Tuesday, August 09, 2005

A Five Umbrella Affair

or How to Vacation with 30 Family Members For A Week and Live to Blog About It

Beach vacation, family style

Vacation started out with the last wedding we had on the books. We helped bedeck the church the night before and partied heartily at the rehearsal dinner over the buffet and free Gin & Tonics. The next day was sunny and warm (deceptively so, as will later be revealed). My reading went off without a hitch (UNLIKE THE BRIDE AND GROOM - oooo, that is WRETCHED) and the minister said she had never heard anyone so well prepared for a reading before. THEY'RE CALLED INFLECTION AND THE DRAMATIC PAUSE. If you would like to believe that I conjured them up for this occasion, you may go right ahead. I just figured those well-established hallmarks of public speaking might allow P, C, and the rest of the Dearly Beloved to enjoy my dronings a bit more.

The next morning, I helped Aunt P bring the groceries from her house out to the Cape and discovered something: I FELT AWFUL. Tired, achy, nauseated, blech! I was in the right place with the right person to fall ill because Aunt P is a Fantastic Nurse and she proceeded to diagnose and treat the sick RIGHT OUT OF ME. She said I was dehydrated, probably from weeks of not drinking enough water and then sweating the entire day before and downing Sam Adams throughout the reception with a certain Aunt (I'm looking at you, J ;). The symptoms started well into the day, so I know it wasn't a hangover, but a hangover is basically a specific type of dehydration and I NEVER WANT TO HAVE ONE, NOT EVER. Also, I enjoy the taste of water ever so much more now that it's protecting me from THAT! Anyway this lasted two days, during which some people said I looked pale (so many jokes, so little time), others thought I was pregnant (ahem, WHAT NOW?!?!), and still others wished I would quit avoiding them so they could entertain me with their Tonka backhoes and discussions of destroyers and battleships (smart cousins that they are).

Actual highlights included the sailboat races in which a chunk of the family competed on a near wind-less day using, um, dubious methods. Paddling, creative "clothing" (read auxiliary sails), and the occasional shove while rounding a corner. Warms the heart doesn't it? I also got to have long chats with several Aunts who never fail to encourage and challenge me. Cousin G, K, and I also went to Provincetown and stumbled upon these folk:

K and I in 50 years. And yes, by then I'll be taller than he because I don't slouch. (Thanks Mom!)

Our beach week ended on Saturday morning when we treked back with Aunt L, dropping her off at a friend's in CT, and P, younger brother of K, whose friends are hauling him to the Outer Banks for more fun in the sweltering sun. Speaking of sun, I got some, but (mostly) not too much. I burned a bit on my back and got freckles on my face. Not too bad considering how much time we spent in the sun and water. Yay for progress!

Percy was SO GLAD to see us. I'm sure she thought we'd left her to HF's only occasional visits forever! She rubbed up against our legs (HF must have taught her to do that because she's just that NICE) and purred like a diesel engine. She has since climbed up and sat on my lap something like 8 times. Yes, Jimmy, it IS a wonderful life!

The Sunfish Twain, weapons of familial war in the now-famous regatta of Thursday last.

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