Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Vacation - All you ever wanted

I recently returned from a vacation with daughter # 1. Although # 2 is usually invited, this was a birthday present as # 1 recently turned 21. She was mid-semester at the University of Georgia the weekend of her birthday so, as a present, I invited her to one week away from the home front. We settled on Central Florida as our destination - home of The Mouse. It seems that Myrtle Beach was celebrating Bike Week the week of our vacation and you don't want to get me started on a biker trying to make off, or out, with # 1 while Mama Bear is in the same zip code.

We arrived at our destination at 4 o'clock Sunday afternoon. The temperature gauge in my car read a balmy 93 degrees. Within 30 seconds of exiting my air conditioned car, I had frizzy hair, sweat in between my ample bosom and # 1 was bitching about why we chose Central Florida. God, I LOVE vacation. We managed to schlep our suitcases up to the third floor and settle in. One hour later, we were bellied up to the Tiki Bar, as I said, she just turned 21. Two hours later, the rain began. It rained, and rained and rained.

I came to find out that the state formerly known as the Sunshine State was involved in a drought similar to the one here in Georgia. Allow me to be the first to tell you that Florida's drought is officially over. I haven't seen that much rain since I left the Sunshine State to become a resident of the "Y'all talk funny State" in 2002. We saw sideways rain, torrential downpour rain, thunder and lightning rain and "Mom, I can see the sun" rain.

So what to you do when it rains the entire time you are on vacation? If you answered "drink" you are correct. Although our days were filled with meaningful tasks like shopping, going to the movies, visiting The Mouse, relatives and playing cards, the nights were filled with alcoholic beverages. We managed to visit the Tiki Bar at the resort, repeatedly, along with Margaritaville, where I unashamedly sang Jimmy Buffet songs out loud, and Howl At The Moon.

Howl was a favorite place for me many years ago. (There used to be one in Coconut Grove). It's a dueling piano bar that has dueling pianos (imagine that), the phrase of the night (which changes frequently), bar specials and lots of young people. It is NOT a spectator sport. Patrons request songs, learn nasty lyrics to favorite songs, sing out "you bitch, you slut, you whore" while singing Happy Birthday, etc., The biggest issue of the night was watching young men attempt to hit on # 1 while I was at the same table. Case in point, I leave to use the restroom and when I return, # 1 has received a note from Admirer that reads "you are sexy" and has a smiley face on it. I grill # 1 to share with me who Admirer is and she remains firm. There is no way I will learn who he is as the possibility that her mom will embarrass her is too great. I relent and send up two dollars to quite possibly the cutest piano player I have ever seen, along with a request for Mustang Sally. He obliges me, I begin to sing and dance and Admirer gets a glimpse of what it might be like if he hooks up with # 1. Needless to say, # 1 and I leave in the company of each other, no one else.

We ended up leaving the state formerly known as Sunshine a day early. With our early departure, I missed out on the opportunity to see an old friend/flame who had offered to give us surfing lessons. Rats! That would've been fodder for another blog.

Would I do it again? You bet. Only next time, we're inviting # 2 to join us.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Laughter, the Best Medicine

I recently ended up in the neighborhood Emergency Room with a wicked case of Vertigo. I experienced "the spins" eight or so years ago, but not to the extent of what I had this time. I was scared, disoriented and puking without regard to the fact that I even threw up on my shirt. My eldest, a pre-med major in college, met me at the front door of the ER. I was happy I recognized her face and even happier that she could fill out the necessary admin paperwork as I was too swirled to do so. She guided me through triage, where we were met by my younger daughter. Let the games begin!

As in most families, my girls have the same two parents. They are only 18 months apart in age, but they live on different continents. # 1 has taken the college route and is all about medicine. # 2 was a teen mom and has settled in nicely to the wife/mother role. It's what happens when they are together that makes me a little nutty.

Picture if you will - a stretcher with a 45+ year old woman on it being rolled into a room in the ER. On this day, there was only a trauma room available. My eldest is physched to be in a trauma room without the worries of a real life trauma. Even though I am having my own personal trauma, this doesn't matter as I am not bleeding profusely. To # 1, it's all about the stuff! # 2 becomes my mouth piece since #1 is so involved in the workings of the room.

Enter the ER Doc. A nice lady who is asking about my medical history for the 2nd time in one hour. She asks if I have ever suffered a stroke. I point to # 2 and say "no" but she almost gave me one a few years ago. Crap! I think they gave me truth serum along the with nausea medicine. Fast forward two hours and now a real trauma comes in to the room the next to mine. A gunshot victim. Yay! My daughters are enthralled. # 1 is listening to the voices and procedures # 2 wigs out because the victim was found in front of a dumpster. And so it goes.

The crowd in my room grows as I am joined by my younger sister. Soon there is a lively discussion over who gets the comfortable chair. # 1 steps out for Wendy's and my son-in-law brings # 2 spaghetti. Me, I'm happy not be puking anymore. We argue over who calls my mom and at what time. (I think they drew straws for that while I was dosing) My sister loses and has to call mom. The night wears on and on. # 2 is on a rolling stool clearly labeled "Staff Only". She has a blood pressure cuff wrapped around her leg and is looking for a pulse. We hear hospital staff coming to the door, she flies off the stool, trips and does her best to look innocent. # 1, along with my sister, is laughing her ass off and I just want to go home.

One or two more diagnostic tests and I have been sprung. No driving, no working and absolutely no having fun over the next few days. Little does the doctor know that with my girls, fun just happens. No drugs are necessary.