What I Did On My Summer Vacation

Monday, September 08, 2008

By: Brandi Bonkowski

Last week, I spent my summer vacation in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina with my parents, sister and her man friend. Here are some of my key learning's.

1. "This is no longer a vacation. It's a quest. It's a quest for fun." - Clark Griswold. Family vacations can be fun. Well, at least vacations with The Bonkowski's. We build sandcastles, drank by the pool and did the annual family dinner at Hooters. Looking back, the pool happy hours were awesome. Each day had a different "special" from our condo bar - sparkling wine, daiquiri's, mojitos, Effen cocktails, flavored beer! Yummmm.

2. "Those that say you can't take it with you never saw a car packed for a vacation trip" - Let's face it - no matter how much or little you pack, you are going to get yelled at. Right when my parents picked me up from the airport, I got verbally abused for packing too much. (I am being dramatic, don't call child services). I thought I did good - one medium suitcase, a duffle bag and a carry on for a week's stay. This included two outfits per day, gym clothes, beachwear and shoes. When we finally checked in, I made a list of things I needed at the grocery store - this list included a toothbrush. This item caused an uproar from my parents. They ridiculed me for forgetting such an important item. For the record, it wasn't that I forgot, rather my brush that I brought got sand reside stuck on it from my carry on bag. Gross. Jillian also felt the verbal pain - but lifting her suitcase caused arm, neck and back pain.

3. "I can dive. I can swim. I can float. I can fetch. But the little dog paddle. Is the stroke I do best." The fam stayed at the same place we started heading to back in 1984 when I was just three years old. It was from this pool (combined with good ole RTP) that I learned how to front dive, back dive and cartwheel into a pool. Having not dove into a pool since 1999, I was a tad nervous to take a leap. On the second day I just went for it. My mom said it was a six, while J Bo gave me a seven.

4. "Take a picture with your camera phone, take a picture with your camera phone." Someone once said, at the end of the day, all you have is the pictures. I think that was justifying the high cost of wedding photos. Regardless, when you are on a family vacation, don't forget to take a lot of pics. I took my camera everywhere, but I wish I captured more memories. I guess there is always...

5. "No man needs a vacation so much as the man who has just had one." It was really hard to get out of bed and go back to work today. The weather in Chicago sucks (yawn), it's raining, I have to do billing. But the thought of another week of relaxation at the beach next summer is something to look forward to!

6. "It's raining, it's pouring, The oceans are snoring." Buy a bottle of water before you get on the plane. I was drove out of Myrtle Beach on Thursday night rather than Saturday morning due to Hurricane Hannah. Little did I know, I would sit on the runway in Charlotte for two hours because rain from Hurricane Gustav was hitting Chicago. I was very unamused that USAirways did not hand out water to use disgruntled passengers on the plane. Pack snacks.

T-minus 284 days until next Myrtle Beach vacation : )