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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Anniversary Blog Fest: Annette Snyder


Our Family Vacations

Annette Snyder

I am of the good fortune that my employer gives paid vacation every year. I have fifteen days to use as I please. During the year, I squeeze in a day off here and there for the dentist, grocery shopping or to catch up on laundry. Occasionally, I make assurances for the luxury of a family trip.

We afforded our first vacation when the kids were little and we were, just as many families with small kids, broke. A friend said we should take a short trip just to get away. Her exact advice was, “Take a hundred dollars and rent a hotel room for a couple of days.” We followed her suggestion, grabbed a little cash, drove two hours from home and rented a room at the Holiday Inn. Kids ate free at the hotel subtracting from the food portion of our weekend budget. We left on a Friday night, visited the museum, browsed the mall, swam at the hotel pool and came home on Sunday. I think we had twenty dollars remaining when we disembarked.

One year, we went camping in western Nebraska stopping on the way home at a water park and hotel. A real bed and shower was a welcome change after days of stinky-feet-tent-smell.

Another time, we trekked to Minnesota shopping at the big mall and saw a unique bridge by Lake Superior. By chance, we discovered an amazing restaurant built in an old warehouse on our visit to Duluth.

Once, we flew to Las Vegas, saw the lights, lost some money, toured Hoover Dam, lost some money, ate good food and lost some money. Our hotel had the most amazing swimming pool.

One year, we opted out of the family vacation and replaced the basement of our home. We attempted to convince our kids that painting, spackling, moving furniture and hanging drywall was what kids vacationing at Disneyland actually did. Mere propaganda cover-up distributed by Disney was that kids, playing in amusement parks, actually did home repair work except they had to wear those sweaty Mickey Mouse hats. Any picture of other amusement park behavior was photo-chopped and we were exempt of headwear only because of location. The children didn’t believe us.

Beginning that holiday, we did laundry. On Monday, we patched cracks in the living room wall. On Tuesday, we framed a cement slab and patched more cracks. Moreover, the neighbor needed a sidewalk fixed so we dug up a heavy concrete slab, axed out the offensive tree root underneath and put up framework. Word in a small town travels fast and only minutes passed before another neighbor discovered a cement delivery was going to occur. We agreed to repair a crack in his sidewalk as well. On Wednesday, we put up new gutters. On Thursday morning, the cement truck arrived. That afternoon, we drove twenty miles for our youngest daughter to finish her driver’s exam, returned home and did the dishes. Friday, we painted the living room. Saturday we did laundry, again, and Sunday we took down cement forms.

After the week, the family was tired of our makeshift Disneyland vacation and ready to go back to real jobs. The kids were tired of hearing, “Move that there. Make more spackling. Put this away. Pick up that tool.” The most work they ever had to do on previous vacations was to pick up dirty socks, keep wet swimsuits in the plastic bag and dust potato chip crumbles off the back seat. The plus was, not once did I hear, “Who’s feet smell? Stop looking at me. He’s poking me!”

We are planning an eventful family vacation away from home in the future. We’d like to tour the Grand Canyon or visit to the real Disneyland, not the one where they spackle and paint. Usually, no matter our touring choice, by the time our break is over, everyone is ready to take a vacation from vacation. It takes longer to unpack then it does to pack and the laundry pile is bigger upon our return. Truth of the matter is that when we stay home for remodeling, by the time we pay for all the carryout, because we can’t reach the kitchen sink, the sodas, because we’re dehydrated from working up a sweat and the sunscreen, because we spent the hottest day of the year laying cement, its much cheaper to leave town.

About the Author:
Multi-Published Author, Annette Snyder, calls a small town in the heart of the Midwest, habitat of cornfields and combines, her home. In an old house, with her husband and dog, she sits and writes.

Four grown children visit often and the grandkids cause beautiful havoc.

All her life, she paid attention to things around her, stories from her parents, friends, grandparents and great-grandparents and one day she compiled those stories together and wrote a book. That one book that started a wave of ideas and characters just keep pestering her so she continues to write all the time, work when necessary and vacation as much as possible.

Visit Annette at her site, her Fifty Authors from Fifty States blog where she blends her love of travel with her love of writing and pick up her work at or many online outlets and stores across Nebraska. You can connect with Annette on Face Book searching for Annette Snyder-Novelist or add her on Google Plus.


Hywela Lyn said...

LOL, you certainly have had a good variety of vacations - I'd love to see the Grand Canyon, hope you get your wish.

Charity said...

I have two young sons and a couple of nights squished together in a hotel sounds like a nightmare to me, lol

Annette Snyder said...

I have been now...three times always in a different season. Fall is my favorite so far.

Ingeborg said...

Your vacations sound like you had fun.

Karen H in NC said...

Why is it that even telling us about their vacations, authors can paint a better word picture than I can? I loved your post today. My parents coined the day-cation long before that tern and the 'stay-cation' was ever spoken aloud!

kareninnc at gmail dot com

Jean MP said...

Great post,laughed when I read it.
I can relate to the needing a vacation from the vacation.

skpetal at hotmail dot com

Amy Morgan said...

I have six children--five still at home. This year the trip was all six plus a boyfriend to the zoo. At the moment my husband and son are remodelling the kitchen behind me....I think I'll wait a bit before I turn around.

Catherine Lee said...

Your vacation sounds exhausting. Thanks for sharing. I occasionally read something that makes me REALLY appreciate never having had children...LOL!
catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

Debby said...

Great post! Our next famous family vacation is planned for when our youngest graduates from college.
debby236 at gmail dot com