Stupendous Summer Vacations For the Whole Family

Summer is coming -- fast. Not fast enough for me.

What does "family summer vacation" mean to you? For me, the trip is a rite of passage. During my childhood, this meant a 10-hour unair-conditioned car drive from D.C. to New Hampshire, the station wagon filled with cats, parakeets, snakes, junk food, suitcases and four sweaty, bratty kids (me being one of them).

I don't understand how something so miserable could also be so unbelievably fun.

I also do not understand how my parents survived each trip.

I have no desire to repeat the experience as a parent. But here are my fantasy family vacations (that I have not, and may never, actually pull off):

-- A camping trip to Big Bend National Park in Texas

-- Renting an RV to tour the California coast

-- A week at Hershey Park in Hershey, Penn.

-- A private tour of Yellowstone Park with an animal guide

What are your favorite family vacations, past or future? Share your ideas so we can steal them.

By Leslie Morgan Steiner |  April 27, 2007; 7:00 AM ET  | Category:  Free-for-All
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First!

Posted by: Fred | April 27, 2007 7:15 AM

oh, I meant to say "primoris!"

Posted by: Fred | April 27, 2007 7:16 AM

When I was growing up, we didn't take "vacations" for the sake of taking vacation. We would pile into our large car and drive from DC to Florida to visit my grandmother, aunts and uncles, and cousins. That was it! Granted, we were near the beach and spent a lot of time swimming and hanging out on the beach, and we even went to Disneyworld a couple of times, but that was the extent of it.

Today vacation seems like so much else these days - it's a competition, a tit-for-tat, which European city did you go to, or where do you have a beach house, etc.

We are temporarily living overseas so our recent travel plans have been out of the ordinary - we have traveled more with a toddler than I ever would have wished to - but I look forward to moving back to DC and having our vacations be a bit more relaxing. Sometimes hanging at the beach with the grandparents isn't such a bad idea....

Posted by: ViennaMom | April 27, 2007 7:17 AM

When we lived in Los Angeles, we took a small trip from LA to Chicago and back. For 3 weeks, the 10 of us were in a hugh RV. This was about 1963. I still remember seeing Mt. Rushmore, Old Faithful, the Great Salt Lake, Wyoming, the Snake River and the Bad Lands. I also remember a terrifying and terrific lighting storm that covered miles of the sky. Seeing all my relatives in Illinois. They still have a Super 8 film of us 8 boys coming out of the RV.

I also remember my older brother breaking both arms riding over a wooden bridge and flipping his bicycle. The same brother dropped a 1 gallon glass milk bottle on his toe about 1 week later. He had lots of casts on that summer! I also lost a $20 bill walking from the RV to a grocery store. Dad was not pleased with me about that one!

What a trip!

Posted by: Fred | April 27, 2007 7:26 AM

Our childhood trips were something along the line of Leslie's. Two parents, three kids, a dog and a cat in a tiny car for an 8 hour trip from CT to Maine - also unconditioned. I don't know how they kept their sanity and it was hot, crowded and we would be stuck in traffic.
Once we arrived it was all out fun.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 27, 2007 7:33 AM

The most memorable vacation I had was when I was 12, my brother was 13, and my mom and dad took us on a 10 day canoe trip up in the Canadian wilderness (Algonquin). It was a grueling vacation starting out with sore muscles from paddling a canoe for several hours a day and the mosquitos were so thick we wore nets over our heads on the portage trails, but that didn't prevent us from getting bit hundreds of times. ITCHY! Then it poured down rain for 2 days strait leaving us cold and miserable without anything to do except sleep, scratch and look out the tent wondering when it would stop. We brought no radio and for the most part there wasn't a single person for miles around, much less a flushing toilet.

But the call of the loons, catching fish to subsidize dinner, and gathering the fresh water mussels, (even though they were tasteless and chewy as rubber), swimming in the lakes, (even though I had to pull a few leeches off my foot), hanging around the campfire, watching the sunsets, suspending our food from a tree with a rope so the bears, skunk, raccoons, and all the other animals wouldn't get it, somehow made it all worth it.

A vacation like that sure makes one appreciate a roof, bed, running water and appliances!

Posted by: Father of 4 | April 27, 2007 7:36 AM

OT to Chris

You know, of course, that your Kidneynuts song is already half way around the world!

Posted by: Fred | April 27, 2007 7:49 AM

"What does "family summer vacation" mean to you?"

Nothing. My family never took vacations. There were no cars, no pets, no junk food, no suitcases and NO FANTASIES!!


Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 7:51 AM

Every summer, our family piled into our VW bus and headed to southwestern VA to Hungry Mother State Park. It's a beautiful location! We stayed in a cabin for a week. However, we had to bring our own sheets, towels, radio (no TV), even lightbulbs (the provided ones were so dim). (This was the 1970's and early 1980's.) My poor mom--it was hardly a vacation for her! But I have great memories of spending time in the lake, hiking in the woods, and discovering that you can buy mashed potato flakes in a box. (We cooked in the cabin and used more "convenience" foods.) My husband, daughter, and I went back a couple of years ago. The cabins have better furnishings now, including linens. It's still a beautiful area--a great spot for a family vacation.

Posted by: NovaProf | April 27, 2007 8:00 AM

My dad was a workaholic and so for us, "family vacations" were usually combined with his attendance at a medical conference -- usually in some scenic destination like Cleveland or Baltimore. We went to lots of museums but never had a wilderness experience. I remember envying all those classmates of mine who got to go to Wildwood, New Jersey and walk on the boardwalk and lie on the beach. Since then, we've taken beach vacations in Chincoteague, Cape May, Rehoboth and Myrtle Beach (which I love). We've also camped in Shenandoah and gone canoeing and would love to try beach camping sometime.
We've done some hiking in Shenandoah and when we lived abroad.

Fantasies? We talk from time to time about renting an RV and touring the US with our kids. Would love to hear what others experiences have been with RV's. Also, if anyone has ever gone rafting in West Virginia with their kids, since we frequently fantasize about that as well.

For those of you who like active vacations, how old do your kids have to be for activities like climbing, rafting, etc.?

Also, has anyone ever hiked part of the Appalachian Trail? That's also on our fantasy list . .

Posted by: Armchair Mom | April 27, 2007 8:01 AM

Growing up, my parents, with my 2 brothers and I, did the annual road trip thing, usually crossing 1/2 the country. Amazingly there were no fatalities.

Now, with two daughters (4 and 6), a week in a rental house on the beach, w. grandparents, is about as good as it gets.

This year it will be DisneyWorld, I think.

I have to say, having lived in Texas, I'm not sure why camping in Big Bend would be anyone's fantasy. Maybe in the winter it would be pleasant, I guess.

Posted by: ViennaDad | April 27, 2007 8:06 AM

Please, a moment of remembrance for Mstislav Rostropovich -- musician, freedom fighter and international citizen -- who brought world-class musicianship to Washington DC.

Posted by: catlady | April 27, 2007 8:07 AM

My family was kind of like Vienna Mom -- our "vacations" were basically car trips between relatives, because it was too expensive to fly. So between picking up/dropping off my step-siblings who lived 10-12 hrs away, 12-16 hr trips to visit the grandmas, occasionally driving to FL to visit the great-grands, and then the grandparents taking several cousins different places, I spent a lot of time in un-air-conditioned cars.

We also did some camping vacations -- not the greatest spots, since the location was usually determined by where my mom did her research. Not a big camping fan, so that was sort of eh. It got a lot better by the time I was in high school: my mom had a friend who had a beach house, so we got to rent it cheap for a week in the summer. Real beds, indoor toilet, hot showers -- plus boardwalk. MUCH more fun for a teenager than camping in Xenia, Ohio. :-)

Now we tend to do a few long weekends at the beach -- my folks upgraded to their own condo there, and my daughter LOVES the beach. So we pile everyone in for a few long weekends over the summer. My dream family vacation, though, would probably be toodling through the national parks in the Rocky Mountains/desert southwest -- Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Grand Canyon, etc. (but NOT camping!!). The one thing I was looking forward to when we moved out west was being within driving distance to these fantastic parks. But we moved away before our daughter was old enough to do that kind of trip. So maybe in a few more years, when the boy is old enough, we'll all just pile onto an airplane, rent an RV at the other end, and go.

Of course, there's a reason it's a "dream" vacation. In reality, the kids would probably whine the whole way about how bored they are, my husband would be hugely po'd at traffic, and I'd be ready to throttle the lot of 'em by the end of the first day. :-) I seriously don't know how my parents survived us.

Posted by: Laura | April 27, 2007 8:09 AM

I'd love to hear any ideas on exotic trips to do with little ones. I'm itching for a getaway in a different culture.

Posted by: drmommy | April 27, 2007 8:10 AM

As a kid our vacations were pretty limited. A few days in Ocean City or a trip to a farm in Pennsylvania. Now, we head to the Outer Banks for a week every year. Usually, my mom and my brothers and sister with their families come too. Our goal is to relax as much as possible.

Posted by: Mom2LED | April 27, 2007 8:11 AM

We would go to the beach every summer for a weekend. I don't recall my parents ever taking a full week off for anything.

We are in the process now of where would like like to spend our family vacation. I'm leaning towards Disney as I hear they have great package rates or maybe the Poconos. I would suggest camping but my son's allergies would go bonkers.

Posted by: 2xmami | April 27, 2007 8:11 AM

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 8:15 AM

I remember going camping with my Grandparents around Natural Bridge in the rain. We learned all sorts of card games. I also remember hearing "Jackson" on a tinny transistor radio and singing along with Johnny Cash and June Carter.

As a family we moved around every couple of years all over the US and world, so we did vacations whereever we were. We didn't travel in a car long distances because we were busy exploring where we were. Anyone else overlook the obvious: that stuff close to home, whereever home is?

Posted by: dotted | April 27, 2007 8:18 AM

Summer vacation was always a 200-mile (each way) car trip to visit my mother's parents who lived on a subsistence farm in the wilderness, without utilities. Once we left our greater urban area the roads were one-lane each way -- hot, twisty, dusty and mountainous, which tended to give a young child carsickness (though I was encouraged to warn my parents ahead of time so my father could pull the car over by the side of the road and let me out for a minute or so). The farm was a great adventure for me, and as an only grandchild I got spoiled for a week each year. When my father started getting two weeks' paid vacation, my parents would add a few days' sidetrip each summer to a different scenic attraction before we'd wind up at my grandparents' place, which the three of us enjoyed immensely (but my grandmother resented). Obviously our vacations were inexpensive compared to many families' "tit-for tat" competition trips nowadays (as ViennaMom put it so aptly), but we were glad for what we had.

Posted by: catlady | April 27, 2007 8:21 AM

Dr Mommy: consider San Antonio. Exotic, colorful, but yet close to home and romantic. Riverwalk entranced one son as a toddler. He just toddled along and kept going and going. I remember being scared whenever he came close to the edge, but he never jumped in! The Alamo is smaller than I expected. Food was great!

Posted by: dotted | April 27, 2007 8:21 AM

My parents never went anywhere. When I was 12 my sister took me with her family to Nags Head NC. It was nice, except she wouldn't let me in the water past my knee because she was afriad a shark would get me (sigh) My daughter has been on vacation every year since she was born. VA beach, Nags Head, and Mrytle. I think this year we are going to do a few small trips around the area.

OT: who do you all think won the debate last night?

Posted by: scarry | April 27, 2007 8:23 AM

tit for tat competition trips? You're kidding right? I can't imagine competing with friends and neighbors on vacations. I personally would never care what others did, as long as they had a good time. Friends and neighbors are a good source for vacation ideas. You look at a idea source as competition?

Posted by: dotted | April 27, 2007 8:25 AM

I'd like to bring this to the here and now--basically I've realized that vacations without another caretaker aren't vacations for dh and me--they're simply changes in venue! Kids are 3 and 4 mos so having a grandparent, aunt, etc. along is what gives us time off--place isn't as important as free time.

My family is foreign service and has different ideas--they just got back from Egypt and were surprised I didn't want to meet them there with two kids under 3! My criteria for kids at this age are:
1. First class medicine
2. First class roads
3. A language I can pronounce (don't have to speak--have to be able to read a sign)
4. Safe food and water
5. Nonstop flight if possible

So far we've done Spain, cruising, vegas, and FL. I'd love to hear more ideas!

Posted by: ptjobftmom | April 27, 2007 8:28 AM

When I was 1 years old my parents started going to the beach with another family that had 3 kids the same ages as us - we kept up the tradition for over 30 years. Over that time several other families or relatives joined us and it was always a busy, fun and cheap week of fun. We have tons of pictures and Super 8 film - from toddlers to teenagers - then us "kids" as adults with their own kids.

We planned for that week all year. Made lists of things to do, which ice cream we would eat and what we would buy at the boardwalk. We still go to the beach but it is hit or miss who will be there, a lot of "remember whens" all week.

The last 2 summers we (my husband and kids) have gone to Williamsburg/Jamestown/Busch Gardens/Water Country USA. History and rides - they were both great weeks. The trip had something for everyone and I highly recommend it.

This summer we are going to MI for a family reunion - not sure about this trip.......

Posted by: cmac | April 27, 2007 8:28 AM

Yes, dotted, my family also took a number of day- or weekend-trips within 100 miles of where we lived, exploring our region's scenery and history. Not expensive, but always an adventure. Only problem was that my mother was not much of a map-reader, so one day when I was 10 I snatched the folding gasoline-company map out of her hands (after she'd directed my father to take a wrong turn one time too many) -- quickly figured out how to get us back to the main road -- and due to my success thereafter became the family navigator.

Posted by: catlady | April 27, 2007 8:29 AM

Well, I loved going to Arches National Park in Utah. There is also another park close by too. So far it is the best vacation we've had.

Posted by: scarry | April 27, 2007 8:31 AM

I am loving reading all these stories.

Posted by: Leslie | April 27, 2007 8:32 AM

Hey Scarry, Have you ever heard the one about how hard it is, wheeling West Virginia? LOL!

(To answer your question, we don't have cable so don't know who won the debate).

Posted by: catlady | April 27, 2007 8:34 AM

We are also thinking of doing the RV thing out west. I think it is a great experience for kids. My parents did it with us in an unairconditioned VW camper - and I do remember and cherish so much of those trips. The Grand Canyon is a definite. Pls chime in if anybody has done this - in particular renting the RV....

Posted by: Michelle | April 27, 2007 8:37 AM

If the venue dosen't have maid & room service, it's not a vaction for me.

Posted by: Born Free | April 27, 2007 8:37 AM

Hey Scarry, Have you ever heard the one about how hard it is, wheeling West Virginia? LOL!

Do you mean the Alabama song? Wheeling is about 45 minutes from my parent's house.

Posted by: scarry | April 27, 2007 8:40 AM

Leslie, I have to agree with ViennaDad about camping out in Big Bend Texas. It is wonderfully sceenic, and there is the occassional spotting of roadrunners and coyotes, but there isn't really much out there except rocks and catcus. I spent a week out there when I was a teenager over Christmas vacation, and I remember it being really hot.

Hmmm, now that I think about it a little more, I remember risking my life with my brother climbing the cliffs of an ancient volcano. We also hiked out into the desert for a few miles and looked across the Rio Grand, which by east coast standards resembles more of a drainage ditch more than a river. We also slept under the stars, which was the most spectacular night sky I've ever seen.

Posted by: Father of 4 | April 27, 2007 8:48 AM

"basically I've realized that vacations without another caretaker aren't vacations for dh and me--they're simply changes in venue!"

I hear you, ptjobftmom. With my daughter the electron, we discovered that trips with my parents worked great -- a 4:1 ratio was just about perfect.

Then we went and had No. 2, so now we're undermanned again. :-)

Posted by: Laura | April 27, 2007 8:48 AM

You're looking for an exotic trip in a different culture that still would be doable with little ones? Check out the recent Washington Post article on the Azores, an island chain that are part of Portugal, in the midatlantic:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/03/16/AR2007031600749.html
Nonstop flights from the east coast are under 5 hours (shorter than to California!). A fair portion of the natives speak at least some English. The food there is fresh, the water's safe to drink, the scenery is breathtaking and still unspoiled, and there's lots of ecotourism activities like hiking, bicycling, whale-watching, fishing and diving (how little are your little ones?). Accomodations range from luxury hotels to inns to camping. The currency is the Euro. Best of all, the weather isn't nearly as hot as in Washington DC in the summer. I've been there and loved it.

Posted by: To drmommy | April 27, 2007 8:49 AM

We used to go to Cape Cod. Of course, since I grew up in MA, everyone I knew went to the Cape. It was just where you went for a week or two in the summer.

My husband grew up on Nantucket, and I took my first trip there with him last summer. I never thought I'd find a place more beautiful than Chatham, MA, but wow, that was it. I cried when we left, and if I have anything to say about it, we'll be going back there on a regular basis for the rest of our lives.

Posted by: Lizzie | April 27, 2007 8:50 AM

No, Scarry, I knew you'd mentioned being from around Wheeling -- and that's just a corny old pun ;-)

Posted by: catlady | April 27, 2007 8:52 AM

We just took our second trip with our 13-month-old daughter. We rented a little old house on Ocracoke Island right on the sound. It had no heat, so one day we had to flee to a hotel (it was windy and in the 40's inside and out). Otherwise it was fun, relaxing, peaceful. I really enjoyed getting a lot of time watching my daughter's mind grow and her walking skills (running skills!) improve. I think this will be our kind of vacation for the next few years.

Posted by: MaryB | April 27, 2007 8:56 AM

We took a month off rented a mini-van and did Yellowstone, Glacier, and Banff. We camped sometimes if it was nice and we would be there several days.

Some of the lodges in the parks didn't have TV. So when we'd stay in a place with a TV that was a big deal.

I want to go back and get up to the glaciers again before they melt.

Posted by: RoseG | April 27, 2007 8:57 AM

Never really took long vacations as a kid. The best trips looking back were 3 or 4 day long weekends to AFRCs (Armed Forces Recreation Centers, to those who don't live in acronym-land) in places like Berchtesgaden, Chiemsee, Garmisch, and the like when living in Munich.

Those un-airconditioned car rides weren't for vacation; they were for moving across the country from Ft. Carson to Ft. Holabird by way of Louisiana (to see relatives) or from Ft. Jackson to Ft. Huachuca by way of Louisiana and Colorado (to see both sides of the family). They usually took 3 - 5 days, almost all of which always seemed to be in Texas. I became fascinated with maps and geography trying to figure out how we could go from Maryland to Georgia in less than a day, but "yesterday we were in Texas, today we're in Texas and tomorrow we'll be in Texas."

In terms of my own kids, their favorite "vacation" was the trip to Ireland for the former au pair's wedding three years ago. They got to spend a few days in London (made the plane tickets cheaper), then get fawned over by an extended Irish family for a week. Spoiled 'em rotten; they loved every minute of it.

Posted by: Army Brat | April 27, 2007 8:59 AM

Traveling abroad with a young kid (3-10 years old) opens all the doors! We were welcomed to unimaginable places, and he even remembers his time in Mexico when he was 4. Not all the time, but disctinct bright flashes. In China a blond blue-eyed boy is everybody's pet. In Northern Europe they are more reserved, but as you go towards Spain or Italy everybody smiles at your kid again. You'll never have to buy sweets or toys...
Of course, both of us, parents, have about 6 weeks vacation time accumulated, since our jobs don't alow us to plan ahead and take a regular scheduled vacation. So all these trips are work-related, and a kid tagged along with either or both of us since he was 6 months.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 9:03 AM

My family dream vacation would involve a fossil dig in the Badlands. Or going to Wales. But those are not actually going to ever happen.

More likely is visiting relatives. Maybe a day at Hershey Park, or Williamsburg.

But I would also love it if my husband took the kids on a vacation for a week and I got to stay home and enjoy the quiet. Imagine, only my own dishes to wash; no bickering; being able to sit down and read without interruption!

Posted by: MdMother | April 27, 2007 9:04 AM

Actually my family summer vacations were usually those same 10-12 hour car trips from Maryland to New Hampshire to visit grandparents. We would usually stop along the way to visit varying relatives in other parts of New England. This was economical for my family since we weren't paying to stay somewhere. Other trips were always camping, Great Smokies, Cape Hatteras, Niagara Falls, Acadia. For a while we lived in California, so those summer trips were to various national and state parks, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Grand Tetons, Crater Lake, etc. All in the car, but still pretty great. Lots of swimming and touring and just the fun of camping. One thing I appreciate about my growing up is even though my parents didn't have a lot of money, we always went on vacation for at least a few weeks in the summer. Other people I knew had parents making more money but they only rarely went somewhere. We didn't do the fancy vacations but we had them regularly.

My own family now goes to NH for a week or two in the summer usually at the same time as my parents and brother's family. A lot of swimming, some hiking, some shopping, some eating out, a lot of sitting around reading a book and lots of socializing.

Posted by: Rockville Mom | April 27, 2007 9:06 AM

The most serene vacations we ever took was to Waukulla Spring, Fl. There is a lodge that was build in 1937 in the typical Florida style. The lodge is inside a wildlife preserve that has a clear lake. An underground stream supplies the lake which turns into the Waukulla River. (At least the last time we were there) the lodge has no tv's or radios in the rooms, no Coke machine, no background music blaring in the lobby. On a warm summer's night, I could easily imagine a Hemmingway pounding on his keyboard, writing and rewriting some novel, the staccato key strokes floating from room to room through the transom windows.

The springs is a swinning hole by day and a calm moonlight pleasure by night. The lodge has glass bottom boats for tours thru the preserve where you can see down some 180' to the bottom of the spring. One time we were on the boat and I saw an alligator sunning itself on the bank, with three turtles on its back!

The lodge is a beautiful and restful place for recharging the soul. Here are some pixs.

http://www.wakullacounty.org/wakulla-24.htm

Posted by: Fred | April 27, 2007 9:06 AM

Michelle- we did the RV thing in the west and I don't recommend it. In retrospect, it would have been better to just rent a minivan or 4WD. RVs don't go fast, hate hills, get gas, expensive, hard to park and you can't get away from each other. There are just so many more options without an RV. You can go offroad (where allowed), sleep in a real bed, etc. Buy a cooler after you arrive and pack breakfast items, snacks, beer in the cooler to save money. The big benefit of having an RV is the kitchen. I never wanted to cook dinner after doing things all day. Breakfast okay. Lunches, maybe. Dinner NO WAY...so the supposed big benefit was a bust for us.

Posted by: dotted | April 27, 2007 9:08 AM

Army Brat - Fort Huachuca! I remember that place. My Dad was almost sent there so we visited once when I was a teen.

Zuni New Mexico/Arizona...ancient indian site, old old Spanish church, hottest indian/mexican food known to mankind. My Dad's neck was sweating so hard. Go to Winslow Arizona and continue east to get to Zuni.

Posted by: dotted | April 27, 2007 9:12 AM

We didn't take many vacations as a kid, by the time I could really remember, they were just about nonexistent.
We did go to disney the year it opened and I barely remember the plane ride, and I remember the haunted mansion-i was SO scared. And I was so scared of the alligator I didn't go on the peter pan ride. Of course I wasn't worried about the rest of the family. We then drove to my aunt's house, but I don't remember that. My mom told me we stayed at the polynesian(which looks so dated these days) but then I realized, there couldn't have been too many places to stay back then.

We went to philly and boston(I remember following th freedom trail with dad while mom took my sisters shopping- I wanted to know where it went!). I remember going from one hotel to another in the dark trying to find somewhere to stay. But, as I said, I was young. When I was older, we took day trips to six flags or stuff like that. Which was just as well.

We've taken the kids to jamaica twice (one to a resort where they give you a vacation nanny-that was awesome). And last year we went to disney b/c I wanted to visit my grandmother and she's in fl. We were at disney 3 days and that was enough. But it was *tons* of fun. I'm already planning for next year.

This year I envision a week at the beach, but beach houses are *expensive* I don't care where: ga, nc, sc, fl, al. Just the least expensive. Then I look to caribbean sales and wonder if that is less money...

Posted by: atlmom | April 27, 2007 9:17 AM

Dang, Army Brat, you just reminded me of the best family vacation ever: when I was 5, and my mom and dad had just divorced, my mom decided, what the hey, I'm young, I'm single (again), time to drive around the country (teacher = summers off). So we got in the car and headed west out of Houston, and just drove. I remember sitting by the side of the road in West Texas, when she pulled the car over because I was pitching a fit; I remember buffalo, and Crater Lake, and San Francisco. And the really, really bad clothes (1971 -- lots of polyester). But mostly I remember sitting in the car, both of us with bandanas around our heads and elbows out the windows, just driving along with the hot wind in our face and talking.

Posted by: Laura | April 27, 2007 9:21 AM

Find kid friendly beach spots that are a reasonable drive wher you can get near enough to the water to notneed central air: LBI, Rehobeth, Montauk, Cape May, Outerbanks

Skiing: Make sure the ski school is kid friendly (and reasonably priced) and there are other things to do. Middlebury Snow Bowl in Vt for example, ski in the morning, go to a museum and watch a college hockey game at night. Plenty of reasonable hotels in town too.

Washington D.C.! Do a miniweekend at a reasonable hotel that has a pool - silly not to consider the Dulles Air&Space.

Combine Gettysburgh and Hershey Park for education and fun.

Enjoy the journey, books on tape, playing cards, harmonica's and a guitar. Play charades - ban TV. Drive safely it can be a long way to Wally World.

Theme Parks? We have done them but they are very pricey. Sea World is my favorite. But be sure to check schedules etc in advance to get the perks at the likes of Disney and Cinderella's table, or you may end up like Sparky and Ellen:

Moose shoulda toldja - Park's closed.

Posted by: Fo3 | April 27, 2007 9:24 AM

Laura: What a marvelous adventure for you and your mom! But polyester in summer in Houston? That verges on child-abuse ;-)

Posted by: catlady | April 27, 2007 9:25 AM

,Fred - Wakulla is GREAT! Very relaxing and I loved the glass-bottomed boats as a kid. These days my parents aren't so heathy so for their anniversary we get them a night or two at the lodge and they can totally relax. It's probably too laidback for people who want a more active vacation, though.
We take some mini-vacations nearby throughout the year. A night or two in Baltimore is fun for everyone -- the adults enjoy the waterfront area as much as the kids, especially with the Aquarium and Science Museum. It's easy - no long car trips, just 1.5 hours - but still different enough to feel like a getaway.

Posted by: VAtoddlerMom | April 27, 2007 9:25 AM

"I remember envying all those classmates of mine who got to go to Wildwood, New Jersey and walk on the"


You missed out on NOTHING by skipping Wildwood! It's congested, dirty, and a party beach- not great for young kids

Posted by: Philly Gal | April 27, 2007 9:30 AM

Armchair mom: The AT is awesome, but don't romanticize it too much. Try to pick a time when it won't be too hot and you can avoid the through-hikers (the shelters will fill up too fast). Backpacking isn't for the faint of heart (it HURTS til you get in the groove, which takes days). Car-camping somewhere remote with day hikes is much easier.

Going out to the Gorge in WV is a pretty close place that's really fun. The town of Fayetteville is geared towards outdoorsy people (with some really good pizza) and there's a ton of stuff to do. I'm a big fan of WV. It's a beautiful, beautiful place in our backyard with so much to: hiking, climbing, rafting, canoeing, biking. It really does live up to its "Wild, Wonderful" name (and I'm not even a WVian).

Posted by: Em | April 27, 2007 9:30 AM

"If the venue dosen't have maid & room service, it's not a vaction for me."

Posted by: Born Free | April 27, 2007 08:37 AM

Fred and Frieda feel the same way. The army cured me of any desire to go camping!

Posted by: Fred | April 27, 2007 9:34 AM

Haven't posted in quite a long time, but I guess I'm alone in wanting to travel to Asia, Europe, and other foreign locations for my fantasy trips?? I have a list of places I must visit in my life and we're starting next year (when the kid is 4 1/2) with #1, Ireland. I hope for an every other year exotic dream trip, with the off years at a DE/MD beach.

The world is such a big place and I truly want to see it all (I'm not in the trips for a "one-upsmanship" kind of thing at all). I think nothing would be better than bringing my little one with me!

I'm also not one to "relax" much. I start going stir crazy with sitting on the beach after the first day- heck, after the first hour! I love new restaurants, museums, just strolling the streets in another culture.

Anyone else? Or do I need to learn to relax...lol :)

Posted by: SAHMbacktowork | April 27, 2007 9:35 AM

Fred, Same here. My idea of roughing it is no mint on the pillow.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 27, 2007 9:36 AM

"Fred, Same here. My idea of roughing it is no mint on the pillow."

And an assortment of mustards and catsups delivered by room service!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 9:38 AM

SAHMbacktowork,
Far be it from me to tell you to chill but there is something wonderful about sitting in a public place with either a cup of coffee or an adult beverage and simply people watching and having some quiet contemplation time. Or reading that book that you have wanted to read forever. It is delightful in it's simplicity.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 27, 2007 9:39 AM

When I was a kid, my family took a 10-week camping trip across the country. It was amazing. My parents were/are big national park fans and that's where we stayed as much as possible. I realized how big this country is and how much variety there is right here in America. We truly have it all.

My favorite trips as an adult have been to Hawaii, Italy and Spain. (No one expects the Spanish Inquisition.) We travel with our kids to the western part of the country and up and down 95 on the East Coast. When they are a bit older, we're going to take them to Europe. Travel is something that is important to my husband and I and we will share that love with our children. We don't have new cars but I'm willing to drive something for 10-15 years so that we can afford "big" trips with the kids.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | April 27, 2007 9:41 AM

"Fred, Same here. My idea of roughing it is no mint on the pillow."

"And an assortment of mustards and catsups delivered by room service!"

And sex is sooo much better!

How sweet it is!!

Posted by: Born Free | April 27, 2007 9:41 AM

Building upon KLB's suggestion: Reading a book set in a place while you're actually visiting there!

Posted by: catlady | April 27, 2007 9:42 AM

Re "And an assortment of mustards and catsups delivered by room service!"

Small wonder you need those mints on the pillow!

Posted by: catlady | April 27, 2007 9:43 AM

Like the anon poster, our childhood vacations were where ever the World Bank sent my dad. We went all over the world. Ah, the memories of falling asleep to gunfire in a finca outside Bogota! In China, people got their pictures taken with our family.

We also did the long trips from MD to FL to see grandparents.

Our dream vacation now is Dominica. Black beaches, boiling lakes, and cabanas on the beach for $80 a night. We just need to figure out how to pay for airfare ($700!).

Posted by: Meesh | April 27, 2007 9:45 AM

And sex is sooo much better!

How sweet it is!!

Maybe its cleaner, but the view from the top of a MT is wonderful in the after glow.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 9:45 AM

and the coolness of the beach at night!

Posted by: Fred | April 27, 2007 9:46 AM

catlady

Re "And an assortment of mustards and catsups delivered by room service!"

"Small wonder you need those mints on the pillow!""

Ha! Ha!

Where I go, my cats go!!!!

Posted by: Born Free | April 27, 2007 9:46 AM

To each his own!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 9:48 AM

what is an MT?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 9:52 AM

At my age, it seems like all my vacation hours in the summer are used up going to weddings of friends and family. When did this whole "spend a four day weekend with us seeing the city and going to dinner before the big day, and then stay another day for brunch" event start becoming popular?

Posted by: Meesh | April 27, 2007 9:52 AM

I'm with you on the beach, SAHMbacktowork. It's boring. My family did plenty of overseas vacations courtesy of the USAF. I plan on doing them myself even when I have kids. My suggestion to people going overseas is that it's perfectly possible to not spend too much money with a little research and not being fearful of hole-in-the-wall places (or camping!).

On the other hand, there's plenty of different cultures to visit here in the in US and Canada if you look around.

Posted by: Em | April 27, 2007 9:55 AM

MT = Mt = mountain

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 9:55 AM

"MT = Mt = mountain"

Does that mean doggy style?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 9:56 AM

Sahmbacktowork: I used to be the same way and am still mostly. We go to my inlaws cabin in the woods and it frives me crazy. But a beach vacation is good these days too. There is stuff to do or nothing. I can't sit at the pool and 'relax' but I go windsurfing or go in the pool with the kids or do something else.

We went to ireland and had a great time. We stayed at b and b's and it was fabulous. I'm not sure with an almost 5 yo, but you know your kid.

Posted by: atlmom | April 27, 2007 9:56 AM

Darn you, dotted, now you've done it: "Go to Winslow Arizona and continue east to get to Zuni."

Well, I was standin' on a corner in Winslow, Arizona, such a fine sight to see,
it's a girl my lord in a flatbed Ford
slowin down to take a look at me...


Now I'm never going to get that song out of my head. Sheesh, if I was going to be stuck all day with an Eagles' song, it could at least be Tequila Sunrise!

Posted by: Army Brat | April 27, 2007 9:58 AM

"MT = Mt = mountain"

Does that mean doggy style?

Posted by: | April 27, 2007 09:56 AM


Maybe for you, not for me.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 9:58 AM

One summer we were leaving my grandma's apartment building, where we regularly visited her and went swimming in the community pool. My dad said to me, "Let's go see the Grand Canyon". (We were in McLean, VA at the time.)

Fast forward a week and my brother (9), dad and I (age 12) were in a rented dodge caravan driving across the country. My brother and I played with toys in the middle and back seats half the time, while my dad scolded us for not appreciating the various cows from different states. We ate at Denny's a lot and slept in cheap motels and visited the whole south/south west, camping and stopping anywhere we felt like it. It was an amazing three week trip.

Two other times after that, when I was 14 and 15, we took similar road trips across the country, passing through California, Canada, the Pacific NW and my favorite place of all, Kansas. The last time, I even brought my best friend a long, which was hilarious because she was used to cruises and Hawaii vacations, whereas we slept in our van behind a Texaco on our first night on the road.

I thank my parents for taking us on those trip because they not only allowed me to appreciate the beauty of our entire country and the classic American excitement of "hitting the road", but they gave me some wonderful (and some not-so-wonderful) memories of spending time with my family in my teenage years. Without those trips, I think my memories of those time would probably be lost to the angst of middle school crushes, high school drama, typical mother-daughter fights and my really bad fashion sense.

I think there are vacations and then there are Vacations. There are vacations for relaxing and Vacations for creating lifelong memories for your whole family. I'm not saying the road trip is the only way to do that, of course!

Posted by: Fairfax | April 27, 2007 9:59 AM

"MT = Mt = mountain"

Does that mean doggy style?

Posted by: | April 27, 2007 09:56 AM

Actually better to lay side by side so you can both enjoy the night sky!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 9:59 AM

Army Brat-I knew you would pick up the music line! Yesterday the Doors, today the Eagles- tomorrow?

Posted by: dotted | April 27, 2007 10:00 AM

Great topic!

My family went camping in VA, PA, TN, WV, KY, and maybe other places. We saw historical sites, took hikes, etc.

My daughters and I have had overnights to places in VA. We go to TimeTravelers sites in the day and go to the pool afterward. One or two nights away from home is the maximum we have done.

I'd love to find some low cost things to do. I'm wary of camping. As a single person, I'm not sure I would feel safe camping. Do other single people take their kids camping? Do you feel safe? It is such a great low cost vacation, I would love to try it.

Posted by: single mother by choice | April 27, 2007 10:00 AM

To Army Brat: Or "Lyin' Eyes"?

Posted by: catlady | April 27, 2007 10:01 AM

Flat bed Ford


Dotted, I am off today and it is the Doors right now. But I did sing along with Lime in the Coconuts using Chris's lyrics!

Light my Fire!

Posted by: Fred | April 27, 2007 10:02 AM

scarry,

Have you ever been to Cedar Point? Would love info about the area. What is there to do besides the amusement park?

Posted by: to scarry | April 27, 2007 10:06 AM

"Now I'm never going to get that song out of my head. Sheesh, if I was going to be stuck all day with an Eagles' song, it could at least be Tequila Sunrise!"

Ditto. Where the heck is Chris when you need him?

Posted by: Laura | April 27, 2007 10:08 AM

Hey, Sahmbacktowork, I want to take my kids to Europe too. I started going there myself at the age of 20 with a backpack and a map (and the high dollar which made everything so affordable). Over the years I have graduated to a more upscale travel. I am just waiting for my kids to learn how to eat with knife and fork so they don't get kicked out of some restaurant in France. Logistics also scare me. Can we rent car seats there? Where am I going to feed them at 6 pm when the only thing that's open are tapas bars? How am I going to explain "peluses interdit" to a 3 and and 5 year old? What is the earliest age we can take them? Any advice?

Posted by: ISO of European vacation | April 27, 2007 10:11 AM

Army Brat - I attended Holabird Junior High School 09/67 - 06/71. When were you in the area?

Posted by: xyz | April 27, 2007 10:14 AM

Leslie, make it to BB before its too late!

Big Bend is absolutely stunning in the spring (now). I have been to many of the national parks but BB is one fo the best. It is remote, simple and has a unique ecology. We went three years ago and stayed at the cabins. It had rained and all the cactus were flowering. The sad thing is that despite the perfect weather at Easter, there was just our family and a bunch of Europeans who were there to see some of the wild birds that are indigenous and unique to the area. Stop whining about balance and taking the time to smell the roses...skip the Disney trip and go to a National Park (Did you know that Great Falls is a NP? and of course the Shenandoah is close). THe US national parks are one of the world's treasures -- we are so lucky to have them.

Posted by: relativelynewtoblog | April 27, 2007 10:15 AM

Catlady: Least appropriate wedding reception song, ever: "Lying Eyes".

I was best man at my friend's wedding. I was dancing with the maid of honor, the groom's sister Maureen, whom I had known for years. Third or fourth song played at the reception: "Lying Eyes". Both my wife and Maureen's husband got pictures of her and I looking at each other in sheer horror - precisely what dance does one do to "Lying Eyes" at a wedding reception?

The only close runner up as most inappropriate song at a wedding reception: Meat Loaf's "Paradise by the Dashboard Light", played at my cousin's reception, but fairly late in the evening. The highlight of that was my uncle emerging from the restroom during the Phil Rizzuto part, looking quizzical and telling people "but the Yankees aren't playing tonight. They had a day game in Cleveland."

Posted by: Army Brat | April 27, 2007 10:15 AM

Laura and Army Brat,

Try this one for a replacement "brain" song. An oldie but moldie as they say

We'll Sing In The Sunshine

(Gale Garnett)

We'll sing in the sunshine
We'll laugh every da-a-y
We'll sing in the sunshine
Then I'll be on my way

I will never love you
The cost of love's too dear
But though I'll never love you
I'll stay with you one year

And we can sing in the sunshine
We'll laugh every da-a-y
We'll sing in the sunshine
Then I'll be on my way

I'll sing to you each mornin'
I'll kiss you every night
But darlin', don't cling to me
I'll soon be out of sight

But we can sing in the sunshine
We'll laugh every da-a-y
We'll sing in the sunshine
Then I'll be on my way

My daddy he once told me
"Hey, don't you love you any man"
"Just take what they may give you"
"And give but what you can"

"And you can sing in the sunshine"
"You'll laugh every da-a-y"
"You'll sing in the sunshine"
"Then be on your way"

And when our year has ended
And I have gone away
You'll often speak about me
And this is what you'll say

"We sang in the sunshine
"You know, we laughed every da-a-y"
"We sang in the sunshine"
"Then she went away"

Posted by: Fred | April 27, 2007 10:16 AM

classic wedding song "Our Love's in Jeopardy".

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 10:17 AM

xyz: I was at Sandy Plains Elementary from October 67 through February 68 when Dad was at MI school (right after getting back from Vietnam). The parents made me start on the day that Bob Gibson beat Jim Lonborg to give the Cardinals a 4-3 series triumph, despite my protests that nothing would be hurt by my missing just one more day of school!

Posted by: Army Brat | April 27, 2007 10:18 AM

"Dotted, I am off today and it is the Doors right now"

Doggy style was Morrison's favorite.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 10:20 AM

"MT = Mt = mountain"

As in "Brokeback Mountain?"

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 10:22 AM

Army Brat, for your consideration as least appropriate wedding reception song ever:
The theme from "The Godfather" -- played as the first dance for a couple where the bride's late father was widely known to have been "in the rackets." Everyone at our table (all of us friends of the groom) looked at one another in utter horror and embarrassment.

Posted by: catlady | April 27, 2007 10:25 AM

"Haven't posted in quite a long time, but I guess I'm alone in wanting to travel to Asia, Europe, and other foreign locations for my fantasy trips??"

SAHMbacktowork, I'm with you! My husband and I were lucky to have some great trips before we had our son, and we definitely want to do more when he's a little older. I don't know how we'll ever afford three plane tickets to those locales, but I sure as heck hope we'll figure that out.

But, I also intend to do lots of smaller camping trips around the American West. I remember my family going on a 5 week camping/road trip when I was 5 or so - it was amazing. We did a lot of shorter trips too, which is what I hope we'll do a lot of with our son.

Posted by: Megan | April 27, 2007 10:26 AM

MdMother: But I would also love it if my husband took the kids on a vacation for a week and I got to stay home and enjoy the quiet. Imagine, only my own dishes to wash; no bickering; being able to sit down and read without interruption!

______________________

Sounds like my wife! We go to NC for a few days a couple of times a year to visit my mother and brother. Last summer, I took the kids and went for 5 days; DW stayed home by herself with just the dog for company. (She went down to NC by herself a month or so later to keep peace in the family.) DW said it was the best "vacation" she's had in years.

Posted by: Army Brat | April 27, 2007 10:27 AM

Innappropriate WEdding Song:

Let's All Get Drunk and Screw by the great philosopher, Jimmy Buffet

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 27, 2007 10:28 AM

I've camped as a single mom, and it was through PWP, meaning we camped with other single parents, could combine group activities, the kids could socialize and the parents had some supervisory advantage. This was about 10 years ago. We kept trips to within 4 hours of the Baltimore metro area. We camped at Harper's Ferry, OC, Lancaster PA, Skyline Drive, Thurmont, near the AT, Jamestown/Williamsburg, near the Susquehanna. Some had pop-ups, others had tents, and I discovered this wonderful directory (especially for car-camping) called WOODALL's. I learned that private campsites are MUCH more affordable than h/motels, are VERY family-oriented, most have bath houses and showers, some have pools and organized activities for the kids. It was great. I mention PWP because while most folks know of dances, they are the FUNDRAISERS that subsidize the kids' activities. Our group was large enough to support a camping contingent (you need a planning committee as well as money) Usually a campfire every night, adults to talk to so you didn't have to be in "mommy" or "daddy" mode all the time, you could hang out with the older kids and get a preview of ages & stages - it was GREAT. This was about ten years ago, though. I hope it's still a resource, because being a single parent can be isolating, and this was a real life-line.

Back to camping - Woodalls shows you that there are campsites EVERYWHERE. We looked at it to see if there is one in Cooperstown NY (there are several) when we were contemplating going for the Hall of Fame induction. They even mention if there are rentable cabins, RV hookups, water and electric hookups, tent camping, etc. I do agree that there are seasons for camping, and in the NE and the mountains, most campgrounds close up between October and April. I'd never tent-camp in the summer in Texas, though my family tent-camped near Slide Rock State Park in AZ (HIGHLY recommended the park for school age kids) comfortably in May, but tent-camping near the Grand Canyon was REALLY rocky. I learned a lot by camping with these people, and have since gone on to enrich my family's life through camping as well. There is also a tent called a Hennesey hammock that keeps your back off the ground, if an aging spine if thwarting anyone.

Posted by: slazar | April 27, 2007 10:29 AM

Or maybe MT refers to the state of Montana. Sometimes an abbreviation is just an abbreviation. So get your mind out of the gutter.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 10:29 AM

Hey, Sahmbacktowork, I want to take my kids to Europe too. I started going there myself at the age of 20 with a backpack and a map (and the high dollar which made everything so affordable). Over the years I have graduated to a more upscale travel. I am just waiting for my kids to learn how to eat with knife and fork so they don't get kicked out of some restaurant in France. Logistics also scare me. Can we rent car seats there? Where am I going to feed them at 6 pm when the only thing that's open are tapas bars? How am I going to explain "peluses interdit" to a 3 and and 5 year old? What is the earliest age we can take them? Any advice?

Posted by: ISO of European vacation | April 27, 2007 10:11 AM


I have friends who have been traveling internationally since their kids were infants, but I'm not sure I'd do it! I think in your situation 5 and 7 years would be a good age to start. That way, they're in booster seats (no lugging huge Britax car seats around), no more strollers, etc...

As far as food, just hit the markets in the morning for bread, cheese, fresh veggies, so you'll have food for the kids throughout the day. i did this when I was travelling in my single carefree days to save money on going out to eat.

What a nice topic for a rainy day! Dreaming of fabulous vacations...

I've had Me and Bobby McGee in my head all day...How about a little Janis (I know, Kris Kristofferson) to kick off the weekend?

Posted by: SAHMbacktowork | April 27, 2007 10:29 AM

"Army Brat-I knew you would pick up the music line! Yesterday the Doors, today the Eagles- tomorrow?"

Posted by: dotted | April 27, 2007 10:00 AM

Tomorrow is Bela Fleck or Minnie Riperton, I forget which!

Posted by: Fred | April 27, 2007 10:30 AM

As a kid we took vacations every year - sometimes to the beach other times to family. I loved them all. My husband's family never vacationed.

I now get the thrill (and stress) of planning vacations for our family. Last year to Seasame Place (great), this year to the beach. Next year - who knows.

I hope that my kids grow up with the same good memories that I had, and it seems like most everybody else did. They are already looking forward to the beach. I think the time away together is good for all of us. Can't wait for August and the Outer Banks!

Posted by: Burke Mom | April 27, 2007 10:33 AM

Piece of My Heart is a much better song and performance!
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Piece Of My Heart Lyrics

Oh, come on, come on, come on, come on!

Didn't I make you feel like you were the only man -- yeah!
An' didn't I give you nearly everything that a woman possibly can ?
Honey, you know I did!
And each time I tell myself that I, well I think I've had enough,
But I'm gonna show you, baby, that a woman can be tough.

I want you to come on, come on, come on, come on and take it,
Take it!
Take another little piece of my heart now, baby!
Oh, oh, break it!
Break another little bit of my heart now, darling, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Oh, oh, have a!
Have another little piece of my heart now, baby,
You know you got it if it makes you feel good,
Oh, yes indeed.

You're out on the streets looking good,
And baby deep down in your heart I guess you know that it ain't right,
Never, never, never, never, never, never hear me when I cry at night,
Babe, and I cry all the time!
But each time I tell myself that I, well I can't stand the pain,
But when you hold me in your arms, I'll sing it once again.

I'll say come on, come on, come on, come on and take it!
Take it!
Take another little piece of my heart now, baby.
Oh, oh, break it!
Break another little bit of my heart now, darling, yeah,
Oh, oh, have a!
Have another little piece of my heart now, baby,
You know you got it, child, if it makes you feel good.

I need you to come on, come on, come on, come on and take it,
Take it!
Take another little piece of my heart now, baby!
Oh, oh, break it!
Break another little bit of my heart, now darling, yeah, c'mon now.
Oh, oh, have a
Have another little piece of my heart now, baby.
You know you got it -- whoahhhhh!!

Take it!
Take it! Take another little piece of my heart now, baby,
Oh, oh, break it!
Break another little bit of my heart, now darling, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah,
Oh, oh, have a
Have another little piece of my heart now, baby, hey,
You know you got it, child, if it makes you feel good.

Posted by: Fred | April 27, 2007 10:35 AM

SAHMbacktowork, re: Ireland: I recommend the western part of country for vacations. I've been to Dublin, but the former au pair is from Galway so we spent a week there for her wedding. Fantastic place! Go south into County Clare for the Cliffs of Moher; go north into Mayo for the whole "Connemara" experience - the Cong/Ashford Castle area is amazing, in between Lough Corrib and Lough Mask. Best of all is the boat trip to the Aran Islands - take the trip, rent bikes, and explore the place. The kids will love it - mine did!

Posted by: Army Brat | April 27, 2007 10:36 AM

"So get your mind out of the gutter."

What gutter?

Your mind is in the gutter.


Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 10:36 AM

SAHMbacktowork's suggestion applies equally well in the US and Canada:
"As far as food, just hit the markets in the morning for bread, cheese, fresh veggies, so you'll have food for the kids throughout the day. i did this when I was travelling in my single carefree days to save money on going out to eat."

Not only saves money but can be more nutritious, time-saving and less hassle than going to a restaurant.

Posted by: catlady | April 27, 2007 10:36 AM

MD mother said, "But I would also love it if my husband took the kids on a vacation for a week and I got to stay home and enjoy the quiet. Imagine, only my own dishes to wash; no bickering; being able to sit down and read without interruption!"

Yes! Yes! That's my idea of the perfect vacation! Significant time alone in my own house with no one to take care of.


Posted by: chausti | April 27, 2007 10:36 AM

My family actually enjoyed theme parks-I went to Disney World 4 times as a kid! My parents (who are now granndparents to our 14-month old) are Disney Vacation Club members now and can't WAIT to take our daughter there in a couple years. We did many trips to Busch Gardens, Great Adventure, Kings Dominion and Hershey Park when I was young

The only other place we took longer vacations to was Myrtle Beach. I still remember the day my dad and I played as many mini-golf courses as we could and then walked several miles in the 90 degree heat back to our hotel.

Other than that, we did long weekends at the beach. For a while, my grandparents owned a house near Rehoboth and we would go down and stay there as much as we could. Many summer weekends with friends and/or family were spent in that house! I'll never forget listening to (on the beach) and watching later in the day the LiveAid concert. Gotta love Funland, the waterslides on Route 1, minigolf, tank tag and renting bikes and riding on the boardwalk in the morning, too.

We were lucky enough to spend one vacation in England when I was 10 because my uncle was living in London at the time. I don't know that I would want to drag a little one along on a trip to Europe, but I had a wonderful time with my parents. We went to the Tower of London, the London Zoo, Madame Toussauds, Bath, Stonehendge, Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace, St Paul's Cathedral (my dad and I walked to the top!) and of course a ride on a double decker bus. Oh, and the ultimate experience was going to Wimbledon-my uncle's company had tickets and he was able to get us in. I have so many great memories from that trip and I think I was the perfect age to enjoy an activity packed trip like that.

As an adult, I tend toward active trips rather than beach trips. When I go somewhere, I realize I may never go again and want to see as much as possible. I'm not a beach vacation person-while in Hawaii, I spent one day on a beach and was sightseeing the rest of the time.

My husband and I took our last pre-baby trip to Canada-we did a road trip through Ontario and Quebec for 2 weeks. For kids, I highly recommend Toronto or Ottawa. In Toronto, get a CityPass and it will get you into the city's biggest tourist sites for cheap.

I also agree that traveling with a young child is not necessarily a vacation unless you have extra hands on deck!

Looking forward to other responses...

Posted by: Shannon | April 27, 2007 10:37 AM

scarry,

Have you ever been to Cedar Point? Would love info about the area. What is there to do besides the amusement park?

Sandusky is about three to three hours away from where I grew up , but I have been there and I like it. I went to sea world and Cedar Point with my brother and sister. Here are some other things to do. Trip advisor is great.

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g50940-Activities-Sandusky_Ohio.html

Posted by: scarry | April 27, 2007 10:37 AM

Hey Blog Stats, who holds the record for the most posts in a day? Top Ten please!

(I hope it is me!)

Posted by: Fred | April 27, 2007 10:38 AM

Worst song at a wedding - "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor. Nice message - you're a jackass, I don't need you, and I'm better off without you.

Posted by: BLE | April 27, 2007 10:39 AM

So get your mind out of the gutter."

What gutter?

Your mind is in the gutter.

No gutter, sex is a wonderful thing between people who love each other. The mountain was a nice get away from the stresses of life.

Posted by: anon for this | April 27, 2007 10:40 AM

In summer, a trip to Montreal is like having Paris right here in North America. Accessible by car, plane and train. Subway makes it possible to get around town without a motor vehicle. Great botanical garden, for those who enjoy such things. Olympic Park, Mt. Royal, the old city, neighborhoods with foods of many nationalities, much much more.

Posted by: catlady | April 27, 2007 10:42 AM

As a kid, we usually did the 8-12 hour drives to the beach and stayed for 1-2 weeks. There was one trip to Vail, but my dad opened 2 WV ski resorts, so it didn't make a whole lot of sense to pay to ski, even if it was tons better out there. Once I was old enough to travel on my own, I over-did Europe, without really seeing the US. So, now I'm on a quest to see the US! We've done Yosemite and Sonoma, which are wonderful adult trips. We're pretty serious backpackers, and kids just can't do the kinds of trips we used to do. There are some beautiful stretched of the AT, but they can be pretty busy, and it's much better to hike and backpack on lesser used trails. Since the baby has come along, our fantasy trips involve meeting the extended family in a place with some sort of water, and mountains make it all the better. We all met at the Biltmore last year. There is some talk of some place in Mobile, AL for the next trip. My parents have a house on Galveston Bay, so visiting them is a pretty good vacation. It may be Houston, but at least we can fish and go on the jet ski. Not to mention the family is there!

Posted by: atb | April 27, 2007 10:43 AM

Just realized I need to tweak something, "I wish my husband COULD take the children and..."

But I know it would be a disaster.

Still, I would love to have a peaceful week alone with myself, my books, my critters, maybe have my family come over to MY house for once.

Posted by: MdMother | April 27, 2007 10:45 AM

Since we're strolling down wedding lyrical lane today, have to throw in a little Neil Diamond:

Money talks
but it can't sing and dance and it can't walk
As long as I can have you here with me
I'd much rather be forever in blue jeans

also

Sweet Caroline!
Good times never seemed so good
I'm inclined
to believe they never could . . .

Posted by: WorkingMomX | April 27, 2007 10:51 AM

Dr.mom - take 'em to Europe. If your kids are little (ours were 3 and 5), I would recommend renting a house (there are villas for rent in Tuscany - truly haha) in a central location. That way you have a home base where they feel comfortable and settled and then you can do daily car trips to lots of different places. Scotland is also just amazing (my then 5 year old loved the castles) and the nicest people in the whole world. Just keep your expectations low, not a lot of museum time. Its a great family vacation, just different than vacations abroad before. I would also mention that a week in Italy including house rental is really no more expensive than a trip to Disney and I think more edifying.

SAHMbacktowork - I'm with you. Why would I go somewhere else to just lay around? I like doing and exploring. This is not to exclude a relaxing lunch in a town square, but I'm not going to Italy to sit on the beach the whole time. Go, go, go.

My mil is taking the family on an Alaskan cruise this summer. Anyone have experience with that with smaller kids (4&6)

Posted by: moxiemom | April 27, 2007 10:52 AM

I forgot Hawaii!!! And it was my honeymoon! Again, I'm not sure it would have been fun with kids. We stayed on Kauai, so it's pretty basic. Mostly we just chilled out on the beach. And the backpacking is brutal, though beautiful.

The only other place we've frequented is New Orleans, another non-kid friendly place. Vegas, too! I'm glad I got the adult trips in!

I had a friend whose dad traveled enough that each summer he cashed in the FF miles, and the 5 of them (3 girls!) would fly out to somewhere they could camp. My friend loved it and still backpacks. Not so much for her sisters. It sounds GREAT to me.

Posted by: atb | April 27, 2007 10:52 AM

When I was a kid, the most memorable vacation was a car trip to Niagra Falls for a week, and then back down to Florida and finally to Disney World. We stopped in many places along the way, but right now, I can only remember New York City, Savahnna, and Jacksonville. It was great fun. I was about 10.

Another summer, we flew to San Antonio and I spent a month with my aunt, uncle, and cousins. I remember driving to a lake near Corpus Christie and baking in the sun one hot week (ouch).

We also took long weekends at the beach (good old ocean city, md) and long weekends in the mountains near Skyline Drive.

These days, I like the Jersey Shore for our yearly family vacation. We rent a condo on the beach and I get to read escapist junk for at least 3 hours a day. I love going out to eat every evening, and going for icecream afterwards. We also a day at the water park when we are there. The Cape May boadwalk is absolutely my favorite, and I indulge in funnel cake each and every week at the beach. My son loves it too, but I think I love it more.

Posted by: Emily | April 27, 2007 11:00 AM

worst wedding reception song-- Sting's "Roxanne". seriously, the first song the guy played-- what a joker! i thought the groom would punch his lights out!

I'd love to spend time in Amish country-- maybe we'd live on a real farm for a few days. there is also that toy train exhibit in the area that I think my son would love.

Posted by: Jen | April 27, 2007 11:01 AM

Thanks for the Cedar Point info - I think we'll try it this year.

Posted by: to scarry | April 27, 2007 11:03 AM

My parents were schoolteachers, which was both a blessing and a curse when it came to my childhood vacations. They were very passionate about their subject areas (geology and American history), so we spent lots of time wandering around Civil War battle fields or poking around waterfalls and beaches in the Michigan UP for rock specimens. In retrospect I appreciate the exposure to history and nature, but at the time my sisters and I thought these vacations were BORING and would have given anything to vacation at some "normal" destination like Disney World.

I agree 100% with those who say going on a vacation without an additional caregiver isn't really a vacation, its just a change of venue. That is the primary reason why my husband and I rarely take our 3 children on more than a long weekend to the Wisconsin Dells or to visit relatives. Don't feel too badly for them. My husband's parents, who are natives of Greece, took the kids to Greece for six weeks a few summers ago. They stayed (with relatives) in a seaside village and went swimming in the ocean everyday. They've already had their vacation of a lifetime!

Posted by: MP | April 27, 2007 11:03 AM

Fred,

I presently live about 30 minutes from Wakulla Springs, Florida. The glass bottom boats haven't run for a few years since the water is so murkey. It is beautiful, though.

Posted by: Jen | April 27, 2007 11:04 AM

Our family is driving from Oregon to the Grand Canyon this summer, with overnight stops in Boise, Salt Lake City, Zion National Park, 4 nights in the GC, Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe, and Redding, CA. According to Mapquest the trip will be about 2800 miles and take 46 hours total. We were originally going to tent camp but decided that 6 people in a mini van for 11 days would be enough "roughing it" so we're staying in (fairly) cheap motels instead. We do a trip like this (although this one is a little bigger than usual) every couple of years. It's not really fantasy but it's family oriented, doable from a financial pov, and fun.

Posted by: momof4 | April 27, 2007 11:07 AM

Jen - the real steam train in Strassburg, PA is wonderful for little boys and girls. I recommend paying for the first class ticket (not to expensive) its enclosed and more comfortable, esp. on a hot day. They also have times when they outfit the huge steam train like Thomas which makes the kids go bananas I hear, but I believe you have to reserve that in advance. We had a really fun day the day we went!

Posted by: moxiemom | April 27, 2007 11:08 AM

--I agree 100% with those who say going on a vacation without an additional caregiver isn't really a vacation, its just a change of venue.

I disagree. My definition of vacation is a break from work, not a break from my family. No blackberry, cell phone, or emergency number left at work. Just being away from everyday routine with my family is wonderful.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 11:08 AM

Oh, and you did mention dream vacations, well, I had one last year. My sister and I have fond memories of visiting my Dad's family in TX, every year, complete with 23 hours STRAIGHT THROUGH in the '71 Dodge Coronet station wagon and 4-5 kids. I'm #2 and she's #4. This stopped when I was 13, for a variety of reasons. My eldest aunt passed away last May, and she and I decided that the ONLY way we were going to maintain some semblance of connection with my non-travelling Dad's side of the family (who are 75+) was to fly out :) , rent a car from Dallas (our 2 brothers live in the 'burbs there), pick up our other aunt (who wrote our family geneology) and go see the uncles, aunts and cousins. We stayed in Muenster, TX (great Oktoberfest, but wrong time of year), Abilene, Post (named for the Post cereal guy, but its industries are oil and prisons), Midland, and had some stops along the way. Saw stuffed rattlesnakes in Sweetwater (that has a rattlesnake rodeo every year) the quail capital of the US? plenty-o-cotton being farmed, zero-water landscaping and got to soak up LOADS of time with cousins that I hadn't seen since I was five. I had my infant son along, and the previous posters are right, there is nothing like a child to get a conversation going and break the ice. In a lot of ways it was like dedicating my son to some of the family elders, as well as talking about the family from the context of my Aunt, and getting a lot of family history. A lot of my uncles' lives were unknown for us, so we asked questions like, where did you meet Aunt X? And for the most part, they humored us, sassed us some, and were their fun selves as well. We tried to swap recipes (and ate a lot of FABULOUS barbeque) with mixed success. We really made a connection, though and even exchanged email addresses. So that was my fantasy vacation, a rolling family reunion (of sorts). They were too old to visit us, and my Dad in MD wasn't really initiating anything, because he is much like them, so my sister and I took it upon us to do it ourselves. If we had more money, I would've brought my teen son and husband, because we thought they might be too bored. So that it our different family vacation.

Posted by: slazar | April 27, 2007 11:11 AM

While I'm still partial to "Lying Eyes" as the worst, I'm convinced after reading this blog that there are a LOT of wedding DJs out there who really shouldn't be. Some of these songs make you wonder if the DJ isn't paying attention or is doing it on purpose to get in a dig at the people paying him.

Posted by: Army Brat | April 27, 2007 11:11 AM

For those who want to travel abroad: Central America! Specifically, I recommend Grenada, Nicaragua or Antigua/Lake Atitlan, Guatemala. Beautiful, cheap, fun and off the beaten path! And if you're worried about safety -- the only real issue is the same one you face anywhere there is a large income discrepancy: be smart about it and come with a plan for talking with your kids about seeing their peers begging for money on the streets.

Posted by: JEG | April 27, 2007 11:13 AM

How about best wedding songs?

My vote is for As Time Goes By. I also like the one that goes, "What the World Needs Now is Love, Sweet Love"

Not very original. But I like them.

Posted by: Emily | April 27, 2007 11:14 AM

To momof4: Have been to Zion Park twice in spring, and love it -- but have read that it's pretty hot in summer, like close to 100°. So plan accordingly.

Posted by: catlady | April 27, 2007 11:14 AM

Worst Wedding Song

"Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places"

Posted by: Born Free | April 27, 2007 11:15 AM

SAHMbacktowork, re: Ireland: I recommend the western part of country for vacations. I've been to Dublin, but the former au pair is from Galway so we spent a week there for her wedding. Fantastic place! Go south into County Clare for the Cliffs of Moher; go north into Mayo for the whole "Connemara" experience - the Cong/Ashford Castle area is amazing, in between Lough Corrib and Lough Mask. Best of all is the boat trip to the Aran Islands - take the trip, rent bikes, and explore the place. The kids will love it - mine did!

Posted by: Army Brat | April 27, 2007 10:36 AM

Thanks Army Brat! I am so excited already!

Posted by: SAHMbacktowork | April 27, 2007 11:15 AM

Or Summertime, of course

Summertime, time, time,
Child, the livings easy.
Fish are jumping out
And the cotton, lord,
Cottons high, lord, so high.

Your daddys rich
And your ma is so good-looking, baby.
Shes looking good now,
Hush, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby,
No, no, no, no, no, no, no, dont you cry.
Aahhhh!

One of these mornings
Youre gonna rise, rise up singing,
Youre gonna spread your wings,
Child, and take, take to the sky,
Lord, the sky.

Until that morning
Honey, n-n-nothings going to harm you now,
No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no
No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no
No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no,
Dont you cry,
Dont you cry,
Cry.

Posted by: SAHMbacktowork | April 27, 2007 11:17 AM

I make it a point to go on a good vacation with the kids. All we ever did was drive from LA to a small small town in Texas to visit my grandma. What a waste of experience (regardless of our feelings for grandma-who i liked). I felt so backward when my friends went skiing or went to florida or somewhere. That is the experience we want for our kids especially since their grandma lives 30 minutes away.

Posted by: pATRICK | April 27, 2007 11:17 AM

"How about best wedding songs?"

An oldie but appropriate: There Must be 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover.

Posted by: Father of 4 | April 27, 2007 11:17 AM

To Scarry (and anyone else who's interested), the Post political chat from 11-12 is on last night's debate: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/discussion/2007/04/26/DI2007042601503.html

Posted by: catlady | April 27, 2007 11:19 AM

Fo4 - If that is the BEST wedding song you can think of, I am worried about you. Come on. Get into a romantic frame of mind. It's Friday, and Spring is here.

Posted by: Emily | April 27, 2007 11:21 AM

What is your collective opinion about a married couple where the wife puts "Girls Rule" bumper stickers on both of their cars? By the way, they have 3 kids....all girls.

Posted by: dotted | April 27, 2007 11:24 AM

Well...I'm probably biased, but Europe is pretty easy with kids since it is fairly accomodating to tourists in general. London is very expensive at the moment because of the weak dollar, but a great place for kids regardless of age. Good, easy transportation around the city so you don't have to worry about car seats and lots of really fun places for the kids to hang out (zoo, science musuem, safari park, acquarium, lots of parks). We've also done some traveling around Europe with a toddler and find that most places are good (Spain, Italy, Greece). The trains are fantastic and flights are usually pretty cheap - so lots of options to go about Europe.

Posted by: londonmom | April 27, 2007 11:24 AM

My vote for best:

Say a Little Prayer (both Dionne Warwick and Aretha versions)

The moment I wake up
Before I put on my makeup
I say a little pray for you
While combing my hair now,
And wondering what dress to wear now,
I say a little prayer for you

Forever, and ever, you'll stay in my heart
and I will love you
Forever, and ever, we never will part
Oh, how I love you
Together, forever, that's how it must be
To live without you
Would only meen heartbreak for me.

I run for the bus, dear,
While riding I think of us, dear,
I say a little prayer for you.
At work I just take time
And all through my coffee break-time,
I say a little prayer for you.

Forever, and ever, you'll stay in my heart
and I will love you
Forever, and ever we never will part
Oh, how I'll love you
Together, forever, that's how it must be
To live without you
Would only mean heartbreak for me.

I say a little prayer for you

I say a little prayer for you

My darling believe me, ( beleive me)
For me there is no one but you!
Please love me too (answer his pray)
And I'm in love with you (answer his pray)
Answer my prayer now babe (answer his pray)

Forever, and ever, you'll stay in my heart
and I will love you
Forever, and ever we never will part
Oh, how I'll love you
Together, forever, that's how it must be
To live without you
Would only mean heartbreak for me (oooooooooh)

Worst:

ANYTHING Celine Dion or Whitney Houston, etc.. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! haha
or 80s hairband songs, except for maybe Bon Jovi (just kidding)...

Posted by: SAHMbacktowork | April 27, 2007 11:25 AM

Dotted,
I think it's cute and funny. The poor dad is outnumbered. The sooner he accepts his reality, the happier he will be.

Posted by: Emily | April 27, 2007 11:26 AM

Worst: Toxic by Britney Spears~! (Even though it seems she followed her own lyrics with her choice in a husband!)

Baby, can¡¦t you see
I¡¦m calling
A guy like you
Should wear a warning
It¡¦s dangerous
I¡¦m fallin¡¦

There¡¦s no escape
I can¡¦t hide
I need a hit
Baby, give me it
You¡¦re dangerous
I¡¦m lovin¡¦ it

Too high
Can¡¦t come down
Losing my head
Spinning ¡¥round and ¡¥round
Do you feel me now

With a taste of your lips
I¡¦m on a ride
You¡¦re toxic
I¡¦m slipping under
With a taste of poison paradise
I¡¦m addicted to you
Don¡¦t you know that you¡¦re toxic
And I love what you do
Don¡¦t you know that you¡¦re toxic

It¡¦s getting late
To give you up
I took a sip
From my devil cup
Slowly
It¡¦s taking over me

Too high
Can¡¦t come down
It¡¦s in the air
And it¡¦s all around
Can you feel me now

With a taste of your lips
I¡¦m on a ride
You¡¦re toxic
I¡¦m slipping under
With a taste of poison paradise
I¡¦m addicted to you
Don¡¦t you know that you¡¦re toxic
And I love what you do
Don¡¦t you know that you¡¦re toxic

Don't you know that you're toxic

With a tast of your lips
I'm on a ride
You're toxic
I'm slipping under
With a taste of poison paradise
I'm addicted to you
Don't you know that you're toxic

Intoxicate me now
With your lovin' now
I think I'm ready now
I think I'm ready now
Intoxicate me now
With your lovin' now
I'm ready now

Posted by: TOXIC | April 27, 2007 11:27 AM

Serious best wedding song:
When a Man Loves a Woman as sung by Percy Sledge. It doesn't get more romantic that this:

When a man loves a woman
Can't keep his mind on nothin' else
He'd trade the world
For a good thing he's found
If she is bad, he can't see it
She can do no wrong
Turn his back on his best friend
If he puts her down

When a man loves a woman
Spend his very last dime
Trying to hold on to what he needs
He'd give up all his comforts
And sleep out in the rain
If she said that's the way
It ought to be

When a man loves a woman
I give you everything I've got (yeah)
Trying to hold on
To your precious love
Baby please don't treat me bad

When a man loves a woman
Deep down in his soul
She can bring him such misery
If she is playing him for a fool
He's the last one to know
Loving eyes can never see

Yes when a man loves a woman
I now exactly how he feels
'Cause baby, baby, baby
I am a man
When a man loves a woman

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 27, 2007 11:27 AM

What is your collective opinion about a married couple where the wife puts "Girls Rule" bumper stickers on both of their cars? By the way, they have 3 kids....all girls.

Posted by: dotted | April 27, 2007 11:24 AM

Cheesy, but who cares? They are obviously an estrogen-run household. it's funny

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 11:28 AM

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 27, 2007 11:27 AM


Sorry KLB, Michael Bolton ruined that song!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 11:29 AM

"there is also that toy train exhibit in the area that I think my
son would love."

I'm going to put in a plug for the toy train museum next to the Strausburge railroad in PA. My late fil served as president of TCA (Train Collectors Association) for a term and work very hard for much of his life to make that museum a success. Just last year, they dedicated the Presidentual Caboose exhibit to him as it was his design and dream to have it constructed at the museum.

Also, if you go later in the summer, there is a corn maze nearby. Lots of fun for kids and adults too.

Posted by: Father of 4 | April 27, 2007 11:30 AM

Two words: Tainted Love

Now just try to go to the next post without humming/singing the tune

Posted by: dotted | April 27, 2007 11:30 AM

What is your collective opinion about a married couple where the wife puts "Girls Rule" bumper stickers on both of their cars? By the way, they have 3 kids....all girls.

Posted by: dotted | April 27, 2007 11:24 AM

If it was my family, my husband would be the one who bought the bumper stickers. His daughters are everything to him.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 11:31 AM

SAHMbacktowork: What an awesome pick!

Fairfax, Based on the following line, I think our dads were separated at birth. I'm still laughing, ten minutes after reading this:

"My brother and I played with toys in the middle and back seats half the time, while my dad scolded us for not appreciating the various cows from different states."

When I was growing up, our vacations operated like our real life. We were always housepoor. Dad would budget for the cabin, the gas, and minimal food (no eating out), and then we did nothing else. So, for example, on year we rented a little cabin 20 miles from Montreal. I loved the lake for the first three days, but we did nothing else and there was so much we could have seen and done within a short drive. On the other hand, my husband's family never took a vacation other than for the purpose of visiting relatives. The concept of a vacation to somewhere where we don't have family was odd for him the first few years we were together. I am loving all the ideas here though.

In response to someone who asked how old your kids need to be before you can take an active, e.g., hiking/rafting, etc. vacation: based on my research 6 or 8 are the magic numbers. I"ve only found one dude ranch, for example, that will let a child under 6 ride. The more physically demanding vacations, like GORP, I think, require kids to be at least 8.


Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | April 27, 2007 11:31 AM

okay, I like Shania's Still the one and I like Vince Gills's look at us. I don't even like country that much, but I like those.

Worst song has got to be Love Hurts, which has been played at every wedding I have every been at.

Posted by: scarry | April 27, 2007 11:32 AM

I'm always amazed at how many people miss the point of the road trip--that you can stop whenever you want. When I was growing up, my parents took us on massive car trips. We covered lots of ground and saw vast areas of the country--but we didn't cover that much ground in any one day. In fact, 400 miles was a really long day for us. The result was that we saw a lot of sights and visited more of the U.S. than most people (my brother made it to all 50 states before turning 25; I'm only missing Alaska)--and no one was miserable about it. Marathon driving sessions are self-imposed misery, and totally unnecessary unless there's some sort of emergency at the end of the trip. And we often traveled with our pop-up trailer, so we were able to keep costs down by camping, but maintaining a base level of comfort.

This is easier to do when you're dealing with military leave timeframes, as we were, but it's not at all impossible with standard corporate vacation either. It just requires you to see the trip as having a midpoint instead of a destination.

Posted by: Kate | April 27, 2007 11:33 AM

"What is your collective opinion about a married couple where the wife puts "Girls Rule" bumper stickers on both of their cars? By the way, they have 3 kids....all girls."

Anything is better than the God Awful
"My child is an Honor Student at the
Stick-up-the-Butt School" bumper stickers!

The wunderkids in those vehicles are usually eating snot out of their noses while playing with their private parts!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 11:36 AM

How was that drive to Hawaii?

Posted by: To Kate | April 27, 2007 11:37 AM

Gerald Durrell's My Family and Other Animals is a must read for any family which dreams of adventures in far away places but whose travel budget is limited. This delightful memoir tells how Durrell's mother found herself moving her rag-tag family from England to the Greek Island of Corfu.

Like some others mentioned here, my mother also had her map-reading challenges from time to time. When I was a teen-ager, we were traveling around England one summer as a family. My father was driving. My mother was nagivating. We thought we were going to England's Lake District. Suddenly a sign loomed up in front of us: "Welcome to Scotland." My father pulled over to the side of the road and insisted upon seeing the map. "But I was heading us towards the lakes!" my mother insisted. And sure enough - she was heading us towards a collection of bodies of water. Only problem was, the bodies of water she'd identified on the map were the Scottish lochs and not the English lakes. So we did Scotland instead and had a lot of fun, anyway! A little serendipity never hurt anyone!

Posted by: Murphy | April 27, 2007 11:37 AM

Big Bend is also wonderful at Thanksgiving. We have travelled a lot (including living overseas) and our trip to Big Bend still ranks up there among the most memorable. The tarantulas! The Javelinas! The amazing range of ecology/climates within one national park. Even getting there--just appreciating the vastness of Texas. But I don't think anyone in their right mind should go mid-summer!

Posted by: big bend | April 27, 2007 11:38 AM

I'm surprised no one has mentioned the train. DH and I took Amtrak up the West Coast (LA to Seattle with a stop in Oregon to visit family) this Christmas and loved it. We got a sleeper car which was much nicer than sitting up all night in coach, plus meals are included in the price of the room. I'm thinking that a nice, scenic train trip would be a great vacation idea. Cheaper than flying for a family and easier to do multi-city stops.

Posted by: trainfan | April 27, 2007 11:38 AM

Fred
"
Hey Blog Stats, who holds the record for the most posts in a day? Top Ten please!

(I hope it is me!)"

Oh, the irony!

It's got to be one of the Nursing Nazis.

They never shut up!!!!!


Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 11:40 AM

What is your collective opinion about a married couple where the wife puts "Girls Rule" bumper stickers on both of their cars? By the way, they have 3 kids....all girls.
________

I agree with the poster who said that it's cheesy, but who cares. I'm the father of three girls and one boy. I've spent 18 years so far trying to teach them all that they're in charge of their own destinies, and they need to realize that and work toward it. I redoubled my efforts earlier this year when one of my softball players was sent to live with relatives in another state, because at the age of 15 she's drinking, doing drugs and having sex with a lot of different boys, mostly because she's not getting any love/support at home and that seemed to her to be the best alternative.

Heck, a few I bought one of my softball teams shirts that say "throw like a girl ... if you're good enough" The players liked them!


(Before anybody worries too much about my son - on my side, he's only grandson among my mother's six grandkids. My brother has two daughters; my sister never married. You think that boy isn't spoiled rotten?)

Posted by: Army Brat | April 27, 2007 11:41 AM

Fred, so wait, how did my song make it around the world?


On the information superhighway, coffee in my hand
Warm smell of decay, rising up through the air
Overhead of the cubical, I saw a flickering light
My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim
I had to stop posting for the night
Once again on a Friday;
We have our stories to tell
And I was thinking to myself,
'This could be Heaven or this could be Hell'
Then someone posted off topic and thus saved the day
There were attempts once more
To get the "Post of the Day"
Welcome to the On Balance Blog
Such a crazy place
With an elitist face
Plenty of trolls at the On Balance Blog
Any time of day, you can post away.
Her blog is elitestly biased, she follows the latest trends
She like to bash all of the boys, except on Fridays it depends...
How they breastfeed in the public, sweet mamma's milk.
Some breastfeed for attention, some to exhibit.
So I called up the Spec 4,
'Please give us some culture'
He told us what happened in Rome in AD 354
And still those anonymous posters are snarking from far away,
Posting crap in the hopes of a fight
Won't they go away????
Welcome to the On Balance Blog
Such a crazy place
Such an elitist face
Parody posting on the On Balance Blog
Is a nice surprise, so bring me apple pies!
Tiles on the ceiling,
The cold flourescent lights
And I said, "I wish someone here would appreciate the humor in my advice!"
And in a daycare posting,
The millionth one of course
Blog Stats will tell us how many times,
We have already kicked the dead horse!
Last thing I remember, I was
Refreshing the page once more
I had to find something funny
Someone posted the night before
'Error,'said the filters,
We are programmed to delete.
You can post here any time you like,
but you better agree with me!

Posted by: Chris | April 27, 2007 11:42 AM

My vote for best beach on the East Coast is Sunset Beach, NC. Only houses and duplexes, there are no hotels and no tall buildings. There are plenty of organized and unorganized hikes down to Bird Island (a park). The beach itself is fantastic...softly sloping down to the water and beyond...no rip current really to speak off or nasty dropoff. The homes/duplexes themselves seem to be cheaper than at the Outer Banks. Houses at Sunset are smaller (2-5 bedroom) without pools...but with a fantastic beach, who wants a pool? Great golfing and Myrtle Beach stuff is less than 30 minutes away.

I don't own a home there...just 25 years of experience of going to a great beach.

Posted by: dotted | April 27, 2007 11:44 AM

"Marathon driving sessions are self-imposed misery, and totally unnecessary unless there's some sort of emergency at the end of the trip."

Kate - I understand how you feel, but let me describe the opposite effect:

when I am in charge of the trip, we get from our house to the place we really, really all want to go in 75% of the time it takes my husband to get there. It's not that he stops at historic road markers or smells the roses along the way, or has any other sort of enriching experience. He stops at multiple Sheets' gas stations. I was raised in the family that all but urinated in a bottle in order to avoid stopping, get to the destination and start vacationing. He thinks multiple stops make the trip easier. To each his own, if everyone in your family agrees, but I gotta tell you, the kids prefer to ride with me, LOL. This also is not something to ever fight about, but about which we laugh often.

dotted - your music comments are wonderful today :>)

to the person who recoiled at I Will Survive at a wedding, you might consider that for some of us, being in a GOOD relationship and getting married was proof that we'd survived some of our less good dating and relationship choices. Sometimes what one person thinks of as negative means, "It's all good, Baby" to someone else. We could easily have put IWS on our playlist and both DH and I would have smiled broadly thinking of what could have been.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | April 27, 2007 11:44 AM

Etta James "At Last"

At last
my love has come along
my lonely days over
and life is like a song

Ooh At last
the skies above are blue
well my heart was wrapped up in clover
the night I looked at you

I found a dream
that I could speak to
a dream that I could call my own
I found a thrill
to press my cheek to
a thrill that I have never known

well

You smile
you smile
oh and then the spell was cast
and here we are in heaven
for you are mine at last

I found a dream
that I could speak to
a dream that I
could call my own
I found a thrill
to press my cheek to
a thrill that I have never known

well

You smile
you smile
oh and then the spell was cast
and here we are in heaven
for you are mine at last

Posted by: WorkingMomX | April 27, 2007 11:45 AM

""What is your collective opi
""What is your collective opinion about a married couple where the wife puts "Girls Rule" bumper stickers on both of their cars? By the way, they have 3
kids....all girls."

Obviously, the dude is whipped, and loves it.

Posted by: Father of 4 | April 27, 2007 11:45 AM

KLB, I'm with you 100% on Percy Sledge.

Michael who?

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | April 27, 2007 11:46 AM

Chris. lol! That's your best one yet! Pure genius!

Posted by: Father of 4 | April 27, 2007 11:50 AM

re kids in Europe - I second moxiemom's suggestion to rent a house or apartment. It's nice to have access to a kitchen so you can have milk/cereal on hand for breakfast. I have rented twice in Paris and both places even had a washing machine. Lunch is a big deal in Europe - you can make that your primary meal of the day and a good mid-day break from sightseeing and exploring. (we found this successful even in a group of 4 women, no kids traveling together last spring).

Posted by: Product of a Working Mother | April 27, 2007 11:52 AM

Chris, Poet Laureate of the On Balance blog board!

Posted by: catlady | April 27, 2007 11:52 AM

dotted, I'm curious. Sunset's your favorite? We're looking for a new NC beach this summer, went to SC the last 3 years and were devoted Outer Banks fans for years. We're considering Bald Head Island, but also looked at Ocean Isle and Oak Island. We are not resort-y by nature, but have found that our kids really like how easy it is to make friends in a resort setting.

We like things to do (acquarium, vet hospital, fort / historic something, lighthouses / golf / tennis) and the kids are sold on a mild surf. We get antsy just going to the beach every day for 8 hours. A good, non-chain seafood restaurant or two and one good grocery store. Why Sunset over Holden, etc.?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 11:54 AM

And I forget Elvis Presley's Can't Help Falling in Love. Love that one too.

Posted by: Emily | April 27, 2007 11:59 AM

Chris, You Da Man.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 12:00 PM

You rock Chris!!

Posted by: John Q | April 27, 2007 12:01 PM

I can't decide whether I'd wish for Army Brat or Chris to be my dad, but the kids that drew either are lucky children.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 12:02 PM

And don't forget Ella Fitzgerald singing "The Man I Love." It's a classic.

Posted by: Emily | April 27, 2007 12:03 PM

anon at 11:54
Ocean Isle can be nice or nasty depending on where you go. Both Ocean Isle and Oak Island have had their beach refurbished: that means the sand isn't real sand, but small pebbles. Both Ocean Isle and Oak Island have suffered from beach erosion (more so at north Ocean Isle of late). Sunset Island is growing is all directions: great sand. There are tons of things to do around Sunset-Good restaurants too (I'm partial to both Twin Lakes and Bill's--fresh off the boat seafood for sale at Bill's). Basically I like Sunset because it is a family beach---no huge resorts on the island. But all the kids make friends with all the other family kids staying close by. Just bring a bocce ball set, horseshoes, or a 4 square ball and the kids come running. The beach isn't crowded so you can play games on the beach. One thing I really liked about sunset is the slope is so slow that little ponds form as the tide goes way way way way out. Babies sit and splash in the newly formed kiddie pools.

There are nature things, shopping is close (hey, calabash is 5 minutes away), Myrtle Beach and Wilmington are close enough. Surprisingly, it takes the same amount of time to get to Sunset as to any other beach south of Wilmington.

Posted by: dotted | April 27, 2007 12:04 PM

We have a house at Myrtle Beach so every summer at least 2 weeks were spent there. It was absolutely wonderful! We had a housekeeper and cook so mom never had to do it and we ate out a lot because there is such great seafood everywhere. Last summer was the first time in 24 years I hadn't been but my husband and I will be joining my parents and sister this summer for sure!

Posted by: beachgirl | April 27, 2007 12:06 PM

Wedding Song that will make all your guests cringe at your lack of taste:

I Love You Just The Way You Are (Billy Joel)

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 12:07 PM

Whoa Chris!

You left out the religious kooks/God Squad and the Gun/antigun Squad!

And other knee-jerk types.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 12:08 PM

Chris,
Good one. I agree that it is your best so far.

Posted by: Emily | April 27, 2007 12:10 PM

thanks, dotted - sorry I submitted before attaching my name. That's very helpful.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | April 27, 2007 12:10 PM

Wedding Song that will make all your guests cringe at your lack of taste:

I Love You Just The Way You Are (Billy Joel)

Posted by: | April 27, 2007 12:07 PM

Didn't he write that for his first wife, who he dumped for the Uptown Girl, and now he has a still younger wife?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 12:10 PM

My vacations were usually spent in the Dominican Republic.

Posted by: MV | April 27, 2007 12:11 PM

Myrtle beach is great for kids. Lots and lots to do for everyone!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 12:12 PM

Didn't he write that for his first wife, who he dumped for the Uptown Girl, and now he has a still younger wife?

Posted by: | April 27, 2007 12:10 PM

My recollection is he loved 'em all; he just missed the part where they stopped loving him - the clueless guy who is perpetually surprised when it doesn't work out. Maybe that also explains getting ripped off by his manager / accountant for years and not noticing.

I'm also old enough to remember that before, The Stranger, we all thought he was a genius. Then the above, horrid, number #1 single was released and there was no turning back from sell-out land.

Poor guy. I always felt sorry for him that all that talent was wasted on crap post, 1982 or so.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | April 27, 2007 12:14 PM

Emily, how about Time in a Bottle and You are the Wind beneath my Wings.

I am classically trained having played the viola through high school, and anything by Taichovsky leaves me hypnotised.

So there, I'm not totally void of romance.

Posted by: Father of 4 | April 27, 2007 12:15 PM

Myrtle beach is great for kids. Lots and lots to do for everyone!

Posted by: | April 27, 2007 12:12 PM

this must be a "to each his own" moment. We think that Myrtle Beach is hell on earth for kids - polyester and neon everywhere. Tons of gentleman's clubs and billboards advertising them. Junk food and obese people. Franchise, franchise everywhere you look. Not an original mom and pop business to be found. Ick. Triple Ick. Run.

Maybe Cherry Grove and one or two places in North Myrtle remain as good places to take your kids.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 12:17 PM

so Father of 4, do we agree that playing Paradise by the Dashboard Light is a hoot at a wedding - or do you think it's in poor taste?

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | April 27, 2007 12:19 PM

"I can't decide whether I'd wish for Army Brat or Chris to be my dad, but the kids that drew either are lucky children."

Neither for me, thank you God!

Army Brat is waay too macho and Chris is a bit too prancy; they both seem to have hero complexes.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 12:22 PM

As long as we are listing the groups on the blog. Identify yourself by cause or interest group (by marking an "X".

The gun squad
The anti-gun squad X
Pro-nursing X
Anti-nursing
The God Squad
The I don't really know squad X
The No-God squad
Mothers who work X
Mothers who stay at home
Mothers who work part time
Lawyers
Non-lawyers X
Engineers
Have many children
Have a few or one child X
Don't have children but hope to
Don't have children but like them anyway
Absolutely detest human spawn
Single parents
Divorced parents
Married parents X
DINKS
Vegetarians
Vegans
Ominvores X
Dads
Equal parenting X
Man is the boss
Submissive Wives Club
Submissive Husbands club
Pets X
No Pets
My dog is better than your kid club
My Kid is better than your dog or cat club
I have a nanny club
I have a housekeeper club
I clean after my own family club
I live in a pigsty club X

What have I missed?

Posted by: Emily | April 27, 2007 12:23 PM

Chris - perfectly awesome - don't know what else to say :)

Scarry - I love Vince Gill's Look at Us - I could cry just thinking about it - which means maybe I shouldn't play it if I ever have a wedding :)

Vacations were always to visit the family - still are - although this summer my son and I might be taking an extended road trip across country, and I am SO excited - if not that, I'm tempted to bag it all and go spend a month in Peru, since I have a friend with a house there. I haven't traveled even close to as much as I'd like and hope that someday I have the funds and the time.

Posted by: TakomaMom | April 27, 2007 12:25 PM

I love going across country! Takomamom if you come through MO we can have lunch. :)

Posted by: scarry | April 27, 2007 12:27 PM

Emily, you missed the "women are better nurturers than men therefore they belong barefoot, pregnant in the kitchen club."

Posted by: Father of 4 | April 27, 2007 12:27 PM

Speaking of barefoot and pregnant Emily and father of 4, I am only 12 weeks so says the doctor who yelled at me yesterday for losing 4 pounds!

After she yelled at me for eating chocolate cake. It seems I can't win. Emily you also forgot the "I grew up poor club," Which I think me, Mona and John Edwards belongs too! :)

Posted by: scarry | April 27, 2007 12:29 PM

Worst wedding song?

I win this round folks--I went to a wedding in the early 90's where a song by N.W.A. was played.

I suspect it was someone's smart-ass kid who did a tape swap, but still!

Posted by: MarylandMother | April 27, 2007 12:30 PM

The gun squad
The anti-gun squad X
Pro-nursing X
Anti-nursing
The God Squad
The I don't really know squad X
The No-God squad X
Mothers who work X
Mothers who stay at home
Mothers who work part time
Lawyers
Non-lawyers X
Engineers
Have many children
Have a few or one child X
Don't have children but hope to
Don't have children but like them anyway
Absolutely detest human spawn
Single parents
Divorced parents
Married parents X
DINKS
Vegetarians X
Vegans
Ominvores
Dads
Equal parenting X
Man is the boss
Submissive Wives Club
Submissive Husbands club
Pets X
No Pets
My dog is better than your kid club
My Kid is better than your dog or cat club
I have a nanny club
I have a housekeeper club
I clean after my own family club X
I live in a pigsty club X

Posted by: SAHMbacktowork | April 27, 2007 12:32 PM

Is this element of the blog based on today's WSJ article of First Dances Spinning Out of Control? It seems that elaborate dance has spilled off the TV screen into wedding tradition, so some pretty unusual songs are hitting the lime light (Thriller, anyone?)

We had a simple one, Beth Nielson Chapman's "All I Have"

You can say you love me
And I'll believe that's true
Trusting you is easy
'Cause I believe in you
There is nothing I would miss
As long as we're in love like this


All I have is all I need
And it all comes down to you and me
How far away this world becomes
In the harbor of each others arms

I feel like I've known you forever and ever
Baby that's how close we are
Right here with you is where my life has come together
And where love has filled my heart
You know I'd go anywhere
As long as I have you to care

All I have is all I need
And it all comes down to you and me
How far away this world becomes
In the harbor of each others arms

Ooh-and with the love you bring
I never want for anything
I found what I've been searching for in you

All I have is all I need
And it all comes down to you and me
How far away this world becomes
In the harbor of each others arms

Posted by: fallstonian | April 27, 2007 12:32 PM

Speaking of barefoot and pregnant Emily and father of 4, I am only 12 weeks so says the doctor who yelled at me yesterday for losing 4 pounds!

After she yelled at me for eating chocolate cake. It seems I can't win. Emily you also forgot the "I grew up poor club," Which I think me, Mona and John Edwards belongs too! :)

Scarry,

Find a different doctor. If she's a yeller NOW, you do not want her around you later!

MdM

Posted by: Maryland Mother | April 27, 2007 12:32 PM

Megan's Neighbor, asking me what I consider poor taste. lol! I did the "will you pull my finger prank" on my father in law at the reception.

We played the Hokey Pokey too. You know, put your backside in, put your backside out...

It's all fun!

Posted by: Father of 4 | April 27, 2007 12:34 PM

During the summer of '05 we reprised a fond vacation memory from my childhood. For DH, "da boys" and me, it was a five-week minivan trek around the whole country from Oakland, CA to upstate NY where SIL lives, to rural GA where my brother lives, and many other stops along the way.

The vacation of my childhood was in the family station wagon towing a 20-ft travel trailer, from CA to Washington DC and home again in a month.

Both were wonderful, wonderful trips. But my fondest memories are of New Orleans. DH was born there, and we stopped for three days - one week after hurricane Dennis (anyone remember that one now?), and a month before Katrina.

With gas prices going insane, we're never going to be able to afford another trip like that. I'm so grateful that we took the trip when it was possible.

Posted by: Sue | April 27, 2007 12:34 PM

What have I missed?

Posted by: Emily

My cat is better than your dog OR your kid or your husband club.

Can't stand any kids but my own, isn't there Valium for kids?

Anti Nursing Nazis or any other group that uses fear and intimidation

My Kids have "Special Needs" but are "bright"

Parents who stand by helplessly while their kids have "meltdowns", pick their noses, bite people, etc.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 12:34 PM

Scarry,

Find a different doctor. If she's a yeller NOW, you do not want her around you later!

MdM

Well, she is one of six doctor's in the practice and you get who is on call. I shouldn't say yell, but she scolded me pretty good. I am eating a lot of different things, I am just not a weight gainer during pregnancy.

I tend to like male doctors better and am waiting to see my own doctor next week.

Posted by: scarry | April 27, 2007 12:35 PM

The gun squad X The anti-gun squad creates victims.
The anti-gun squad
Pro-nursing X Hellooooo NURSE!
Anti-nursing
The God Squad X (from the Simon R. Green Hawk and Fisher books)
The I don't really know squad
The No-God squad
Mothers who work
Mothers who stay at home
Mothers who work part time
Lawyers
Non-lawyers X I took a lot of legal classes though...
Engineers
Have many children
Have a few or one child
Don't have children but hope to X
Don't have children but like them anyway
Absolutely detest human spawn X (BEM's and LGM rule!) BEMS for the non geek are Bug Eyed Monsters. LGM are Little Green Men
Single parents
Divorced parents
Married parents
DINKY X Dual Income No Kids Yet
Vegetarians
Vegans
Ominvores X
Dads
Equal parenting X
Man is the boss
Submissive Wives Club
Submissive Husbands club
Pets X
No Pets
My dog is better than your kid club X
My Kid is better than your dog or cat club
I have a nanny club
I have a housekeeper club
I clean after my own family club
I live in a pigsty club X

What have I missed?

The I post silly lists like this on the internet squad. ;-P

Posted by: Chris | April 27, 2007 12:35 PM

Emily, You totally missed the SINKS (single income no kids aka us single folks).

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 27, 2007 12:37 PM

Ah, put an X in "The I grew up poor club" for me too! :-)

Posted by: Chris | April 27, 2007 12:37 PM

father of 4 LOL! I forgot about the chicken dance and the electric slid. We also of course do the jig and at some of my friend's weddings they polka.

Posted by: scarry | April 27, 2007 12:37 PM

Emily - This is fun. You devised a fine list. Three areas of frequent disagreement you might have missed (or considered and rejected) are:

Minivans -- a fine practical solution to transporting the whole family
Minivans -- 0 - 60 and style matter X


People who disagree with me are idiots OR lack a moral compass OR lack a spine
People who disagree with me should shut up
People who disagree with me should disagree with my point and not make it personal X
People who disagree with me are irrelevant
Bring it on - the snarkier the better

All non-essential expenditures are VLIs
Both parents wouldn't have to work if they didn't confuse VLIs with essentials
Spending money on VLIs from time to time isn't a big deal, even if it's not my style X
I earned it, I'll spend it how I like without comment from you

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | April 27, 2007 12:38 PM

Sorry - CHRIS - not Emily - duh on me.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 27, 2007 12:38 PM

Emily finding an awesome OB/GYN is harder than finding a good man at a strip club. WHen I lived in DC, my PCP was so awesome, and I had her do my GYN care. I have good one now, but getting an appt. is like getting an audience with the Pope. Good luck with your pregnancy. I hear the sicker you are the healthier the pregnancy.

Posted by: moxiemom | April 27, 2007 12:40 PM

Flying Spaghetti Monster, thanks!

Scarry, any chance you can ask for one of the others? I mean, if you are "enjoying" a stretch of "morning sickness" (ha! all the time, anytime!) then of course you lost a few pounds. You don't need someone around who is wrapped a little too tightly.

Oh well, maybe she'll calm down a bit in the upcoming months.

How about orange rinds dipped in dark chocolate?

Posted by: MdMother | April 27, 2007 12:41 PM

People who think it's all in nonsmokers imaginations when they object to having secondhand smoke inflicted on their lungs and that non-smokers are just persecuting them to be mean, because it's still legal and therefore just another adult choice in life.

Posted by: To Emily | April 27, 2007 12:46 PM

I have an appt with a different doctor next month. The things is that I am eating, so my body must not want to gain weight.

Posted by: scarry | April 27, 2007 12:47 PM

But does it come on a poster?

From Wikipedia (Flying Spaghetti Monster):

The Eight "I'd Really Rather You Didn'ts"

I'd really rather you didn't act like a sanctimonious holier-than-thou ass when describing my noodly goodness. If some people don't believe in me, that's okay. Really, I'm not that vain. Besides, this isn't about them so don't change the subject.

I'd really rather you didn't use my existence as a means to oppress, subjugate, punish, eviscerate, and/or, you know, be mean to others. I don't require sacrifices, and purity is for drinking water, not people.

I'd really rather you didn't judge people for the way they look, or how they dress, or the way they talk, or, well, just play nice, Okay? Oh, and get this in your thick heads: woman = person. man = person. Samey = Samey. One is not better than the other, unless we're talking about fashion and I'm sorry, but I gave that to women and some guys who know the difference between teal and fuchsia.

I'd really rather you didn't indulge in conduct that offends yourself, or your willing, consenting partner of legal age AND mental maturity. As for anyone who might object, I think the expression is go f*** yourself, unless they find that offensive in which case they can turn off the TV for once and go for a walk for a change.

I'd really rather you didn't challenge the bigoted, misogynistic, hateful ideas of others on an empty stomach. Eat, then go after the b*******.

I'd really rather you didn't build multi million-dollar churches/temples/mosques/shrines to my noodly goodness when the money could be better spent (take your pick):
Ending poverty
Curing diseases
Living in peace, loving with passion, and lowering the cost of cable
I might be a complex-carbohydrate omniscient being, but I enjoy the simple things in life. I ought to know. I AM the creator.

I'd really rather you didn't go around telling people I talk to you. You're not that interesting. Get over yourself. And I told you to love your fellow man, can't you take a hint?

I'd really rather you didn't do unto others as you would have them do unto you if you are into, um, stuff that uses a lot of leather/lubricant/Las Vegas. If the other person is into it, however (pursuant to #4), then have at it, take pictures, and for the love of Mike, wear a CONDOM! honestly, it's a piece of rubber. If I didn't want it to feel good when you did it I would have added spikes, or something.

Posted by: to MdMother | April 27, 2007 12:48 PM

Emily

The Greatest Hypocrites are:

The "Nothing is more Important than a Child[meaning their child]: bunch

And the Nursers

WHO TOLERATE SMOKING AROUND THEIR KIDS!!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 12:49 PM

The martyr club

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 27, 2007 12:50 PM

Father of 4, I suspected I could count on you to have at least as low an offense-bar as mine, LOL.

scarry - I seem to recall having the old male vs. female ob/gyn discussion a while back. I am surprised you would go to a practice where your chances of having a female be on-call when it matters is possible. I had my daughter with the one guy in the practice I couldn't stand - condescending, was clearly irritated to be handling his second delivery in a row (it took approx. 35 minutes - not a big time imposition), didn't get my first name right (after being corrected, he called me by the wrong name the entire delivery). If she'd been our first, my husband and I have agreed, she'd have been an only child. If you're not comfortable, run don't walk to another practice. You should have some choices where you live.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | April 27, 2007 12:53 PM

"The martyr club "

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April

THE WINNER!!!!

There is a reason martyrs get killed...

Posted by: Born Free | April 27, 2007 12:54 PM

VH1 top Love song:
Whitney Houston "I Will Always Love You"

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 27, 2007 12:54 PM

12:22, I bet you thought the Scarlet Pimpernel was prancy too. But wait, that would have required reading something polite society refers to as books. You know- the thick rectangles made of stacks of paper with words on them. ;-P

Posted by: Chris | April 27, 2007 12:55 PM

The environmental club

Posted by: To Emily | April 27, 2007 12:56 PM

What's my prize?

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 27, 2007 12:56 PM

People who think it's all in nonsmokers imaginations when they object to having secondhand smoke inflicted on their lungs and that non-smokers are just persecuting them to be mean, because it's still legal and therefore just another adult choice in life.

Posted by: To Emily | April 27, 2007 12:46 PM

or perhaps:

People who think parents come in many flawed variations, one of which is smokers X

People who think parents who are smokers should have their children removed by Social Services

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 12:57 PM

SUVs are evil club

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 27, 2007 12:59 PM

Chris

"12:22, I bet you thought the Scarlet Pimpernel was prancy too. "

Yep, the Scarlet Pimpernel was quite prancy when he was in disquise. That was the whole point...

BTW, I read the book in the early 1960's. How about you?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 12:59 PM

Scarry, you are 12 weeks pregnant and ate a piece of chocolate cake???

Ummmmmmm! * holding hand over mouth *

You naughty, naughty little girl!!!

Posted by: Father of 4 | April 27, 2007 1:01 PM

Growing up, we spent two weeks every August camping at Lake Tahoe. Dad would wake us up at about 3am to make the drive from LA in time to set up camp and still get some beach time. We somehow crammed all of our stuff in a two-door Chevy Malibu (worst car ever made). There were three of us in the backseat arguing (she's touching me!) and I fought car sickness when we hit the mountains. Ah, the memories!

Our best-ever family vacation as parents was a driving trip to Utah. The scenary was really awesome. We camped for a few days in southern Utah, then headed to a cabin on a horse ranch in northern Utah in the middle of nowhere (200 miles from Salt Lake, about 300 miles from Denver). The little cabin reminded me of the house in Little House on the Prairie. DD slept in a loft, we slept in a tiny downstairs bedroom. A huge front porch overlooked the horse pasture. DD made friends with a pony that had been rescued by the ranchers wife. The pony was close to death when she found her. They named her Mercy. She also had a riding lesson on another horse that was a senior citizen. Just a couple of times around a corral, but she thought it was awesome. DH went flyfishing. We found out that more fossils have been found in the area than anywhere else in the US and visited an awesome natural history museum.

Best of all, not a relative in sight!

Posted by: Vegas Mom | April 27, 2007 1:02 PM

"People who think parents come in many flawed variations, one of which is smokers X"

but

Breast is Best

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 1:02 PM

People who thinking smoking is no worse than just another minor flaw.

People who recognize that smoking is the most easily eliminatable threat to public health.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 1:02 PM

The "I never go out in public without my makeup squad" who are also members of the "I would never be seen in sweats clan"

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 27, 2007 1:04 PM

"People who think parents who are smokers should have their children removed by Social Services"

And some folks think that formula feeding is child abuse.

And Courts have issued orders keeping children out of smoking environments/homes.....

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 1:06 PM

"How was that drive to Hawaii?"

It's fine as long as you take the right snorkel.

And yes, some people just want to get where they're going. But if everyone's miserable, you're doing it wrong. Unless you want to make everyone miserable, in which case you're doing a lot of things wrong.

As for wedding songs, we used Ella Fitzgerald singing "Night and Day."

Posted by: Kate | April 27, 2007 1:07 PM

People who thinking smoking is no worse than just another minor flaw.

People who recognize that smoking is the most easily eliminatable threat to public health.

Posted by: | April 27, 2007 01:02 PM

I propose a new name for this crowd:

Non-smoking Nazis

It's not the position on smoking that makes someone a Non-smoking Nazi, it's the santimonious nature and tone of the carping. Just as the difference between a normal person and a Nursing Nazi is the vehemence, condescension and one-topic Annie tone of her comments.

There's nothing good about smoking. Agreed. Are we done now?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 1:07 PM

Ha father of 4, I've ate more than that.

MN I am considering changing practice.

Breast is best might be the case if your formula has ingredients from China in it. Check with the manufacture of the product.

Posted by: scarry | April 27, 2007 1:09 PM

On smoke-

The apartment complex is actually moving us this weekend because when we moved a couple weeks ago to a better apartment the smoke from a neighbor keeps seeping through the walls. The new manager wouldn't let me break lease and said moving somewhere else could land me in the same boat unless I planned to live in a bubble. At that point I cut him off and gave him both barrels. I let him know his words were offensive, unprofessional, and disrespectful. I suggested that maybe he try running 3/4 mile with a hole in his lungs and have a doc tell him he'll have lung problems the rest of his life before he goes saying anything so rude to a customer.
The apartment complex is now paying for the move and reimbursing all associated expenses.
Moral of the story: Don't **** with a disabled vet who has not slept well for over a week due to smoke inhalation- especially when he knows how to drop the phrase "Americans With Disabilities" every so often.
;-)

Posted by: Chris | April 27, 2007 1:09 PM

scarry - My dr didn't seem to fussed about me losing 3-4 lbs since I got pregnant. I'm 12 weeks as well. Though they definitely take a more laid back approach over here than in the states...

Curious that yours cared unless maybe you started off underweight. I had about 10 lb to lose to get to my ideal, so dr was fine with weight loss. I thought they only cared if you don't continue to gain during 2-3 trimesters.

Posted by: londonmom | April 27, 2007 1:10 PM

There's nothing good about smoking. Agreed. Are we done now?

Once you've quit for good.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 1:10 PM

Go Chris don't take that crap.

Posted by: scarry | April 27, 2007 1:11 PM

The "I never go out in public without my makeup squad" who are also members of the "I would never be seen in sweats clan"

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 27, 2007 01:04 PM

KLB, some of us who looked darling sans make-up and wearing those cute little sweat outfits when we were 20 need a tad more . . . assistance now. Otherwise, people pity us ("psst. see that woman - she's one of those working moms who has let herself go"). Please forgive us. But I am confident that you look cute at Home Depot in a baseball cap and jeans.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | April 27, 2007 1:11 PM

I am trying really hard not to get sucked into the smoking conversation for the second day in a row.

I forgot Banff, Canada. We took a train through the park and saw a black bear. It was an amazing trip. Also, Alaska. The people are so nice, and how cool is it to see the sun rise at 1:00 in the morning?

WorkingMomX, great pull on "At Last." That was one of our wedding songs. It's perfect. Our other song was "The Wedding Song" by Bob Dylan. It is also a perfect love song.

"I love you more than ever, more than time and more than love,
I love you more than money and more than the stars above,
Love you more than madness, more than waves upon the sea,
Love you more than life itself, you mean that much to me.

Ever since you walked right in, the circle's been complete,
I've said goodbye to haunted rooms and faces in the street,
To the courtyard of the jester which is hidden from the sun,
I love you more than ever and I haven't yet begun.

You breathed on me and made my life a richer one to live,
When I was deep in poverty you taught me how to give,
Dried the tears up from my dreams and pulled me from the hole,
Quenched my thirst and satisfied the burning in my soul.

You gave me babies one, two, three, what is more, you saved my life,
Eye for eye and tooth for tooth, your love cuts like a knife,
My thoughts of you don't ever rest, they'd kill me if I lie,
I'd sacrifice the world for you and watch my senses die.

The tune that is yours and mine to play upon this earth,
We'll play it out the best we know, whatever it is worth,
What's lost is lost, we can't regain what went down in the flood,
But happiness to me is you and I love you more than blood.

It's never been my duty to remake the world at large,
Nor is it my intention to sound a battle charge,
'Cause I love you more than all of that with a love that doesn't bend,
And if there is eternity I'd love you there again.

Oh, can't you see that you were born to stand by my side
And I was born to be with you, you were born to be my bride,
You're the other half of what I am, you're the missing piece
And I love you more than ever with that love that doesn't cease.

You turn the tide on me each day and teach my eyes to see,
Just bein' next to you is a natural thing for me
And I could never let you go, no matter what goes on,
'Cause I love you more than ever now that the past is gone."

Posted by: Meesh | April 27, 2007 1:13 PM

Chris rocks!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 1:13 PM

Catching up *panting, out of breath*

Wedding song -- We used All My Life (Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville).

Posted by: Vegas Mom | April 27, 2007 1:14 PM

People with huge rear ends who DRIVE to the gym

People who drink coffee- don't they know it stains their teeth and makes their breath reek?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 1:14 PM

Yeah, I don't know why she was so upset. I am a normal weight, but could probably stand to lose 10 pounds too. Who knows what she is thinking, but I am not going to stuff myself to make her happy.

Posted by: scarry | April 27, 2007 1:14 PM

There's nothing good about smoking. Agreed. Are we done now?

Once you've quit for good.

Posted by: | April 27, 2007 01:10 PM

you are continuing to miss the point. I'm a non-smoker and there are many non-smokers who find the attitudes expressed the other day about smoking and parenting to be over the top. I doubt there is a single smoker on this blog.

most of us are tired of this topic though.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 1:17 PM

Of course I was entirely polite for the entire conversation, no berating or sarcasm of any kind at all... well... maybe a little... ;-)

Posted by: Chris | April 27, 2007 1:17 PM

nope, we must flog the dead horse until it stops smoking too!

Posted by: Chris | April 27, 2007 1:18 PM

Thanks for all of the advice. I like the idea or renting a house.

On best wedding songs, my vote is "lets stay together" by Al Green

Posted by: drmommy | April 27, 2007 1:18 PM

"I'm a non-smoker and there are many non-smokers who find the attitudes expressed the other day about smoking and parenting to be over the top."

How so?

Did you hang around smokers when you were pregnant?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 1:22 PM

Leslie is an Elitist Club

Leave Leslie Alone Club

My kids are average Club

Can I have a club sandwich? Club

Posted by: cmac | April 27, 2007 1:23 PM

Pro-Nursing
Anti-Nursing

You left out one. How about Ambivalent about nursing (either bf or formula is fine).

Posted by: to Emily | April 27, 2007 1:24 PM

"The Weather Is Here, Wish You Were Beautiful"
- Jimmy Buffett

Posted by: Worst Wedding Song | April 27, 2007 1:24 PM

Smoking is not addictive, my mom has quit a dozen time!

Posted by: Chris | April 27, 2007 1:24 PM

Did you hang around smokers when you were pregnant?

Posted by: | April 27, 2007 01:22 PM


She probably smoked while pregnant and told anyone who mentioned it that it was just an adult choice.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 1:25 PM

The self appointed Final Word - Are We Done Now? person.

The Final Word rarely works on the NET- kinda foolish to think it would....

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 1:26 PM

"Did you hang around smokers when you were pregnant?

Posted by: | April 27, 2007 01:22 PM


She probably smoked while pregnant and told anyone who mentioned it that it was just an adult choice.""

Excellent!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 1:30 PM

Thank you for steering me clear of Big Bend in summer.

Another great nat'l park is Great Smoky Mountains. Mt. Le Comte has a lodge on top. Exceptionally beautiful.

All the "Europe with kids" stories are very encouraging. Haven't had it in me to tackle the flight, the different food (picky kids), the time change, etc...but you all make it sound really great.

Posted by: Leslie | April 27, 2007 1:31 PM

Ble: it's funny you say that(I will survive) cause when my dh and I were looking for wedding bands, every one of them played that song while we were listening to them.

Posted by: atlmom | April 27, 2007 1:35 PM

On topic- finally!

Renaissance Faires- overpriced, yet fun, an excuse to dress up and carry a sword- but also to spark an interest in learning some history. Particularly fascinating are the different demos of people doing manual labor to make trade goods.

St Augustine and Ft St Augustine in Florida. The "oldest" city.

Smithsonian- "local" and fascinating.

Vineyard/Brewery tours... ok maybe not for the WHOLE family... ;-P

Nature trail- whether a beach or mountain hike, it's just fun to "get away"

Future- hoping for a cruise... someday...


Posted by: Chris | April 27, 2007 1:36 PM

The gun squad
The anti-gun squad X
Pro-nursing X
Anti-nursing
The God Squad
The God I don't really know squad X
The No-God squad
Mothers who work X
Mothers who stay at home
Mothers who work part time
Lawyers
Non-lawyers X
Engineers
Have many children
Have a few or one child X
Don't have children but hope to
Don't have children but like them anyway
Absolutely detest human spawn
Single parents
Divorced parents
Married parents X
DINKS
Vegetarians
Vegans
Ominvores X
Dads
Equal parenting X
Man is the boss
Submissive Wives Club
Submissive Husbands club X :)
Pets X
No Pets
My dog is better than your kid club
My Kid is better than your dog or cat club
I have a nanny club
I have an au pair club X
I have a housekeeper club
I clean after my own family club
I live in a pigsty club X
Minivan club X

Posted by: WorkingMomX | April 27, 2007 1:37 PM

I'v known sanguine parents with easy-going kids who thought nothing of schlepping the whole family all over the world on vacation. Some children are just easier travelers than others. You need to decide what's best for yours, because one size does NOT fit all. Hint: hide or break your husband's cellphone and crackberry just before you leave.

Posted by: To Leslie | April 27, 2007 1:38 PM

Chris, that's crazy and the apartment manager is an idiot.

I am glad you were able to persuade him to move into 2007 and not end up on the receiving end of a lawsuit.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | April 27, 2007 1:38 PM

Megan's Neighbor,
I can tell you that I have been to Home Depot in sweats with my hair in a bandana and looked horrible. I was in the middle of painting and ran out of something (forget now what it was). It is bad enough that I looked like the wrath of God but I ran into an old boyfriend - ain't that just the luck.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 27, 2007 1:39 PM

Also

AntiSpanking Parents
ProSpanking Parents

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 1:39 PM

People who drink coffee- don't they know it stains their teeth and makes their breath reek?

Posted by: | April 27, 2007 01:14 PM

I own a toothbrush and use it. Don't you?

What is with this stuff - so you don't like coffee. I don't like the smell of Mountain Dew or Coke on other people's breath either, but aren't there bigger things in the world to spar over?

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | April 27, 2007 1:42 PM

Camping with little kids: We took DD camping when she was 13 months old. She'd learned to walk a couple of months previous.

We met my sisters and their kids, who were the same age. One brought an inflatable pool. After we pumped it up, we filled it with water and plopped the little ones in. We had a ball. Did some hikes. Everyone had those kid backpacks, so they came too.

It takes some planning and a willingness to let your kid get REALLY REALLY dirty. It helps if you are camping with another family with children of a similar age so they can play together. And the inflatable pool was just a genius idea. It was cheap and we just threw it away when the week was over. Best entertainment by far.

Posted by: Vegas Mom | April 27, 2007 1:42 PM

Yikes, Scarry, I'm sorry to hear that. First trimester, you aren't supposed to gain a lot of weight anyway. Good luck on finding a new doctor. Go with your gut and get someone you feel comfortable with. No way should you be intimidated by your doctor.

I love mine. He is a sole practitioner, and wouldn't trade him for anything. This pregnancy is beginning to feel real. Morning sickness every day, sometimes in the afternoon and evening too. Hooray. Not that it stops me from eating, but at least I am attracted to healthier foods. Pineapple, oranges, kiwi, strawberries, watermelon. Yum. And that sick, queasy feeling is my friend. It tells me I'm still pregnant. I hope it sticks around for a long, long time.

Posted by: Emily | April 27, 2007 1:45 PM

The self appointed Final Word - Are We Done Now? person.

The Final Word rarely works on the NET- kinda foolish to think it would....

Posted by: | April 27, 2007 01:26 PM

"Did you hang around smokers when you were pregnant?

Posted by: | April 27, 2007 01:22 PM


She probably smoked while pregnant and told anyone who mentioned it that it was just an adult choice.""


No I did not smoke and did not "hang around" smokers when pregnant, not that it would matter because your point is to rail, not listen.

How ironic that the Non-smoking Nazis typically shout TOLERANCE, TOLERANCE about every left-wing issue they espouse, but cannot spare a square of tolerance for other adults with a vice that impacts them not a bit - since they have no smoking friends or acquaintance and would not dream of visiting a social venue where smoking is permitted.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 1:46 PM

The self appointed Final Word - Are We Done Now? person.

The Final Word rarely works on the NET- kinda foolish to think it would....

Posted by: | April 27, 2007 01:26 PM

not foolish. hopeful. on occasion a bore will see that she is a bored.

not the Non-smoking Nazis.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 1:49 PM

cannot spare a square of tolerance for other adults with a vice that impacts them not a bit -

Except whenever we're unable to enter a building without passing through a cloud of smoke, or enter a restaurant without walking through the bar, or the smoke from the neighboring apartment seeps into ours (like Chris), etc. etc. Smokers just don't notice it, so think if anyone else claims to it's just to persecute their "minor flaw".

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 1:51 PM

Both my husband and I smoked in our younger days. In fact, we when we tramped through Europe, we needed our cigs just as much as our underwear. Perhaps more. But we quit when I got pregnant. Cold turkey. Never looked back. I grew up in a smoking household, and would not subject a kid to that. Yes, it's an adult decision. But it is also an adult decision to think of the children that you spawned and do the right thing by them and let them breathe clean air.

I have an aunt who was offended that I quit when I was pregnant. She told me defensively that she didn't quit when she was pregnant. She didn't see the big deal. Amazing.

Posted by: Emily | April 27, 2007 1:54 PM

It shouldn't be legal to smoke at all. Smoking does nothing beneficial (don't throw that crap research about the benefits of nicotine on Alzheimer's patients at me). Just because people want to do it doesn't mean they should be allowed to.

To all you smokers out there, enjoy your cancer sticks. Within 10-15 years, cigarettes will be outlawed.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 1:54 PM

#6 VH1 greatest love songs:
6
RIGHTEOUS BROTHERS
UNCHAINED MELODY

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 27, 2007 1:58 PM

Oh, and as an ex smoker, I can vouch for the fact that smokers definitely smell of cigarettes (even though they can't smell it themselves). Their clothes and hair absorb the smell. You can smell a smoker if you are standing next to her. If you are standing with them while they smoke, you will smell too.

Posted by: Emily | April 27, 2007 2:00 PM

This pregnancy is beginning to feel real. Morning sickness every day, sometimes in the afternoon and evening too. Hooray. Not that it stops me from eating, but at least I am attracted to healthier foods. Pineapple, oranges, kiwi, strawberries, watermelon. Yum. And that sick, queasy feeling is my friend. It tells me I'm still pregnant. I hope it sticks around for a long, long time.

Posted by: Emily | April 27, 2007 01:45 PM

Emily - Thanks for keeping us updated. Your every post like this makes me smile. *blows air kiss*

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | April 27, 2007 2:01 PM

oh... and... Remember the Alamo!
Another educational trip. Be sure to ask to see Pee-Wee Herman's bike in the basement! It's amazing how there are big city buildings all around the mission. You always picture it "out there" somewhere and not smack in the middle of downtown. The riverwalk is nice too, but aside from the boat ride, it's just a bunch of restaurants and a mall.

Posted by: Chris | April 27, 2007 2:02 PM

To all you smokers out there, enjoy your cancer sticks. Within 10-15 years, cigarettes will be outlawed.

Posted by: | April 27, 2007 01:54 PM


Within 10-15 years, they'll all be dead or ill.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 2:02 PM

Okay, I've flipped through the posts and I'm not sure what we're on now--wedding songs, smoking, or vacations, so I'll offer my take on each:

Growing up, our only vacations were moving. We moved all the time, and it seemed like an adventure. Occasionally we'd go camping or to the beach for a week, but it was in lame places like Myrtle Beach or Outer Banks where the water is gray. My family still goes to these places, which makes me grateful for the vacations I take now; I usually visit cities I've never seen before rather than a beach that looks exactly the same year after year and is overrun with rat-tailed little fat kids and NASCAR fans. Oops, I've stereotyped. Someone make sure to yell at me for that, okay?

I'm sure I'll do the same if/when I have kids, Disneyland (yuk), the beach, etc. Yawn. But for now I'm looking forward to more Vegas, more NYC, Paris, LA, Vancouver, Bhutan, Iceland, Hawaii, Rome...etc.

Smoking: I remember reading an article some years ago about a woman who was angry at a construction company for using a jackhammer nearby because she was worried about the noise's effect on her fetus. The newspaper showed her picture in profile, eight months hugely pregnant, with a cigarette jutting out of her maw. Jeez.

Wedding songs: this is lame and pathetic, I know, but I've always wanted this one song played at my wedding as I walk down the aisle. It's very pretty and kind of sad, but the instrumental version is just gorgeous. It's called "Casi un Bolero" by ::sigh:: Ricky Martin. I know, I know, but you can't tell it's his song if you take the vocals out!

Posted by: Mona | April 27, 2007 2:03 PM

"Smoking does nothing beneficial (don't throw that crap research about the benefits of nicotine on Alzheimer's patients at me)."

The know-it-all, don't say anything I disagree with, Non-smoking Nazis continue.

Vacation posts, anyone? Anyone? Anyone? (think Ferris Bueler)

Posted by: bored anon | April 27, 2007 2:03 PM

The know-it-all, don't say anything I disagree with, Non-smoking Nazis continue.


You can't handle the truth.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 2:05 PM

Chris,
There IS no basement in the Alamo!

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 27, 2007 2:05 PM

"Oh, and as an ex smoker, I can vouch for the fact that smokers definitely smell of cigarettes (even though they can't smell it themselves). Their clothes and hair absorb the smell. You can smell a smoker if you are standing next to her. If you are standing with them while they smoke, you will smell too."

TMI ALERT

This weekend, I got a really bad cold or flu thing (felt terrible) and had to fly back from CA Monday. I know, I shouldn't have been flying while sick, but the plane was practically empty and I kept my mouth and nose covered the whole time. I was too tired to shower before the flight, and went to sleep as soon as I got home. I woke up the next morning, called in to work, and still didn't shower because I was waiting for a package I didn't want to miss. So if you're keeping track, that's almost two solid days without a shower, and with a bad cold, so you know I was feeling pretty gross. I was self-conscious when the delivery man showed up, until I got a whiff of him. He reeked of cigarette smoke so badly I knew there was no way he could have smelled anything I gave off. I felt better after that (and immediately showered after he left, to my relief).

Sorry for the TMI, but hey, at least I didn't smell as bad as that guy.

Posted by: Mona | April 27, 2007 2:09 PM

The know-it-all, don't say anything I disagree with, Non-smoking Nazis continue.

The only people who think smoking should be legal are the people who smoke. That is pretty pathetic. So don't start preaching to me.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 2:09 PM

Can we recap who the preggers are on this blog? Emily, Scarry, Dlm79, Jen, Londonmom?

I'm missing someone, I know it. Please help.

Posted by: Blog Stats | April 27, 2007 2:12 PM

Oh, and I forgot.
Let's throw our panties to Fo4 club XXXX
Fo4 sucks club
Scarry stalker club
We hate CBC club
and of course,
CBC is a club all by herself.

Posted by: Emily | April 27, 2007 2:14 PM

"I kept my mouth and nose covered the whole time."

That's quite a Hurculean feat!

Posted by: Chris | April 27, 2007 2:14 PM

""Smoking does nothing beneficial"

It gets rid of old people. Saves medicare and Social Socurity costs.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 2:16 PM

The know-it-all, don't say anything I disagree with, Non-smoking Nazis continue.

Because we all know that smoking doesn't really bother nonsmokers and they're just making it up to bully those poor smokers.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 2:16 PM

The only people who think smoking should be legal are the people who smoke. That is pretty pathetic. So don't start preaching to me.

Posted by: | April 27, 2007 02:09 PM

"The only people who think smoking should be legal are the people who smoke." BZZZZZZ. Wrong. I think smoking is a stupid habit to take up, but don't think it's any of your business as long as it doesn't impact you directly. If a smoker is outdoors without you anywhere near him - boy, is that a given -- and does not litter, you can take your nanny-government condescension and shove it where the government doesn't shine its light.

uhhhh. it's the web. You say, "preaching", I say, look in the friggin' mirror, one-note Emily, I mean Annie.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 2:17 PM

Niner was preggers, but the baby was born. So was Nutty Mama, but her baby was born too.

Posted by: Emily | April 27, 2007 2:17 PM

I think smoking is a stupid habit to take up, but don't think it's any of your business as long as it doesn't impact you directly.

It impacts the cost of healthcare.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 2:20 PM

Covered, not closed. Ha. Ha.

Posted by: Mona | April 27, 2007 2:20 PM

Key point from anon's post above, "...and does not litter." I have encountered very few smokers who do not litter their butts everywhere! The worst to me were the ones at the beach... though in reality they are all equally bad. I volunteered for many beach clean-ups and would spend hours picking up their mess. Filters do not just dissolve or bio-degrade. They stick around looking nasty for a LOOOOOONG time.

Posted by: Chris | April 27, 2007 2:21 PM

If a smoker is outdoors without you anywhere near him - boy, is that a given

Like at the doorways of buildings, so you can't go in or out with walking through their cloud?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 2:22 PM

"There IS no basement in the Alamo!"

Is smoking permitted in the Alamo?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 2:23 PM

Travel in Europe:

We lived there for work and i have a few suggestions with the caveat that your kids travel well:

Fly to London or other cheapest transatlantic. Virgin Atlantic is very kid friendly. For France drive to Channel Ferry/return trip Eurotunnel. Both experiences really cool - but get used to driving with the wheel on the wrong side of the car. We even drove to Italy once from UK - was a blast.

Make sure the hotel/accomodation/is kid friendly. Phone and ask - dont trust the travel agent. Interhome is an amazing way to rent a house and cheaper than the hotels. Relais et Chateaux is the best list of 4 and 5 star accomodation that says whether kids are acceptable.

Somebody should be language competent. Learn how to say excuse me, please and thank you. Teach the kids too.

Dont go to Paris in the middle of summer. Sorry but, it seems to me most people there that time of year are sweaty Americans.

If you get to a place that is kid unfriendly - find a way to get out - and find an American hotel that will take you.

Be very careful with passports, credit cards etc - American Express rocks!

Italy and Austria are really kid friendly. Britain, Germany, Switzerland, France less so. I havent been to Spain/Portugal with kids.

Get cell phones that work over there.

Bring your own car seats, electric adapters. Bring those old baby monitors so you can keep an ear on what the kids are doing in their room - while you are downstairs at the restaurant.

Kids should only pack as much as they can carry. You'll end up carrying anyway but at least it is lighter.

Prell or other concentrated shampoo really washes clothes well in a bathtub. Travel woolite is a godsend.

Get a recommnedation for a GP doctor from over there from your doctor just in case of emergency.

a> Dont go to Euro-Disney.

b>Dont eat at American fast food joints.

If you do a or b you wasted your airfare.

Posted by: Fo3 | April 27, 2007 2:24 PM

Jen,

I would guess that the lake by the lodge is still clear tho? Do they still run the other boats that go down the river?

Chris

The magic of email!

You had another winning song parody today! (mention me in anything, you will pretty much win anyway!)


Did someone mention the Chicken Dance which should be played at all weddings?

Posted by: Fred | April 27, 2007 2:25 PM

"uhhhh. it's the web. You say, "preaching", I say, look in the friggin' mirror, one-note Emily, I mean Annie."

Were you talking to me. Not sure what I said about smoking that got up your ire. I think people should be able to smoke if they so desire. Every society has it's vices. And I agree that if they are off in a field somewhere where their smoking does not impact anyone else, they should be allowed to do what they want. But the fact is, that smokers often smoke around other people. They are just not aware of how it bothers other people, and when it is pointed out to them, they often don't seem to care. People have to walk past people who smoke and doorways. The smell is nauseating to me. I am more sensitive to this than I used to be. Back when I smoked, because I was not sensitive to the smell, I did not think it was a big deal. Now I understand why non-smokers object. But I think that there has to be some accomodation for smokers as well.

Posted by: Emily | April 27, 2007 2:26 PM

This has brought back memories!
Growing up, we did a lot of car-trip vacations -- and no matter what we did, we always spent a week in OC, hon. My dad has a sister in Niagra Falls, and we would tie trips to Montreal, Nova Scotia, Cape Cod or upstate New York in with trips to Aunt Peggy. He also has a brother in NYC, and we would visit him and then go to Boston. We also went to Colonial Williamsburg several times and along the Skyline Drive (in fact, I still remember the time we parked and walked part of the Apalachian Trail, and we got between a mother bear and her cubs -- who knew we could all run so fast!) We never went to Disney because my mom hated amusement parks, and she wasn't wild about the OC boardwalk either. We also never, ever went on a winter vacation, because my dad is a tax accountant and winter is his busy time.

For us, we lived out of state when our children were in elementary school, and vacations were mainly either short trips to parts of the Carolinas or Georgia nearby, or visits to my parents back in Maryland. We did take them to Disney just after we moved back. My parents have a place in OC, so we take weekends and go there. We also go as an extended family to Duck every year.

One word about dream vacations: we took ours in December 2005, to Hawaii. The boys were in high school and wanted to STAY HOME over winter break...not the best attitude. Still, I had a great time because I decided not to let them wreck it for me. My soon-to-be-ex was not so easygoing about it, and HE said it was the worst trip he ever took! I suppose the vacation is only as good as the person you take it with (and you always travel with yourself).

Smokers/non-smokers/nicotine nazis: FOR HEAVENS SAKE ENOUGH ALREADY!!!!!! Smoking is bad, ok? Adults can choose to do it, ok? It would be nice if they had the sense of a retarded rabbit & did not smoke around kids, ok? The governement has no right to force the issue, ok? LET IT GO PEOPLE!!!

Posted by: educmom | April 27, 2007 2:30 PM

I had a friend who used to bring the BEST pot back from his vacations in Anguilla. His parents were extremely wealthy, owned a house there, so this was a 6 times/year occurence.

We were all very grateful for his trips :) !!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 2:41 PM

"It would be nice if they had the sense of a retarded rabbit "

I LOVE IT!

Posted by: Chris | April 27, 2007 2:44 PM

Oh, great prohibition for cigarettes- so, what, gangs will start fighting in the streets for cigs? And we'll have speakeasys for nicotine?

Posted by: atlmom | April 27, 2007 2:44 PM

The best solution for reducing or eliminating smoking is peer pressure.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 2:46 PM

Chris,

I think that 2:41 kicked your fanny for "Post of the Day!"

Posted by: Fred | April 27, 2007 2:47 PM

Fred, Chris will just make it into a song and retake the lead position.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 27, 2007 2:49 PM

Q: what should a guy do if his girlfriend smokes during sex?
A: Use a lubricant.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 2:50 PM

but it better be rap.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 2:50 PM

Maybe a lullaby at the end of the blog day?

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 27, 2007 2:51 PM

Not rap, reggae.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 2:52 PM

"I had a friend who used to bring the BEST pot back from his vacations in Anguilla."

Okay. I know I'm getting old, because my first reaction to that post was to wonder what kind of pot it (ie Calphalon) and what it was used to cook. My mother brought me a wonderful wood salad bowl from Argentina that was carved from a tree. You can see all the rings, and it is gorgeous.

Posted by: Emily | April 27, 2007 2:53 PM

right, sorry. reggae.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 2:53 PM

I think smoking is a stupid habit to take up, but don't think it's any of your business as long as it doesn't impact you directly.

It impacts the cost of healthcare.

Posted by: | April 27, 2007 02:20 PM

If the Non-smoking Nazis were really interested in banning every habit that causes an increase in health care costs, the conversation would be very different and it would focus on

obesity

obesity

obesity

not exercising

poor nutrition

the left strikes again wanting to ban something they wouldn't miss. they don't say a word about something with which they struggle - maintaining a healthy weight.

I have an idea: let's make obesity illegal and concurrently ban expensive gyms and pilates studios. that ought to make all you elitists howl. The rich people can afford to buy their own exercise equipment and keep it at home, and then they won't rape the environment by driving to and from their posh gyms.

or let's ban gentrification because it removes affordable housing from (often) minorities and the elderly.

or we could ban atheists.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 2:54 PM

Calm down before you have a cow.

Posted by: To 2:54 | April 27, 2007 2:56 PM

"obesity

obesity

obesity

not exercising "

Good idea!!

Get those fatsos in the gyms!!

Talk about urban blight!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 2:56 PM

Emily said

"Okay. I know I'm getting old..."

Is that why I get bloomers from you?

Posted by: Fred | April 27, 2007 2:57 PM

Wow, gotta catch up on the important stuff

The gun squad
The anti-gun squad X
Pro-nursing X (where reasonable)
Anti-nursing
The God Squad
The I don't really know squad X
The No-God squad
Mothers who work X
Mothers who stay at home
Mothers who work part time X (well, lawyer part-time)
Lawyers X
Non-lawyers
Engineers
Have many children
Have a few or one child X (just feels like a lot)
Don't have children but hope to
Don't have children but like them anyway
Absolutely detest human spawn
Single parents
Divorced parents
Married parents X
DINKS
Vegetarians
Vegans
Ominvores X
Dads
Equal parenting X
Man is the boss
Submissive Wives Club
Submissive Husbands club
Pets X
No Pets
My dog is better than your kid club
My Kid is better than your dog or cat club
I have a nanny club
I have a housekeeper club X
I clean after my own family club X
I live in a pigsty club X
I will not drive a minivan on pain of death club X

(Like you guys didn't know that all anyway)

Wedding first dance was "Shut Up and Kiss Me" by Mary-Chapin Carpenter. Loved the song, hated learning to dance to it.

Vote for worst first dance song: "The Thrill is Gone," BB King (cousin chose it)

Although I probably shouldn't talk -- our "exit" song was REM's "It's the End of the World as We Know It."

Posted by: Laura | April 27, 2007 2:58 PM

Wow, a lot bitterness on this blog this afternoon. Maybe you folks need a vacation. Where would you go?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 2:58 PM

Fred, these days, the best I can offer is bloomers. You would not want to see me in a bikini. Talk about urban blight!!

Posted by: Emily | April 27, 2007 2:58 PM

Wedding song, Rod Stuart, Tonight's the Night is a must do.

Posted by: Father of 4 | April 27, 2007 2:58 PM

Cancer cures smoking.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 2:58 PM

Is there really a discussion going on about "judgmental" non-smokers? Hilarious. Health insurance companies need to start running things like car/driving insurance companies do - you act in a boneheaded way that could impact others (i.e.-give yourself an ailment that they have to pay for, etc), like drinking more than moderately, smoking, being obese, not exercising, and you pay more. There's no reason to take the argument to the end of the spectrum and start saying well, then insurance companies could charge folks with genetic disorders more - you could make that illegal. For example, car insurance companies don't charge epileptics or diabetics more for insurance even though they are prone to seizures, they charge people more for acting in an autonomous manner that increases the cost of the risk payout for the pool.

Posted by: Question | April 27, 2007 2:59 PM

How about smokeless tobacco?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 3:02 PM

"I have a housekeeper club X
I clean after my own family club X
I live in a pigsty club X"

Laura, I do believer the time has come to fire your housekeeper if you are in the other two clubs as well.

Posted by: Chris | April 27, 2007 3:02 PM

"How about smokeless tobacco"

What's that. Please don't tell me it's chewing tobacco. Eeewww!!

Posted by: Emily | April 27, 2007 3:03 PM

Um, regarding: "I have an idea: let's make obesity illegal and concurrently ban expensive gyms and pilates studios. that ought to make all you elitists howl. The rich people can afford to buy their own exercise equipment and keep it at home, and then they won't rape the environment by driving to and from their posh gyms."
How is NOT sitting on your fat behind all day elitist? I'm sorry - does it cost money to NOT be a couch potato? Do you have to PAY to walk around? So stupid, it's like when people whine about the "cost" of healthy food. It doesn't cost money to NOT buy the giant pak of double-stuffed oreos!

Posted by: arf | April 27, 2007 3:04 PM

To all you smokers out there, enjoy your cancer sticks. Within 10-15 years, cigarettes will be outlawed.

Posted by: | April 27, 2007 01:54 PM


Within 10-15 years, they'll all be dead or ill.


Actually, I smoked for 22 years and quit 10 years ago. In my 50's, and completely healthy. The only medication I take is occasional Advil and Nyquil when I have a cold. Blows smoke in your theory. ;)

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 3:05 PM

Oooh. Double stuffed oreos. I am off to the convenience store downstairs to invest in a pack of that right away. Maybe even a double pack. Thanks for the thought. And after that, I plan to sit on my BFA and eat them. Yum.

Posted by: Emily | April 27, 2007 3:06 PM

Is smoking permitted in Europe?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 3:07 PM

2:56 I was thinking of having a fine lentil stew.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 3:08 PM

Blows smoke in your theory. ;)

Not necessarily. Research shows that a history of smoking could switch on a cancer gene that's like a ticking timebomb. It's still better to quit, but there's no guarantee that the damage isn't already done. But quitting can delay the cancer gene.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 3:08 PM

Is smoking permitted in Europe?

Posted by: | April 27, 2007 03:07 PM


Still common, though EU public health policy banning smoking in some public places is starting.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 3:12 PM

Smokeless tobacco? Do you think Monica enjoyed her cigar?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 3:12 PM

Maybe we can district the litigants.

What is the most fun 3-day weekend trip anyone has taken? Ours was to Savannah last year. We had a room right on the river and watched the container ships come and go. We all loved the Moroccan restaurant we found (although we now fear my daughter wants to become a belly dancer when she grows up). The art museums were small enough for our kids to enjoy and not so uppity that they couldn't speak out loud without a dirty glare. It was a perfect trip.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | April 27, 2007 3:12 PM

Emily

My rear end is a lot bigger than your BFA!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 3:12 PM

I actually agree with Question re: Insurance.

Although perhaps instead charging more, they could offer discounts for non-smokers, those whose weight is healthy, those with gym memberships/home work-out equipment, etc. I'm sure they'd find a way to make it cost the same either way, but giving a discount for positive behavior sounds nicer than dinging the folks with bad habits.

FYI, I think some insurance companies already do this, but not sure, so would appreciate input from an expert, if one is available.

My former employer had a great (voluntary) weight-loss incentive. Every quarter, you could volunteer for a weigh-in. Those who had lost weight from the previous quarter received a check for $10 per pound. Those who gained had to donate $15 per pound to their favorite charity. They also offered discounted gym memberships, healthy living classes, etc. Fortunately, I was always very thin when I worked there, so never indulged. I wouldn't mind participating in an equivalent program now though. The 40s do change things, LOL.

Posted by: Vegas Mom | April 27, 2007 3:14 PM

Alas, Chris, she only comes for a couple of hours every few weeks -- enough to keep the place from become a health hazard, but not enough to actually keep things clean. The "I clean after my own family" club is every other Monday night, when I spend an hour or two getting all the kids' (and grownups') crap off the floor and put away before the housekeeper comes -- she can't clean the floor if she can't see it. The "I live in a sty" club is the rest of the time -- with the exception of every other Tuesday afternoon, which is my favorite time, before the mess recurs. I am just housework-challenged.

I want a house fairy. I want dinner to magically appear on the table at the appointed time, groceries to be in the fridge when I want a snack, my clothes to disappear from the floor and reappear, magically cleaned and pressed and mended, hanging in the closet where they belong, the kids' toys magnetically sucked back onto the shelves where they belong, etc etc etc etc.

Oh, and let me add my kudos to the list for the Hotel California redo.

Posted by: Laura | April 27, 2007 3:16 PM

I think cigs should be heavily, heavily taxed. People who want to smoke should be able too. But they should pay for the cost upfront. The taxes could be used to pay for healhcare costs that come from the consequences of smoking.

Posted by: Emily | April 27, 2007 3:20 PM

Laura

"I want a house fairy. "

Easy. Get a SAH wife.

Then you can FOCUS totally on your job.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 3:21 PM

Laura, I got bored waiting for an assignment, and since people were talking Eagles I took some initiative... ;-P

Posted by: Chris | April 27, 2007 3:22 PM

I had a friend who used to bring the BEST pot back from his vacations in Anguilla. His parents were extremely wealthy, owned a house there, so this was a 6 times/year occurence.

We were all very grateful for his trips :) !!

Posted by: | April 27, 2007 02:41 PM

Chris,

I think that 2:41 kicked your fanny for "Post of the Day!"

Posted by: Fred | April 27, 2007 02:47 PM

I got post of the day? Cool!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 3:22 PM

THe higher cigarette taxes go, the greater the profit in butt-legging, for small timers and organized crime.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 3:23 PM

There's nothing good about smoking. Agreed. Are we done now?

Ohhhhh, so many fond memories of smoking. Besides the fact that it kills you - it is wonderful after a big meal with a cup of coffee, it is terrific after intimate moments - two little red cigarettes glowing in the dark, it is a great stress reliever when something goes wrong. Too bad they can't invent one that won't kill you. When they do, I'm first on board!!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 3:23 PM

3:21, Hey, you took my line! LMAO!

Posted by: Chris | April 27, 2007 3:24 PM

it is wonderful after a big meal with a cup of coffee

Gotta stamp the good taste in your mouth from food and beverage.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 3:25 PM

Favorite three day vacation - 2 summers ago, we went to Pittsburg for a long weekend. Stayed at a farm outside of town that does this agrotourism routine. Very nice. They gave us a nice breakfast, and the kids got to do cool farm chores afterwards (like gathering eggs from the henhouse and pumping water from a well). We then spent the days in Pittsburgh, being tourists. Loved the Carnegie Science Museum. My son did not want to leave. Fell in love with Pittsburgh that weekend. The weather was perfect, and the city just sparkled, especially near the rivers.

Posted by: Emily | April 27, 2007 3:26 PM

Why are overweight people the scourge of the earth? Some of the nicest people I know are heavy/fat. They are smart, talented, funny, tolerant of others. They are NOT lazy and stupid or rude to others.

Someone above mentioned not liking a vacation town because there were obese people? I hope that they or anyone they love never becomes fat because looks apparently matter more than character.

As far as health care costs are concerned, I believe that there are more expenses related to car crashes than to obesity.

As far as the smokers - they don't smell any worse to me than someone wearing cologne I don't car for or someone eating fish next to me at work. It's PC to complain about the smokers, but not the others.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 3:27 PM

Thanks Fred, way to encourage the hippies... traitor. ;-P

Posted by: Chris | April 27, 2007 3:27 PM

Going back a couple of steps - Emily and others, my general rule is I don't want an OB who hasn't given birth or a peditrician who doesn't have kids. Just something about really "getting" how it feels since there is so much emotion tied up in having and raising kids. I'm sure I'll get nailed by the board, but its just my preference.

Posted by: moxiemom | April 27, 2007 3:28 PM

My grandmother smoked for 40 or so years and quit about 15 yrs ago. She's 97 now. So she probably doesn't have a gene for lung/mouth/whatever cancer. Momquit to after about 20 or 30 yrs of smoking and died young of ovarian cancer. You never know if you have the predilection for lung or other cancer until you get it, but clearly your probability of getting the cancer is higher if you smoke. Why take the chance?

Posted by: atlmom | April 27, 2007 3:28 PM

"Thanks Fred, way to encourage the hippies... traitor. ;-P"

Posted by: Chris | April 27, 2007 03:27 PM

Chris,

What can I say, I was in Nam in 71-72 and I have on my tiedyed shirt right now! (not that I am saying anything!)

(damned officers!)

Posted by: Fred | April 27, 2007 3:30 PM

"Emily and others, my general rule is I don't want an OB who hasn't given birth"

I get that, Moxiemom. I just never felt that way with my OB. Something about his personality just makes me feel entirely comfortable and at ease, even with my legs wide open on those horrible stirrups.

Posted by: Emily | April 27, 2007 3:30 PM

re: smoking

Some pipe tobacco smells really good.

Also cedar in a fireplace.

Posted by: Father of 4 | April 27, 2007 3:32 PM

Chris,

Write me at Fred_and_Frieda@hotmail.com

Posted by: Fred | April 27, 2007 3:34 PM

Something about his personality just makes me feel entirely comfortable and at ease, even with my legs wide open on those horrible stirrups.

Is it his "personality" or is he really hot? The funniest thing to me is the mommy crushes I get on men who are kind to my kids or can help them. Like their current swimming teacher is an o.k. looking guy, but soooo great with them that I have a little crush on him - same thing with my ped. I think it might be darwinism or I'm a weirdo. I even had a Greg Wiggle (now the tragic Wiggle) crush because I thought "wow, what a great daddy he would be".

Posted by: moxiemom | April 27, 2007 3:36 PM

"Emily and others, my general rule is I don't want an OB who hasn't given birth"

What a completely sexist thing to say! Let's cancel your radio show!

Posted by: pATRICK | April 27, 2007 3:37 PM

"You never know if you have the predilection for lung or other cancer until you get it, but clearly your probability of getting the cancer is higher if you smoke. Why take the chance?"

One of the big problems is that people start smoking as teens or young adults when their decision making is not fully developed - we all know that young people take stupid risks. Unfortunately, it is very easy to become addicted at an early age.

The smokers I know started when it was still socially acceptable, and even expected in some circles. Quitting is much harder than not starting. Even with stop smoking programs, some people will never stop. Not everyone who drinks is an alcoholic, and that seems to be widely accepted, but the idea that some smokers are heavily addicted and can't quit is generally questioned or refuted.


Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 3:37 PM

Megan's Neighbor

"What is with this stuff - so you don't like coffee. I don't like the smell of Mountain Dew or Coke on other people's breath either, but aren't there bigger things in the world to spar over?"

On this blog?
Like what?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 3:38 PM

I'm sure I'll get nailed by the board"

There is some sexual innuendo in that somewhere given the topic you posted about. haha

Posted by: pATRICK | April 27, 2007 3:38 PM

"Thanks Fred, way to encourage the hippies... traitor. ;-P"

Posted by: Chris | April 27, 2007 03:27 PM

Chris,

What can I say, I was in Nam in 71-72 and I have on my tiedyed shirt right now! (not that I am saying anything!)

(damned officers!)

Posted by: Fred | April 27, 2007 03:30 PM

I am so not a hippie! My parents were ;) Guess THAT's passed in the genes??

Unfortunately, don't smoke pot anymore, but I wish it were ok for responsible hard worknig parents to smoke every once in awhile and have some fun!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 3:39 PM

"Those who had lost weight from the previous quarter received a check for $10 per pound."

What about those who maintain a healthy weight--which is the healthiest thing to do, much more so than gaining or losing? All I see here is "money for lost pounds." Slippery slope, for some people.

"it's like when people whine about the "cost" of healthy food"

A myth. Cost of apple < cost of Snickers.

A salad costs a lot less when you take the fried chicken and creamy dressing off the top.

Organic foods may cost a little more, but overall, healthy foods often cost less or the same as their junky counterparts.

Posted by: Mona | April 27, 2007 3:39 PM

I was fortunate growing up that my parents took us EVERYWHERE - warm spots (Fla, Carribbean) in winter, driving trips in summer (East Coast mostly). Because of his job, my dad got hotel freebies in all kinds of resort areas. I still remember our trip to Jamaica back in 1969. My poor dad, trying to drive a standard shift car on the left side of the road, kept getting lost... every time we'd stop to look at a map, some little kid appeared and offered directions for a quarter. Even as an 8-year-old, I was struck by how poor everyone was. But it sure was beautiful there. (Haven't been back since - wonder if the people are any better off today.)

Posted by: LW | April 27, 2007 3:39 PM

Moxiemom I used to feel the same way too, but after having my daughter delivered by a suck it up female, I decided that I do like male OBGYN's better.

She told me I had a low tolerance for pain and I said, oh really when did you have your epidural. She said 4 centimeters. Nice, I had mine at 8. Not a competition, but hello, 8 is more than 4 and you are calling me weak?

My old one was wonderful. I was sad when he wasn't on call to deliver my baby. Anyone in the DC area who needs an OBGYN, I will give you his name.
!

Posted by: scarry | April 27, 2007 3:40 PM

Quitting is much harder than not starting.

Some people have no trouble quitting cold-turkey. Others need as much help as they can get and fail repeatedly. Scientific research shows that a major factor is differing brain chemistry.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 3:40 PM

Patrick, I generally try to be selective about the people I let between my legs. Although Dr. McDreamy or McSteamy could be my OB/GYN any day. Ladies imagine how hard you'd have to work to pull yourself together for THAT appointment. YIKES

Posted by: moxiemom | April 27, 2007 3:41 PM

***Warning, small book alert***

Leslie,

Couldn't agree more than with Dotted above about San Antonio...
================================================
"Dr Mommy: consider San Antonio. Exotic, colorful, but yet close to home and romantic. Riverwalk entranced one son as a toddler. He just toddled along and kept going and going. I remember being scared whenever he came close to the edge, but he never jumped in! The Alamo is smaller than I expected. Food was great!

Posted by: dotted | April 27, 2007 08:21 AM

I do have to admit my surprise that so many poster's here had items on Texas. Guess there's hope for ya'll after all... :~)

I do point out for those posters who were disappointed about the size or condition of the Alamo, or perhaps expected some building that was larger than life or beautiful Spanish architecture and lots of arches to PLEASE go out the Mission Trail and see the other five Missions leading up to the Alamo. Those missions are lovely, they provide all you didn't see at the Alamo, including arches and hundreds of years old stained glass windows, and still contain working Catholic churches. Charming on every level, and off the beaten path.

As for the Alamo, one has to keep in mind what is special is what happened there, not the building itself, with was such an eyesore by the turn of the 1900s (it had even been used as a lumber yard) that it was in danger of being condemned and torn down. The daughters of the Republic of Texas was formed specially to raise funds to save the Alamo as a treasure of Texas history, and of course they managed to do marvelously, and to this day administer it. Also go and see the Spanish Governor's Mansion, located in the middle of downtown (but a fairly off the beaten path item). They even tell you how the word Tejas came into being. Mi Tierra in the marketplace is open 24 hours, and has some of the best Mexican bakery items you will ever taste.

The marvelous food all over town goes without mention, though if you can make it there try the puffy tacos as Jacala's Restuarant on West Avenue on the NW side of town. For those who like something different, there a is a restaurant close to Jacala's on Vance Jackson that serves only goat's milk cheese on all their Mexican food . San Antonio of late is becoming home to a lot of haute cuisine, though I don't have much use for that sort of thing.

The tower of the America's downtown has just been redone and is marvelous, though expensive. Arrive about an hour before sundown and what the sun go down while enjoying drink at the bar, and then sit to eat in the rotating restaurant while watching the lights come on below you...

For those who like more outdoor stuff, there is a really fine waterpark in the neighboring little historical German town of New Braunfels call Shlitterbahn that is the best I've ever enjoyed, that is feed by the cold, clear artesian springs of the area. Or go a little farther North and West to Frederisksburg (in the Hill Country), and hike up a huge ball of granite known as Enchanted Rock. Anywhere in the Hill Country is my personal favorite, and where I plan to retire. Dude ranches abound in the Hill Country, for those who like that kind of thing.

There is much more to enjoy in and around San Antonio, including Natural Bridge caverns, Seaworld, Fiesta Texas and more, but this is already book length.

On to Big Bend, I am glad the later poster pointed out the natural beauty and unbelievable stars in the Davis Mountains, and if you enjoy roughing it is a really wonderful place. Like most things in Texas, summer time here is a hard time for Northerners to visit. ;~)

But it's worth the trip.

((Note to self: Check with Greater SA CVB to see if I can get paid for all this free advertising...))

Posted by: Texas Dad of 2 | April 27, 2007 3:41 PM

Patrick, I generally try to be selective about the people I let between my legs. Although Dr. McDreamy or McSteamy could be my OB/GYN any day. Ladies imagine how hard you'd have to work to pull yourself together for THAT appointment. YIKES

Posted by: moxiemom | April 27, 2007 03:41 PM

No way! Not until I hit the salon for a Brazilian! Oh, and the plastic surgeon to get rid of those pesky 5 pounds!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 3:42 PM

Patrick - LOL - I suppose I should call my husband and let him in on my subconscious longings!

Posted by: moxiemom | April 27, 2007 3:42 PM

what happened to the original subject? get back on track, people.

Posted by: LW | April 27, 2007 3:44 PM

"Is it his "personality" or is he really hot?"

No, he's not really hot in the stereotypical kind of way. He is short, slightly bald and gray, and has a bit of a paunch. But he does have kind eyes and a nice smile, and yes, I will admit I was half in love with him during my first pregnancy. I even offered to kiss him when my son came out. He discreetly declined the offer and just smiled.

I totally get the kind of crushes you are talking about, but I usually don't go for the standard issue hot men. It takes a lot more than that for me to lose my heart.

Posted by: Emily | April 27, 2007 3:44 PM

Most women fall in love with their OBs. Maybe it's the hormones.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 3:45 PM

3:27, that was me. I don't like the vacation site because of its...shall we say...overly Southern culture, not because of the little fat kids running around. I don't think I'd say that I dislike the town BECAUSE of the obesity, more like the overall culture.

And I also complained that the town had ugly beaches and lots of NASCAR fans. You only saw the fat part of my statement? Wow. There were so many other things to pick on.

Many of my dear family members struggle with their weight. I do love them, but I also get frustrated when they complain about "how HARD it is to lose weight" around a mouthful of their third slice of cheesecake.

Posted by: Mona | April 27, 2007 3:45 PM

It takes a lot more than that for me to lose my heart.

Posted by: Emily | April 27, 2007 03:44 PM

I think we're talking about losing your PANTS.... hehehe

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 3:45 PM

No way! Not until I hit the salon for a Brazilian!

YOW - a brazilian while pregnant! can't even imagine. I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the maternity thong and who in their right mind would do that? Isn't pregnancy the opportunity to wear big, white cotton, comfy underpants the size of Delaware? If you can't be comfortable when you are carrying a human being inside your person, when exactly is it o.k. to be comfortable? Glad I got out of the birthing business before women were expected to be as sexy pregnant as they were before. Heidi Klum should be punished!!!

Posted by: moxiemom | April 27, 2007 3:47 PM

Organic foods may cost a little more, but overall, healthy foods often cost less or the same as their junky counterparts.

Mona I agree with you and I posted this earlier about some of the ingredients in our foods coming from China, which just poisoned about 4,000 pets in this country. Apparently, they are a huge source for ingredients that go into vegetarian food.

Google it and see what you come up with. I was very upset to learn that we import a lot of wheat gluten from them and that food manufactures don't have to list that it came from them. I also can't believe that more people are not upset about it.

Posted by: scarry | April 27, 2007 3:47 PM

"a predilection for lung or other cancer"

predilection >noun a preference or special liking for something.
-ORIGIN French, from Latin praediligere 'prefer'.

I think perhaps you mean predisposition?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 3:49 PM

Mona-

Your stereotype of Myrtle Beach was a bit rude but if you didn't enjoy going then I'm glad you've found other venues to explore. There are many hundreds of thousands of people a year that enjoy Myrtle Beach and I assure you not all of them are fat kids with rattails, although that did make me chuckle a bit. I hope you enjoy your vacations as much as my family and I enjoy Myrtle Beach every year. Cheers and have a great weekend!

Posted by: beachgirl | April 27, 2007 3:50 PM

scarry--
would you please?

Posted by: hopeful | April 27, 2007 3:51 PM

No way! Not until I hit the salon for a Brazilian!

YOW - a brazilian while pregnant! can't even imagine. I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the maternity thong and who in their right mind would do that? Isn't pregnancy the opportunity to wear big, white cotton, comfy underpants the size of Delaware? If you can't be comfortable when you are carrying a human being inside your person, when exactly is it o.k. to be comfortable? Glad I got out of the birthing business before women were expected to be as sexy pregnant as they were before. Heidi Klum should be punished!!!

Posted by: moxiemom | April 27, 2007 03:47 PM

I wore thongs during pregnany- for me, regular underwear is less comfortable due to big wedgies from all that fabric. And, visible panty lines- no thanks! I haven't worn "regular" underwear in 15 years.
I wax too...

Posted by: SAHMbacktowork | April 27, 2007 3:52 PM

Patrick, I generally try to be selective about the people I let between my legs"


Glad to hear that! Haha

Posted by: pATRICK | April 27, 2007 3:52 PM

"Why are overweight people the scourge of the earth?"

They are easy targets who rarely defend themselves.

They should learn how.

Posted by: Born Free | April 27, 2007 3:53 PM

scarry--
would you please?

Would I please what?

Posted by: scarry | April 27, 2007 3:53 PM

I wore thongs during pregnany- for me, regular underwear is less comfortable due to big wedgies from all that fabric. And, visible panty lines- no thanks! I haven't worn "regular" underwear in 15 years.
I wax too...'


I am so bailing out of here!

Posted by: pATRICK | April 27, 2007 3:54 PM

"Unfortunately, don't smoke pot anymore, but I wish it were ok for responsible hard worknig parents to smoke every once in awhile and have some fun!"

Goes on all the time at Key Parties.

Check it out!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 3:54 PM

"what happened to the original subject? get back on track, people."

Posted by: LW | April 27, 2007 03:44 PM

LW, look up the word "Serendipity"

Posted by: Fred | April 27, 2007 3:54 PM

SAHMbacktowork - sounds like you should be SexySAHMbacktowork.

Posted by: moxiemom | April 27, 2007 3:55 PM

Moxiemom,
I had a huge crush on Steve from Blue's Clues when my son was young enough to watch it, because I was just blown away that a young, single (at least, I thought he was single) guy would do a show like that :)

Scarry, I would LOVE to meet you in Missouri!!

I think what is cracking me up the most today are the references to "no air-conditioning" - because I've still never had a car with air conditioning - it's not so bad when you're on a road trip on the highways where you're driving fast enough to get a breeze in the window :)

Posted by: TakomaMom | April 27, 2007 3:55 PM

"I wore thongs during pregnany- for me, regular underwear is less comfortable due to big wedgies from all that fabric."

I would imagine that those thongs are murder on the ubiquitous pregnancy hemorrhoids. Remember those?

Posted by: Emily | April 27, 2007 3:56 PM

Scarry, thanks for the info. I got worried today and went to my pet food's website (they were not affected by the recall). Actually, wheat gluten is not the culprit. Wheat gluten is a healthy, normal food substance in many things like bread and soy products. Melamine contamination of wheat gluten is the problem. My pet food company continues to use the wheat gluten, and they say that they test every shipment for traces of melamine, but don't think it doesn't make me nervous. I'd consider not using wet cat food until the contamination is under control, but my spoiled cats would go nuts, so I'm considering not using the wet food that contains wheat gluten until this all blows over (some varieties don't use wheat gluten). I've been keeping a close eye on what the kits eat and how they behave, and all is well so far. And I'm also very relieved that Friskies isn't affected by the recall.

Posted by: Mona | April 27, 2007 3:56 PM

Four hamburgers, boxed mac & cheese, and a vegetable would feed a family of four more cheaply than a salad made from one head of lettuce, a cucumber, a pepper, carrots and tomatoes.

When people talk about healthy food being more expensive, this is what they mean, not the cost of apple vs snickers.

Posted by: to Mona | April 27, 2007 3:57 PM

Ladies, looks like we ran patrick out of town with pregnant thong talk. Next time he disagrees with you start a talk on menses or post childbirth hemorrhoids! Just kidding patrick.

Posted by: moxiemom | April 27, 2007 3:57 PM

share the name of your OB--
sorry, I thought context would make it clear

Posted by: hopeful | April 27, 2007 3:58 PM

Emily - you literally made me wince in my seat!!

Posted by: moxiemom | April 27, 2007 3:59 PM

beachgirl, your response to my horrible stereotype makes me wish I'd kept my mouth shut. MB is not for me, but I'm glad you enjoy it. Thanks for the well-wishes and I hope you have a great vacation season as well.

Posted by: Mona | April 27, 2007 3:59 PM

MN-

that was you who wanted to know about the different NC beaches? Granted, I've never been to Holden Beach, so I really can't talk specifics about Holden.

Sunset is organizing a kids club this summer for the first time: sunsetbeachnc.com

They should pay me for the ad

Posted by: dotted | April 27, 2007 4:00 PM

"beachgirl, your response to my horrible stereotype makes me wish I'd kept my mouth shut"

Now, that's a first.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 4:01 PM

To Mona, please excuse my ignorance. I only buy and eat for one (by that I mean I buy for myself, but my pig roommate eats all my food! not fair!). So I don't know the costs of feeding a family. Hopefully, by the time I have a family, I will earn enough to feed them healthy food instead of subsisting on hamburgers and Mac & Cheese.

Posted by: Mona | April 27, 2007 4:01 PM

LW

"what happened to the original subject? get back on track, people."


People lost interest. Happens all the time on the Net.

Some people march to a different drummer.

But yes, we Storm Troopers must get back on track before Leslie sends the Washington Post Secret Police after us!!!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 4:02 PM

I see I missed a lengthy discussion on smoking in the recent past, and which continues on today. I'll try not to join in full force, since it has run it's course, but...a few things...

This is timely topic for me, since I just pushed the passage of the first reading yesterday of my own town's updated anti-smoking ordinance yesterday. Didn't get the non-smoking in bars that I wanted, but got it in all other enclosed spaces, including bars inside restaurants. Was fairly disappointed about that...I had hoped to convince them to allow no exceptions for bars.

Prodding my small town slowly kicking into the modern world. And I predict that our heirs will look back in astonishment at a time when such a harmful addiction was allowed to be forced onto others in public accommodations/spaces. They will look back in astonishment that we outlawed and controlled every aspect of public health and safety, including such minor items as red dies in meat stamps, but allowed a massively more dangerous and addictive substance as tobacco to be legal, and why?? Just because it always has been...

Astonishing. Needless to say, I am up to date on statistics from non-smoking impacts, etc. The most amazing thing to me is that the tobacco lobby as used useful idiots to get into people minds that somehow government regulation is smoking in public is egregious. This astonishes me.

Of all the things government regulates about citizens, surely regulating how a superfluous toxic substance should be allowed into public domains certainly doesn't rise to the last levels of howling libertarianism. But somehow the clearly understandable and perhaps righteous government regulation role on this topic has been cleverly shifted to big brother arguments, clearly without many people even realizing it, because it is the first thing many people get in their minds when the regulation topic comes up. Why, I wonder?

Of all the list of freedoms that people have lost to government regulation, THIS is the one that deserves all the animus?

I'll leave for another post why anti-smoking in public is in fact the true libertarian position...

Posted by: Texas Dad of 2 | April 27, 2007 4:02 PM

share the name of your OB--
Sorry, I thought context would make it clear

I am sorry; I have talked about so much today I didn't know what you needed. His name is Jeffery Elliot and he is at Arlington Medical Center. I was referred by a girlfriend. He is the best doctor I have ever had and is on the top whatever doctors of Washington. He just took in a partner too so you wouldn't have the same experience I did with him being off. He is middle age and is very sincere and kind. Upon entering the room the very first thing he does is shake you hand and ask you how you are doing.

Also, he does doctors without borders, has four children, and loves, loves babies. All around good guy. I also had a very pleasant experience at Arlington Medical Center.


Posted by: scarry | April 27, 2007 4:03 PM

A drive from Dallas Texas, to Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Maine, back to Philadelphia, Williamsburg, Chattanoga and home to Dallas with my 3 sisters, my Mom and Dad . . . we had to buy a new car in Oklahoma City. It was a blast for this 12 year old!

Then there was the week long vacation without any of my 3 sisters -- just me, my Mom and Dad -- on Padre Island.

Posted by: Colorado Kool Aid | April 27, 2007 4:03 PM

Scarry - is he hot? Emily made me ask you.

Posted by: moxiemom | April 27, 2007 4:04 PM

Oh my god, I just remember my worst hemorrhoid experience ever. I was ready to pop and the hemorroids were killing me. My husband found me weeping in the bedroom one evening and asked what was wrong. Then he insisted on having a look. He said they looked like a bunch of grapes. He has a book on home remedies for such things, and went to look it up. The suggestion was to pack ice water soaked spinach on it (apparently, it has an anti-inflammatory effect). So he insisted on doing that, and I somehow let him. I have to admit it did feel better.

Whenever we get into an argument now, and he wants to win, he always pulls out his "who packed cold spinach on your hemorrhoids when you were pregnant" trump card. At that juncture, I always give in to him. Sigh.

Posted by: Emily | April 27, 2007 4:05 PM

Oh, nonono, 3:21, you're missing the point. I don't want a SAHD so that I can devote all my time to my job -- good Lord, how dreadfully dull would that be? Not to mention the pressure of being sole breadwinner. Gah.

If keeping a pristine house were that important, I could go back to full lawyer-time and use the extra money for a housekeeper/nanny. But I like leaving at 4 so I can go spend time with my kids. It would take a hell of a priority to override that -- and having the perfect house just isn't it. Sorry.

Of course, I'd still LIKE the perfect house -- if, you know, it didn't actually require me to DO those darn boring chores. Cleaning the house sucked when I was a kid. That was 30 years ago, and over that time we've had a tremendous number of innovations and inventions to improve house cleaning. And you know what? It STILL sucks! Which is why I'm still hoping for a house fairy to make it all magically disappear. Since, you know, last I heard, they're free. And they don't eat much.

Posted by: Laura | April 27, 2007 4:05 PM

Texas Dad of 2

Gotta look outside!

Yep, pigs are flying and hell has frozen over, 'cause for once, I agree with you!

The shock might be too much for me.....

Posted by: Jezebel | April 27, 2007 4:06 PM

Scarry - is he hot? Emily made me ask you.

ummm, okay since we are talking about crushes let me tell you that I had one on my neighbor who was probably 25. I am 32 and an old married lady. He was a cop, blond, short hair, skinny but with mucles. I called him hot cop, well I did until the day my daughter called him hot cop. :)

On my doctor, he so fatherly it is hard to see him that way. So no, to me, he is not hot, just wonderful.

Posted by: scarry | April 27, 2007 4:07 PM

Why can't the market control the smoking/non-smoking in bars? It seems that the non-smokers do not stay away from the places that allow smoking, they just complain and lobby for legal changes. Why not just stay away? If there truly is a clear majority who don't want smoking in the bars, then the owners would lose money or go out of business or voluntarily make it a non-smoking establishment.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 4:07 PM

Whenever we get into an argument now, and he wants to win, he always pulls out his "who packed cold spinach on your hemorrhoids when you were pregnant" trump card. At that juncture, I always give in to him. Sigh.

Emily - THAT is true love! I have friend who says she knew that her husband really loved her when he gave her an enema after her first was born. BTW - I had the weeping on the toilet after the baby episode too, but I was TOTALLY freaked out about the stitches. My husband was a Prince! Gotta go to swim lessons. This was a fun Friday discussion. Great weekend everyone.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 4:08 PM

Two truths:

1. Smoking is a disgusting habit, with no redeeming social value. No one should ever be encouraged to start.

2. There are few things in this life more enjoyable than a cigarette while a) sitting and chatting over a cup of coffee after a late breakfast, b) on the golf course, c) sipping a beer on the beach watching the sunset, d) at the blackjack table at 2:00 a.m., or e) [insert your favorite moment here].

Smoking is my favorite thing to do that I wish I never started, and never will do again.

Posted by: Former Smoker | April 27, 2007 4:08 PM

We were poor and never went anywhere for any kind of vacation. Dad's two weeks in summer were spent working in the garden. We never went anywhere, never spent a night away from our own house. I never even got to Ocean City until I was 20, had my own apartment, and went with friends from work. The thought of spending hours in a car, stuck in traffic with 2 parents and 3 siblings would be enough to drive me to suicide or murder). Don't even think about traveling by plane and having to get to an airport. Jeez, no wonder people have heart attacks on vacation.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 4:08 PM

Scarry - LOL, LOL still LOL. O.k. I gotta run now.

Posted by: moxiemom | April 27, 2007 4:09 PM

"Scarry - is he hot? Emily made me ask you."

Yes, Emily is one bad a$s B$$tch!!

Don't mess with her!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 4:09 PM

Scarry - LOL, LOL still LOL. O.k. I gotta run now.


Oh, he was so hot I used to watch him wash his police car. Oh, now I am stuck in MO waiting for the tornado siren to go off.

Posted by: scarry | April 27, 2007 4:11 PM

Of all the list of freedoms that people have lost to government regulation, THIS is the one that deserves all the animus?

Because it's their ox getting gored.

Posted by: To Texas Dad of 2 | April 27, 2007 4:12 PM

I do recommend two ideas:
(1) the Canadian Rockies between Banff and Jasper, and
(2) the 4 corners area -- Telluride and Ouray Colorado, Mesa Verde, Monument Valley, Canyon de Chelley, and the red rock canyon area of southeastern Utah. If you got really ambitious, you might include Zion Canyon and the north rim of the Grand Canyon. But either go NOW or wait till mid-September.

Posted by: Colroado Kool Aid | April 27, 2007 4:13 PM

Bermuda

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 4:13 PM

Colroado Kool Aid yes because it is hot in the summer!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 4:14 PM

I'm so glad my pregnancy did not come with hemorroids. I'm happy that I'm not in your club. ;) My husband did insist on commenting on how it looked like I was pushing out my rectum while pushing my daughter out. Thanks. At least I didn't poop on the table.

Mona- I agree with you about MB, SC. He!! on earth. I also don't care for guys who wear tight shirts with chains and drive muscle cars. Where I'm from, the equivalent is Gatlinburg, TN. Hello, mini-golf and airbrushed T-shirt places.

Posted by: atb | April 27, 2007 4:14 PM

atb

"Thanks. At least I didn't poop on the table."

No such luck here. I pooped up a storm and my husband fainted!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 4:18 PM

Emily, that Pittsburgh weekend sounds like one to put on our weekend-trips-we-need-to-take-before-we-die list.

moxiemom, you have too much competition today to attract attention over the female ob-gyn preference, LOL. I agree with you.


Laura, I'm dreaming of a house fairy. it's such a pleasant dream.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | April 27, 2007 4:20 PM

I know who you are. You outed yourself with the spinach story. So what will you give me to keep your secret?

Posted by: To Emily | April 27, 2007 4:23 PM

Just change you blog name emily.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 4:25 PM

Speaking of vacationing...I certainly hope that all of you anti-smokers don't ever intend to travel outside of this country then because this is the only place where your extreme attitudes will be tolerated.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 4:28 PM

I'm sure I'll get nailed by the board"

There is some sexual innuendo in that somewhere given the topic you posted about. haha

Posted by: pATRICK | April 27, 2007 03:38 PM

pATRICK, you're such a naughty boy . . .

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | April 27, 2007 4:30 PM

"I certainly hope that all of you anti-smokers don't ever intend to travel outside of this country then because this is the only place where your extreme attitudes will be tolerated."

It's not an extreme attitude where I live, it's the law.

Posted by: Yankee Doodle Dandy | April 27, 2007 4:31 PM

To whomever - Maybe you know me and maybe you don't. Not matter what you think you know, I will deny it. And lots of people pack cold spinach on their butts to treat hemorrhoids. It is a very common practice.

Posted by: Emily | April 27, 2007 4:32 PM

Texas Dad of 2, the entire dispute had little to do with smoking and everything to do with another form of Nazism. Yesterday's comments were that smoking in and of itself is an indicator of a bad parent, far and above any other parenting behavior. The Nazis were off and running, and felt compelled to take it another day. Just when it had run its course, you joined in.

Your Texas travel comments, on the other hand, are a welcome breath of fresh air.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 4:33 PM

thanks scarry.

Posted by: hopeful | April 27, 2007 4:33 PM

Emily-I have to admit spinach was a new one for me.

Knowledge is a barrier to learning
-Paul Muad'dib

Posted by: dotted | April 27, 2007 4:34 PM

Oh, I am dying laughing now - dying!! If there is something to be said for giving birth at a very young age ... I didn't do any of those things, and right now I am thanking my lucky stars that I didn't have a husband around to point them out!

Posted by: TakomaMom | April 27, 2007 4:36 PM

Dotted -- Dune?

Posted by: Vegas Mom | April 27, 2007 4:36 PM

Actually the quote is from "Children of Dune", but I consider it to be a concise description of the end-to-end theme of the Dune books.

Posted by: dotted | April 27, 2007 4:38 PM

dotted, it's a happy place when you join in, LOL.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | April 27, 2007 4:39 PM

Good one, dotted. It reminds me of Mark Twain's quote, "I have never let my schooling interfere with my education."

Posted by: Emily | April 27, 2007 4:40 PM

"Texas Dad of 2, the entire dispute had little to do with smoking and everything to do with another form of Nazism."

Right, the dispute is about the the hypocrisy of those who lecture almost every pregnant woman they catch smoking, but tolerate smoking from the people they love/need and no one else!!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 4:42 PM

ooooopssss...misquote

"knowing is a barrier to learning" Paul Muad-dib

And it is a quote I use whenever my kids say they "already know"

Posted by: dotted | April 27, 2007 4:42 PM

"Speaking of vacationing...I certainly hope that all of you anti-smokers don't ever intend to travel outside of this country then because this is the only place where your extreme attitudes will be tolerated."

Everyone always says that, but when I was in Paris, I was no more bothered by the smoke than I was anywhere else. In fact, I don't remember any smoke at all. This could be because most of the restaurants were open-air, or because it was August and most Parisians were on holiday, or maybe I just had stars in my eyes and couldn't remember.

Also, I never found the Parisians to be any more rude than people are here. Now, in Roscoff (the small coastal town I stayed in), they were rude to English speakers because that was a vacation spot for the English who crossed the channel. I can't say I blame them. The English were extremely rude and had a huge sense of entitlement.

Posted by: Mona | April 27, 2007 4:42 PM

Best three day vacation:
Silver Spring to Shepherdstown WV to pick up a friend. Drive for EVER to Ohio to a cute little B&B right on the river. Trip to the casino and early morning standing in line at the factory where they make fiestaware! Buy fiestaware cheap cheap after digging around in crates.
Drive to Falling Waters to find it closed.
Stop at biker bar for beers (didn't have to buy a thing).
Back to WV late late and crash and burn.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 27, 2007 4:43 PM

It was also about a parent who held their small child in one hand and a cigarette in the other.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 4:44 PM

Texas Dad of 2, the entire dispute had little to do with smoking and everything to do with another form of Nazism. Yesterday's comments were that smoking in and of itself is an indicator of a bad parent, far and above any other parenting behavior.

No, it actually was started with my story of a guy smoking in his two year old's face.

Posted by: scarry | April 27, 2007 4:45 PM

I wasn't saying that you would be bothered by smokers abroad, but if you are obnoxious about smokers, as I can imagined some of the posters being (which acutally leads me to believe that they would be the sterotypical "rude american" anyway), that will not be tolerated.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 4:45 PM

I so want to go to Fallingwater. Maybe this summer, I can leave my son with my mom and go with my husband for a long, romantic weekend. I almost went on our trip to Pittsburgh, but did not think that it was a good idea with a 5 year old.

Posted by: Emily | April 27, 2007 4:47 PM

Mona

"The English were extremely rude and had a huge sense of entitlement."

My grandmother was from England. Because of the class system there, snobbishness is a big part of the culture.

After all, they have Shakespeare, for starters.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 4:48 PM

(which acutally leads me to believe that they would be the sterotypical "rude american" anyway), that will not be tolerated.


I have seen some very rude people from abroad in DC. Some rude Germans were throwing rocks at ducks down by the mall and a few Japanese people cut in front of me in line at CVS. The latter I assume was a culture problem, but rude none the less. Rude doesn't have a nationality.
.

Posted by: scarry | April 27, 2007 4:49 PM

We plan to try to go back as I have seen photos of it and it just looks amazing.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 27, 2007 4:49 PM

Oprah has single hunks over 30 on - yummy!

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 27, 2007 4:50 PM

I may need to re-award the "Post of the Day"

Spinach enemas!

(Chris if you can get Killer Weed, Spinach and childbirth into a song...)

Posted by: Fred | April 27, 2007 4:51 PM

What about foreign visitors who light up their cigarettes in the US in places where smoking is illegal? Some of them get really rude when told they can't smoke there.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 4:51 PM

And hemorrhoids....

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 27, 2007 4:52 PM

"Oprah has single hunks over 30 on - yummy!"

Isn't Oprah a lesbian?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 4:52 PM

And pooping on the delivery table. And don't forget thongs.

Posted by: Emily | April 27, 2007 4:52 PM

Look, guys, can we just agree to disagree on the smoking thing? Those of you who were here yesterday know how I feel, but nicotine is an addictive drug--we are not going to get the smokers to agree that we are right. They need their fix, against all reason and despite clear signs from their own bodies.

What we can do is try to point out to them that it is possible for them to smoke in places and at times where they do not hurt anyone else, whether it be strangers in public buildings or their own loved ones.

Posted by: 40-yr-old 2nd hand smoker | April 27, 2007 4:53 PM

4:48, I wasn't sure if it was an English thing or not--I just assumed it was tourist mentality. I think a lot of people get like that when they are on vacation or in a place where they think they won't be held accountable for their actions. Scarry is right; rude knows no nationality.

4:45, sorry I misread your post. I'm not sure I agree with you, but I misunderstood you completely. Thanks for clarifying.

Posted by: Mona | April 27, 2007 4:53 PM

A husband and wife came for counseling after 40 years of marriage. When asked what the problem was ...the wife went into a passionate, painful tirade listing every problem they had ever had in the 40 years they had been married. She went on and on and on: neglect, lack of intimacy, emptiness, loneliness, feeling unloved and unlovable, an entire laundry list of un-met needs she had endured over the course of their marriage.

Finally, after allowing this to go on for a sufficient length of time, the therapist got up, walked around the desk and, after asking the wife to stand, embraced and kissed her passionately. The woman shut up and quietly sat down as though in a daze. The therapist turned to the husband and said, "This is what your wife needs at least three times a week. Can you do this?" The husband thought for a moment and replied,..

"Well, I can drop her off here on Mondays and Wednesdays, but on Fridays, I fish."

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 27, 2007 4:53 PM

I don't care what Oprah is - I like the guys she has on - a whole stage of them. Like a harem. Ooh la la.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 27, 2007 4:55 PM

The French do things in the streets we'd be arrested for. They also let dogs into restaurants to sit at tables, and waiters pet them while bringing your food. GAG! They also talk about you while you are standing right there, thinking you can't understand French. Extremely rude people.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 4:55 PM

How can you tell if you have turned over 40?

You think about weed killer, not killer weed!

Posted by: Fred | April 27, 2007 4:56 PM

Fred,
So if I think about weed killer AND deer repellent how old am I?

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 27, 2007 4:57 PM

The French do things in the streets we'd be arrested for. They also let dogs into restaurants to sit at tables, and waiters pet them while bringing your food. GAG! They also talk about you while you are standing right there, thinking you can't understand French. Extremely rude people.

Posted by: | April 27, 2007 04:55 PM


If you're in THEIR country make a fuss about not liking these things, then YOU'RE rude.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 4:58 PM

What are you talking about. The French are great. It just takes them a while to warm up to you. That happens after your country has been invaded a few times. Plus you can't beat their cheese or their wine. And the french language is probably the most beautiful I have ever heard.

Posted by: Emily | April 27, 2007 4:58 PM

"Look, guys, can we just agree to disagree on the smoking thing?"

Why?

Have the "guys" agreed to disagree on anything else?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 4:59 PM

"How can you tell if you have turned over 40?

You think about weed killer, not killer weed!"

That's me. That's me!!

Posted by: Emily | April 27, 2007 4:59 PM

"Look, guys, can we just agree to disagree on the smoking thing?"

Just another form of smokers bullying nonsmokers.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 5:01 PM

Have a great weekend out there! It is shaping up to be a good one...

happy vacation hunting to all and may you find what you seek.

Posted by: dotted | April 27, 2007 5:03 PM

A friend and I were sitting at an outdoor restaurant. A man was sitting alone at the table next to us. She had just returned from a trip to Paris and was telling me about it - how beautiful it was, how great the shopping was and how rude she felt the people were.
The guy next to us leaned over and said, in a french accent "I am french and we are not rude - you are rude for talking like this."
She looked him dead in the eye and said "You are rude for listening to our conversation and butting in".
He sputtered and muttered and sat there purposely blowing smoke our way for the rest of the meal. He even made a loud call on his cell phone and told someone about the "rude American broads" sitting hext to him.
We smoked at the time and laughed at him.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 27, 2007 5:03 PM

Strong Disclaimer

Fred has never ingested, inhaled or otherwise partaken in any illicit drugs--that he remembers.

And he will say that he has never smoked cigarettes irrespective of that photo taken in Saigon.

Posted by: Fred | April 27, 2007 5:04 PM

Great blog today. Thanks for all the chuckles. Happy weekend to all.

Posted by: Emily | April 27, 2007 5:10 PM

"Strong Disclaimer

"Fred has never ingested, inhaled or otherwise partaken in any illicit drugs--that he remembers.

And he will say that he has never smoked cigarettes irrespective of that photo taken in Saigon."

Ha! Ha!

I have never cheated on husband that I can remember.

I spend my vacation dollars in the U.S.A.
Except for the one mandatory trip to Israel.

Posted by: Yankee Doodle Dandy | April 27, 2007 5:10 PM

My Uncle Sam took me on vacation to Saigon for the summer of '72.

Posted by: Fred | April 27, 2007 5:12 PM

"Fred has never ingested, inhaled or otherwise partaken in any illicit drugs--that he remembers"

THE WINNER!!!!!

Too bad most folks are gone from the blog for the weekend.

Fred

Please resubmit on Monday.

I am sure you can fit it in the topic.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 5:13 PM

"My Uncle Sam took me on vacation to Saigon for the summer of '72.

Posted by: Fred | April 27, 2007 05:12 PM "

Ha! Ha!

And free medical care if needed!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 5:16 PM

"Look, guys, can we just agree to disagree on the smoking thing?"

Just another form of smokers bullying nonsmokers.

Posted by: | April 27, 2007 05:01 PM

there's just no end to the sanctimony. now you are even shrieking at the non-smoking guy.

the only bullying is being done by the man in the mirror, 5:01. isn't there a Vehement Non-smokers Blog where you can visit and pat each other virtually on the back 24/7? I hope so.

else having an entire blog day discussing hemorrhoids is becoming appealing.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 5:17 PM

Fred,

Were you drafted?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 5:20 PM

"isn't there a Vehement Non-smokers Blog where you can visit and pat each other virtually on the back 24/7? I hope so."

Yeah, it's right here.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 5:22 PM

One last story. I have a friend at work who is a pharmacist, and everyone goes to her for medication advice. A few summers ago, some of us were experiencing a bad bout of mosquito bites, and she kindly administered this fantastic prescription oinment she had that assuaged our itching immediately. Two of the stricken women are nice enough, but very feminine foo foo girly types who basically comprised the office subset of "beautiful people." We could never do or say anything gross arond them, because they were just such princesses. And they were the ones who were most begging for the oinment that my buddy had. Every day, they would ask for some. A few days later, I asked my friend what exactly the ointment was, and she told me it was prescription hemmorhoid cream. I never told the princesses. I thought it was just too funny that they were using it without any idea what the true indication was.

Posted by: Emily | April 27, 2007 5:24 PM

KLB: great joke (4:53)

Posted by: MN | April 27, 2007 5:25 PM


"Fred has never ingested, inhaled or otherwise partaken in any illicit drugs--that he remembers"

THE WINNER!!!!!

Too bad most folks are gone from the blog for the weekend.

Fred

Please resubmit on Monday.

I am sure you can fit it in the topic.

Posted by: | April 27, 2007 05:13 PM

Not sure if you are serious, not sure why you would want me to but whatever!

Posted by: Fred | April 27, 2007 5:36 PM


"My Uncle Sam took me on vacation to Saigon for the summer of '72.

Posted by: Fred | April 27, 2007 05:12 PM "

Ha! Ha!

And free medical care if needed!

Posted by: | April 27, 2007 05:16 PM

Also, all expenses paid!

Posted by: Fred | April 27, 2007 5:37 PM

Just
Just Got Paid (Friday Night) lyrics

got paid, Friday night
Party
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huntin', feelin' right
Body shakin',
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No
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one thinks when I'm gettin' down

Check the
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mirror, we're lookin' fly
Round up the posse, jump in
Just Got Paid (Friday Night)

my ride
Radio rockin',
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a monster jam
Feel the rhythm, pump up
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the sound

I'm
Just Got Paid (Friday Night) lyrics

feelin' so good
Don't you know I'm just
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groovin' to the beat
I'm
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groovin', groovin'
Yeah yeah yeah
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yeah yeah yeah

Just got paid (Just got paid) Friday night
Johnny Kemp

(Friday)
Party
Just Got Paid (Friday Night)

huntin', (Party huntin') Place is right
(Feelin' alright) Booty
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shakin', all around
(All around
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baby) Pour one drink when I'm gettin' down

On the floor,
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rockin' to the beat
All
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ways you sure look sweet
Fine young lady
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standin' by
Come
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on baby, sweet eye delight, hey!

I
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rock the world that you move
And you look so sweet when you're movin' to
Just Got Paid (Friday Night)

the beat
I'm
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tired of all these boring parties
Why don't we get on
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down?
Come on just get
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on down now!

Just got paid, Friday night
Johnny Kemp Just Got Paid (Friday Night) lyrics

(Money in my pocket)
Party huntin', place is right (Place is
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little right)
Booty shakin', all around (all
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the way you're lookin' 'round)
Pour one drink when I'm
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gettin' down

Get down, uh! (Say home)
Just Got Paid (Friday Night)


Ha ha ha! You say it!
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(Say home, love)
Home home (Say home)
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Ha ha!
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Huaaaaaaa-ow!

On the floor (On the floor)
Johnny Kemp Just Got Paid (Friday Night) lyrics


Rockin' to the beat (Rockin'
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baby)
Movin'
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me (Always)
You sure look sweet (You sure
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look sweet)
Fine young lady
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standin' by (Young lady standin' by)
(Aw yeah!) Come on baby, we'll be out tonight
Just Got Paid (Friday Night)


(We're feelin'
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fine!)

Just got paid, Friday night (Can't refuse it)
Johnny Kemp lyrics


Party
Just Got Paid (Friday Night) lyrics

huntin', place is right
(Money in my
Johnny Kemp Just Got Paid (Friday Night) lyrics

pocket) Booty shakin', all around
(Showin' you a good time) Pour one drink when I'm gettin'
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down

Get down,
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yeah, gettin' down (say home)
Home home (say home,
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love)
Home
Just Got Paid (Friday Night)

home home (say home)
Huaaaaaaa-ow!

Teddy!
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You're playin'!

Aaaahh!!!

Shake it up, shake it
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up!
I'm just got paid...I'm feelin', I'm
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feelin' nice

Just got paid, Friday night
Just Got Paid (Friday Night)

(Just got paid...Friday)
Party
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huntin', place is right (Party huntin', tell me where to party!)
Booty shakin', all around (Tell me
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where to party, ow!)
Pour one drink (come on) when I'm gettin'
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down (Get down)
Just
Just Got Paid (Friday Night) lyrics

got paid, Friday night (Just got paid...Friday)
Party huntin',
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place is right (Parties huntin' ????)
(Havin' a good
Johnny Kemp Just Got Paid (Friday Night) song lyrics

time baby) Booty shakin', all around
(Havin' a good time baby yeah) Pour one drink when I'm
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gettin' down
(I'm gettin' down) Just got paid (gettin' gettin'
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gettin' down)
Friday
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night (gettin' gettin' gettin' down)
Party huntin', place
Just Got Paid (Friday Night)

is right (Yeah)
Booty shakin', all around (Whoa) (Oh
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yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah)
Pour one drink when I'm gettin'
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down

Gettin' down, oh,
Just Got Paid (Friday Night) lyrics

I said gettin' down down
Gettin' down
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down

"I love to hear ya!" "Yo Kemp!"
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"Yeah!" "Hey!"
"Thanks, Aaron, Teddy, you guys be
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cool!" "Ha! Ha!" "That's it!"

Posted by: Perfect Friday Happy Hour Lyrics | April 27, 2007 5:39 PM

Fred,
They want you to repost on Monday so you can win as they have given away today's prize (and took it away from me - sniff sniff).

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 27, 2007 5:40 PM

"Fred,

Were you drafted?"

Posted by: | April 27, 2007 05:20 PM

Fred has three secrets that not even the lovely Frieda knows.

1. The conditions surrounding his entrance into the military.

2. What happened at a certain CSS in a certain state. (Will not even name the state but supposedly a big earthquake will cause it to fall into the Pacific.)

3. The third one is so secret that Fred cannot even tell himself.

Posted by: Fred | April 27, 2007 5:40 PM

Fred

"Not sure if you are serious, not sure why you would want me to but whatever!"

Yes, I am serious because it is today's Winner and most people will miss it!

I was pregnant with my first child in the summer of 1971.

Thanks from me and my family for serving our country.

I grew up on a short one-block street.

Three young men from my street went off to Nam. They all came home in body bags.

Too bad today's generation doesn't get it.


What does your wife think about smoking around pregnant women and kids (secondhand smoke in general)?

Posted by: Yankee Doodle Dandy | April 27, 2007 5:44 PM

Fred

"3. The third one is so secret that Fred cannot even tell himself"

Is that because you can't remember?.....

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 5:46 PM

Anon at 05:46,
Don't ask - don't tell.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 27, 2007 5:48 PM

Who or what is Johnny Kemp?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 5:48 PM

Kemp began singing in nightclubs in his hometown of Nassau, Bahamas, when he was only 13. He moved to Harlem in 1979, developing his other talents as a dancer, songwriter, and actor. "Just Got Paid" was a Top Ten hit in 1988; he subsequently did a tune for the soundtrack of the motion picture Sing. ~ Steve Huey, All Music Guide

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 27, 2007 5:50 PM

When did reruns stop being reruns and become "encore presentations"?

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 27, 2007 5:51 PM

Ooh, Fred is starting to sound like a man of mystery and getting sexier.

Bond, Fred Bond.

Posted by: Yankee Doodle Dandy | April 27, 2007 5:52 PM

Frieda is a reformed smoker. She gave it up before we were married. Boy, she was a chimney. To this day, she still has an occasional desire for a cig. I cannot totally understand the addiction smoking brings but I have sympathy to those who struggle with it.

Where I work and at the health dept where she works, smoking is not allowed. I have not asked her directly but I am sure that she does discourage it.

As for RVN, my oldest brother was there, my next oldest brother was there and I was there. The funny thing about it for me is I do not know first hand a single person who was killed there.

Posted by: Fred | April 27, 2007 5:56 PM

KLB, And here I hoped you were channeling Sam Cooke:

Another Saturday night and I ain't got nobody
I've got some money 'cause I just got paid
Now, how I wish I had someone to talk to
I'm in an awful way

Posted by: catlady | April 27, 2007 6:00 PM

Hey folks - any chance you could lay off the flippant invocations of the term Nazi? Comparing people who are adamant and vocal about a cause to a brutal and demonic regime that engaged in genocide seems a little...graceless.

Please?

Posted by: pastryqueen | April 27, 2007 6:00 PM

Yankee Doodle Dandy

Have you been to the Wall or the touring Wall to put your hands on their names? Truly a cathartic experience.

Posted by: Fred | April 27, 2007 6:01 PM

Fred, Don't forget the traveling half-size wall that visits communities all around the country, for those who are unable to travel to DC.

Posted by: catlady | April 27, 2007 6:03 PM

I am fixing to say "extremus"

Posted by: Fred | April 27, 2007 6:26 PM

Neither Nursing Totalitarians nor Non-smoking Totalitarians has quite the same alliterative ring, but your point is well taken, pastryqueen.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 6:30 PM

KLB, Thanks for the Johnny Kemp bio. I still love that song and crank the bejesus out of my car stereo whenever it comes on.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | April 27, 2007 6:31 PM

Oops, Fred. You did indeed already mention the touring wall -- my bad. What can I say? It's late, I'm tired...

Posted by: catlady | April 27, 2007 6:34 PM

I'm still searching for one of those house fairies Laura described on ebay . . . . searching . . . searching . . .

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | April 27, 2007 6:59 PM

MN,
I think the gremlins killed the house fairies.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 27, 2007 7:07 PM

*clutches side of table with one hand for support* No!

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | April 27, 2007 7:10 PM

Yes, my dog found a house fairie body under the ottoman this afternoon. It was wearing an apron and sneakers and had a dustcloth in one hand and toilet cleaner in the other. It's watch and wallet are gone.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 27, 2007 7:17 PM

but, KLB, was the house faerie robbed and killed before or after he cleaned your commode(s)?

Posted by: MN | April 27, 2007 7:20 PM

Sadly, before any toilet was cleaned. I have three and am wondering if she just didn't feel like doing them today and was slacking off. Or, she was having an affair with the gremlin and it got too rough.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 27, 2007 7:21 PM

Maybe the house faerie is having an affair with the gnome that Foamgnome stole. After all, has anyone seen him lately?

Posted by: catlady | April 27, 2007 8:36 PM

noone can see gnomes...that is what makes them *special*

My two boy fairies will be working hard tomorrow at cleaning their messy bathrooms...here's to pinesol.

#500

Posted by: dotted | April 27, 2007 9:19 PM

extremus

Posted by: Fred | April 29, 2007 5:57 PM

Two of the activities on your wish list struck a chord: camping in Big Bend, and touring the California coast in an RV. About 15 years ago my wife and I did a combination of both on a 6-month, quit-our-jobs, 15,000-mile trip around the country in a used RV. We camped and hiked in Big Bend, and explored the California coast from San Francisco north. We experienced lots of other places as well, mostly national parks. But Big Bend was my unexpected favorite. You have to go!

Posted by: Daddy Mike | April 30, 2007 9:20 AM

The train trips in the 50's and 60's, hands down! Watching the changing scenery and skies out of the super-dome windows, sleeping in those tiny, fun beds in rooms or roomettes with built-in everything! Meals in the dining car, late nights alone with my sibs in the lounge car (after the bar had closed), sitting at a perfect little desk and writing(free!) postcards to friends at home. Bliss.

It's not quite like that now (I still ride trains) but it would be a world-apart to any kid. I highly recommend the coastal route trains (East or especially West). Try the Amtrak "Coast Starlight" from LA to Seattle. Sleeping rooms are expensive -about like hotels but so worth it because meals and other perks are included! Stop along the way, too!

Posted by: boomerette | April 30, 2007 11:16 AM

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