Tuesday, July 8, 2008


Vacation in our household doesn't come around very often. Unfortunately, it comes around even less often right now, as I had to burn all of my saved vacation days and use them for sick time not long ago.

I'm generally a healthy person, but I came down with a really bad case of the flu the week after Thanksgiving, and then the week of New Years. I had to use a week of vacation time each time. The last time I was sick for a week? Hmm, maybe 1992 or so, when I was in 7th grade.

Anyway, our vacations tend to be long weekends to Las Vegas, since that's driving distance from our home in Southern California. We've also done San Diego, and a short driving trip up the coast of California. Other vacations are pretty much trips to visit family.

Husband splorp! hails from Ohio (or, as my sister is convinced, Iowa*), so we try to make it back to visit his family once a year at least. Sometimes we don't quite make it, but his mom and dad have met us in Vegas, and they've flown out to see us, so it mostly works out.

That's where we are this week - Ohio. Hot and humid, and really, really green. Growing up in Southern California, I'm more or less used to farm land, but the green here is everywhere! It's actually really nice, to see something that's not burned-or-burning roadside, or oleander bushes, or stupid ice plant growing on the side of the road. The green here is overflowing, and just - wow. Really green.

Also, the suburbs are quite different than what I'm used to. The houses are set further back from the roads, and they're spaced further apart, and everything is green with really big trees, and the brick houses! In California, we don't have much that is built of brick. We also don't have many places with basements (earthquakes, you see). So the first time I came out to meet splorp!'s family, I was really surprised by the amount of brick that is here, which they take for granted. Even splorp! is rather immune to it, and he's been in California a dozen years now.

We visited splorp!'s grandparents, and his youngest sister had her first child in February (which means splorp! has a new nephew), so we met him for the first time this trip, plus we are visiting with the other sister's family (2 nephews there), and his cousins and various aunts and uncles made special trips to see him. splorp! has a larger family than I do, so all this family is all a bit overwhelming to me, but I'm doing my best to fit in. They seem to like me, and not the fake-pretend-to-like-the-daughter-in-law-because-we're-stuck-with-her, so it's pretty good.

Soon it will be over though, but until then we're going to be relaxing by the pool, which is 84 degrees (F) in 90-some degree temperature with 85% humidity. Yeah, my hair is a frizzball.

*My sister once visited Iowa with her then-boyfriend's family for a wedding. Now, 10 years or so later, every time splorp! and I travel to Ohio, she's somehow convinced we're going to Iowa. A typical conversation between her and splorp!: Her, "So, what was it like growing up in Iowa?" splorp!, "I wouldn't know, since I grew up in Ohio."

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