Prelude: On vacations in general…
“If we make it through this vacation without getting a divorce, it will be a frigging miracle.”
Janice Doench, on several occasions.
Growing up, my father was big into camping. Every other year we would pile the entire Doench brood into whatever deathtrap of a family vehicle he could cram all of us into and set off for the Doench memorial campground at Pinery Provincial Forest . There we would assemble our rickety, ancient, 6 person tent, cram 8 people into it, and pray to the Catholic Jesus that it would not rain. Because the tent would definitely leak.
Dad was a Cub Scout, but not a Boy Scout for reasons out of his control, and I think he sent the rest of his life overcompensating for something he thought he had missed there. He was absolutely convinced in his own camping competence, enough to overcome any deficit in his actual real world camping competence. I’ll be the first to admit that his attitude was infectious and intoxicating, to a ten year old… Ten year olds didn’t care much about the details of taking 5-8 children across half the country. Dad had a delightful amount of ten year old in him.
Mom was less sanguine about our expeditions into the wilderness. Where Dad saw grand excursions, Mom saw endless complications. They were both right of course. Each trip was a grand adventure. And each trip was endlessly complicated.
The Girl and Boy have in general been quite lucky in our vacating. Barring our honeymoon (a camping trip to Red River Gorge) which ended in a rainout, we’ve been blessed with good weather, a distinct lack of airplane crashes, and a general sense that things could have gone much much worse. We haven’t taken the Hellions camping yet, containing our vacating within the comforting embrace of hotels and beach houses. When we do, I’m unreasonably confident it will be awesome. It in my genes you know.