Hmm, and where do you summer?

Guys, I don’t want to alienate any of you, but I can officially say that I now “summer in Maine” like the rich people do. So please no longer make direct eye contact when addressing me, peasants.

Ok, ok, busted. We’ll actually be slumming it in a small motel by the beach for barely three days, so technically I guess you could say we’ll be “slummering in Maine.” But you can bet your ass we’ll be drinking our boxed wine with our pinkies up as we converse in our best haughty country club accent (you know, where you say elitist things without moving your lower jaw and laugh like a creaky door).

And a vacation is a vacation is a vacation. No matter where or for how long. The only thing that matters is that you spend the whole time posting enough selfies that all 933 of your Facebook friends are super annoyed.

Of course, before any vacation comes pre-vacation prep. And this horrible ritual almost makes going anywhere not worth it. This is doubly true when you are traveling with children. Because children need a lot of things. And whatever they don’t need, they WANT or they will just DIE. In fact, it might actually be easier to just detach their entire room from the house and drag it with you.

And packing all their ridiculous stuff is just the beginning. For example, we happen to be leaving tomorrow so here is my To-Do List for today:

  • Write newspaper column. About something funny. Or just be lazy and shoot off 700 words about your To-Do List.
  • Buy jean-wearing, Converse sneaker sporting, flannel shirt obsessed husband swim trunks and his first pair of shorts ever and shoes that don’t require socks.*
  • *Also remember to wrestle black socks away from husband when he tries to sneak them into suitcase. Use as much force as is necessary, including frying pan head whacking.
  • Clean house for dog-sitter, a lovely young lady we kidnapped asked nicely to watch our neurotic dog. And I mean, really clean. Like scrub the toilet and tell the hobo who lives in the southwest corner of the kitchen he needs to vacate for a few days level of clean.
  • Clean out the car trunk, which still contains (among many other fascinating artifacts from our life) a box of severely molded party favors from our wedding.
  • Charge camera batteries.
  • Find battery charger.
  • Find the camera the batteries belong to.
  • Pack.
  • Go to store and buy enough snacks to feed multiple pee-wee football teams even though there are only three of us (and one is a toddler) and we’ll only be gone 2.5 days and the place we’re going to is only an hour and a half away and has literally dozens of stores and restaurants within walking distance but no matter because we still need an entire cooler-full of all these snacks because it’s not really a vacation without six economy-sized bags of Bugles although no one really knows why other than that’s the way our parents did it and their parents before them and who are we to question the tradition of the Great American Beach Vacation.*
  • *Also buy more snacks at the gas station on the way out of town. Just in case.
  • Find passport because I just realized my license expired. Which you wouldn’t think would be a big deal since I’m not the one driving and I’m 34-years-old and have the bags under my eyes to prove it. But you’d be wrong. Because, funny story, this whole traveling without a valid I.D. thing also happened five years ago because I’m an idiot and keep assuming licenses are valid forever. But you know who doesn’t think it’s a funny story? Bartenders and car rental associates and the T.S.A. and hotel managers and that blonde lady cop.
  • Shave. Ugh. Shave it all.
  • Go to liquor store and purchase reasonable amount of booze since the aforementioned toddler will be passed out by eight, essentially chaining Mommy and Daddy to the confines of the motel room. Plus, we’ll need something to wash down those 56 packages of peanut butter crackers we brought.

The good news is that if I survive today, it’s nothing but sand, sun and surf for the foreseeable future.

Minus those predicted thunderstorms.

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