It’s always nice to go away, but even nicer to come home. That’s what my grandma used to always say. It’s now obvious to me that she had never been to Hilton Head, South Carolina. I know her and my grandpa went back to Ireland once and she tripped over a cow and broke both of her arms. She had casts on both arms up to her shoulders. So I guess that’s why she liked that saying, because who the hell wouldn’t want to come home after that? Jaysus! She also used to say that after three days, relatives and fish start to stink. Again, not in Hilton Head.
We like to be surrounded with great family and friends all the time. And we usually are. And that’s why we’re still married. The first night of our vacay we stayed the night in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Twenty of us in a one-bedroom condo. Now that’s togetherness. It was for one night. Poor Quint had to sleep under the pool table for warmth, Shelly and I were sharing a pull-out with as many kids as could possibly fit. This was before everyone was catching crabs, so we thought nothing of it. There were bodies everywhere and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Thankfully Dat’s wife, Meggy, has parents. Awesomely alive parents. Rob and Gidget are the reason our trip was even possible. They gave us their place to stay at. Apparently they don’t care if they get kicked out of the resort or not. It was so much fun, but went by way too fast. All of the sudden, it was time to leave and trek all the way back to Chicago. Shelly and Quint had to pick up their car and visit Quint’s brother, Gacy, and his Aunt Edna. Juan had to drop Molleen at the airport and took off like a bat out of hell and made it home in record time. Flying would probably have been a better way to go, but then our kids wouldn’t be able to attend catholic school. Dat and Meggy have done this before and knew exactly what they were doing. They did it right. And Beau and I? Beau and I learned a lot. About traveling. About each other. About how much divorce lawyers cost. But we made it.
The ride home was less than idyllic, but the moment I got out of that car in front of our house at one in the morning, my first thought was, I’d do that again. In a heartbeat. There is no question I’ll do it again. Just like leaving the hospital after having my first baby. Except I didn’t have a script for pain meds in hand. But it would have been way cooler if I did. I was so depressed knowing that vacation was over. I started eating my feelings around mile ten. I feel so gross now. I’m so fat. My digestive tract is so out of whack. My bowels are so confused. I think I may just have to walk down to the corner gas station to use their bathroom. But that’s life on the road.
We all miss each other so much. Thankfully we just saw each other again dropping all the kids off at camp. And we have a Hilton Head Reunion Party planned for tomorrow night at our house. So we’ll be okay. It’s just going to take time. Here it is 2:15pm and I’m still sober. Not for long, but it’s just not the same. I don’t know if I should scratch my watch or wind my butt. We’ll make it through this difficult post-vacation time like we handle all the adversity in our lives. With plenty of alcohol and lots of laughs.