Well, I was going to blame my absence from the computer on the reunion with the kids, who were very well-behaved upon our return, and seemed to genuinely miss us, and who impressed me greatly with their behavior and cooperation, until I found out their grandmother had promised them money if they acted nice for a few days. Somehow, I feel getting PAID for being pleasant takes a bit of the sincerity out of it, but whatever, I’ll take it. Then I was going to blame it on the 17-hour car ride home this weekend, which we did straight through. Although around hour 14 my butt was really complaining, it was easier than messing with another “pets allowed” hotel, plus, once you reach the point of “home” being less than four or five hours away, it seems worth it to just plug on, so we did. Home sweet home never looks as good as it does at 2am, after three weeks away.
Yesterday, I unpacked and started the mountains of laundry, and spent the majority of my day on the computer, downloading, editing, cropping, organizing, saving, uploading, and burning to disc the 1,037 photos that I took on vacation. Believe it or not, I still had a 1 gb flashcard that I didn’t even use ….. so I’m a little surprised at how FEW pictures I took. As soon as I get some of them re-sized and uploaded to my storage site, I’ll share more of the vacation with you …. I know, just what you were waiting for, right? I promise not to be like your old Uncle Earl, with his five-hour presentation of slides from his trip to Africa you had to sit through when you were young ….. A few of the best pictures of each day with a recap, more for me than for you, if I’m being honest, since I can kill two birds with one stone and use those stories in my scrapbook as well.
No, the real reason I wasn’t online the past week was because of souvenirs. The thing to remember, when taking a big vacation like the one we just took, is that if you’re the type of person who likes to buy souvenirs, which we are, then you’re going to need room in your suitcases to bring those souvenirs home. Now, things worked well for Blaine and me, because we had one suitcase we took ON the cruise ship full of consumables …. Gatorade and Boost for him, bottled water, DDP, and yes, I even managed to get a Styrofoam cup all the way from Oklahoma to Vancouver, wrapped gently in a towel. Don’t even pretend you’re surprised.
We kept those things in our stateroom and hotel rooms for convenience sake, and at the end of the trip, used that space in our suitcase to bring home the souvenirs we bought for the kids and ourselves. It actually worked out very well.
Renee and Keith didn’t have quite as much luck as us. She had the forethought to bring an empty suitcase with her on vacation, which was smart considering she bought souvenirs for every single person in their entire extended family (Me? Not so generous.) But, she left that suitcase at her in-laws, where their boys were, intending to pack the souvenirs there. What she didn’t consider was that she’d have to get her souvenirs from Alaska TO her in-laws somehow …… and, that when I reserved our car in Whittier, that I wouldn’t realize there are different sized SUV’s. And when you rent a “mid-size” SUV, that is NOT the size SUV you are accustomed to seeing around town. A "mid-size" SUV is really not much more than a puffy car with the trunk inside. Which, when you start out traveling with four adult people and eleven suitcases …. Which then turns into TWELVE suitcases because she had to buy another one in Whittier to fit all her souvenirs in it, well, although it’s sexist and stereotypical, let me just say thank goodness Blaine and Keith were there, in all their manly, organized, analytical, structured-like glory, and they were able to fit all twelve suitcases in. Because if it had been just Renee and me, we’d still be in the parking lot, cursing and shoving and being frustrated we couldn’t find room for all of the dang suitcases, so which one of us, exactly, is riding on the hood? And let’s not even talk about the cost of fed-ex-ing 90 pounds of fish home ….. let’s just say that around the Escoe house for the next few months, halibut will be the equivalent of Kobe beef.
So besides the fish, what did we bring home? Well, the requisite t-shirts, ball caps, a fleece coat for my mom, coffee mugs, pajamas, and those little bottles of Alaska gold flakes suspended in liquid that the kids are certain will make them millionaires. All things we could fit in our suitcase.
Renee, well, I can’t begin to list all the cool stuff she bought, but I think the kicker, the items that necessitated the purchase of the extra suitcase, were the rubber boots she and Keith both needed for our fishing trip. Thank goodness for Ace Hardware in Whittier, is all I’m saying.
Oh, and a house. Blaine and I bought a house this week.
That’s the REAL reason I wasn’t online, we were busy with walk-throughs and contracts and meetings, all done in a rush because we only had two days. Some people go on vacation and buy the typical tourist items, the state spoons, or figurines, or “So and So went on vacation and all I got was this stupid T-shirt” t-shirts. We go on vacation, and we buy a house. Funny, when we went on summer vacation last year, we bought a house then, too.
And dang it, no matter how much I looked, I couldn’t find a suitcase big enough anywhere.