Sunday, October 4, 2009

our non-cation, the vacation that wasn't: Part I

Although this is much overdue, it's come time to finally write about our two week excursion in September. The vacation plan was to travel to Florida and visit my Grandmother (Memere) and her boyfriend Sam at the Villages for two nights (that's all anyone can handle in the land of free-roaming, cranky retirees). Then we were to venture over to Hudson, FL to spend the week with Rob's parents, where we would leave Grace and the dogs while we flew from Tampa to Boston a Thursday through Sunday for THE WEDDING.

This wedding was my fault, my fault entirely. The bride was my cousin and had been my maid of honor. The groom was Rob's best friend from college, and had also been his best man. With a well doctored garter toss and some friendly reception make out action, the rest became history. This was October 29, 2005. Fast forward to the weekend of September 19, 2009, their wedding at a very pricey resort in coastal Massachusetts. No children please.

Our two day stint at Memere's was great. As Memere-tastic as any visit can get. One must understand a few things about my Memere. She is French Canadian, has a limited working ability with the English language, but wields it well. She is old school and true to her heritage. Men come first, men are pampered, food and meals are non-negotiable, and you never ever want to piss her off. I'm pretty sure I can commit an entire blog topic to describing this fabulous lady, and someday I will. She is doting and bluntly critical. Memere stories are always funnier told in person because I do a damn good job imitating her voice and getting the tone of the story just right.

The food was too much as usual. Memere will tell you you're "bigger since last time" and that you're not eating enough all in the same breath. She loads our plates with servings large enough to bring Bob Green to tears, will get mad when we don't eat everything, and then rants about how much we should "hate ourselves" if we let ourselves go and get fatter. I told her about my training and my upcoming triathlon and she bluntly responded that I was "tinner at Christmas". She also came to the conclusion that Rob was "spoiled" because he worked a "lazy job" and this was all because the Navy "pays our electric bill." You just can't win with Memere.

Eager to get out for a break, I ventured out one morning to take a run. I had forgotten how hot it was in Florida. Hot all the effing time. The heat torture was probably made worse by the fact that Memere likes to keep her house at 80 degrees. (Rules of Lilah #364: heat only puts me in a bad mood and I cannot be held responsible for being short tempered when experiencing hot temperatures). It was early, but still too hot for a run, and I went anyway. Memere lives in a gated retirement community where there are no sidewalks. (There are plenty of golf-carts scooting around with the cars. The majority of drivers are at that very sensitive, yet very ill-equipped age to operate any sort of vehicle. A very SAFE set up, you know, having a gate and everything.) The distance from Memere's house to the front gate is three miles round-trip. A nice flat, easy run to keep up with my training while away and get a little stress relief. Wrong. It was hot as balls. I was sweating my shorts off the first quarter mile in. The humidity is just plain ridiculous and anyone who likes this weather is crazy in my opinion. Mark my words, I will NEVER live in Florida EVER again. Following the rules of the road I made sure to run against traffic (20 mph speed limit throughout, mind you). Whenever an oncoming car or cart approached I even straddled the adjacent lawn and rain gutter as to grant PLENTY of berth for the oncoming "traffic" (and also look out for my own safety). The few friendly waves or thumbs up were unquestionably outnumbered by the FINGER WAGS and disproving glares. Clearly a 27-year-old married white mother in Nike running shorts is up to NO GOOD disturbing the peace trotting down the street at seven in the morning.

It was not a relaxing jog at all, especially when I had an 80 degree household to cool down in, a Memere criticizing that my child is fussy because I don't feed her enough (not because she is a giant ball of sweat), and a very loving, patient Rob giving me The Look. We left the next day and I never ran again during this vacation.

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