Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Gaining Perspective

I’m learning there’s a lot to be gained when one’s vacation does not meet one’s expectations. How do I know you may ask? Because last week, I was on vacation with the Mango Tribe, and my in-laws and from the moment we checked in to our timeshare in Hilton Head, we were faced with a series of unforeseen challenges, the least of which included a mosquito’s nest festering in the closet of the loft bedroom I was to share with Loverman. When we approached management we were offered a few options, none of which included moving us to another unit or resort altogether. So, instead of packing up all of our crap and heading home, Loverman and I decided to man-up, buy a air mattress and sleep on the floor in the living room, while Olivia and Yannick slept on the couch and loveseat, and my in-laws lived it up in the lap of luxury in the master suite with the Jacuzzi tub. Let’s just say, I wasn’t happy, because when I go on vacation, I’m looking for a bit of fantasy, with accommodations swankier than what I have at home and instead of the Ritz Carlton, this joint was more like the Bates Motel.

Things did begin to look up when we ventured out for day trips to Buford, Charleston and the incredible, pristine beach at Hunting Island State Park. We even chartered a boat for a leisurely afternoon sailing along the Buford River, with Captain Bill’s River Safari.

But, it seemed as if whenever we started to head back to the timeshare, my spirits would dim and every little thing would get on my last nerve. I’m sure it has a lot to do with the extremely close quarters and lack of privacy, and even though I love my in-laws, a vacation that includes a party of six, does not equal much fun or relaxation for Mango Mama.

Now that I can feel myself begin to decompress from our week on holiday, I sense a more balanced perspective settling in. I’ve also learned a lot about myself—the first being, I’m now at an age where I cannot sleep just any ‘ole where, because my back and neck are totally jacked up from that damn air mattress and even though I love spending time with my kids and family, I need an ample amount of time alone or I’m not going to be my usual pleasant self. Going forward, it will have to be just the Mango Tribe on these summer vacations, because this is one scene where the more the merrier doesn’t fit, too much time spent with consensus building for the simplest tasks, like what we’re doing for dinner.

I was so happy when we arrived home early Sunday morning. I almost cried with joy when I saw my bedroom.

For me, the ideal vacation includes a sandy beach, blue water, fruity drinks, enjoying the kids, lots of time with Loverman, while suspending my role of family facilitator/coordinator for at least a week. What’s yours?


Nerd Girl said...

Sorry that you didn't have the vacation you wanted.

I must confess, I'm the complete opposite. Most of our vacations have been with at least a few members of our extended family - the more the merrier! When we went to Jamaica there were 10 of us, Mexico we had 7, China there'll be 6.

I do however understand the need for down time with just your immediate crew - hope you get some soon!

Los Angelista said...

They should have totally hooked you up with a different room. That air mattress thing is a no-go! I just got back from five weeks at my parents/sister's house. I've never been on a vacation of any sort without my kids and I am so looking forward to one. I just need to not have to worry about someone getting snatched or jumping off of some strict relative's couch. Sigh.

jillybean said...

Mango Mama,

They owe you another trip. It sounds like you need to do some letter writing. Don't forget the power of the pen!

Glad you're back. Missed reading you.