Friday, July 10, 2009

Best. Vacation. Ever.

Where to begin?

I just returned from the best vacation ever, and it even included in-laws.

Fourth of July in rural Illinois, followed by 4 days and 3 nights at the Wilderness Resort in Wisconsin Dells, the waterpark capital of the world, and the greatest resort in the history of the hospitality industry.

But let's back up.

Jen packed enough clothes for the boys to last for the rest of the summer, plus a 250-pound "book bag" to keep them occupied on the plane and in the car. We lugged it all on a 2-legged flight from LaGuardia to Moline, Illinois via Minneapolis, then via rental car to Prophetstown, Illinois, home of Jen's parents and about 1,500 other people who voted for McCain, drive American-made vehicles, and eat beef.

Jen's mom had conveniently purchased several thousand dollars worth of groceries in anticipation of our arrival: Doritos, Cheetos, chips, Hershey bars, Dove bars, Diet Coke. And, just in case we got hungry, she made chocolate chip cookies and something called Scotcharoos, which are Rice Krispie treats with butterscotch flavoring and chocolate frosting. We consumed all of it. Then we grilled hamburgers and hot dogs and ate baked beans and scalloped potatoes and jello, rested for a few minutes, then ate some more.

We watched fireworks, and Samuel and Ethan lit some sparklers and snakes. Then we ate.

On Day 2 we got ready for the excursion to Wisconsin. Jen's mom was excited to learn that our hotel suite included a full kitchen, which was her cue to buy another $1,000 worth of groceries, because everyone knows there is no food in the state of Wisconsin.

Our resort in Wisconsin Dells had 3 outdoor waterparks, 3 indoor waterparks, and 1 indoor/outdoor waterpark. I was like a kid at a--well, at a waterpark. We went on the body slides. We went on the tube slides. We went on the raft slides. We went on the lazy rivers. We sat in about 24 hot tubs. We stood under 46 tipping buckets. We swam in an infinity-edge pool. We played in 17 kiddie pools, where I saw 34 toddlers that I wanted to adopt.

In between waterparks, we ate. In addition to the 1,000 pounds of groceries we brought, we ate at a Cracker Barrel, Cold Stone Creamery, IHOP, a Mexican restaurant, a fudge shop, and about 63 other places that I can't remember right now.

Then at the end of the trip we argued about who would take all the leftover food back home.

"You take the Pop Tarts."

"No, you take the Pop Tarts. Your father won't eat Pop Tarts."

"I don't want the candy."

"Put it in your bag, Jen."

"We're not gonna eat all that candy."

"Todd will eat some of it. Put it in your bag."

Then back in the car, back to the Moline airport, back to LaGuardia, back to our apartment and our dogs and our regular lives, happy, grateful for family, and a few pounds heavier.

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