Monday, October 10, 2011

10 things I learned on my holiday

Over an intimate sushi lunch today, Mr7 and I were discussing his imminent return to school tomorrow. He is ambivalent about the whole prospect. I am somewhat more excited. We talked about what he might have to do this week. He has choir practice, environment club, library... But what about in actual class?

"I suppose we'll have to write a recount about what we did on our holidays," he said, staring into his soy sauce with an Eeyore-like expression.

"We had fun!" I said.

"We did," he agreed. "But it's not much fun writing about it."

I tend to agree. The joy of the holiday is in the actual having of the holiday. But given it's a slow blog night, I am going to lead the way with my own Holiday Recount. Ten things I learned on my holiday.

1. Holiday houses that are advertised as 'complete with everything' are never complete with sharp knives. There will be a knife. Which will be blunt. And you will cut your hand off attempting to slice onions with it.

2. Holiday houses that show ocean views on their websites will have ocean views... filtered through a stand of trees. This is excellent for bird watchers. Of course, the house next door to yours will enjoy uninterrupted, panoramic views of rolling waves and endless sands (see image, shot from out the front of the house next door...).

3. Other People always seem better prepared for holidays than you are. No matter how prepared you are. They will arrive earlier, settle in better, have wetsuits for water slides when it's 17 degrees celsius, have boogie boards, skate boards, scooters, bicycles, surfboards, ski boards, the right shoes, the right board shorts, the right everything. You will forget the ball. The Jenga. The binoculars. The [insert everything else you remember once you're an hour from home].

4. Other People are prepared to queue for hours to go on a Toboggan slide. Bad parents like you will suggest an ice cream and a game of Putt Putt instead.

5. You will play Putt Putt golf. Even if you never, ever play Putt Putt golf, or consider it, at any other time, you will play Putt Putt golf on holidays. And it will be fun. Note: beware mentioning the words 'Whip your butt' to your spouse before realising that any Putt Putt skills you may once have had were left behind with your 10-year-old self.

6. You will sit through a children's movie. As the entire theatre squirms, and wriggles, and crunches, and crackles, and whispers, and giggles, and snorts, and wiggles in the darkness around you, you will strain your ears to catch the storyline to whichever Holiday Blockbuster has been dumped in theatres. It will be Smurftastic.

7. It takes longer to get there than to get home. Whether you are driving to your destination, or riding your bike behind a seven-year-old three-quarters of the way through a 10km bike ride. This may or may not be because it's downhill on the way home. If you are four, you will not care how far it is in either direction because you will sit in your car seat or coast on your Tagalong bike without a care in the world.

8. You will swim. It may be below freezing, it may be raining, it may be on the verge of snowing, but if you have small children and there is a pool, you will swim.

9. The sun always comes out as you're packing the car to go home. Murphy's Law. Even if it's rained all week (which, I hasten to add, it did not), the sun will blaze in all it's shiny, golden glory when it's time to go home.

10. You will have fun. So much fun. And come home relaxed, recharged and ready to slog through until the next holiday.

So that's my effort. I look forward to comparing it with Mr7's work tomorrow. I suspect his will focus on the $8 bow and arrow set that he bought from the local $2 shop on our holiday and which won his heart to the exclusion of all else. His teachers will note that Other People had better holidays.

What would you add to my list? Tell me what you know about family holidays.

[image: the almost view from our bungalow at Merimbula Beach Caravan Park]


  1. So true. I got back yesterday and nodded to every one of your observations. Knowing all this somehow still doesn't ensure the same thing is not repeated next holidays.

    Love reading your blog.

  2. All so true! Especially the remembering things 1 hr from home. The other thing is: no matter how much sunscreen is used, someone will always get sunburnt. Regardless of weather. Glad you had a good holiday :)

  3. Welcome back! Recounts are dreaded by Mr 8. Definately an in-the-moment kind of kid! In year one he was asked what he was doing while everyone else was painstakingly re-counting and he replied he didn't need to write as he was watching it all on his 'movie desk'.
    As a kid I remember sighing the heaviest of sighs when dad ritually announced 'all hands on deck' as we pulled up holiday-weary home driveway...and now I hear myself say the same to kick-start the endless unpack. Great to hear it was such fun andf glad you're back to once again interupt my evening's work! Til next time...

  4. All true, exceptthe organized prepared people don't take time to enjoy themselves, they are too tied into the competition of doing it right, and in preparing to pack for home.

    cranky old man

  5. I would totally have made the kids skip the busy slide for putt-putt and ice cream, too. {Parenting high five.}

  6. My Miss 4 (a few years ago) when asked on a national television show,what she had done on her two week holiday at the Gold Coast, replied, 'Played on the swingset!" How lazy did we look as parents?

  7. Lovely!

    Especially number five. Give me a crazy windmill golf course anyday. The lovely husband and I have whipped one anothers butts (so to speak) at a great many of the souther NSW costal crazy golf courses...I always get faintly excited when I see signs for putt putt golf.


    PS Tell Mr 7 that Miss 7 just asked me "how can I make "a lot of boring stay at home days" into a cool holiday recount?"

  8. Oh so true, sun always is perfect on the day you leave.
    Tip for you re nos1 &3, go open a word doc right now and right down the 'things I should have taken.' Save in Holiday Packing List and you are half done for next year. We go camping once a year and it took me a few go's before I made my life easier.

  9. We are yet to take the kids on a holiday. I enjoy having days at home where I don't have to get out of my jammies first thing in the morning...or, well at all that day if I play my cards right.

  10. We too have recently done the putt-putt thing - and I loathed every minute of it until I scored a hole in one - and then another, and finally a third! Needless to say the husband (aka regular golf paler and writer) was less than impressed :)

  11. Oh you tell it so well! Except it always rains when you pack the car and as soon as you drive away for home, then the sun comes out!!

  12. It does sound like you had fun.

    For the record, as a child I would have preferred an ice cream over a toboggan ride. :)

    You're right that writing about holidays can take the fun out of it. Now I'm feeling guilty for all those years I asked my students to 'recount' theirs. I think you can have fun with how you choose to recount your experiences though- think outside the square with the format.

  13. It does sound like you had fun.

    For the record, as a child I would have preferred an ice cream over a toboggan ride. :)

    You're right that writing about holidays can take the fun out of it. Now I'm feeling guilty for all those years I asked my students to 'recount' theirs. I think you can have fun with how you choose to recount your experiences though- think outside the square with the format.

  14. I hear you!

    For some reason my children think that putt putt golf is a must do holiday activity. Even when we were in NZ recently, it was assumed that we would play. Thankfully we were over scheduled and missed out. We will however be doing it next holidays, I'm sure.

    Maybe the teacher will phrase the question into what was the best thing you did on holidays? That would be more fun than recounting the whole thing.

  15. Happy SITS day to you. Love this post, and so many things are true.

    I look forward to reading more from you in the future.


  16. Oh how I laughed! I have certainly learned from #1 and always take a good knife, grater and vege peeler as they are unlikley to be 'included in price'.


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