On Friday morning, we continued the drive north to Silver Lake where we spent the weekend in a cabin with Mike's college friends.
The important thing to note about this trip is that I had absolutely no part in its planning whatsoever. I was told it was happening, was asked to come along ("asked" is a loose term) and obliged.
In fact, I don't think any of the women involved in the trip were privy to the details or part of the email exchanges. It was a purely husband-operated event.
Thus, several creature comforts and standard amenities were missing from our lodging accomodations.
Namely, bedrooms and bathrooms.
We were THREE COUPLES with FIVE KIDS staying in a house with exactly ONE BEDROOM and ONE BATHROOM.
I'm not even sure "bedroom" is an accurate term for an attic that resembles my bunk at sleepaway camp but that's what we'll call it.
I am calling the following "The Ten Plagues of Silver Lake". Who was out to get us and why, I have no idea.
1. NO INTERNET ACCESS
This was a tough one for me. I actually had to READ A BOOK when faced with free time. But it was even harder for Mazzy who is used to accessing her shows through YouTube. Would you believe that she actually woke up at 3am and screamed, "iPAD!!!!!"? (It's true.)
When you turn out the lights in a cabin in the middle of nowhere, you find yourself in complete and utter darkness. When you are sleeping in the same room as eight other people, you do not have the freedom to flip a switch (if you can even find the switch) when your daughter wakes up in the middle of the night with a wet diaper that leaked through her PJs. Finding wipes, a new diaper and fresh pajamas and then completing the change with only your child's piercing screams to guide you? Really fucking hard.
3. CRYING OF THE FIRSTBORN
I believe I covered this in both #1 and #2 but I will add that Mazzy wasn't the only one screaming in the middle of the night. Every family had at least one child who woke up in some sort of Elmo-induced nightmare and made sure every person in the room was sufficiently awake before drifting off back to sleep.
4. UNEVENLY STEEP STAIRS
5. EXPOSED NAILS
What's scarier than navigating the stairs above to get to the only bathroom located downstairs in the middle of the night? How about the 1500 exposed nails sticking straight out of the walls where your precious children are playing and sleeping?
I kid you not— they were EVERYWHERE.
It rained. A LOT. (Although, I'll admit, sleeping in the attic of a cabin during an all-night torrential downpour is kind of cool.)
7. FOOD POISONING
Oh? Did I mention the food poisoning? Three of us got it (including me) from cheeseburgers at a stock car race (yes, you read that right) on Friday night. I'm not gonna go into much detail except to remind you that there was ONLY ONE BATHROOM. Suffice to say, I spent a lot of the weekend, HERE:
Bonus Detail: the bathroom was located directly off the main living room so everybody knew exactly what you were doing and for how long.
9. FIVE YEAR-OLD GIRLS
Two of the girls at the house were five years-old and best friends. Of course, Mazzy wanted to play with them more than anything. They both did more than their part to humor her but as her mom, it was kind of sad to watch her try so hard to involve herself when clearly, she was just not on their level. She constantly ran up to them when they were in the middle of some big girl activity yelling, "What are we doing, guys?!" Only to be met with blank stares. Oh, my aching heart.
The bathroom had a shower with no tub. Mazzy would rather give up Calliou than take a shower. We made due with swims in the lake and washcloth wipedowns. Survivor-style.
10. THE MACARENA
Apparently, in small towns in upstate New York, the Macarena is not only alive and well but it is danced en masse at something called the "Corral Summer Concert Series" every Saturday night.
Despite all of the above (even the food poisoning), we had a fantastic time. Well, "fantastic" might be stretching it… but I love all the people who went on the trip, Mazzy had a blast and I would do it again.
Except maybe the wives will pick the accomodations next time.
Please feel free to share your worst family "vacation" accommodations in the comment section below.