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20151120_120713“Do you just want to go home?” I asked.

There was a moment of silent contemplation. Heaven, earth, and all four of our children held their breaths.

“Yeah,” she said, “let’s go home.”

After about five minutes or so of disappointment expressed through tearful complaints, while Mom and Dad tried to explain that sometimes things just don’t work out as planned, we were finally able to pack up what little we possessed and made our way out a side door of the hotel and out to the car. We were home in ten minutes.

A couple of weeks ago, we were all sitting at the dinner table and fondly remembering our vacation in Florida. Surprisingly, I get a little sick to my stomach when I think about it. It’s not because I didn’t enjoy the vacation, but because it’s so far away from anything we know in our everyday lives. To give you an idea as to what I mean – my back always hurts. It hurts every day. Some days it takes everything in me just to get my shoes on. I walk on the treadmill when I finally get home at night to loosen up, but that is temporary relief. It’s always there to greet me in the morning. But while we were in Florida, when I left everything behind and had nothing to do, my back didn’t hurt once. I was fine for ten days. But when I walked onto that plane to come home, it started tweaking and I was right back in the grind. I get a little sore in my gut because I have to imagine that somewhere and in some way, the levels of life’s concerns don’t have to be like this every day.


At dinner, I’d made the suggestion that perhaps we could get away for a day, maybe spend the night in a nearby hotel. The kids could go swimming. We’d order pizza and watch movies. The next morning, after gorging ourselves at the complimentary breakfast buffet, we’d go swimming one more time (after waiting a half hour, of course), and then we’d go home.

I could barely finish presenting my plan before everyone was calling out in agreement. We were going. Jen was already on the phone booking the room.

We just got back from the little getaway. It didn’t work out as we planned.

We got to the hotel in the early evening before the dinner hour and the first thing we did was change into our swim suits. Everyone was excited to go swimming.

“Looks like no one’s here,” I said as we made our way into the overly warmed pool area. We had it all to ourselves. This was going to be fun.

There was a reason no one was enjoying the pool. Madeline climbed in and screamed. The water was ice cold. Ice cold.

I got in. Madeline, Harrison, and Evelyn so bravely forced themselves in. But after a few minutes, I could see that their lips were turning blue. They tried. I tried. But we couldn’t stand it anymore.

Shivering and disappointed, we traipsed back up to our room.

“Hey, guys, let’s just watch movies,” Evelyn encouraged along the way toward the evening’s possibilities. The pool elapsed from memory.

Once in the room, I remembered something I’d forgotten – check for bedbugs. Jen had departed from the pool area long before us to call in a few pizzas, and so while the kids got changed and sat down to watch TV, I pulled back the bedding and lifted the mattresses. So far so good. Until I came to the last corner of the master bed. Just under the headboard corner was a tiny dead bug. I didn’t know for sure if it was a bedbug. Jen didn’t either, but it sure looked enough like one that we weren’t taking any chances. And so we gathered up everything and set it up on the top shelf in the closet. I checked with the front desk to see if another room was available, and the attendant assured me that there was not.

The pizza came, we ate, and then we broke the news. The kids pleaded with us to reconsider. I pleaded with myself to reconsider, but the mini-vacation was just not to be.

I sit here now, comforting myself with the Glenfiddich Bourbon Barrel Reserve 14-year-old. Jen is beside me reading a magazine and watching the news. The children are playing video games upstairs. They managed to successfully negotiate such terms, and included was the dictate that they be allowed to stay up late doing so.

I suppose that this particular offering from Glenfiddich is a sufficient salve, although I’d much rather be enjoying it next to a pool about ten miles from here. Nevertheless, it certainly does, in its own way, relieve the day’s summation by offering a consoling bit of summertime nectars in the nose. I think I smell a sugar plum… and something else. Apple spice, maybe?

The oak is more than apparent in the palate. And there’s more than a hint of the apple spices here. There also seems to be a clementine sitting somewhere on the fringe, waiting to become more outspoken if only the oaky snip would quiet down a tad and give it a chance.

The finish doesn’t see this happen, although the sugar plum returns and stays through to a medium degree.

Well, I guess things don’t always “finish” as you would expect.

Only 28 more weeks until we go back to Florida.