Four days after being back from vacation I'm still having withdrawals from the sandy beaches, amazing pools, great food, great Tiki Bar and lack of alarm clocks! Despite some craziness, it was so much fun spending a week with my entire family...all 13 of us. We go to the gulf every summer and the memories we make are priceless!! The things we most remember are the moments of hilarity or insanity -- and there are a lot of those with our group! Here are just a few...
Throwing Rolls: Those of you who've been to the gulf are probably very familiar with Lambert's restaurant. If not - to make a long story longer - they serve up good, home-cooked food along with some pretty funny practical jokes. They also throw hot, fresh rolls at the customers. After an evening at the outlet mall all the mommas and our babies (9 months, 2 years, 3-year-old twins, and a 5-year-old) had a terrible lapse in judgement and thought it would be a good idea to go eat there. The guys, by the way, were having a leisurely evening of golf and missed this "fine" dinner.
To kick things off, minutes after stepping foot in the restaurant Little "B", being the wild child she is, started running and fell down. Luckily, there was no need for an ER visit but the entire place got to hear her scream. About a minute after that all three of the older ones had to use the potty - fun times!! After getting a table suitable for four adults and 33 children, my niece, Tiny "B", vomits...a lot! (it would prove to be only the beginning of a lot of puking on our trip... but I'll get to that a little later. We (by "we" I mean my sister) clean her up and change her clothes then we start the nightmare of ordering. Big "B" acts as if someone has just cut both her arms off when I, being the terrible mother I am, order her sweet tea instead of pink lemonade like her cousins. The rest of the restaurant is now getting to know my older daughter a little better as she turns on the tears! Little "B" refuses to sit in a high chair and instead prefers to take off her shoes and kick up her feet on the table. By now a waiter has started throwing rolls at us. Funny, they throw them at everyone but it sure seemed like he was throwing the rolls at us a little faster and a little harder than he was to the other patrons. Surely, it wasn't a hint for us to take our rowdy bunch and get out of there....surely?!!? Since we obviously didn't get the hint they sent our waitress by to antagonize our children. She walks up with a little wooden box and asks the twins to open it if they want a piece of candy. Oh, how excited they were until they opened it and out popped a plastic RAT!!! Neither thought it was funny - instead it scared the living daylights out of them...(see picture above). If that wasn't enough...(yes, apparently our waitress didn't feel bad in the least) she came back around with a big pot and tongs and asked the kids if they'd like some more food but instead of food she pulled out a big, fury raccoon. Really!??!? Here's a little tip for you, ---young waitress who probably doesn't have children ---- 2, and 3 year olds typically don't find things like this funny.
Don't get me wrong, while they didn't find it funny my sisters and I did. At this point, we were laughing pretty hard (to keep from crying, too) as our poor children squalled. My mother didn't find it amusing. Someone had made her precious grandchildren upset! How dare they! We finally made it out of the restaurant as they tied helium balloons to all their wrists. Once again, Lambert's -- thank you!! We love getting in an SUV with four tired, crying toddlers and four balloons. Now we won't be able to see or hear as we attempt to drive back to the condo.
Throwing Up: As promised more on the stomach bug that came along with us on vacation. When Tiny "B" threw up at Lambert's we just thought it was a 9-month-old getting too full. Nope...the next night one of the twins threw up in the middle of the night in the bed where his twin brother, my pregnant sister, and her husband were sleeping. As my sister jumped up to get him to the bathroom she, too, started puking and didn't stop until the next morning. She tried to wash off the pillow shams that caught a lot of the 'yuck' but we're afraid we probably, unintentionally, left the next poor people that rented the condo a little "gift". The other twin got the bug after getting home the next day. At least it happened at the end of our vacation and not the beginning, right!?!
Throwing Down: When it comes to partyers in our group - there's really only one. I won't name names but let's just say this person likes to have fun, is loud, talks a lot, is a frequent visitor of the Tiki Bar and isn't afraid to take down one of the other family members. The indoor pool one night became the scene of a WWE Smackdown. So much fun watching our "partyer" dunk Extra Large "B" when she was least expecting it.
There is so much more we'll never forget including a night at the amusement park for the twins birthday. It was the night we ended up with two cars in the parking lot as we got ready to leave but only had one set of keys. We'll also remember cooking out, taking lots of pictures, sharing stories, hearing about the guys' daily golf game and watching our children enjoy being children. It was such a special time and leaving my family and the gorgeous gulf was so hard. Can't wait til next year's trip and all the hijinks that come with it. We might just be the family all those National Lampoon's Vacation movies were based upon!