I seem to have this needless urge to be tortured - like what I did yesterday. I would have told you yesterday about the whole ordeal, but when I finished writing this blog and downloading the photos, my head crashed on the keyboard from exhaustion. That was pretty much were my husband found me around 9pm after he enjoyed the scrumptious BBQ with the kids that I ordered before he found me half-dead at the computer. Shows you how much I'm really missed around here.
The day started out pretty well as we went to a newly opened secluded part of Pensacola Beach where no developers are allowed to building their ugly, beach blocking monstrosities. You know, the spot where we can actually enjoy the beach without the nuisance of beer bellied alcoholics and loud obnoxious music blaring beside us. $8 bucks to get in, and enough muula to keep the rift-raft out! Oh Yeah!
We swam in the emerald colored water and played in the sand. We went for a long walk along the beach and talked with a park ranger about the various experiments she was doing on insects in the area as we are in the middle of major sanctuary for birds and other sea critters. It was beautiful; calm waters, white sugary sand. The day was looking good.
Then we decided to take the rare opportunity to check out a ship called the Juan Sebastian de Elcano, the world's third tallest ship. It was here to mark the Pensacola's 450th anniversary of whatever, blah, blah, blah. It was a free tour.
That was the problem.
See, when someone announces that something is free, every Tom, Dick, Harry, Bertha, and Willamena come out of the woodwork - or trailer park - to see something like this. Oh God - and I do mean they all come out. I never knew there were so many different tacky ways to wear a mu-mu and capri's in public. But here in the South, they find a way. And every boy under the age of 5 must have head lice cause each and everyone one I saw yesterday had been shaved to the scalp. But it was that once in a life time event. Yeah, right!
We were informed to go a little early since we would be in line for about an hour.
Like I said, I like to be tortured for some reason. We stood in line for almost three stinking hours in the hot and blazing sun in order to see the inside of a stupid damn ship that's not even FIRST in anything! I would have rather had my toenails AND my fingernails ripped with a pair of pliers, then alcohol poured over them than do what I did this afternoon. I've had a better time waiting in one of those "S" lines at DisneyWorld in the middle of July, just to get on that damn teacup ride just to throw up afterwards, than I had here. But it doesn't mean that DisneyWorld is any better; it just means that this ship event has now joined the suckass club that DisneyWorld belongs in now.
We had slathered sunscreen on for the "hour" wait, but after about two freaking hours it had begun to wear off and we were sans sunscreen at that point. Various body parts on us began to "smoke" after awhile. My husband had to hike about 1/2 mile to the drink stand and dole out $10 for five waters that were downed in about 30 seconds flat by four very tired and thirsty kids. Then he had to turn around and hike back for water for he and I. He actually had the gaul to act like none of this was bothering him! But I knew it was when he came back and asked for anything to put on his neck.
"HA - HA! You're burning too and you don't want to admit it!"
Then it was time for the bathroom. For a line that was almost a mile long, some stupid idiot thought only four of those plastic portable toilets would be sufficient enough to handle the crowd.
FIRE that idiot!!
So my daughters decide they had to "go". After opening the door and taking one whiff of one of those things that smelt like it had not been cleaned since, like.... six months ago - they ran. They ran fast, back to daddy waiting for his turn on the ship like a patient warrior waiting for battle, in the now blistering sun.
The girls decided to "hold it". I knew we were in trouble then. The fact that I had disinfectant wipes in my bag still wouldn't convince those girls to step within ten feet of that thing again.
Thanks Port-O-Potty Man!
Then as we got closer, I decided to take a few pics to kill some time and to stick my now burn shoulders in the shade. If I wasn't a candidate for melanoma before.... well I am now. My fair skin just shot up to a level 9 risk factor after today. And the sun will suck just about life force available in you on a day like today. I was pouring water down my grey sundress while holding the camera in my other hand trying to take a good shot.
Then Nia decides she wants to join me. Actually, she just wants to get the chance to see her mother scream like a crazy woman in front of everyone again as she leans over a foot high concrete barrier between her and the water 20 feet below her. I'm hot, I'm having a heart attack trying to keep my daughter from falling in the water, and about a hundred people are taking pictures of me yelling and chasing my daughter around the dock while clicking my own camera at the same time.
No, it was neither pretty OR funny.
My husband finally decides that he will wait in line while the rest of us sit in the shade along the boat until he gets close enough to where they let us in. Great idea - two hours too late though. We are all completely exhausted by that point.
My legs are shaking every time I stand up, and Nia is becoming a tired and cranky mess. You know the disposition. It's the one where she is fighting every negative feeling she has by "acting out" and running all over the place in order to fight the tiredness she has building up inside. It only gets worse.
We finally make it on the boat only to realize that we are not exactly on our own yet. We are waiting in yet another line, on the boat, in order to get to see the rest of the stinking boat. Nia kicks into full hyper mania. She wants to run - be free- and who can blame her at this point. I mean, you can semi-cage a little animal like her for so long before she has the instinct to try to break loose.
My husband couldn't hold her any longer; I couldn't either because my shoulder is still bad and it was already hurting from carrying all the bags, plus it's sunburnt now. We finally gave up the tour after standing on the boat for about 30 more minutes and basically going nowhere.
The walk back to the car took forever. The line was still as long as it was when we first started this idiotic "tour". We were telling people how long the wait was, and we could see people slowly dropping out of line and leaving as we were. At least they had the common sense to bail out before running around like maniacs yelling "Donde' esta aqua - DONDE' ESTA AQUA!"
Julian and Toni were about in tears because we were "almost there" and had to abandon ship.
Bawhahahaha - I can't believe I just thought of that!
Just about the time we get to the car, Nia decides she can't wait any longer. She decided she had to pee and wasn't about to talk it over with anyone at that point. She quietly stands by some ship anchor artwork and just pees while she stands. Luckily, I already have backup underwear and clothing in my bag, so I clean her up so that my husband can carry her to the car. All I can say is thank God she waited till we were clear of the crowd.
One of Kurt's last monumental comments when we got on the ship was "You will remember this for a long time.".
The kids will remember this as the day that mom, dad, and Nia sunk their battleship.
And who do I have to blame for the day ending on such a sour lemon note? ME, ME, ME, ME, ME! I should have known better than to expect a half-exhausted 3 year old to stand in line for 10 minutes; much less an hour - or three! Somewhere during the day, my family adventure chromosome took over my motherly common sense chromosome and, well.... the rest is a bad historical moment in our bag of family memories. What I should have done is put Nia down for a nap and let my husband take the rest of the kids to the ship tour to have a good time.
At least no one would have come home feeling like an internal nuclear bomb had gone off inside them that left everyone so dog-gone cranky that we all were on no-speaking terms for the rest of the evening; with mom asleep at the computer.
But at least I got some decent pics to share of our "memorable" experience. It's the only thing I got besides burnt shoulders and a bunch of p.o.'d kids. Oh, and by the way, the ship was gorgeous - what I saw of it that is.
But this is the pic showing some of my true feelings for whole "rare event".