Wednesday, June 29, 2011
PACKING FOR VACATION
PACKING FOR VACATION
I am currently on vacation. I know, vacation from what? I am retired! Sometimes you just have to do nothing at a different venue. In this case it is two weeks at the Jersey shore. In New Jersey we don’t go to the beach, we go to the shore. Why the shore I do not know for sure, but packing for the shore is sure a chore.
It is just myself, Mrs. Cranky, and Spencer. We need appropriate clothes for two weeks on the beach, the boardwalk, the miniature golf course and maybe a restaurant. Three large suitcases take care of the clothes. Our giant SUV swallows up the suitcases with ease; there is plenty of room for more stuff.
We pack umbrellas, fishing rods, reels, and tackle. We need boogie boards, beach blankets and chairs. The SUV easily absorbs all of this. Oh wait; we need pillows, blankets and sheets. We need a huge bag full of plastic buckets and shovels (Spencer is 13, his sand castle days are over, but we have them…..just in case).
We have to pack food (everything is more expensive at the shore). Three cases of water, several bottles of wine and booze, milk, cases of soda, cartons of juice, juice boxes, and three gallons of Yoo Hoo. We pack two weeks of groceries including a large watermelon, and the SUV is starting to swell. Then we pack the giant bags of chips, Fritos and popcorn. Seeing out of the rear view mirror is no longer an option.
Do we really need to bring bicycles? You never know, so on goes the bike rack with three bikes. Now the rear SUV gate is blocked and we remember we need a bar-b-q grill, coals, and grilling tools. They go on the roof along with three sleeping bags (you never know), fishing waders, a raft, a giant inner tube, and several of those stupid foam noodles all strapped down with a plethora of bungee cords.
We remember swim fins, snorkels and masks. These we slip in through the rear window.
I might play golf, so the clubs squeeze on to the back seat along with an ice chest with all the food items which must be kept cool or frozen. Finally we are ready to go.
Wait, Spencer brings out his baseball bag, a football, and a Playstation 2. We also have to have a radio, DVD player, portable TV, and three laptop PCs. No problem. Simply take down the bikes and the rack, pull out all the bags of chips, Fritos and popcorn, pack the electronics, put back all the chips and the SUV is now stuffed floor to ceiling. I Slam the rear gate, and replace the rack and the three bikes. We are ready to go…. almost. We can’t forget the toilet paper, paper towels, detergents and soaps. These are packed on or around Spencer in the back seat and under Mrs. Cranky’s legs in the front.
All we need is Granny and a rocking chair on the roof to complete the “Beverly Hillbillies” image. Driving down the Garden State Parkway we are not alone. The road looks like a giant caravan of SUVs bulging with stuff, bikes hanging off the back, and roofs piled high with “just-in-case” shit.
Every car in the caravan is driven by a long faced man who weeks ago was dreaming of this vacation. Now he is dreading “unpacking,” and looking forward, he is not looking forward to packing all over again. He is calculating where to put that fucking giant monkey he is sure to win on the stupid boardwalk knock-over-the-cans game.
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