Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Day Four, The End Is Nigh

We arrived at Key West early, thanks to the prior day's shitty weather. We ate breakfast and started planning out the day's excursions on the mainland. There's a pirate museum, ship wreck museum, an aquarium, a museum that houses sunken treasure discoveries, Hemingway's house and a variety of other things to do and see.

My mother in law said we had to take the trolley that makes stops so we can get off, see things, get back on etc.

We all argued about it. I said we'd be better off going straight to Hemingway's house as there's nothing to see outside of the main town area but, of course, the old lady won the argument.

So we trekked over to the trolley and bought tickets for everyone. We got on the trolley and were told the total tour was about an hour and a half. The driver was pointing out highlights along the way. My mother in law never stopped talking to her daughters, except to shout to the driver that she couldn't understand a word of what he said. He told her to move closer and, perhaps, listen and not talk. Bad move on his part.

We got off at Hemingway's house and my son and my nephew said they didn't want to go. So we left the women and wandered around a bit. It was now 1:30 and the boys were hungry so I called my wife and told her we were thinking of grabbing a quick bite so that we'd have time to see the things they boys wanted to see. My wife told her sister what our plans were and my mother in law shouts out "are they crazy? we'll go back to the boat for lunch."

A quick argument over the complete and utter stupidity of heading all the way back to the boat for lunch ensued. We won this one but the caveat was that we had to wait for them so we could all eat together.

Shortly after the argument ended, the women emerged from the house and joined us by the trolley stop. We boarded the trolley, looking forward to a quick meal and some cool pirate shit for the boys. An hour later my mother in law is questioning the driver as to how much longer before we get back to the main square. He tells her it will be another 20 minutes and she says she didn't realize the ride took so long. I told her they said it was about an hour and a half when we got on, we spent ten minutes on the trolley to get to Hemingway's house and that it makes sense that there'd be another 20 minutes. I told her this was why I suggested we not take the trolley. I told her that I didn't need to hear someone point out each motel along the beach and that was all the trolley was doing.

We arrived at the square and started looking for a place where we could get decent food quickly as it was now after 2. My mother in law wanted to hit a restaurant a block off the square, my brother in law suggested the giant, more touristy spot across the street. He figured they'd get the group of 9 served faster as they seemed more prepared to handle large groups. We would up at her choice. They had to push tables together to accommodate us. The menu wasn't suitable for my niece and nephew. The waiter said they could make the quesadillas they wanted without the beans, the avocados and the salsa. Then we waited for the food. And waited. And waited.

The food came out, the quesadillas were wrong. We no longer had time to wait for them to redo the food so we ate what we had while she argued with the waiter about the shitty service.

My son had to take a dump mid-meal so I took him to the can where he, mid shit, proceeded to ask me questions about luke skywalker and his lack of a light saber when he fought the monster in the basement of Jabba's palace. When I asked him why this would be on his mind, in a stall, in a restaurant, in key west, he said, with a red face, grunting and pushing "it's important to me."

I love the kid but he's abnormally obsessed with the movies.

Anyway, it was now 3 and we had to be back to the boat in an hour and a half so we only had time for one thing and the boys chose the aquarium. The girls chose something else and we split up. We should have split up when we first entered the town but the crazy broad demanded togetherness.

The aquarium wasn't very impressive but it did have some fairly cool stuff. My son held all kinds of ocean life and had a blast. We wound up back at the boat around 4:50 so the line to get on wasn't so bad and it gave us plenty of time to get changed and ready for the next feeding.

Dinner was, again, a serious of complaints about the shitty food. I'm not sure why anyone was expecting 5 star cuisine on a cruise but, still, they complained.

Me? The food snob? The one who only eats certain foods? The hardest one to please? Nary a word. I think it pisses my mother in law off that I, the one she expected to complain, seemed pleased and satisfied with everything.

The satisfaction and pleasure was a result of my setting my expectations so low that everything was a nice, pleasant surprise. Fuck, I might have slipped a smile or two that night.

After dinner the kids played in the game room and then they went to see the show. I avoided the show. My brother in law and I went back to pack our shit as we were leaving in the morning. We did, of course, hit the casino for about 20 minutes, winning a few bucks in the process. A pattern was clearly defined at this point. Play without the women, we win. Women play with us, we lose. Going to be hard explaining this to them when they want to hit the tables later but it needs to be said.

The kids loved the show, they had a blast. A couple of the crew, who came on stage so the audience could applaud them, gave my kids towels tied up like animals. They were thrilled.

The kids went to bed and we hit some game show for adults. It was a scavenger hunt that had the contestants looking for things like "two men with their pants on backwards."

We left after about ten minutes.

We hit the casino. I alerted the women to the conundrum. They told us to suck it up and not blame them. My brother in law lost two bills. His wife lost another. I broke even and my wife won about two hundred bucks. My theory still not proved to be wrong.

The next morning was a rough one. We had to wake up and get off the boat by nine, find our bags, go thru customs, get to the airport and go thru security for a flight that was leaving at noon.

It was a hectic, nasty rush of an event but, fortunately, we split from the pack so we weren't bogged down by the size of the group. They others were getting in their car and driving back to my mother in law's home so they weren't in a rush.

At the airport, the week of bad food finally hit me. Fortunately, my amex platinum allows me access to the first class lounge so my session on the can wasn't coupled with the skeeves from the public shitter. It was a dump of biblical proportions. I felt like standing on the toilet, thrusting my arms high over my head and shouting "I'm the king of the can!!!" but I held back. Didn't want to scare the normals.

The flight was delayed. The gate was moved. The flight was delayed some more.

We finally boarded around 1:30 and headed home.

My wife and I have since agreed, we would never go on another cruise with our kids again, unless my mother in law wanted to do another family trip. If she did, we'd go but only if we had complete and total control over the rooms, the destination etc.

Funny thing is, I think, out of all the adults, I enjoyed it the most. I was expecting this god awful, horrible, horrific, torturous event. It wasn't total fire and brimstone hell. It wasn't something I'd want to do again but the kids had a blast, there was never a lack of activities and I was never bored.

And nobody threw up or died.

Can't ask for much more than that in a family vacation, can you?


Trenton said...

Well you could ask for a little less complaining by some select individuals; not naming names or anything, LOL!

But, all in all, sounds like you has a reasonable amount of fun. Almost makes me think that taking the deadbeat along would have been a better deal, but then again, I don't know...

Trent :-)

Floogin McNoogin said...

an accident at sea for the deadbeat. not a bad idea.

Trenton said...

Do I hear an invitation coming for the next "trip"?? :P

Trent :-)

Floogin McNoogin said...

prank post
prank post

Trenton said...

Don't they have life rafts on those boats?? Could put him on one, and let it ride on the wake of the ship... Hehe.

Trent :-)

Trenton said...

Just kidding, of course.

How's McNoogin Jr. holding up? He doing ok?

Trent :-)