bands, including Motley Crue, Dokken, and others. Motley Crue was the leader of the pack, back in the day, trailblazing the way for a generation of primped and primed “Hair Bands.” Of these bands, I loved the Crue and Lillian Axe the most, but was also partial to the glam and punk sensibilities of such acts like Hanoi Rocks, whose drummer, Razzle was subsequently killed while riding in a car with Vince Neil of Motley Crue, who was completely plastered at the time. The decade of decadence these bands lived through laste….