When we last left the Cractpot household, it was in serious trouble as they attempted to take a vacation and leave their dog at a boarding kennel. To distract them from the possibility of a doggy jail break they begin exploring potential holiday destinations.
And now, the continuing story of a Cractpot who has gone to Punta Cana
We had never visited an all inclusive resort before, lucky enough to get fantastic deals on cruising, but as our family grew, so did our demands for space. Truthfully, most of those demands centered around the mirror with three females trying to get ready for formal nights with every inch of a 150 square foot room seemingly occupied with either luggage or beds. We knew we needed to change our vacation venue to somewhere with a bathroom roomy enough to encompass the growing size of our makeup bags so the boys weren’t delegated to holding up a towel and changing in the hall.
We settled on the Dominican Republic. We knew we were hitting the tail end of the rainy season but the weather network assured us that even though we had a 50/50 shot of experiencing stormy elements, it would be short and sweet, ensuring on average at least 8 hours of sunshine per day. We could definitely work with that.
While a mother prepares for a vacation by packing for herself (for varying weather conditions), packing for the children (for varying weather conditions), planning activities (for varying weather conditions) and planning for potential emergency situations (this is such a broad and varying term that I can’t even begin to explain it but mothers everywhere know exactly what I’m talking about), a Cractpot mother makes things even more difficult by trying to coordinate outfits for optimal family photo opportunities as well. Add a 16 year old into the mix and you might as well include a suit of armour for battle because getting a teenager to agree with you on anything, especially wardrobe choices, is engaging in psychological warfare. When I decided to spare myself the aggravation and just work around her list, she dramatically sighed that, “She wasn’t like me”. In a tone of voice that clearly indicated her relief in that department, she explained she doesn’t like to plan and prefers to go more, “with the flow“. After a few years experience in speaking teenager I can tell you this translates into letting me plan and then pillaging all my ensembles for the entire week.
Carry on’s were all double checked for liquids and liquids were all double bagged in the checked cases before I begin weighing and then re weighing them to ensure that we aren’t charged anything extra at the airport. I spend a few nights compulsively worrying that part of our luggage might get lost so I spend a few days arranging and then re arranging everything so that even if a bag or two goes missing, we have enough in the carry on’s and remaining suitcases to adequately dress everyone for a week. All these games of musical luggage keeps me busy right until we are about to leave.
A father prepares for a vacation by throwing a swimsuit, a few t shirts, a pair of flipflops and a suit (with 2 interchangeable ties) into a bag and calling it a day. This leaves lots of time to sit back, relax and cruise the internet for important information, like, the day before we leave, the weather report for Punta Cana which he so thoughtfully shared.
Luckily this provided a distraction from my lost luggage nightmares, and actually eliminated the possibility of dreaming all together as I stayed up, obsessively refreshing the weather network page every hour, hoping something would miraculously change. Since I was on my phone anyway I decided to download a travel app that would take all our information and send relevant alerts, like flight delays. I closed my eyes and repeated that storms blow over quickly in the Dominican and that regardless of the weather, at least we would all be together.
Besides, it’s not like the climate in November in Canada can’t be miserable, although on departure day the sun was shining and the temperatures mild as we wrestled all of the luggage into the car. As we made our way to the airport, my phone sent me this alert.
Are you kidding me? As if the grey clouds, lighting and rain graphics were not convincing enough, it had to add a funnel cloud for good measure?
Shoving my phone into my husband’s face, who is always accusing me of over reacting, I presented exhibit A for his consideration. “What is this? Look at this! Are we flying into a tornado???”
“Don’t be ridiculous… It’s probably a typhoon.”
“Wait, what is a typhoon exactly?”
“Tornados form over dry land, while typhoons form over the ocean.”
Well, with that important difference settled we reached the airport and it was time to focus my stress into getting my band of merry travellers through security. As we approached the check in counter, the attendant asks us to place our luggage on the scale. Grateful for a situation I could control, I confidently lifted the largest of the cases before she corrected me by pointing to our carry on. I wasn’t aware that they weighed carry on and started to feel sweat form on the top of my lip at this unexpected development.
We were clearly over weight, so there in the middle of the airport, bags are thrown open and clothing and shoes start getting juggled between cases. The second carry on gets weighed. It is also over weight. As I keep removing items, I watch as my carefully crafted lost luggage emergency plan melts away like my makeup under the heat of the ticket agent’s disapproving look. When we’re still over weight, all I can do is scratch my head as I look at just the swim suit and scarf I have left myself to fashion all forms of attire for my middle child should our checked cases get lost in transit. I can’t figure out the problem until I unzip one of the front compartments and find two grade 8 texts book that easily weigh 5 pounds each and a pencil case that looks like it contains every pencil and pen that we have ever owned. As I glare at her and shove the offending items into her arms, I watch as my oldest pulls out a law text book and a physics text book and suddenly our troubles begin making a lot more sense. With the kids carrying their books, and all our belongings shoved randomly into bags, I am faced with the knowledge that I will now not be able to find anything until at least day 3 of our vacation and should our luggage get lost, I was going to have to get mighty creative with a swim suit and a scarf.
Will the Cractpots ever get to Punta Cana?
Will the kids even touch the text books that drove Mrs Cractpot to blow all of her spending money on alcohol on the plane? Spoiler…no, no they do not
Stay tuned for Part 3, the continuing story of a Cractpot who has gone to Punta Cana, when you’ll hear Mrs Cractpot say, “Did you just ask if anybody is allergic to penis?”
And that’s the wonderful thing about family travel: it provides you with experiences that will remain locked forever in the scar tissue of your mind~Dave Barry