Vacation Wrap Up and Winners

I love summer.  I love traveling east every year to the same lakefront location.  I love seeing the same cousins, siblings, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews, the same lifelong friends and family (my husband’s) year after year.  Really, I do.  (Just ignore all those travel brochures to Hawaii gathering dust in the magazine basket-I don’t know WHO put them there).   

Northeast Pennsylvania is beautiful.  I love the gorgeous green rolling hills and the brilliant blue sky.  I love the honeymoon phase when we first get there- when the kids are getting along and everyone is happy to see each other.  This doesn’t last very long, but it sure is nice.  I love the mist on the glassy lake in the morning, the orange daylilies, the screened in porch, the mosquitoes, the kids making a fort in the woods, ice cream at the local dairy.  I love the smell of sunscreen and bug spray and hot dogs on the grill, love the excitement the kids get over catching frogs and lightning bugs and caterpillars or spotting a deer, the thrill we all get over a big thunderstorm, the board games, the chilly nights (“good sleeping weather”), the 4th of July fireworks, the lemonade and cold beer and friendly neighbors.  I had time to read 4 books and 3 magazines while occasionally glancing up to watch my kids jump off the dock, play in the sand, catch fish in a bucket.  I love the slower pace, the low tech fun. Love it, love it all.   

It’s like stepping back in time.  The biggest story on the news during our trip was about a bear cub recovering after being hit by a truck and the latest score of the Yankees game (no, not THOSE Yankees- I’m talking about the Scranton-Wilkes Barre Yankees!).  I’m sure there must have been other things going on in the news- in fact I remember hearing from someone at the beach that Angelina Jolie gave birth to twins and that John McCain made a stupid remark that got lots of press. Good to know that the rest of the world goes on without us while we’re on vacation.  

I picked up a new reader while I was in PA- no, not a Kindle!  A blog reader with eyeballs-my husband’s cousin (Hi, Kim!)  She’s an attorney and single mom of three gorgeous, whip-smart girls.  She mentioned at a family gathering that she’d gotten her older 2 into golfing, because each year many college scholarships for women golfers go unclaimed (after doing a tiny bit of Google research, I’ve learned that’s not exactly true-sorry, Kim!).  Anyway, my youngest overheard this conversation and also admired her cousin Maddie’s pretty pink golf clubs, so now she’s hounding me to call and find out about golf lessons.  At 9 she’s a little young to be gunning for college scholarships, I think, but pink is her color, so it’s on my to-do list for today. 

I missed my July book club meeting for The Sweet Potato Queen’s Big Ass 1st Novel (and now that I’ve written that sentence, I’m sure to get more hits from people googling “big ass”.  If that’s how you got here, sorry to disappoint you, because I don’t have what you’re looking for on this blog!!)  Anyway, everybody had fun without me- book clubber Karen made brisket on rolls and asked everyone else to bring “comfort food” which, of course, meant different things to different people-pies and sweets and many other calorie-laden goodies.  Although most thought the book was funny, the food was the highlight of the meeting. Our pick for August is Loving Frank by Nancy Horan, which I had time to read at the lake, so I’m ahead of myself! 

Coming home from vacation is the sucky part.  After having my 5’10” body folded into a teeny airline seat for 8 hours or so (including all the time just sitting around on the runway), I was all crampy and sore waking up yesterday, my first day home.  I was happy to be in my own bed, but then had to face all the unpacking and laundry, 2 weeks of mail, bills to pay, groceries to buy, email and phone calls to return (sorry if I haven’t responded to you yet; I’m working on it!), an overgrown yard, a dusty van, grumpy bored children, a dog who missed us and has been really spoiled by her dogsitter (my mom), all while exhausted and jet-lagged.  Today (day 2) has got to be better, right? 

I’ll post a few vacation pictures once I get around to unpacking the camera.  I’ve also got several reviews to write, and winners to announce!  The reviews will have to wait until everyone in my home has clean underwear, but I can announce the winners right now, so here goes— 

The winners of Janeology by Karen Harrington are: 

Fightingwindmills and Jenefur!

 The winner of A Summer Affair and Barefoot by Elin Hilderbrand is:

 Patti from Displaced Beachbums

 Congrats to the winners!  I’ll email you to get your contact info.

What is your least favorite part of going on vacation?  The packing?  The unpacking?  Squabbling kids? Navigating the airport?  Leave a comment and let me know!

It’s good to be home!  

21 Responses

  1. Hey! Want to know another good thing about coming home from vacation?! Winning a copy of The Host! Yes, I’m talking about you! I had to redraw a couple of names and you’re a winner! Email me at natasha (at) mawbooks (dot) com with your snail mail and I’ll send your info over to Hatchette Book Group. Congrats! 🙂

  2. Welcome back!

    I think unpacking is my least favorite. You end up having a ton of laundry to do, you have to put a bunch of stuff away (toiletries, etc), all of this when you are giddy to be back in your own house.

    You should have seen my house when we got back from our honeymoon! Ugh!

  3. Welcome back! Sounds like you had a great time. I leave for vacation on Saturday. I actually got smart this year and decided to take the day off before we leave so I can pack, etc. I’m sure you do it too but I end up packing for the entire family. What to take.. what to leave out. It’s just too much responsibility.

    My least favorite part is getting thru security at the airport. My daughter always has a meltdown about taking off her shoes. When we wrench them off her feet, she almost always believes that she will never get them back. Also, some airports have those “puff” vestibules where you stand inside, the doors close around you and it then proceeds to take air samples from your clothing. She just LOVES this. As you can imagine, puffs of air flying at you in a closed space is enough to make an adult cry.. much less a kid.

    That is definitely my least fave part. We always walk away with the entire security staff rolling on the floor with laughter.

  4. W00t! Thank you, Lisa!

    My least favorite part of taking a vacation is what a physical work-out it is and how sweaty and grumpy we all get in the airport.

    Welcome home!

  5. Either the unpacking or the lugging heavy suitcases around an airport!

    Welcome back!

  6. My least favorite part of vacation is the coming home. I love to be home, but packing up to leave some wonderful destination always strikes fear in my heart. It means going back to work, school, LIFE.

    Your description of your summer vacations made me think of my childhood vacations to visit cousins and grandparents. I miss that. Anyway, glad you made it home safe, and I can’t believe you’re 5’10”. I’d never want to go on a long trip again if I were that tall. I can barely fit comfortably in airplane seats and I’m 5’3″.

  7. Natasha, shut UP!! I won The Host?? How cool! I guess this means I’ll have to break down and read Twilight too!

    Trish, so glad you understand. I owe you a couple emails. Tonight, hopefully! The darn kids won’t leave me alone and now they want to go bowling, ugh!

    Ti, I don’t know what the heck you’re talking about with the “puff” vestibules! Why would they want air samples of clothing? HUH? Would that be international travel, perhaps?

    Fightingwindmills, WOOT back atcha! Sweaty, grumpy, yup. Been there, done that.

    Amy, yes, the lugging of heavy suitcases SUX. We had one that was WAY overweight and we had to pay (why did my husband need 6 different pairs of (size 15) shoes?? He’s a GUY!) Thanks for the welcome back!

  8. Becca, I think we were typing at the same time!! Yes, I hate it when the fun has to end and real life starts over. Oh, wanted to mention that my 5’10” is easier than my husband’s 6’6″. He was stuck in a middle seat between my daughter (the chatty one-haha) and a heavy set older woman who was spilling over the arm rest. For 3000 miles. Fun!

  9. Lisa,

    I call them puff vestibules for lack of a better term but the air samples screen for explosives. This was not an international flight either.. it was from Utah!

    Ti

  10. My least favorite is the trip home. Because I’m no longer on vacation but I’m not home, either. It’s just all around suckiness. Oh wait, the going back to work is even worse.

    I cannot believe you haven’t read Twilight. That’s just wrong. Although if I hadn’t already read Twilight I’d probably be more open to reading The Host.

  11. Jill, ugh I agree!! Total suckiness!

    Ok, please enlighten me.. why are you not interested in reading The Host after reading Twilight?? Spill!

  12. Welcome back! I love how you describe the honeymoon period – so very true, I think.

  13. Welcome back – you’ve been missed!

    My least favorite parts of vacations have also been mentioned in other comments – the trip home (because I’m tired, and there’s no sense of anticipation anymore) and the unpacking (because that means it’s really OVER).

  14. Glad you had a nice vacation!!

    My least favorite part of vacation is trying to get everything repacked in the same suitcases you came with AND all ‘the extra” stuff you bought while on vacation!! I actually have to bring and empty bag to put all those extras in that I know i will have!!

  15. Welcome Home Lisa! I’m glad you got to have time for yourself on your trip.
    When the hubby and I go on vacation we always make a point to not try to pack too much into one day. Actually a three day trip can sometimes seem like a six day trip because we go back to the hotel in mid-day and take a nap before heading back out for dinner and night time adventures. It’s nice that we are similar in how we travel and there isn’t one who wishes the other would hurry it up or slow it down.
    I also make sure that we have a freshly made bed with fresh sheets the day we leave so when we return home, it’s a nice crisp bed awaiting us.

  16. Because I loved all of the Twilight books, and the premise of The Host weirds me out. I want more Twilightishness and I know it won’t be in The Host. I’ll probably end up reading it eventually, but it’s not making my heart go pitty-pat right now.
    However, had I not already read Twilight, I wouldn’t be wanting more, so I would be more open to The Host…if that makes sense.

  17. Welcome back! Being back on line must be a nice break from all the unpacking and organizing post-vacation. How many times have we said “I need a vacation to recover from my vacation!?!”

    I have get a perverse satisfaction from doing all the laundry after a trip … it’s fairly self-sufficient to run in the background while I’m doing other things, and the kids help put it all away. (Now, anyone searching for “big ass” and “perverse” will definitely find your blog!) 🙂

  18. My least favorite part of vacation is the getting there–I’m not a big fan of airports or airplanes these days, and gas prices are making car trips a pain in the neck, too. But your description of your vacation really resonates with me because we go to Cape Cod with my husband’s family (he has three sisters, and each family has three kids, so that’s 12 cousins running wild) every year, and I really enjoy–most of it! So in August I’m looking forward to what you just went through! Welcome back🙂

  19. My least favorite part of vacation (after all the airport suckiness – but airports are the best for people watching so it’s a toss up) is trying to decide the ‘PLAN’ – what to do when. Hub has to have a plan for every freaking single minute of every day and I like to wing it every so often. He’s getting worse (or I am?) as we get older – which sucks too.

  20. […] the winner of Books on the Brain and Hatchett Book Group book giveaway contest. I won A Summer Affair and Barefoot by Elin […]

  21. well this is useful… (at least for me)

    very thanks

    ——————————–
    holiday travel

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