The (somewhat scary but perhaps amusing) preparations for a southern family vacay (in no particular order):

  • Untangle 4 sets of earbuds for plane. (Find out en route to airport that there will not be seatback entertainment on plane that you and children were expecting. React to e-mail in such a way that husband thinks we have been notified of a death in the family.)
  • Reserve books at library based on latest book club assignment and recommendations from all talk shows watched (total 10).
  • Force Ask daughters to recycle Valentines and consume/donate Valentine’s Day candy before departing. Use photos of destination as incentive:
  • Order new swimsuit from Old Navy (because – fast free shipping, easy returns. This was not sponsored.) 
  • Keep self from mentioning upcoming trip on social media, despite excitement to share. Remind self that announcing partial vacancy of home is not wise.
  • Book housesitter. Can always depend on former babysitter to look after house, or to play role of host in mock talk show segment being videotaped for submission. Different story.
  • Leave notes for housesitter, attempting to be respectful and not micromanage the smart young woman while feeling need to provide as much trivial detail as possible. 
  • Attempt to clear PVR. Have many shows to record over 8 days away, and consider PVR another area to “declutter”. Ask husband if he can delete any of his shows. Be reminded by husband that episode of Live! With Regis and Kelly from August 2011 where we can be spotted in audience very briefly is still on PVR. Stop bugging husband.
  • Use moisturizer with self-tanner for two full weeks just to move from “Ghostly White” to “Yes, I’m a Tourist”. 
  • Repeat tanning mantra over and over: “A golden glow fades, sun damage is forever.” Buy extra sunscreen, while secretly hoping that it doesn’t totally work.
  • Pack for self and two children (with their assistance, of course). Don’t even offer to pack for husband, though hear that some wives actually do that. 
  • Remember any medications that may possibly be required during trip. Include children’s Gravol, though it won’t help when most needed – when our family is ordered to exit the plane with sick child and catch later flight. (Now you have to come back for my trip post.)
  • Get manicure (shellac of course), not knowing that tropical orange shade will exactly match tacky wristband provided by resort. (I swear, I didn’t know.)
  • Do pedi at home, attempting to be frugal. 
  • Recognize irony in using word “frugal” in a post about preparing for an all-inclusive March Break Jamaican vacation.
  • Remain blissfully unaware that kids’ spray sunscreen and sand mix together to create nail polish remover and pedi will not last through first beach day.
  • Remember desperation for Canadian treats during last tropical trip. Stock up accordingly (Smarties, Lays).
  • Complete all personal grooming necessary for swimsuit wear in March.
  • Purchase extra razor blades.
  • Check in for hotel and flight online at the first moment possible, though the timing really makes no difference whatsoever.
  • Write oh-so-witty list about trip preparations.
  • Remind self that can NOT share trip info on social media in advance.
  • At airport, purchase magazines that cost more in total than the bathing suit purchased for the trip.

And now, we’re back from Montego Bay, Jamaica…best family vacay ever! (New York with hubby and Vegas with sisters-in-law still top the “Couples Trip” and “Girls’ Getaway” categories.)
Just be glad that I am NOT doing a “Recovering From Southern Vacation and Getting Back Into Routine” post. That one would be even less exciting, and even though I didn’t drink in Montego Bay, the first day back almost called for it. Not for any dramatic reason, just because I insist on being unpacked with laundry done, mail and phone calls caught up and life generally back in order within 24 hours of returning from a vacation, even if on that same day of return both daughters are performing in a big concert.

Type A, remember?

Tons of trip info (yes, I was able to relax!), with photos, coming later this week!

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