Tag Archives: Recreation

The Kid-free Road Trip

English: 071606 041

English: 071606 041 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Feet were stomping, lips were pouting and arms were crossed. All the signs of a tantrum looming.

“Moommmy … Daaaaaddddy… You can’t just leave us! No, no, nooooooo….. I’m not gonna be friends with you anymore if you go. Who’s gonna take care of us? What about dinner? There’s lots of fun stuff for kids to do where you’re going… Please…..pretty please….”

A discussion ensued about the lovely neighbor girl who would babysit. And other details about meals and logistics.

And also about how hard it is taking care of a 1-year-old and a 3-year-old after working all day. Enjoyable, but tiring.

Sometimes grown-ups just need a break and a change of scenery. With just grown-ups.

Finally, I had to agree. I uncrossed my arms and although I couldn’t smile, I stopped pouting.

My parents do deserve a vacation. They watch my kids two days per week when I head into my quiet office until my husband is done with his day. They are also okay with being on call for weekend overnights. Of course, this is all on top of their own paying jobs.

So, I hope they’re enjoying their road trip NY Adirondacks, just the two of them. Happy Anniversary Motorgrandma and Motorkrappa (maybe I’ll explain that one someday.)  We miss you.

I also hope my husband’s parents don’t get any silly ideas.

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Guys Getaway Weekend vs. Ladies Getaway Weekend

20130326-143245.jpgMotorMommy just got back from a truly phenomenal weekend in Vermont. For the last decade, in early spring, some or all of about 30-40 of my female friends and family travel to Lake Morey Resort in Fairlee, VT for a Ladies Getaway weekend. The resort has been conducting these ladies-only weekends for 13 years now, and the weekends almost always sell out completely. A while ago, they had to add a second weekend to meet the demand and now both weekends sell out each year.

Offerings at the event include 3-4 activity options at any given time all day. These options include water aerobics, Yoga, Zumba, hair-braiding class, soap-making class, cooking class, chick flicks, social security planning, weight loss discussions, wine tasting, mixology and lots, lots more. Also available are spa treatments, psychic mediums, chair massage, henna tattoos, and a boutique with handmade jewelry, crafts, and soaps. Of course, the bar opens promptly at 12:00 pm, so that’s also a convenient option. Nights include DJ dances, live music, comedians and trivia.  The collage to the left are my favorite things- some drinks, an acoustic guitar player, view of the resort from my morning run, etc. (Also got new collage and font apps for my phone, had to try them out.)

While all of these activities are wonderful, the real draw of the weekend for most is the fact that while not explicitly stated, it is generally understood that there are to be no husbands or children. So from 10 am on Friday until 2:00 pm on Sunday, I didn’t change a diaper, make a snack, or explain why you cannot have swedish fish for breakfast for the 15,357th time. It was delightful.

Anyway, every year while I’m there I think about how there’s no Guys Getaway Weekend.

It is always fun to imagine what sort of activities would draw guys to a resort for the weekend. What schedule of life enrichment would draw them in? What could they hope to escape to? I actually think that I’m off to a good start with a weekend compelling enough to pack a large resort. Enjoy and please, comment with classes you think should be added to the itinerary.

And, if any resort picks up on this schedule and decides to run with it, I only request that my husband be allowed to go for free and that someone carefully monitor his tequila consumption.

Guys Get-A-Way Weekend Agenda

Power Tool Room Open all weekend, this room is stocked with the latest in power tools that are noisy, expensive, and create a lot of dust. Also supplied are wood, concrete and fasteners. Enjoy! These are yours to play with and remember, there’s no women here to suggest you should actually fix something or make something. Just start a project, make a mess, and move on!

Entertainment:

Friday Night: Big Bonfire- We’ll start the fire, you bring the “bon.” Pallets, trees, refrigerators, chairs- you bring it and we’ll burn it. Materials such as plastic or sharp nails, etc. are not a problem. There will be no females here with mamby-pamby warnings about projectiles or fumes. Please, no pets, children, or wives.

Saturday Night: Exotic Dancers- You can’t touch them, and you probably wouldn’t want to, but they’ll be here, wearing ridiculous shoes, calling themselves cartoon names, dancing to corny music, pretending they like you and calling you things like “big boy” and “stud” while taking your money!

Class Descriptions:

Best Conversation Ever- Come on in and chat with us. For one hour, we’ll ban original conversation. Everything you say must be a direct quote from a movie or TV show.

Plot?! We Don’t Need No Stinking Plot! Another entertainment discussion group, we’ll be talking about our favorite rural, power-tool/construction-equipment/boat/truck -operating guys and gals who love to yell at each other using very poor English while performing life-threatening tasks in some of the world’s most dangerous places far, far from the civilized world. Deadliest Catch, Ice-Road Trucker, Axemen, Swamp-something-or-other or one of the 15 survival-shows-set-in-Alaska fans, this is the discussion for you!

Wife-Repelling Smoke- Is there anything worse than sitting down with a nice glass of scotch or beer and having a woman come over and want to talk? Here, we’ll discuss which sticks to light on fire and breathe in to make sure females stay away. Which works best, the fat, expensive stinky cigars? Grape Swisher Sweets? Let’s all share so we can head home and have quality time alone with our smart phones.

Sports Trivia Spout-Off- So what if it’s useless, irrelevant, and girls don’t seem impressed that you know it? We’re impressed! So come tell us which football player has the most rushing yards in a yellow shirt with red socks, or which teams have the worst World Series records when the third game occurs on an odd-numbered day, or which WWE wrestler has fought the most chicks in cages. Can’t wait to hear it!

Flatulence is Fun- Don’t forget to drink lots of beer and eat lots of chili at the Bonfire on Friday night because Saturday morning we’re going to let it rip! Loud and stinky style!

Special Three Hour Session: Video Gaming- Rather than actually play together, we’ll divide into two rooms and play over the network and yell obscenities while we try to kill pretend people and things. Bring your headphones and controllers.

YouTube: We’ll try to find the best videos of stupid stuff, people getting hurt, naked/almost naked girls and things being destroyed and/or caught on fire. We’ll discuss which ones we’ll need to turn the sound off at work and/or home and which ones should only be watched alone on our smart phones.

Finding and Exploiting Your Buddy’s Weakness We all have that one annoying guy in our group that gets under our skin because he hasn’t embarrassed himself in a while and is cool and funny all the time. Here’s how you can identify his weak spots and get started mercilessly harassing him for them right to his face like you do the rest of your friends.

Big Boy Toys- So what if you can’t afford any of these sports cars, boats, dune buggies, RVs, etc., right? You still know all their specs and exactly how you’d modify them if you’d own them. Lets look at pictures of them and discuss them and where we’d keep them.

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Camping’s Learning Curve Is Backwards

[en] camping, tent

[en] camping, tent (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Our camping season sadly ended with September and as it did, so began some folks’ in our group’s mumblings about what they’d be camping/towing with next year.  There’s always a surprise at the start of the season and no one ever gets something smaller.

That’s the strange thing about “roughin’ it” the way we do.  It’s not like other sports and hobbies- puzzles, you start with one that has 24 pieces and work your way up to a 1000 piece puzzle; skiing you get easy-to-turn boots and skis until you’re ready for the longer skis and tighter, harder to flex boots; bicycling you start on a tricycle and then have a two-wheeler with training wheels and only take the training wheels off when you’re ready.  Once upon a time, the group was all tents. Next, folks moved to pop-ups or small travel trailers and many have now moved up to elaborate 5th wheel toy haulers with outdoor kitchens and lots of extras.

Our story is no different from this trend.  My husband and I started camping while sharing a site with another couple in 2005 BK (BK=Before Kids.)   This couple and we would carefully arrange two vehicles to hold coolers of food, mass quantities of beer, clothing, tents, eating utensils, grills, stove, griddles, canopies, air beds, sleeping bags, tarps, chairs, towels, toiletries, kites, hammocks, toys, stereo, flashlights, lanterns, and more; hopefully leaving enough room for the humans.

Upon arriving at the site, we’d have to start using our noggins to set up the site considering factors like razor-shaped rocks underneath the tent, hills that would cause the blood to rush to your head while sleeping, flow of water from the spigot we’d be using for washing dishes, etc.

At the end of the weekend, we’d pack up everything now having to factor in a lot less beer but a tent that was at the very least damp from morning dew.  All from under the fog of a weekend spent in over-consumption of not so digestive-friendly food and obscene amounts of alcohol. It was no easy feat, and certainly not for the weak of heart or mind.

Within our group, we were fortunate to have expert, long-time, frequent campers who could lend us a hand or advise us as long as they weren’t too busy pressing the button for their pneumatic camper-levellers or microwaving popcorn.

“We’re always gonna be tough and always stay tenters,” I told my husband.

By the end of the 2005 BK season, we had become experts at tenting.  Our packing was optimized for the BK camping lifestyle, which involved mostly lying around all day waiting for night to fall when the campfire, cards, dice, and mixed drinks would come out.  Our camping equipment came to include a portable refrigerator, blender, tiki torches, and a small flock of flamingoes (including the now infamous Kiki and Ethel.)  BK camping nights were long but mornings came early when the sun, immediately upon its rising, would turn a comfy, airy tent into an oven holding the breath of hell’s inferno.  Naps were imperative, but could only be accomplished on cloudy days or in a lawn chair outside the tent.  In a word, it was a blast.

The next season brought change.  It would be the last BK season for our site-mates.  I guess BK camping had already ended for the wife.  Now experts at tenting, the couple purchased their first camper.  Of course, all they wanted was “to be off the ground and have a potty,” and thus purchased a modest travel-trailer.  No more tetris-like car packing or post-ground-slope-analyis tent-pitching.  Of course it was quickly time to move up to the next camper to make sure they used even less of that skill-set.  No longer satisfied off-ground and with potty, they now camp in a model with a huge slide-out and a separate wing for their children’s bedrooms.

Sure, early in the morning, as the heat drove my husband and I from our tent while they snoozed comfortably; and sometimes in the middle of an exhausting afternoon where they were so refreshed they didn’t need their camper’s air conditioning to take a nap; we did feel a little jealous.  But we were still new and not ready to stop using all we’d learned.

For my husband and I, the last BK season was 2009.  In 2010, a tough work schedule and a 6-month old limited our camping to a couple of tent trips and a few weekends sharing my parents’ camper.  Then, the perfect motorhome showed up on Craigslist just before Memorial Day 2011.  Sure, it’s old enough to drink but it didn’t require a tow vehicle and the mauve/smokey blue interior grows on you.  It was everything we needed- we’d be off the ground and we’d have a potty.  More importantly, I could reserve my tenting expertise for other beginners that join us.  We bought it.

Two seasons in, it’s working out okay.  Of course, we’re starting to see where  a slide would be convenient.  And we would like to think less about pulling that awning out, and a backup camera would let us stop using what we learned about backing into a site…

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