Friday, July 31, 2009

Vacation in Pictures

Our Canadian friends from the cruise, Sarah and Craig, just sent us some pictures from our little vacation. Fortunately for all of us, Sarah is a professional photographer and has the ability to photo shop (this is a very good thing). Despite her ability to portray things in a better light than they may actually appear in reality (literally), I think these pictures remained pretty true to form and accurately captured some rather comical and fun moments.

The first one is of Craig, Jim and I snorkeling over a gorgeous coral reef in the Bahamas. While the reef was beautiful and filled with bunches of neon colored little fishies, it was hard to forget about the dilemma Craig had experienced just prior to jumping into the water. A bunch of life vests had been randomly passed out to everyone on the catamaran and as the bartender/captain had instructed us, we put the life vests on and snapped up all the buckles so that there would be no clips trailing behind for people to trip over. Unfortunately for Craig, his life vest had one extra belt to be clipped - a crotch strap. So while the rest of us looked moderately goofy, Craig looked more like he was somehow unstable or impaired as the crotch strap created a permanent slight wedgie - captain's orders. Further, while all the rest of our life vests were reasonably clean, Craig's had what appeared to be a large ketchup stain down the front. Craig felt certain that whoever the tool was that had used this life vest before him had been stumbling around the boat chowing down on a hot dog with lots of ketchup and had carelessly slopped it all over the life vest. It was a good visual to go with the extra special life vest. Just before Sarah snapped this photo, Craig requested that Sarah be careful to try not to get the ketchup stain in the photo - this as we're all looking more than a bit rough around the edges after snorkeling for a while in our antiquated snorkeling masks and life vests.

After returning from our snorkeling excursion back to Nassau, there was some discussion about just heading into Nassau to get a look around. I guess I was kind of the stick in the mud on this one because I sort of felt like I looked like I had just gotten out of the shower with only a towel on over my swimsuit. Fortunately, everyone obliged me and we headed back to the ship so I could collect myself a bit before exploring the island. This was a photo just before we got back on the ship which Sarah graciously took and brushed up for us.

Exploring the island was an adventure in and of itself. There was so much beauty, but also so much filth. Quite literally, there were just piles of garbage randomly placed here and there. . Not that that's where garbage pick up was, just that it must've seemed like a good spot. And Sarah and I both exchanged looks of confusion and then confirmation as we observed a man tightly holding a *cigarette* between two fingers as he lit it (we then noted how happy everyone on that beach seemed just then. . .). Despite some of it's downfalls, Nassau was still beautiful. One thing that made it beautiful was the Starbucks there (which unfortunately was closed by the time we got there). But beyond the commercial beauty, it was just plain nice to look at: white sandy beaches with clear sparkling water, buildings painted in vibrant beach colors, and gorgeous tropical plants.

All in all, visiting Nassau or just being on a cruise or laughing with friends, it was worth it. It was a wonderful vacation worth every dime spent and every kurmugdeon of planning - even if returning to normalcy can be a bit brutal. . .Thank you for all the photos, Sarah! Love 'em!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Crabby Patty

I'm crabby. I'm crabby because I'm home and back to reality. I'm crabby because it will be at least another year before I get to go on vacation again. I'm crabby because the vast majority of my life these days is spent on tasks that are overly repetitive, meaningless and annoying. These tasks include such sundry items as are listed (please take note of my baffling outlining skills - one of my many super marketable talents!):
I. Cleaning
A. Kids
1. After any and all food consumption
2. After any and all play
3. After any and all discord
4. After any and all bowel movements
5. After any and all mishaps
B. Animals
1. Cats
a. Litter
b. Food
c. Any and all hairball/upchuck events
2. Dogs
a. Porch and the several inches of dirt/bugs/etc. that they track in on a daily basis
b. Any and all items attacked and/or destroyed in the backyard (this includes in-ground plants, fences, swings, trampolines, tools, dog dishes, dog collars, dog toys, etc.)
3. Chickens
a. Water dish that grows a new layer of mold every 24 hours in the summertime
b. Food
c. Bedding that must be regularly replaced (hay)
II. Supervising
A. Kids
B. Finances
C. Household
D. Pets

So there you have my day in a nutshell. Does it make sense now why I wouldn't be leaping at the chance to return to it? Ya, it has it's fun aspects, but day in and day out, it gets old.

What amazes me is the fact that this is just the standard outline. This doesn't account for any additional poo that may be randomly thrown my way by the forces of nature. The mauled armadillo strewn across our backyard with some sort of larva oozing out of it is not included in this list of 'things to do.' Nor does this list give reason for the fact that our bank somehow didn't clear the deposit for a local check which we made LAST WENDESDAY, and which became apparent last night when I went to fill up my gas tank. This list doesn't even make mention of the dispute the broke out between Jim and I after he insisted that I drive around a barricade for a closed road because he thought it was 'no big deal', but for which a cop was waiting on the other end of said road only to ask why we'd gone around the barricade. Nope, that was just the starting point list. From there quite literally ANYthing is possible. Now isn't that reassuring?