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  • Alexandra Hillenbrand

Family Vacation

If you've noticed a devastating absence from your favorite person yesterday, I'm sorry, but I was prepping for a family vacation. You see, it takes more than just packing your physical belongings to become vacation ready, it includes packing your emotional baggage as well.

My family is well, loud. We are made up of four strong, independent women and Otto, my lovely father. When we go away, he regretfully has to leave behind his two favorite children, his "sons", better known as our dogs, and enter the world of pure feminine energy (and rage). For his sake, it's a good thing weed is legal in New Jersey!

Vacation with our family means that somebody is always hangry, overstimulated, or hiding from everyone else. Don't bring out the game of Monopoly, or Ryann will win and we'll all be mad at her for the rest of the night. If it's Scrabble forget about it. One triple word score for my older sister, Christen, and I'm flipping the board in a fit of competitive adrenaline. (Not my proudest moments.) I'm literally an english major it just feels disrespectful when other people have better vocabularies.

It also means my mom invoking her staring problem at full force, Ryann becoming so tan I'm worried her skin might crisp off, Christen forcing us to go to a museum to learn some history, and my dad falling asleep with his t-shirt on and retaining permanent farmer's tan for the rest of the summer. Me, I'm perfect. That's not true, but it's my perspective so I'm allowed to lie. (Fine, I have one emotional meltdown (a day), but it's fixed when somebody buys me ice cream, or makes me a drink).

Trips have evolved since we were children. Like, that one time I was so traumatized by the movie Jaws that my family thought it would be hysterical to make me ride the Jaws ride at Universal Studios (my dad wanted to go on it twice). Where the shark chases you through water, super fun for me! Or when I accidentally got lost at a horse race. The list could expand perpetually, I've tried to block it out.

The truth is, I quite enjoy these vacations, as chaotic as they might get. I guess that's just being part of a family. I wouldn't trade em for the world. Well, except Christen, she's definitely a little annoying. Just kidding, only I can say that.



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