I just got back home from a week in Destin, Florida, and I am roughly the color of a penny. A penny that someone has scribbled on with a red magic marker, that is. Don't worry, I used 15 tubes of SPF 50 sunscreen, so I'm really not burned. Too badly.
We had a blast. I went with my family, which means my mom, my dad, my brother, my sister-in-law, and their two kids, aged 1 and 3. We drove both ways in a large rented van, and it took us about 15 hours each way. That part was not so great. Not that anything was miserable or anything, it just really takes a toll on us old people with bad backs.
When we got to the condo that we were going to be staying at late on Saturday night, it didn't quite live up to our expectations, to say the least. What had been billed as a luxurious, three level beach house turned out to be unfinished, to put it nicely. From the parking lot, the entrance level and the bedrooms upstairs were decent, though there were a couple of holes in the dry wall, exposing pipes. What was really odd though was that the lower level could only be accessed by exiting through the beach-side door of the entrance level, going down some unlit stairs, and unlocking the outside door. Having done that, the lower-level turned out to be more of a bunker with beds than anything. Unfinished concrete walls, no blinds over the windows, no television set, and one lightswitch on the opposite side of the room from the doorway. Plus, did I mention that there was no connecting stairs on the inside of the condo between the entrance level and the lower level ?? Bizarre!!!
My mom decided to call and complain, seeing as this is not at all what she had signed up for, and due to her efforts, we were majorly upgraded. The place we wound up staying at looked like a posh New York penthouse apartment. I even had my own loft with bed and bathroom. It was SWEEEEEET!
We spent a lot of time down the beach in the Florida sun, working on our tans. Except for the one-year-old, who has red hair, blue eyes, and makes my pale skin look positively swarthy. My three-year-old nephew, on the other hand, found several kids to play with throughout the week, and he regaled them with his knowledge of Star Wars. On that topic, he also went on several "Wookiee hunts." The Destin surf was loaded with algae, and on some days, being out in the water was like swimming through extra-pupy orange juice. We told Ethan that the large pieces of algae were clumps of Wookie hair, and he went out and grabbed several as they came close to the shore. Also, the first day I shaved (OK, the ONLY day I shaved), I noticed that my upstairs sink was clogged up, so I cleaned it out and discovered several very large clumps of hair. I disposed of them immediately, but later, I told my nephew that I had found Wookie hair upstairs, and every day thereafter, Ethan would ask me if we could go look for Wookies upstairs.
As a red-blooded American male, I certainly enjoyed being in a locale where almost all of the women walked around in bikinis. The unfortunate part of this was that most of them were below the age of 18, and the feeling of being a leering old man heavily tempered the frequent head turns and eye pops. Oh, there were also several incredibly good-looking moms there. Of course, there didn't seem to be too many single girls my age, and of the handful that I saw, they weren't really my type. Oh well, I was never really one for the Grease-promoted summer romance, anyway.
All in all, it was one heck of a vacation. Now I get to relax for a couple of days, and then turn right around on Wednesday morning and hop a plane for San Diego, California. Comic-Con awaits!!!