Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Summer Vacation

I’m taking the wife and kids on a well-earned fortnight’s holiday to Florida tomorrow.

Won’t it be a bit hot at this time of year?” is the usual response to this declaration, to which I assert, “Well if it was any cooler, it wouldn’t be 40% off would it?

I can’t stand the heat you see, but I do love a bargain.

For example in 2005 we honeymooned in an Arizona spa resort, surrounded by glorious desert landscapes and blissfully untroubled by virtually any other guests.

The resort wasn’t that exclusive to be honest, we just happened to be there in July.

My attempts to reassure my wife that it was a dry heat (whilst she frantically read the small print of the wedding certificate), was met with a deservedly terse response.

Our oven has a dry heat” she observed,”…but I don’t have an urge to stick my head in it.

Unfortunately I am afflicted with a markedly increased susceptibility to sunstroke, whilst also being blessed with a rather uncommonly large head, making the purchase of headwear (to ward off said sunstroke) decidedly difficult.

Please be aware that the next time you see a hat or cap labelled 'one size fits all', that I can confirm it is breaching applicable trade description laws.

I was reassured however by a cap I inspected at the weekend from golf apparel makers Tommy Armour, threatened perhaps by some big-headed class action lawyers. It read far more acceptably, 'one size fits most'.

My obligatory head covering of choice therefore is an appropriately folded bandana, which makes me look like a threatening but ageing member of an L.A. gang like the Crips, or the Bloods.

As you'd agree, not exactly becoming of a polite and well brought-up man from Hertfordshire, but certainly handy for securing a sun lounger in a prime poolside spot.

The first week of our Florida vacation is at an ‘all inclusive’ resort, an open invitation to arrive as a healthy fit adult, and to depart as a grossly obese one with a drinking problem.

My only previous experience with ‘all inclusive’ holidays occurred in 1997 on a lads trip to Mexico.

After the first couple of days, we realized that it was so damned hot (do you detect a theme here?) that after about the third day, we’d lost the will to eat, let alone consume alcohol.

We thus grasped that we’d inadvertently been duped into paying 5-star prices for a 3-star hotel, albeit with unlimited bottled water.

On this occasion however, I do fully intend to see if I can get the holiday to pay for itself through grotesque amounts of calorific consumption.

Beer is unlimited and included, although presumably it is the undrinkable fizzy domestic brews, imploring one to dip into their wallet occasionally to pay real cash for one with some taste.

This is not a minor consideration given that about a third of a pint of beer is tax anyway, or as comedian Al Murray puts it, “Not until about halfway through your pint do you stop drinking for the Government, and start drinking for yourself.

In order to pay for the entire family’s holiday in beer alone, I’ve calculated I need to drink at an extremely challenging run rate of 5 per hour for 16 hours per day.

However with late afternoon rain showers a regular occurrence at this time of year, I may be saved by the Duckworth-Lewis method which may bring down the rate required to a more tolerable level.

It all reminds me of when a friend was recommended by his GP to take a week’s ‘alcohol holiday’.

Unfortunately by the time my friend had realised he meant a holiday from alcohol, he was already in Ibiza on his fourth consecutive all-night bar crawl.

There’s also an all-you-can-eat buffet for each meal, or as health-conscious restauranteurs are increasingly encouraged to call them, ‘all-you-care-to-eat’ buffets (which unfortunately for many Americans is the same thing).

Perhaps there's scope to stuff my face enough at mealtime, in order to line my stomach for the beer extravaganza ahead? With the kids safely enrolled all day in the Groovy Gang, I fully intend to at least give the hotel's finance manager a nasty shock, if only for a day or two.

We’re spending the second week of the trip with the mother-in-law a little further down the coast, enough to drive anyone to drink at an even more furious pace.

She is paying for the accommodation however which is sweet of her, although I found the implicit assumption that this also meant she could join us, to be just a little on the presumptuous side.


At 8:02 AM, Blogger Wyn Grant said...

Hertfordshire? Are you a secret Hornet?

At 8:12 AM, Blogger Suze said...

Well enjoy, even if you will need a wider seat on your return!


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