Christopher is on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. He gets days off, but unless he "books" those days off, he's still on call. It was really tough to get used to in the beginning of his current employment. Inevitably we will be walking out the door to do a family activity and his cell phone will ring, followed by "Sorry guys you'll have to go without me." After 12 years of this, I've gotten used to it, it doesn't mean I like it, but I've come to terms with it. Sometimes I forget how much of a strain it is until he's on holidays. When he's on holidays and that phone does not have to be on, I do not expect phone calls in the middle of the night, that is when I realize the real strain that being on call 24 / 7 is.
Christopher gets three weeks of holidays. This year we took two of those in July and went camping. It was relaxing, but not my ideal vacation. We renewed our wedding vows this August, and that took every single penny that we pretty much had. That eliminated a big trip, so camping it was. Christopher took his third week of holidays in October. His plan was just to putter around the house, that is until October came. The week before his holidays his eyes took on a wide and crazy look. "Hey let's go to Myrtle Beach for my week of holidays". I just looked at him, "I am not driving for 16 hours, to be there for a few days, nope, not going to happen." He still had that crazy look in his buggy eyes, and a bit of a crazy edge to his voice "I have to go on holidays." I don't need an excuse to leave the house and go to a hotel, that is my idea of heaven. I was all in. I had been really itching to go back to the Boston / Cape Cod area. It was only an 8 hour drive, and it was on the ocean. While not as warm as Myrtle Beach, it is just as pretty. He was in. I began to research places to stay in Cape Cod. Each time I thought I had the perfect spot, I saw the price tag that went with it. I also realized that after 20 years of vacations, my husband and I have very different ideas of the "ideal" vacation. My ideal vacation features swanky hotels (I like to see how the other half live and feel like a princess), and equal parts of local history, day trips and some down time. That is the way that "I" have always planned our vacations, I thought that we both liked it. He's never said he didn't, as a matter of fact he would always comment on how much he liked our vacations. This time around he hit me with "I like vacations where I can just sit around, I don't want to be traveling around." I was shocked. Normally he is a very easy man to please, but this vacation the stir crazies seemed to have really gotten to him.
The whole time I was planning our vacation, we were waiting to hear back about the arrival of our new van. Christopher took to calling the dealership daily to find out when the van was coming in. The old van needed a new wheel bearing, and we did not want to put another penny into it. We just kept driving it, until that is we heard this terrible scraping noise, it was bad. Still no word on the new van, with only days until our vacation. It may have worked out well that Christopher was extremely hard to please planning the Cape Cod vacation, because I still had not booked anything. It was almost a week without having a vehicle (new or old), and we decided to bite the bullet and take the Windstar to the mechanics. He had some grim news, it was not the wheel bearing that was the problem, it was the back breaks. We had swallow down the vomit, and pay almost $700.00 for a van that we would only be having for another week or so. As I paid for the brake job, the mechanic mentioned that I wouldn't want to be doing too much driving, because the front left wheel bearing needed replaced... and there went our Cape Cod vacation.
|The pictures of the "condo" rooms on the website|
I decided to look around at more local vacations destinations, drives within four hours of us. Who knew that planning a vacation could be so stressful? I looked at various resorts, but the price tags were just too high. Monday morning of Christopher's vacation, and we still had not decided where to go on vacation. It was late morning that I announced "Forget It" (That's not really what I said, although the first word did start with an 'F' and the kids were not within earshot and I was very frustrated), we're going to Deerhurst Resort. I love the Algonquin Park / Muskokas, they are so beautiful, and with the fall colours they would be extra beautiful. It cost too much money, but it was close and the pictures seemed nice. I packed up suitcases and loaded the car.
|Pictures of the "Summit" condo rooms on the website|
I had booked us two nights at one of the two bedroom condos. It cost $265.00 a night. This was pretty steep, but we were desperate. I tried to justify it to myself that it would cost nearly that for two hotel rooms, and for our family of 6 to fit comfortably, we would now need to start getting two rooms, oh and the rooms on the website were really nice. The condo came with two bedrooms, a kitchen and a living room, as well as a deck, did I mention how nice the pictures looked on the website? The drive through Algonquin Park was beautiful, and I kept reminding myself that $265 wasn't too much to pay for happiness (yes I was stretching). The whole drive I kept looking for moose, but there was not a single one to be seen, if you don't count that branch in the water that I mistook for a moose antler. The kids all thought that was hilarious. Riley's famous line throughout the holiday was "Oh it's a moose, it's a MOOSE... no wait, never mind, it's just a tree.", oh she is sooooooo funny, not.
|Pictures of the actual room|
We arrived at Deerhurst at dusk. As we drove up to the remarkable complex of buildings, they were all twinkling like fairy lights. I could feel my breathing become easier, the stress began to roll away. The main building was stunning. The kids and I went in and looked around, while Christopher registered us. It was stunningly beautiful in the lobby. It was worth $265.00 a night I told myself.
|The girls making themselves at home in the lobby|
We opened the door to our condo Unit 31, room 201, the kids barreled in hooting and hollering. They were beyond excited "this is amazing" they kept shouting as they jumped up and down on their beds. The room two bedrooms, the kids room had two queen beds, and lots of room, and their own bathroom complete with Jacuzzi tub. There was a washer and dryer (I don't think the website mentioned that), a small kitchen and a dining area and a living room, the balcony was lovely and looked out onto the golf course.
|Pictures of the actual room|
|The real picture|
The next morning I woke up and staggered out of the bedroom. The sun was shining brightly into the living room. Shortly after I was up, Christopher arrived with two Tim Horton's coffees in his hands, the morning just got brighter. I got dressed and then went out onto our balcony. It was beautiful! Everything was so stunningly green and so vividly blue. Suddenly my dejection began to melt away. The 80's were a pretty awesome time. Everything was spotless. We would save money on breakfasts and lunches having the kitchen. Suddenly I began to see the beauty of where we were.
I allowed myself to give up my petulance and just enjoy. So what if the room did not look like what I had wanted it to. I went inside and looked at the sheet they gave us when we checked in. It was full of all of the amazing activities that we could take part in, without having to leave the resort. I don't think there was any kind of a list like that on the website. This was going to be a nice vacation after all.
|The highlight of the trip for Rowan was the tub!|
Over the next few days I am going to be your Deerhurst guide, and show you what the website fails to. I'm sure by the time I'm done you will be booking your own trip!
Tomorrow's blog, Day One - Trail riding and rock wall climbing.