Monday, September 14, 2015

Vacation Days 7-10: The Rest of the Story ...

"It is easier to resume a habit of not-blogging like it's 2004, than to resume a habit of blogging like it's 2004." -- Wham!

We were in a bit of a state on Friday morning. A real Oof-er, if you know what I mean. It started with a glass of wine at dinner on Thursday night, followed by the quiet reading of new Jonathan Franzen and a sneak peek at the September Mixtape I'm making for Chuckers. We sipped responsibly, but we sipped far into hours neither of us have seen in our current status as Adults with a capital A.

Unfortunately, there is no way to convey to a toddler that Mama invented a post-midnight snack involving sauerkraut, Thousand Island dressing and a cheese alternative that I won't say will assuage the stigma of lactose intolerance, but certainly makes dietary restrictions taste pretty freaking good -- especially when paired with sauerkraut and Thousand Island Dressing at 3 a.m. after a couple of Gin Old Fashioneds. So, anyway, Chacha woke at her regular time (singing, of course, a montage of hits from the movie "Frozen" and things with the same tune as the Alphabet Song and classic Styx) and we stared at the ceiling.

The day was already set to be a Choose Your Own Adventure of sorts. My friends would all be spending the weekend on Gull Lake, near Brainerd, for our annual Gull Lake Weekend. Both my parents and the Norwegian Wonder weren't available to babysit our Pet Monkey. But there was chatter among the friends that maybe Chach could just ... come with us. To an adult getaway with a handful of other people who have kids, but wouldn't be bringing them along because they are polite.

It was hard to tell if the invitation was sincere or if they were saying: We'll offer it, but you're a real jerk if you take us up on this because YOU CAN'T TAKE A BABY DANCING AT ZORBA'S.

So we hemmed and hawed and sometimes we were going and sometimes we weren't. Then, for a while, we were going to stay at a hotel in nearby Nisswa so we wouldn't rain on the drinking games and 90s tunes and Simon Says dance party that could potentially erupt, but we could stop in and say hello and return in time for the pontoon ride the next day. Then we just stopped thinking about it and sunk into the couch to do something we have literally never done in years:

TV marathon. With non-animated TV.* Adult TV where sometimes someone swears when they flub a Mystery Box Challenge. We queued up MasterChef Season 6 and ordered two zas with gluten-free crust from Papa Murphy's.**

Ohh, it was the most delicious bit of gluttony. Until, after about 3 hours of this, Chacha finally went over to the TV, turned it off and started crying. The jig was up.

Around the same time, the friends sent a barrage of texts and reiterated that it was okay to bring The Bug to Gull Lake. So we looked at each other, shrugged, and hit the road.

I had, fortuitously, gotten Chach's life jacket from the Norwegian Wonder, which makes it seem a lot like fate.

We got to the area around 10 p.m., stopped to pick up snacks, and the only Rice Crackers available in the grocery store had expired in June 2014.

We were greeted by a festive crew at the cabin, though, and Mr. Z. performed all manners of hi-five with the tot and the friends even added "Mr. Roboto" to the playlist.*** I tried putting the girl to bed after a chocolate chip bar and mega attention and it didn't take too well. By the time she conked, everyone else was lights-out, too.****

On Saturday we took a pontoon around the lake. Chach stood at the front of the boat in a very Winslet way and snacked on something called Beanitos that left an orange rind around her lips. We sipped and basked***** and got back to the cabin just in time to watch the sun start to set.

We left that night with a load of new iPad games that Mrs. Z. recommended, including one with robots ("Domo. Domo.") It didn't seem like her presence salted anyone's game.

The vacation was over for Chuck on Sunday, so The Girl and I went to Target and went for a run and went to the park like normal, non-vacationing people do.

Today we wore out our welcome with each other just in time for my vacation to end.

1. We left the park.
2. I didn't leave the park in the direction she wanted to leave in.
3. I did not have a bar for her to snack on in the stroller.
4. Our neighbor R wasn't on his porch and I didn't know where he was.
5. I had no intention of making Noodles and Peas and Sauce and Toast (because we had that last night)
6. I only let her watch two episodes of "Word Girl"
7. She fell asleep while I was running, so she didn't know we had gone running.
8. She didn't want to go to the Co-Op.
9. She DID want to go to the Co-Op.
10. She didn't want to ride in the shopping cart.
11. She didn't want to walk.
12. I wouldn't carry her through the store.
13. She wanted to get out of the cart.

But we were pretty much cool after that for the rest of the night.

* We aren't complete monsters. First we watched "The Last Unicorn."
** Long story, this gluten-free thing, involving a thyroid. As for the crust: Is it supposed to stick to your teeth? I'd totally order it again.
*** Though when they played "Let it Go," Chach looked around as though she expected Elsa to glide into the room on ice and turn the cabin into a castle.
**** We were awarded a King-sized bed, still everything people tell you about sleeping with a toddler is true, between the mid-night face slaps to the bed hogging, to the reality of sleeping as a family sentenced to create a letter H. She also woke at the crack of dawn and when she saw me open my eyes, she pounced on me with: "We go on boat now?"
***** And ate all sorts of stuff including REAL LIVE CHEESE.

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