Rooster for breakfast

We are traveling. It’s an anniversary/ Valentine’s tradtion for us and this year is a big one. 5 years of mostly bliss.

This morning was a wee less than blissful. By morning I mean 2 AM.

We are in Knoxville, TN on our way to Lexington, KY to watch her beloved Wildcats play at Rupp Arena today. Last night I feel asleep and it was silent. I woke up to a stange sound. I thought it was a child maybe in the room above ours. It seemed muffled, and it had a strange tone with short bursts followed by odd quiet before it started again. Each period lasted seconds between intervals. Like an annoying chime or alarm.

I didn’t open my eyes, I just laid still and listened for footsteps. Surely someone would sooth this fussing baby. No foot steps above or beside us. The sound and silence intervals continued. I woke up enough to really process what was happening. It was a rooster. Not only was this bird making noise somewhere in or around the hotel it was doing it in the middle of the night.

Surely this was a toy or someone’s cell phone. Soon it will stop. It better stop. I will make it stop.

Lets be real here. I wouldn’t. I barely got up to check the time and stumble to the bathroom.

I laid half asleep, half awake and totally annoyed listening to this cockadoodle prankster. I rolled over and stared at my sleeping wife, she was totally unaware there was a nuisance nearby. I laid there pondering whether to wake her and ask if she heard it too. Decidedly she couldn’t as she was snoring away. Seemed rude to wake her on our mini vaca just to make her listen to the rooster with me. If we were home I would have shaken her awake and demanded she listen and harass her about whether she could hear it too, whether it was live or a toy and whether I should go hunt it down and murder it.

I do things like that. Remember how I said “5 years of mostly bliss” ? Yeah.

At some point I slept in short bursts but woke every time the damn rooster started again. At about 6AM my sweetheart innocently woke up to car door slamming outside. She finally heard it.

Like it just started.

Like it hadn’t been going on for 4 hours now. Like I didn’t know.

Like I had been asleep all night like she had.

Guess what she did immediately?

She woke me up telling me she heard a bird. A rooster, she thought. I wanted to smother her with the feather pillows.

She showered, dressed and walked outside to see the rooster in a tree. Just sitting there. Right outside our room watching people flip it the bird and cuss it. My darling was apparently the only person this side of town to sleep last night. She’s amused everyone else wants to cause the thing bodily harm. Myself included.

Just when everyone is finally up the damn thing LEFT. It just disappeared. I don’t how rooster tastes for breakfast and I guess I won’t know anytime soon since we have to get on the road to Kentucky.

*before I get hate mail I am an animal lover. I don’t want harm to come to the rogue rooster but I do love me some wings.

Vacation planning – AKA slow torture

It’s that time of year again.

I am planning the “big” vacation. Not our mountain weekend trips or mini last-minute romantic escapes. This is the big one, where we coordinate days off, convince the kids they will love the destination and then convince ourselves we will love spending a week in close proximity¬† … all together in one place …. for a week.

For a family that stays as busy as we do, formally getting together for anything longer than dinner is like herding kittens in a yarn store. Nobody has the same sleeping habits, food preferences, hobbies, athletic ability or desire to leave the confines of their bedroom and personal electronics. Did I mention the kids are pre-teen & teen-aged? Good times.

This is how things generally go:

2 minutes from home – “I need to pee”

10 minutes from home – “I’m bored”

30 minutes from home – “I’m hungry”

5 minutes after pulling into the parking lot of the hotel we intend to stay at – “I think I forgot to pack underwear”

30 seconds from opening the door to our room – collective bags drop and everyone falls into the beds for napping

Then there are activities:

“Let’s go to the pool!”¬† … blank stare “but we have never explored this area, there are bike trails, museums, shops, historical monuments ….” blank stares, holding swimsuits. Same swimwear they always wear .. to the pool we can go to back home … for FREE.

“Let’s go visit this lighthouse! We can climb to the top and take family photos and read all about the people who lived and worked here a long time ago!” My families typical response? “Can you just take a picture, from the car, so we can go get ice cream? We passed the shop just back there.”

“Mountain trails?¬† uhhh … hiking? That sounds like it will be hot and there will be bugs. Is there even wi-fi?” Where did I go wrong with these kids?

“The sun is in my eyes.” … “where are your sunglasses?” … “I lost them.” We bought them this morning!

Shivering in July sun …”The water is too cold”

“I don’t like sand.” Just spent 2 hours digging a giant hole … in the sand.

“I want to go to the room, I’m bored” 100 people on the beach, books, snacks, football, waves perfect for boogie boards, random friendly dogs. Definitely nothing going on here. Nothing at all.

or my favorite – random activities from the hotel booklet things we either didn’t budget for or would cause at least one of the family members to have a panic attack. It seems the kids know just how to push my mom buttons… “Skydiving!” No.

I’m on the hunt now for someplace affordable, where nobody will be left out, or bored, or too frightened to enjoy the experience. Where there will be places to eat that everyone likes and in an area family friendly enough to be safe but not resemble a nursery rhyme.

Maybe a stay-cation is in order. Somehow I don’t think we will all agree on that either.