Tim Pratt
SF and Fantasy Writer

Vacation: Day Seven

(Just realized I never posted this. It was written on the Sunday after we got home.)

Really just a half-day. The kid and I went for breakfast — Heather was still so ill she could barely get out of bed. After that, we returned to the room and worked on packing everything up.

I was afraid we wouldn’t have time to get in a last swim before check-out time, but we hurried, and managed to get an hour or so in the pools. River bravely went over to one of the waterfalls, which had terrified him, and found the splashing to be delightful. I got a last tropical drink — lava flow, yum — and we played and had a great time.

We dragged our myriad bags to the lobby, and got the car loaded up, and drove toward the airport. We had some free time before the rental car was due back, so we hit a beachside park. Heather pretty much stayed in the car, still feeling lousy, but River and I roamed around and looked at tidepools and waded in the surf for an hour or so. A nice, peaceful final few moments.

Then began the misery of modern air travel. River gets his own seat on the plane, so he gets his own carry-on and personal item, which makes packing easier — but he’s too little to actually carry his bags, and though Heather did as much as she could, she was sick, so I found myself extremely over-laden. (Plus we have the stroller, and the car seat the kid uses on the plane since he’s only 36 pounds, and etc.) The only way to carry everything is to elaborately arrange things on the stroller in a very specific way, but it all has to be disassembled for the security scan, and then reassembled, which is annoying. And, because it’s Hawai’i, we had to assemble and disassemble again for the agricultural scan, to make sure we weren’t smuggling fruit.

We finally got on the plane. River was good for an hour, cranky for an hour, and slept the last couple of hours. Thank goodness for that last. I listened to podcasts after he went to sleep, and read some of Cassandra Clare’s Clockwork Angel — I really like it. I’ll have to read her Mortal Instruments series.

We landed in Oakland just after 11 p.m. local time. The kid was remarkably cheerful when we woke him up — with all our bags, we couldn’t carry him, so he had to regain consciousness and walk. We took the shuttle to long-term parking, got our car — which seems terribly mundane after having a convertible for a week — and drove home. It was a fair bit after midnight before we were actually in our own house, but the kid went to sleep in his own bed easily, fortunately.

I scarfed some food — it didn’t feel that late, since we’d been on Hawaii time — and did some Tivo gardening until I got sleepy around 2 a.m. Luckily, the boy remained on Hawaii time, and didn’t wake today until around 8 a.m. We hung out and played for a while, and then his aunt came over around 9 to take him away for the morning. I have to write a story today, and Heather needs another day in bed to recover, so she couldn’t do any childcare. Thank heavens for sisters-in-law…

Here we are. Back in real life. The vacation certainly had its share of unpleasant moments, but we had a couple of very good days, and all the days had good parts. I hope that as time goes on I’ll only remember the good things, and the bad bits will fade. I just wish I felt more rested.

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