For the record, I didn’t agree to these rules before our home exchange trip to Spain. These rules were just announced to me by my teens and put into place once we arrived. I can see why the first one came to be but the other two – come on! A girl’s got to live, right?
Vacation Rules: According to Teens
- No losing the passports
- No going bare-buck (skinny dipping, swimming in natural waters without proper bathing attire)
- No public display of affection “PDA” by parents
Yep, I broke them all in a matter of about 10 minutes and no matter what you’ve heard about my behavior, here’s the real story…
Rule #1: No losing the passports
Yes, good idea to keep hold of those. It’s amazing how often you need to show your passports in Europe and it’s best to keep them handy. My husband kept his in his money belt and I was in charge of mine and the kids’ passports. I was keeping those three in a plastic bag, inside my backpack. While in the airport, I kept them in my wallet, which I turned into a “fanny-pack” of sorts for the trip.
While we were camping and traveling along the coast, near Cabo de Gata, and hiking down to different beaches in the national park area, I couldn’t find the passports. You see, we have a verbal checklist when camping: gas? food? water? and when we camp in Europe – passports? It’s a good checklist except when I’m responsible for the passports and I can’t find them.
I immediately began to sweat. That’s what happens when I break a rule like “don’t lose the passports.” I frantically tore my backpack apart saying, “I just saw them today. Maybe I left them at the campsite.” Which probably wasn’t the best idea because we had a tent there and tents don’t have locks.
After scouring the rental car and my backpack for the missing passports, my husband said, “Don’t worry about it. I made copies of them, so let’s just go cool off in the water. We can’t do anything about it now.” He’s always calm like that and thankfully never gets mad at me for things like this because when your nickname is “Internet Girl” and your thoughts are in a million places like mine, it happens more than I like to admit!
As we hiked down towards the ocean, I continued sweating and freaking-out inside my head, when I said, “Wait a minute – I think I know where they are!” And sure enough, there they were inside my cute little “fanny-pack” waist wallet, right where I had put them that morning – inside my husband’s backpack!
In the heat of southern Spain, the frenzy of searching for those cussin’ passports, and the hiking, I was sweating big time! When we got to the water, I realized I didn’t have my bathing suit on, didn’t have it with me like I had those passports, and it was back in the rental car. What’s a girl to do?
Rule #2: No going bare-buck (skinny dipping, swimming in natural waters without proper attire)
We won’t go into the reasons why my teens felt the need to add this rule but all I can say is there’s nothing better than going bare-buck on a hot day in cool water. Before the breaking of this rule, I gave my teens fair warning:
I shouted, “Avert your eyes or forever be sorry!”
Luckily, the beach was pretty isolated and only one other couple was there. This couple was close to the “clothing is optional” rule themselves and did not pay any attention to this crazed American tourist who was stripping down to her birthday suit and jumping into the cool refreshing Mediterranean Sea. They did leave shortly after we arrived so maybe naked moms are offensive.
3. No public display of affection “PDA” by parents
Maybe it was the cool refreshing water or the relief of having found those passports but as we hiked up the steep hill, back to the car, my husband and I held hands. Now, it’s not as if we were groping one another in the way that if you saw a couple on a street corner totally engrossed in one another, you might yell out to them, “Get a room!” as you drive by as I’ve been known to do from time to time. It wasn’t like that. We were holding hands while walking. That’s it. The second the “crime” took place, the teens swooped in and said, “Ok, that’s enough. You’re being completely inappropriate and people might see you.” This was said while we were being pushed apart and separated by our off-spring. And the “people might see you” part? There wasn’t another soul in sight.
Rules on vacation? Yes, it seems I do need them. Do you?
Go Gingham related links:
Meet Internet Girl – she’s easily distracted and likes shiny things on the web!
Seven quick ways to get a teen to leave the room – tried and true methods
Technology free Sundays and more family rules that work for our family
Parents make mistakes, too, and it’s not pretty!
When traveling, I love to home exchange because it’s frugal and fun!
“Home from Spain” post is here with more pictures