Monday, July 12, 2010

Wallack Family 2010 Summer Vacation: My Twitter Travelogue

As some of you may know, I just returned from a family vacation (Hilton Head Island). Hence the lack of posts over the last little while. Anyway, the vacation started off inauspiciously and I started tweeting about it. The tweets started slowly, but once I got going … well, it turned into what my wife described as a “hilarious” (her word, not mine) travelogue. So, in the interests of sharing, I’ve compiled my travelogue tweets (I’ve excluded non-travel related tweets) for my loyal blog readers. Enjoy. (Note that for some reason, I can’t find the time for some posts…)

Thursday, July 1

11:49am

Vacation started at 7am. So far we've made it almost a mile from home! At this rate we should be in Hilton Head before election day...

5:18pm

We're 10 miles south of the middle of nowhere. Hope to be in East Nowhere by dark.

5:41pm

Only made it about 15 miles before the 82nd bathroom stop of the day.

5:47pm

From @DougMasson: Your drive is cracking me up. I've made the trip to Hilton Head & back about 15 times, so I feel your pain.

6:59pm

I can almost smell East Nowhere.

_:__pm

@DougMasson Did I mention that my mother-in-law is driving and my 89-year-old father in law is traveling with us too?

8:07pm

From @bmk: You're a regular Clark Griswold. Watch out for that girl in the red Ferrari, though.

9:26pm

@bmk Oh, if only. But at this point I might settle for a crone in a SUV.

9:55pm

We've reached Asheville and our stopover for the evening. East Nowhere proved to be a traffic jam in the mountains. Just what we needed.

10:27pm

Somehow in North Carolina 2 bedrooms AND a pullout means 2 rooms, one with a pullout. This should be fun with 6 people after a sweaty ride.

10:41pm

Unloading the car and a bug nearly ate my suitcase. He has become one ... or more ... with his maker.

Friday, July 2

7:38am

The phrase "Quality Inn" suggests ... um ... quality? Maybe that word has a different meaning here in North Carolina? Like "horrid & icky"?

7:51am

From @DougMasson: On the upside, at this pace you probably only have another 3-4 days of driving!

8:28am

New example of "quality": Try to flush the toilet and the handle breaks off!

8:31am

@DougMasson I think I now have a cause of action against you for intentional infliction of emotional distress.

_:__am

From @erked: I interpret Quality in the name of a business roughly as I interpret People's or Democratic in the name of a country.

_:__am

On the road aga... No, sorry. We stopped at Subway so my inlaws could have second breakfast (as a hobbit might call it).

_:__am

From @DougMasson: What about elevensies? Luncheon? Afternoon tea? Dinner? Supper? He knows about them, doesn't he?

_:__am

7 miles down the highway before the irresistible lure of McDonald's called to my son.

9:17am

Maybe there will be a Dunkin' Donuts at the next exit!

9:17am

From @DougMasson: #FF @MSWallack because I'm really enjoying his account of a road trip with his octogenarian in-laws. [For Twitter newbies, #FF stands for Follow Friday and is a way of suggesting (on Fridays) interesting people to follow.]

_:__am

I'm taking bets on how far we can drive before our next ... sorry, we already have a winner.

_:__am

@DougMasson My mother-in-law isn't an octogenarian yet, but I may be by the time we arrive.

_:__am

The car now smells like an interesting blend of McDonald's, Subway, Hot Tamales, & Wint-O-Green Life Savers. So why does my wife feel ill?

9:56am

The girl with the dragon tattoo who played with fire and kicked a hornet's nest has kept me company. Too bad she didn't drive fast, too.

10:25am

Bathroom break time! Should I be worried that this gas station is playing the theme from "Deliverance"?

11:56am

Traveling without stopping seemed wrong so we took an obligatory bathroom break. Not like we're trying to get somewhere, are we?

_:__am

11 minutes ago we stopped for a bathroom break at a restaurant. Now, back on the road, my mother-in-law is ready to stop for lunch. Aarrgh!

_:__am

The discussion between my inlaws is about when my mother-in-law's birthday is and how old she'll be. Somehow this is worth arguing about.

12:59pm

Only half a tank of gas left. Time to stop for gas, potty, & lunch. Maybe we can play a round of golf, too.

_:__pm

From @erked: I hear at those sorts of bathrooms, you don't have leave a nickel on the tank if you got a Real Purty Mouth.

_:__pm

From @erked: Questions: Does your wife read your tweets? Does she respond? Does anyone else ask what you type? Do you repeat these out loud?

_:__pm

The GPS and iPhone agree on how to get there, but my mother-in-law knows better. Let's look at this old map, she says!

2:14pm

@erked Sometimes. No. Sometimes. Often. Though she has been reading and laughing at my Clark Griswald posts.

_:__pm

Good. Now we're behind a truck doing 30 in a 50. I think he can hear our kids asking are we there yet?.

_:__pm

We've made it to the island. Mother-in-law wants to stop at the grocery before we go to the hotel. I think my children will kill her.

_:__pm

We're here!

3:10pm

Vacation time! (@ Marriott Barony Beach Resort) [posted via FourSquare]

4:41pm

What kind of wine do I pair with small, fast-moving lizards?

_:__pm

I know! Now that we're here, let's argue about how to load and unload the luggage cart. What fun!

_:__pm

Hmm. The quiet pool is full of teenagers. My daughter is embarrassed. My son is (unfortunately) clueless.

5:26pm

This can't be good: "Daddy, we're bored." Time: 15 minutes after arrival in pool.

5:52pm

Seems like soccer needs a goaltending rule like the NBA. I feel bad for Ghana. Especially because the players now have to go back go Ghana.

6:47pm

The poolside grill closes at 5pm. On Friday night? Seriously?

8:24pm

Old school tweeting. [It says “This is an Old School Tweet”]

hly.jpg

9:18pm

Might the kids possibly be winding down? The fact that the girl is singing (screaming, actually) in the shower suggests not.

9:26pm

From @annwallack [not a relative!] I love this travelogue. My kids are too old to travel with us. Enjoy it while you can.

_:__pm

@annwallack I do enjoy it, but it can, as I'm sure you remember, be exasperating. I'll need a vacation to rest from my vacation.

Saturday, July 3

10:44am

The kids want to go to the beach NOW NOW NOW. Mom & Dad, not so much. But, Daddy, we're running out of time! Yep, only 6 days left.

11:56am

OK. Time for the ocean. If I'm not back in a few hours, call BP and tell them I found a major oil reserve. I'm sure they'll come quickly.

2:45pm

Big step: I've convinced the mommy to let the kids go down to the hot tub (that's right below our balcony) on their own. Freakout averted?

_:__pm

Uh oh. The dreaded teenagers (some with boobs, even) have also arrived at the hot tub. How will munchkins handle the intrusion?

_:__pm

Thought we'd lost the credit card. Would that have been good or bad?

4:45pm

I want the best swordfish steak available on Hilton Head. Suggestions?

_:__pm

The quiet pool is very quiet now. That's what happens when someone vomits in it.

5:34pm

Just finished The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest. Depressing to know that we won't (probably) get to read more about these characters.

_:__pm

Next I'm going to read @bradthor's new book. Will it be a good story or is he going to preach to me about his political beliefs?

_:__pm

I love using the Internet to communicate with authors of books I enjoy; too bad I can't chat with Stieg Larsson.

_:__pm

Anyway, if you like a book find an email or twitter address and tell the author. If you don't like the book, let him/her know it and why.

_:__pm

From @erked: I agree about Hornet's Nest. A great finale to the trio. Wonder if they'll release any of his articles / essays in English?

6:59pm

When we called The Crazy Crab 15 minutes ago, we were told that there was no wait. When we got here we were told 40 minutes. Hmm.

_:__pm

Ah, they're using the old lots of people came in at the same time defense. A likely story.

7:08pm

Apparently the CVS on Hilton Head fills prescriptions for young whites before elderly blacks (who are told to come back at closing time).

_:__pm

Dinner tonight (yes we were finally seated) was ... um ... interesting. Slow, wrong, fussy, argumentative. Another day in the ol' park.

_:__pm

One kid (unfortunately, the wrong one) seems to have fallen asleep. If the other one follows suit, I'm going to suggest the adults escape.

9:45pm

From @DougMasson: Crazy Crab in Harbor Town or another? I still like the restaurant.

10:05pm

The one near the bridge to the mainland. Just one of those nights.

Sunday, July 4

11:04am

My wife went down to the pool at 5:30 to reserve pool chairs. Apparently the hotel only let's some people reserve; they moved our stuff.

_:__am

And now I'm the bad guy because there aren't any pool chairs close enough and the water's too cold and the sun's too sunny and the music...

12:01pm

I just captained our beach tug-o-war team to an important victory. Now time to sleep. Wake me when the margaritas arrive.

3:44pm

Is food at 4:00 dinner or lunch?

5:11pm

From @susanNell3 It is linner!

6:23pm

@SusanNell3 Welcome to the wonderful world of Twitter!

_:__pm

Dinner at the Skull Creek Boat House was really good ... until my wife got really sick and we had to make an expedited exit.

7:52pm

From @SusanNell3: oh no!

_:__pm

Sat on the beach (1st with just my daughter, later wife & son, too) with fireworks being set off all around us. Very cool; only a bit scary.

10:36pm

We tried holding the camera in front of us to take a nighttime family portrait. Don't look for the results on Facebook anytime soon.

_:__pm

While watching fireworks, my daughter and I talked about life, the universe, and everything. I was proud of her questions and told her so.

_:__pm

I told my daughter she should grow up to be a scientist. But that's boring. I want to grow up and be famous!

_:__pm

Me: There are some famous scientists. Daughter: Daddy, please.

Monday, July 5

9:40am

Wife still not feeling great and doesn't want to spend the morning in the sun. She suggests shopping. The kids are not enthusiastic.

12:25am

Finally moving today. Slow going is OK by me, but the kids are frustrated, angry, and 10. They'll survive (though they don't think so).

3:09pm

Just ate a rare island double quarter pounder with cheese. I think it was caught in the leeward side of the island last night.

4:21pm

Finally headed to the beach. I'm told that we're building a massive sand castle. I wonder if anyone delivers castle-side margaritas?

6:46pm

Jimmy Buffet is playing on the pool's sound system now. I have no booze. Something is seriously amiss. I'll try to remedy that soon.

7:35pm

From @DougMasson: Vacation, warm weather, pool, Buffet, & no booze? The planning on this mission seems less than spectacular.

7:45pm

@DougMasson Add in the presence of my inlaws and you should understand that this was essentially a suicide mission.

_:__pm

If you own a store selling crap to tourists on Hilton Head are you required to be surly and completely unhelpful? Odd business model.

_:__pm

Earlier watched a couple making out on their balcony. I was going to tell them to get a room before I realized they had a room. Hmm.

_:__pm

My kids told me I was COOL: Constipated Overweight Out-of-Style Loser. I resemble that remark. Now you see why I love them so much.

10:09pm

Finally escaped for an hour! Bought a couple of bottles of vino to make the next few evenings more relaxing. Wedge of manchego looked good.

10:24pm

My friend just saw the fetus kick for the first time. I suggested he go watch Alien.

Tuesday, July 6

2:04pm

So where are FAST pedestrians expected to cross?

gt8.jpg

3:53pm

Anybody know what this little fellow is? It was about 2 inches long.

lt9.jpg

_:__pm

Lily and I just won an important intranet-family shuffleboard game. Kicked Mommy & Ian's proverbial behinds!

10:13pm

Oops. That should have been intra-family. I'm not familiar with intranet-family shuffleboard. Maybe I should invent it.

Wednesday, July 7

10:32am

Forecast is for 92• today and 96• tomorrow. That should be relaxing.

_:__pm

Nothing like a bunch of college kids AND THEIR PARENTS playing so violently in pool that young kids have to get out so they don't get hurt.

_:__pm

The kids (not mine) just broke a clock. So I chose to have words with the father. He could kick my ass, but I basically dared him to try.

_:__pm

Ah, now the hotel manager is talking to Mr. Irresponsible. Why do I doubt it's the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

_:__pm

I was right. Mr. Irresponsible explained that it was an accident. Another guest and I decided to go full asshole and offered the real story.

3:36pm

Why do I bother? There is right and wrong and part of civil society is having the community take responsibility to ensure civility.

Thursday, July 8

_:__am

To those who've been following my travelogue, I apologize for infrequent humorous posts. Too hot to be funny (& hard to tweet from a pool).

_:__am

But we head for home Friday morning, and I expect the idiocy to resume promptly. I'm wondering if I can hide so they'll leave without me.

_:__am

Cranky family going out for breakfast even though nobody wants to go out for breakfast. This should be fun or maddening; take your pick.

_:__am

My daughter wants to be famous. She'd like to be Sarah Dakota or Riley Wyoming. Any tweeps out there who can give her any help with that?

10:13am

Apparently that joke went right by everyone. I was suggesting she'd like to be the next Hannah Montana.

10:46am

Massive menu with just about everything. Even the kids found food. (@ Hilton Head Diner w/ 2 others) [via FourSquare]

11:05am

From @DougMasson: Hilton Head diner is pretty good. My folks & aunt and uncle go most mornings when we're there. I usually just hit Starbucks.

2:09pm

When the water in the pool appears to be boiling, should I take that as a sign that it's hot out?

_:__pm

Anybody have experience driving 12 hours with boiled children? And what wine pairs best with boiled 10-year-old?

2:11pm

From @bmk: would imagine any cheap boxed wine. You're gonna want to go for quantity here, not quality :)

4:43pm

I think the law requires us to eat here & buy t-shirts. (@ The Salty Dog Cafe) [via FourSquare]

_:__pm

From @erked: You must also acquire one of those white oval vacation stickers for your vehicle. Or for the back of an in-law's head.

_:__pm

From @erked: Boiled 10-year-old is delicious with a baby-marrow hollandaise, and a glass of lightly chilled Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc-Viognier.

7:08pm

WiFi at Salty Dog T-Shirt Factory is WiFiDo.

_:__pm

@erked: How do I connect it to the back of my inlaws' heads? Ooh, I have an idea!

7:19pm

@erked Too hot for a hollandaise. Need a lighter (quieter?) preparation.

_:__pm

The (not-so-good) magician just chose my mother-in-law to help with a trick. Will he make her disappear? If so, he's better than I thought.

_:__pm

Too bad. My mother-in-law bowed out so the magician could work with a PYT. Good for him; less so for me.

10:17pm

During tonight's family shuffleboard throwdown, my son mysteriously scored 43 points (a mathematic impossibility) to achieve a tie score.

Friday, July 9

_:__am

Time to go home. Checkout was at 10:00. My mother-in-law started cooking breakfast at 10:15. An auspicious start!

_:__am

Within 30 seconds (literally) after leaving the gas station (5 minutes after leaving the hotel), my son announced he needed a bathroom.

_:__am

So my mother-in-law found a grocery for him ... and announced that she needed to get a few things as long as we're here.

11:54am

We've been driving aimlessly around the parking lot. My mother-in-law has gotten lost in the parking lot. Seriously.

_:__pm

And now my son is having a tantrum. We haven't even gotten off the island yet. How many hours until we're home?

_:__pm

It's your fault!

No, it's your fault!

Un uh.

Uh huh.

My life in a nutshell.

_:__pm

Oops. Almost forgot this classic: It's no fair!

12:20pm

We've decided (actually, my mother-in-law decided) to pull off the road until the kids stop arguing. We might never get moving again.

_:__pm

Hey, it's a McDonald's! I think we're obligated to stop to get food or use the bathroom. I mean, we've been in the car for over an hour!

1:14pm

This was as expected. The drive through line was so long my wife decided we should stop and use the bathroom. I can walk home faster.

_:__pm

We only have 9/10 tank of gas left. Better refill.

_:__pm

Now my son won't eat his burger because a piece of lettuce touched the outside of the wrapper. Death by a thousand little cuts.

1:49pm

"Stop it!"

"No you stop it!"

"You stop it first!"

Then, simultaneously: "Mommy!" & "Daddy!"

Aaarrrggghhhh!

_:__pm

From @erked: If only you could summon Large Marge from Pee-Wee's Big Adventure. She'd learn 'em the rules of the road.

2:20pm

Bathroom time! We wouldn't want to miss any of these small towns, would we?

_:__pm

I tried to joke with the cashier, asking her, are we there yet? Her response: Honey, right here, you ain't nowhere?

3:11pm

My father-in-law wants dinner at 4:00. That way we'll be sure not to get into the mountains until after dark. Good plan.

3:46pm

It' s ha rd to typ ew hen my mot her-in -low keeeeps jer king teh carr all ovur de rood.

4:31pm

4th or 5th stop and we're still in South Carolina! I was trying to be funny when I said I could walk faster. Guess I may have been right.

_:__pm

My mom-in-law found a nowhere exit and eschewed any restaurant or gas station you've heard of. But when the place she found only had ...

_:__pm

... a single (occupied) toilet, we had to pile back in the car to find alternate accommodations.

4:48pm

Between stops, my father-in-law had to freak out over the route suggested by the GPS, the iPhone, and AAA. "You're all crazy," he tells us.

_:__pm

How should we go, I ask him?

I don't know, he says. What does the map say?

We're following the map.

Oh.

_:__pm

My daughter is doing her best to act as a replacement for radio Disney, but her repertoire has more songs in the playlist rotation.

5:05pm

Now my father-in-law wants to know the "purpose" of today's drive. Um, to get home? That answer is somehow unsatisfactory.

_:__pm

Beginning to wonder if either he forgot to take his meds or if my mom-in-law sabotaged him to screw with us. Maybe she gave him Tic Tacs.

5:48pm

It's raining. My wife doesn't like driving in inclement weather so we're stopping early. Now we need to kill several hours until bedtime.

6:13pm

From @DougMasson: I see a new reality show: "The Journeys of Wallack."

6:20pm

@DougMasson I'd vote myself off if the island.

6:51pm

Thought about trying the fried gator tail appetizer but wife said that was mean. But a gator is more likely to eat us than a cow or tilapia.

7:27pm

From @SusanNell3: I am sure a nice juicy hamburger at the Nell house would have suited Debbie's taste buds.

_:__pm

Just as dinner was served, my father-in-law realized he left his teeth at the hotel and sent my mother-in-law back to get them.

7:51pm

@SusanNell3 Nah. She'd have gotten sick on the drive.

_:__pm

New movie has a character named Kitty Galore (a cat). I tried to explain the whole Pussy Galore reference, but I don't think they got it.

8:30pm

By the time the teeth arrived, the kids were finished. My wife somehow kept them from destroying the restaurant while my inlaws ate.

8:54pm

This hotel doesn't have pay-per-view. It may be a loooing night.

Saturday, July 10

8:00am

The last day if driving is about to start. Of course we need to find a Subway and McDonald's first. And the closest McD's is too "dirty".

8:34am

My inlaws decided to have 1st breakfast at the hotel; then we'll go to Subway for 2nd breakfast. They'd make a hobbit proud.

_:__am

So we're sitting in the car ready to go ... but the inlaws are still inside enjoying a luxurious Holiday Inn Express breakfast.

_:__am

Not like there's reason to hurry. I mean MapQuest thinks our drive time will only be 8:41 (not counting hourly 1/2 hour stops). Good start.

9:16am

Inlaws don't want to follow GPS, son having a massive tantrum, daughter angry at the world, wife wants to kill her mom and 1 kid. Ah, fun.

_:__am

Of course it may not technically be another stop if we never really got started again in the first place.

_:__am

On the road ag...Bathroom!

Just kidding.

_:__am

Now the kids are arguing about a movie to watch:

Your movies are crap.

Jerk.

Shut up.

It's gonna be a long day.

10:08am

First stop of the day. Somewhere north of nowhere today.

_:__am

The cashier at this Burger King just explained that southern milkshakes are different because they use ice cream. In the north it's just ...

_:__am

... milk and sugar that is shaken together. That, she explained, is why it's called a milkshake. Good to know.

_:__am

Son got a milkshake (with southern ice cream). Daughter says they're gross; wants candy instead. Son wants candy, too, if she gets some...

10:42am

She says he can't have candy cause he got a shake. He says not fair! She could have gotten a shake too! But they're gross! Aaaaahhhhhh!!!!!

11:33am

Ah yes. Another hour (less, actually) and another cry of "bathroom".

_:__am

There's a bus full of boy scouts here with a woman scout leader. Why is a woman BOY scout leader OK, but not a gay scout leader?

_:__am

Thankfully my father-in-law made it into the bathroom before the bus full of boy scouts. That could have been a disaster.

12:37pm

Down to 1/2 tank of gas. Time to fill up.

_:__pm

We tell my father-in-law that his door is not shut. So he starts banging on it. See, he says, it's shut!

_:__pm

My wife asks my mom-in-law if we're going to keep stopping every hour. My mom-in-law says, Fine, next time you want to stop, I won't stop.

1:03pm

Tartar sauce sandwich with a little filet o' fish on the bun. Yum? (@ McDonald's) [via FourSquare]

_:__pm

We pull up to McD's and ask the kids if they want lunch. No response. So as we leave McD's (still in parking lot), Lily says I want fries.

_:__pm

So we pull into the Wendy's next door. Lily claims (wrongly) that nobody asked her. And mom-in-law did try to refuse go stop again.

2:31pm

Just 55 minutes later, my mom-in-law is stopping again. Apparently we stop whenever she wants to stop.

_:__pm

And I just learned that my 10-year-old daughter speaks fluent Starbucks. Frightening.

_:__pm

I suspect that my mom-in-law has secretly decided to make this a 3-day drive.

_:__pm

Now that mom-in-law is back in car, dad-in-law wants tea, but wants to wait for it to cool off. Wants cool hot tea, not iced tea. Aaarrrggh!

_:__pm

Every 1/2 hour or so my dad-in-law searches (& ransacks) the glove compartment apparently to see if anything interesting has appeared.

_:__pm

Maybe he thinks it's a magic box or some kind of Star Trek transporter.

_:__pm

11 minutes after using the bathroom at Starbucks, Ian announced he has to go again. I think our collective groan was heard on space station.

3:09pm

And of course once we're back in the car (but before leaving, thankfully), Lily decided she needed to go. Then dad-in-law decided to go too.

3:55pm

Unimportant warning light comes on. Total freakout and argument ensues. Mom-in-law wants to stop in Lexington to find a Honda dealer.

_:__pm

From @erked: I'm trying to decide whether your journey would work better as a remake of Dante's Inferno or of Homer's Odyssey. Any cyclopses?

_:__pm

@erked Definitely The Inferno. Not enough hot babes or whirlpools on the trip. And the heat is definitely Hell-like. Mom-in-law as Satan.

5:35pm

From @SusanNell: are you hoping to get home by the end of the day? You don't have to work until Monday....

_:__pm

So close to home I can smell it, but mom-in-law is going to stop to use the bathroom. Only 1/2 tank of gas, so she might want to fill up.

_:__pm

@SusanNell3 I think we're going to stop for the evening in Greenwood (or Castleton if we're making good time). [For those not familiar with Indianapolis, Greenwood is a suburb on the south side of the city; Castleton is about 10 minutes from our house.]

5:58pm

Yep. She wanted to stop for gas. I told her I think 1/2 tank will get us home or at least a lot closer.

7:10pm

We've arrived (at the inlaws, first).

7:41pm

Home. Home. Home. Home.

_:__pm

Somewhat hard to believe I survived that drive (and vacation) without killing anybody (self included).

_:__pm

From @DougMasson: Congratulations on making it home!

And there you have it: The Wallack Family 2010 Summer Vacation Travelogue!

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