With sum­mer va­ca­tion upon us, our colum­nist Lori Borgman shares some pearls of wis­dom to help us get through.

Lori Borgman finds the funny in ev­ery­day life, writ­ing from the heart­land of the US. Now, if she could just find her car keys...

Friday - - Contents -

We’re go­ing to take a va­ca­tion this sum­mer, but first I’ll need a short va­ca­tion to muster up the en­ergy to plan and pack for the va­ca­tion, and then an­other va­ca­tion when the va­ca­tion is over to re­coup from the va­ca­tion.

Va­ca­tions are re­lax­ing. When they’re not ex­haust­ing.

We tend to have high ex­pec­ta­tions when it comes to va­ca­tions. Per­son­ally, I al­ways leave for va­ca­tion hop­ing to re­turn home taller, tan­ner, thin­ner, and so well-rested that I look 10 years younger. Is that ex­pect­ing too much?

Over the years, we have learned to tem­per our va­ca­tion ex­pec­ta­tions and have found the fol­low­ing to be true:

Be­cause there is of­ten an ar­gu­ment over the course of a va­ca­tion, try to have it be­tween the time you exit the house and get in the car. The sooner you have it, the bet­ter. Have it, get over it, and en­joy the trip.

Send ex­tra un­der­wear for ev­ery fam­ily mem­ber to your va­ca­tion des­ti­na­tion a week be­fore you leave. That way, when you get there and some­one be­gins to come unglued be­cause they for­got to pack un­der­wear, you can calm while seated in your beach chair, en­joy­ing the view.

Do not va­ca­tion where we va­ca­tion. It’s not that we wouldn’t share our favourite va­ca­tion spots, it’s that our va­ca­tion spots have taken us through a tor­nado, flood­ing, gale-force winds and a for­est fire. Some peo­ple just have a knack for find­ing the good places.

Do not wing it. That might work in the movies, but in real life if you take off not know­ing where you’ll end up or where you’re stay­ing, you can be court­ing dis­as­ter. We did that once and wound up at a ho­tel with a bad odour, a room with a window that wouldn’t close and car­pet that squished when we walked on it. Sketchy peo­ple par­tied by the vend­ing ma­chines down the hall all night. It was aw­ful. But we still give it points for mem­o­rable.

Oh, go ahead and wing it. At least once on your va­ca­tion, lose the GPS and the itin­er­ary and take off on the road less trav­elled. It could be the best trip of your life.

When you be­come a grandma, know that you will be sit­ting with the kids in the rear of the ve­hi­cle with the re­spon­si­bil­ity of keeping them en­ter­tained. I once bought 50 miles of peace with a well-stocked cos­metic bag – an old com­pact, a tube of pink lip gloss and an eye­liner pen­cil.

The kids painted their faces and

DO NOT va­ca­tion where we va­ca­tion. Our va­ca­tion spots have taken us through a TOR­NADO, flood­ing, gale-force winds and a FOR­EST FIRE. Some peo­ple just have a knack for find­ing the GOOD PLACES

drew in big eye­brows. Their par­ents were some­what aghast when we stopped to eat, but the staff at the fast food joint thor­oughly en­joyed it.

Even with the best plan­ning and re­al­is­tic ex­pec­ta­tions, things can still go wrong on va­ca­tion. If that hap­pens, I have two words for you (the duct tape that can fix any prob­lem known to man) – ice cream. Noth­ing ever seems quite so bad af­ter ice cream.

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