It's kind of a running gag around here that my kid is part mermaid, or at the very least part goldfish, but the truth is, she is not the only one. G and I like the water, too, or at least the beach. Almost all of our vacations involve the sea in some form or another, even if it's only tangentially -- Los Cabos, San Diego (where I had breakfast with Shamu on my 29th birthday), Tulum, Boston (where we went on a whale watch), Puerto Plata. Our trip to Vegas in 2005 is the lone random outlier. One of our best getaways ever was our trip to Acapulco in October 2001, when we cashed in our tax rebate for travelers cheques and went to see the cliff divers.
This is the time of year when we normally start getting ready for our annual winter vacation -- maybe we aren't loading the car up and heading for the airport, exactly, but we're doing our research and making our reservations. Well, usually I'm doing the legwork and heavy lifting (G hates planning and packing and parking at the airport, but he loves actually being on vacation) but at this point we generally have only a few loose ends to tie up, and then it's all over but the waiting. Last year we pulled a vacation to the Florida Keys together in 24 hours, and hightailed it out of town a month later.
Of course this year things are different. G is still out of work and we don't know how long it will be until that changes. We need to be really careful and deliberate with our luxuries. While I did get a lot of overtime earlier this month while we were doing the year-end close at work, we just can't swing the expense of a big vacation right now. We looked longingly at a lot of places -- the Bahamas, a cruise, Puerto Rico, even the Keys again -- but we just can't do it. Not in the style to which we are accustomed, anyway. Maybe we could camp out in the beach under the stars somewhere, but I think the authorities frown upon that sort of behavior.
But that doesn't mean we're not doing something. We deserve a break, and if it killed me (SPOILER ALERT! It almost did!), I was going to figure this damn mess out. It took a lot of time and effort and negotiating and hours that could have otherwise been productively spent playing World of Warcraft, plus a small little bit of magic in the form of a most fortuitous email from my sister, but we have found a place that will give us everything we want. Temperatures in the 80°F's. Tidal pools. Waterslides. Sharks. Room service. Umbrella drinks. Junk food. Photo ops. Down time. Away time.
And we're doing it all in two weeks, in New Jersey, at the Adventure Aquarium in Camden, and then at Coco Key Water Resort in Mount Laurel. Personally, I think it's just what the doctor ordered -- my therapist, Dr. Beach.