Thursday, August 4, 2011

Greedy geese, rabid chipmunks and wild bears…just another "family vacation"

That's right, people.  It's that time of year again...our annual "same shit, different location" summer road trip to South Lake Tahoe.

Although this year, for the first time ever, we didn't have to worry about nap schedules, sippy cups, bottles and diapers.  All my hard work has paid off....well, sort of....because we all know a mother's work is never truly complete until her children have become responsible, successful adults (preferably loaded with gobs of money to which they will spoil their exhausted mother until her heart's content).

Also, for the first time ever, no one asked us, "Do you have TWO sets of twins?"  No one was the wiser and we were just like every other family insane enough to have more than 2 children.  It was super awesome.

Each day, we visited a different beach.  Not because we were anxious to see how all the various beaches in Tahoe differ....but more because Tim and I were too embarrassed to return to the same beach after having exposed the public to the complete annoyance that is our children.

Let me explain....

At the first beach we visited (Meeks Bay), my kids were obsessed with feeding the damn geese.  The same damn geese that other people were ignoring and shoo-ing away because...let's face it, geese can be greedy and evil.

And once you feed them food (or a human finger), they come back for more...and they bring 246 of their closest family members to invade your space and crap all over your beach towels.



Oh, and geese aren't picky, just so you know.  They're happy to eat anything you have to offer, including the very last Cheeto which one of your kids had his heart set on eating...until his older brother decided that the geese were way more deserving.

The next day, we hit yet another beach (Angora Lakes), which we had to hike to.  Yes, I said hike.  Most people would imagine a nature hike with the family would be fun...full of great memories which would be talked about at many Thanksgiving dinners to come.

Yeah, we're talking about MY family, though.

This hike entailed lots of "how much longer do we have to walk?", "my legs are gonna fall off" and "this sucks".

Not exactly the great memories I wanted to create but there's always next year.

All was good in the world once again when my kids encountered a very hungry chipmunk, to whom the kids lovingly referred to as Alvin.  He happily ate their Doritos, while people watched in horror because chipmunks have rabies...don't you know?



Thankfully, there was another family next to us who didn't seem to give a care in the world that my children were feeding rabid chipmunks.  In fact, the mother said to me, "We're always that one family that everyone stares at because my kids are so loud and...well, they tend to misbehave more than normal".

I patted her on the back and said, "Well, we've can relax now.  We'll take it from here".

The following day, we headed to Zephyr Cove and prayed like mad that no one would recognize us as "that terrible family who's encouraging wild life to beg for food from innocent human beings".

Thankfully, we went unnoticed...for awhile, anyway.

Until Garrett decided to come out of the water pretending to be a wild animal to attack his unsuspecting older brother.

And being the awesome mother that I am, instead of saying, "Don't scare your brother", I grabbed my camera to capture the moment forever.

Because that's the kind of shit we talk about at our Thanksgiving dinners.






On our last day, we went to Sand Harbor beach, where we spent a majority of our day catching crawdads and trying to convince Landon that he would not be forced to eat them after he loudly declared, "I will not eat any crawdads because they have butts".

I didn't have the heart to tell him that he eats all kinds of other things which do, indeed, have butts.

During the drive home, something brown and furry caught my eye.  Well, lo and behold, it was a wild bear canvassing the neighborhood for food...or little kids.  It was hard to tell.


The kids became excited at seeing their very first wild bear in person, who Bella dubbed "Zoe".  I mean, doesn't it totally look like a Zoe?

They insisted I take a picture of Zoe so they could go back to school in a couple weeks and brag to their friends about the huge, mean bear they encountered on vacation.

So what did I do?  Pushed the pedal to the metal and got the hell outta there, you say?

I laugh at your naivete....while you laugh at my stupidity.

As the bear crossed the road right in front of us, I snapped this picture....from the safety of my car, people.  I'm not THAT stupid.


Yes, the bear was the highlight of our trip, as the kids did not stop talking about it for hours on end.

And that, my friends, was our 2011 "Same shit, different location" road a nutshell.

Who wants to come with us next year??

If you need more excuses to laugh at my expense, read these other posts from our past "same shit, different location" road trips:

I Left My Heart in Lake Tahoe (2010)

The Smoking Baby, Dead Bones, Captain Feathersword and the Fish Killers (2009 - Part 1)

Dining with Alvin and The Chipmunks and Other Vacation Adventures   (2009 - Part 2)


Kristen said...

Love it. I tend to romanticize our vacations. But really - they are more like yours. Our last one only had 1 trip to the ER. :)
Kristen @

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

Now that's what I call a vacation. If kids can't be loud, sometimes, obnoxious, endearing and curious as well as compassionate enough to feed the wildlife, then what's a vacation??? Great pictures and of course, memories to last a lifetime.

Eva Gallant said...

oh, Helene, you make me laugh so much! I love your kids! And what a great photo of the bear! Glad you survived same shit different location this year!

Jenny said...

EEK! That bear was a little close!

Your kids are so funny!

Amber said...

I love that you saw a bear! He's SO CUTE!

Great pictures, it looks like it was a super fun time! :)

"Cottage By The Sea" said...

Every now and then my kids remark, "we never got to go on any vacations when we were little." So, once again, I get out my trusty photo boxes and give proof that yes, in fact and with photographic evidence, we went on vacation practically every year of their lives. These vacations look a lot better in photos than they actually were just due to the fact that we were traveling with 5 kids (which speaks for itself as you well know). So, what I'm saying is, no worries. Except for the great pics you captured, they won't remember your vacations anyway. Sorry.

Emmy said...

My Daughter has the same bathing suit! And if that was all your kids did- well you made it off pretty easy :)

ashley @ ashley's adventures in alaska said...

This is what I picture for my future family's vacations. Except, visiting Texas and California and random places here in Alaska. Maybe we can wait a few more years for kids? Our vacations are disastrous enough without them yet! Thanks for sharing your stories! I laugh every single time.

Barbara said...

Sign me up! I think our vacations might be too boring!

Jennifer said...

Hahahaha! You're smarter than me! I would've gone to the same beach and complained the entire time about all eyes on my son! I wouldn't have had a good time at all! I will most definitely keep that in mind next time we go anywhere and my son decides to be cray-cray!

Twins Squared said...

OK, I saw that pic of the bear on FB and I was speechless and couldn't comment. That is awesome first of all! And second, I am relieved to know you were still in the car!

Also, the chipmunk pic is adorable! I don't ever see chipmunks anywhere.

And lastly, this was just a funny post. Only one may have to change your mantra to same s**t, SAME location since you keep going back to Tahoe now!

Glad it is getting better! We have had such a difference this summer. Like you said, none of all that crap to lug along. And I really think when you don't have all the crap and as they get older, people don't notice that they're twins and you can go about your life relatively uninterrupted, except that you still have 4 kids which is like a trillion these days. And our comment these days is about how we have all girls.

Anyway, funny! Glad it was a good time!

Karen and Gerard said...

Sounds like a fun trip--especially seeing the bear! Didn't know chipmunks had rabies. I think it's sweet how your children like to feed the wildlife.

January Dawn said...

Aw Helene! I missed you. Welcome back and I loved with kids are never really vacations at all are they? But as long as we live to tell about them it always turns out to be entertainment for all to enjoy. And holy shit that bear was close!

DysFUNctional Mom said...

Just today Elayna and I fed birds at a restaurant while people gave us sideways looks and my poor husband nearly died of nervousness and embarrassment (you may remember my post, he's a rule follower and I'm a rule breaker and also I basically dont give a shit.).
Anyway, screw em. Wild animals need food too.
Also, I was sure you were going to say you threw the smallest child at the bear and hauled ass, so I'm quite proud of you!
Glad the vacation didn't totally suck the life out of you.

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

A vacation without diapers and naps. Oh that sounds divine, even if the kids do come with you ;-)

Looks like a really fun trip! Wow on the bear pics!

Recovering Church Lady said...

So cool! Hey thanx for following me!
I love your bear pics, he or she was close huh? I took some pics of a bear in Yosemite a few months ago it was so fun!

Heather said...

I admit, the bear is a pretty cool sight, and glad you were all safely in the car! Well, I must go change a diaper because we are still there ;)

Missy said...

I usually need a vacation from my vacation. I have one child who sleeps for shit on vacation (at least at the beginning), so we're usually half exhausted by the middle.

Does that stop us? NO! It's, like you say, what family memories are made of. :)

Karen Peterson said...

That sounds like a pretty good vacation! And that bear pic is fantastic!

The Frazzled Mom said...

Love your blog and sense of humor! I'm a mom of 3 teens. I thought it would get easier as they get older. One PLUS - they don't want to be seen with you. I love to blog about funny family chaos too. My head is spinning most of the time!

I figure that if the children are alive when my husband gets home at the end of the day, I've done my job.

----Roseanne Barr

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