Tag Archives: new england


It was a tradition we had started a few years back. Whenever someone in our family had a birthday coming up, they got to choose whether they wanted gifts or an adventure. Since I had just reached Level 38 in the game of life, I felt an adventure was in order. I have stuff. A ridiculous amount. I wanted memories. 

We didn’t go far. Adventures don’t always require distance. My husband and I Googled our little hearts out and found an idyllic seaside town not even an hour away. It had all the requirements.

1. A beach. 

2. A place close to the beach that sold alcohol.  

Better yet, we found a quirky little inn that still had rooms available. An inn that was the perfect blend of charming and yet definitely haunted, but haunted by the ghost of Lorelai Gilmore. I immediately fell in love. 

It was everything a small getaway should be. Even the constant sibling fighting added an air of authentic vacation whimsy. 

“Ah, we’re going to miss this when they get older.” I sighed to my husband as we sat on the beach and watched our daughter throw sand directly into her brother’s eyes.

“Yes, these moments when they’re still small enough to lack the strength to actually murder each other are truly magical,” replied my husband as we then watched our son retaliate by hitting his sister over the head with some driftwood. 

Alas, all good things must come to an end. As we were packing up to leave the following morning on our second night there, the whining started. Right on time. 

“But MOM! We don’t WANT to go HOME.” my 5-year-old wailed, splayed dramatically on the bed. 

“MOMMA! Can we live here now?” my almost 3-year-old helpfully chimed in as she mimicked her brother’s splaying.

“Guys, you know we have to leave tomorrow.”

Simultaneous groans. The only thing they had agreed on the entire time. 

“Can we stay just one more night?” 

“Yeah, can we?”

Pffft. Who did these kids think they were dealing with? Not in the mood to argue about this for the next 45 minutes, I decided to throw the hammer down, saying the two words universally known to decimate the hopes of youths everywhere. The verbal nuclear option, if you will. 

“Absolutely not.” 

And that was that. 

Until it wasn’t that. It wasn’t that at all. Because out of nowhere, my husband whipped out a homemade missile defense system built out of only three words.

“Are you sure?”

Was I sure? WAS I SURE? Who did this guy think he’d knocked up on multiple occasions? Of course I was sure. We couldn’t possibly stay one more night. We had to get home and…do things. Like…important things. Important things like…THE DOG. Yeah. We have a dog and there is no way…

“I mean, we could see if the dog sitter can stay one more night.”


“And the owner mentioned to me earlier that he doesn’t have the room booked again until next week.”


“And I know what you’re thinking, but we can afford it. I worked all that overtime last month.”


“What do you think?”

What did I think? What did I THINK? I think the mom part of me was holding up a giant banner over my brain that said “ABSOLUTELY NOT.” As she so often did. Because the mom part of me is inundated with 300 ridiculous requests a day. Can I jump off the roof? What if I wear a cape? Can we have candy for breakfast? Can we put makeup on the dog? Can we lick this old gum on the sidewalk?

So, “absolutely not” was the only possible answer to all of these. It was a survival technique really. But, because of this, how many times did I say no to things just out of sheer habit?

And that’s when I heard her. The non-mom part of me. The part of me that was slowly being smothered underneath the pile of unfolded laundry in my soul. She was straining to be heard as she whispered “what if you said yes?”

Meanwhile, while my brain was short-circuiting, the three of them were standing there, staring at me expectantly.  

“Well, I guess there’s no harm in seeing if the dog sitter can stay one more night,” I finally sputtered out. 

She could. 

“But I doubt the owner will just let us stay another night at the last minute.”

He did. 

Again, six eyes stared expectantly at me. 

“So can we, mom?”

“Yeah, can we?”

Can we? What would one more day mean? One more trip to the beach. One more dinner at a place where the wine paired perfectly with deep fried everything. One more day to make memories I will probably forget but Instagram will remember forever. 


I stared back at them. I smiled. And I decided then and there to drop my bad habit like a bad habit. 



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.

Tips to Beat the Heat (To Death)

Curl up in the fetal position in front of a fan and sob.


Lose an obscene amount of weight so you have absolutely no body fat and are now one of those lollipop heads who wear fur coats in the summer.


Make an altar to the air conditioning gods and pray regularly that there are no rolling blackouts.


Drink alcohol until you can’t feel anything, even humidity.


Get nekkid. Stay nekkid until October.


Stick ice cubes down your pants by your no-no parts.


Feeling hot, hot, hot…and semi-homicidal

Full disclosure: I have never actually been to Vietnam nor fought in a war over there. So therefore, I can’t “technically” have a flashback to ‘Nam. But I’m pretty sure that during last week’s heat wave, I had the closest approximation a civilian can get to having that experience.

As the temps continued to climb into the 100’s here in New England, suddenly I was thrust back to the five years I spent living in South Texas. While I may have actually been walking down Newbury Street in Boston, in my mind’s eye I was back in that steamy (non)jungle, whimpering and rocking in the fetal position as my sobs mixed with my sweat.

For those of you who have never been to Texas, or anywhere in the South during the height of summer, there are a lot of ways you could describe the “seasons” down there:

Hot, Hotter, Really Hot and December.

Hot, Hotter, DAAAAAMN! and Satan’s Asshole.

Hot and Humid, Hot and Humid-er, Drought and Mosquito.

But personally, I think the best way to sum up the seasons down there in regards to my personality is: Homicidal and Slightly Less Homicidal.

(Of course, over time I got a little bit more used to the Texas heat. For instance, while my first summer was spent mostly lying down on the floor spread eagle by a fan in nothing but my skivvies, my last summer there was spent lying down on the floor spread eagle by a fan in my skivvies and a tank top).

Now, you may be thinking, “If Texas is so unbearably hot, how come so many people live there?” And the answer to that is very simple.

I am 100 percent a super-mega-ultra-wussy when it comes to heat. And the rest of the world is, in fact, not.

See, while normally I look like this:

…when I got hot, I turn into this:

To most people, being hot is a natural occurrence that happens from time to time and is no big deal. To me, however, being hot is akin to the end of the world and makes me want to stab little baby bunnies in the throat.

And the thing is, I don’t know why. I don’t know what it is about my chemical makeup that makes me turn into the Hulk (APRILL STAB BUNNY!) when it gets above 80 degrees. I see other people out and about, enjoying their days during the summer and not frothing at the mouth with one eye bulging out of its socket a’ la Mr. DeMartino from “Daria.” And I wish more than anything I could just deal with the sweating and the heat index and the steaminess rising from the concrete and the SWEATING AND THE STICKINESS AND THE SUNSHINE AND DID I MENTION THE SWEATING AND AHHHHHHH!!! DIE, BUNNY, DIE!


Anyhoo, the good news is the heat wave is finally over and Boston is back to seasonal temperatures…meaning I’m back to my old, non-bunny murdering, self. And I gotta tell you, it’s good to be back.

That is, until this weekend, when temps are supposed to climb back up into the 90’s…

Here bunny, bunny, bunny…

*No bunnies were harmed in the making of this blog post…too bad I can’t say the same for that raccoon.