There is nothing I love more than hanging out and drinking with my family. It is my favorite thing. But drinking with my family on vacation takes it to a whole new level. There are 27 of us here right now. All the main players. Eleven adults. The rest are kids. It's unfortunate for the other people who are also at this resort. I imagine they sit in their rooms shaking their heads at the unbelievably horrible luck they have for booking their vacation the exact same week our family is here. Sucks to be them. But this is how we do.
Everything is better on vacation. Even hangovers. I woke up this morning with my head pounding, not even sure of where I was. A typical Tuesday. But then I remembered I was on vacation and suddenly my head didn't hurt that much. Or perhaps it was all the pills I downed finally kicking in. Either way, it was a great feeling. Like when you're a kid and you wake up dreading having to go to school only to realize it's Saturday. It's such an amazing realization. Just like being on vacay.
There's not a care in the world on vacation. After ten hours of driving, my cousin's car broke down. So we all stopped with them and waited to hear it was the transmission. No one wants to hear that news, but it's way easier to hear when you're on vacation.
So naturally, they just left the car in that town, sent the kids on with my husband Beau and I and rented a car and carried on. Because we're on freaking vacation and nothing is going to ruin our good time. It's a completely different mentality. We had 7 kids in our car and I had to sit on the floor so that they could all be somewhat buckled, because I take car safety very seriously. But who the hell cares? We're on vacation.
Last night we came to the conclusion that we drove 17 hours to sit around a kitchen table and have drinks together. Just like we do at home. All the time. But it's just way more fun when you're on vacation.
The kids were everywhere. Up till all hours of the night. Passing out everywhere, just like the adults. We laughed so hard at all the stories we've all heard a million times before, but loved hearing again. There was singing. There was dancing. There were naps taken. It just doesn't get more fun than this. It's a lot like college. We're all drinking in the dorms together. We're all drinking like we're 20 years old. It's the best.
Earlier today I was trying to jam a 20 pound bag of ice into the freezer. After I carried it all the way back from the car. Something that would normally annoy me. But not here. As I was trying to stuff it in there, a bottle of vodka fell from the top of the fridge. The cap broke off and vodka spilled out. No biggie. I just licked it all up and went on with my day. Because I'm on vacation.
The kids are all having a blast. Their favorite thing to do here is catch crabs. You heard me. You cannot hear them say this without laughing out loud. I want to catch crabs! He got crabs and I didn't! It's not fair! I want crabs, too! I mean the jokes write themselves. They're all related and keep saying how they loving catching crabs together.
We had to make a new rule. No crabs in the house. One of the darlings brought one in and let it loose. I didn't care for that. And I made the children aware of my feelings. But in all honesty, I had so much vodka in my system at the time, that I wouldn't have even noticed if the thing came up and bit me.
I can't wait until they go back to school and tell their teachers they got to sleep in the same bed as their cousins and caught crabs with them. So that's the way it is in their family. That's vacation. Even catching crabs is awesome.
Eileen O'Connor is an amazingly talented woman, wife and mother living on the mean streets of Chicago's south side with her equally adorable family.
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