Gingerbread CottageBeth, Abby, MariaKodak Moment“Mama, I’ve broken out in some kind of weird rash.  I have welts all over my stomach and back.”  Beth said, with a bit of panic in her voice.  We were leaving the following night for a trip to Cape Cod and Boston.  It was going to be our first girl trip, my three daughters and myself.  Many, okay maybe most, of our family vacations became memorable because of one weird thing after another happening, and I didn’t want this to turn out to be another one of those trips.  “Go to the doctor!” I replied, with emphasis on, “You might be contagious!”  The doctor didn’t know what it was and just put her on steroids to clear it up.  Poor thing was miserable! 


Off we go to the airport.  Our flight was to leave at 8:00 PM with a connection in Charlotte at 10:00.  We boarded the plane and had barely fastened our seat belts when the pilot told us to get off and go back into the terminal until further notice.  Charlotte had grounded all flights, due to thunderstorms.


All four of us began to have flashbacks of previous ill-begotten trips.  The outlook for this one was not looking particularly sunny.  However, we did get to fly out at 9:30.  Arriving in Charlotte at 10:00 pm, the flight attendant told us that our plane was at the gate, but wasn’t holding for anyone.  We took off in a dead heat run.  You would have been proud of this old lady for coming in second, only to the youngest daughter, and only because I was wearing flip flops!  I would NOT be outrun or outdone.  We sprinted across the finish line about 15 minutes later as, of course, the gate was on the opposite side of the airport from which we arrived.  People were staring at us.  I suppose it had something to do with the fact that they hadn’t started boarding our plane yet.


We filed onto the plane.  Maria, Beth, and Abby were in front of me.  As we approached our seats, I spotted two nice looking young men sitting next to my empty seat.  I’m really not a pushy mom.  I don’t know what came over me, but I pushed Abby into the empty seat and said “Here Abby, you sit here and I’ll sit over here with Maria and Beth.”  Abby glared at me in astonishment as her size 2 butt hit the seat.  Her sisters dissolved in laughter.  “Hey Abby, do you need any gum or mints?” teased Beth.  “Hey Abby, do need a belt extender?”  Maria chimed in.  I huddled in my window seat and tried to hide from Abby’s fiery darts, shooting directly from her big, brown eyes.  Things were already beginning to improve.


The flight was nice.  Upon our arrival in Hartford, we loaded our luggage onto the shuttle bus to Avis rental cars.  By this time, it was 1:15 am.  The lady at Avis couldn’t find a reservation for us.  As I glanced down at the confirmation page, I noticed that it said “Alamo”.  Talk about embarrassing!  Now I have the eyes of all three of my daughters glaring at me in total disgust, and the other passengers nodding in understanding as they notice my blonde hair. “Now what?” they asked in unison.  We can call for a car to take you to Alamo, said the Avis person.”  I guess they do try harder.


Loading and unloading our luggage again, we arrive at the Alamo place, only to discover it was closed.  All was not lost.  There was a self-check in kiosk there.  No reservation found.” My eyes stared in disbelief at the computer screen.  I tried again, only to get the same reply.  If you’ve ever had your kids roll their eyes at you and groan, you know exactly how I felt at that moment.


The National Car Rental guy was friendly.  He said he could pull up my reservation and would fix us right up.  And so he did.  At about 2:30 we arrived at our hotel a half mile away.


Up early, we drove to Plymouth, Massachusetts.  It was a beautiful day, and we had a lovely meal overlooking the harbor where Mayflower II is docked.  After eating lunch, the girls walked over to get a closer look at the Mayflower, while I sat on the bench.  I had pulled a hamstring muscle during my sprint in the Charlotte airport.  I made my way over a little later.  “Plymouth Rock is closed.” They moped.  “It’s closed?  How can a rock be closed?” I inquired, as my jaw hit the sidewalk.  See the sign?” they pointed.  “It’s closed for reconstruction.”   I didn’t understand.  “How can a rock be under construction?”  Maria explained, “The rock isn’t under construction, just the structure surrounding it.”  “I spent 100,000 frequent flier miles and Plymouth Rock is closed!”  I moaned, at which point, I pulled out my pin and paper and decided it was time to start documenting the trip.


We got back in the car and made our way to the Cape.  We stopped at a little market.  I don’t remember why, but I clearly recall that we sat there watching Beth walk out of the market and straight into a hanging petunia basket.  It was a classic moment.  The cashier was laughing and so were we. 


We decided to make the most of all the incidences and enjoy the trip despite the fight over the temperature of the hotel room.  It might have been a little bit cold when I awoke to see Beth had a coat on and her head covered with a towel.  I got to sleep by the air conditioner from there on to the end.  I didn’t want to hear even one more time, “Mama’s having a hot flash.”  I don’t wish for my children to have to get old, but I hope I’m around to laugh at them when they hit mid-life.  I have a personal fan all ready for each of them.


The day in Boston was fun.  We walked, and walked, and walked.  We walked the Freedom Trail, and other parts of that beautiful city.  But for the horrid winters, we could live there.  We fell in love with it’s beauty, quaintness, history, farmer’s market, Qunicy, Market, and the friendly people. We didn’t want to leave.  I wasn’t through shopping yet, but I gave up for the good of the group.  The three MUCH YOUNGER daughters were too tired to continue.  We hopped the subway out of the city and back to Cambridge where we had parked.  I was proud that I was still in good enough shape to keep up with my children and to have some energy left.  Mama, aren’t you exhausted?”  Beth asked that night.  “No, I’m feeling pretty good.  I’m sad to have to leave, there’s so much more to see and do.”


My point in telling this story is that had I not been keeping myself in good physical condition, I would not have been able to walk a block much less six or seven miles.  It’s important that as we age, we must keep active so that we don’t become immobile and lose independence.  I want to go on a girl trip every year with my girls, and I want to be able to keep up with, them, maybe even outrun them again next year.


Besides, we have to take a trip one time that goes smoothly.  We would probably go into shock, and I wouldn’t have anything to write about.


I hope you have enjoyed a laugh or two and that it will conjure up your own memories.

Most of all, stay fit to enjoy life.

5 thoughts on “Menopause Mama Takes On Daughters

  1. Pam, this is a wonderful story and I can really relate. Usually, when we vacation anywhere, something happens and, most often, it happens to me! But, looking back on all the mishaps, they make for good traveling tales.

    I especially related to your trip because we our daughter lives on Cape Cod and we visit Boston and the Cape at least once a year. I agree, Boston is a remarkable city and it’s made all the better when you walk all around to see it.

    Where did you stay on the Cape?

  2. I laughed out loud at “how can a rock be closed” – I’m still cackling – it’s like saying “I dont’ have all day” (if you dont’ have all day what’s the alternative??? lol).

    You are so right about the joys of being able to walk and go all day. Some years ago I was hit by a car and the damage slowly caused serious degeneration in my spine. As a result I am one of those not able to get around well and it is not fun! You miss out on so much when you can’t walk or stand or go places because it’s “too far”.

    If you can keep yourself in good condition, do so. There is no real substitute for being mobile via your own body.

  3. I enjoyed the music as I read your post. Fun time with your kids … I used to take mine to Plymouth Rock on the way to the Cape too! I live 2 hours North of Boston (in Maine) and my in-laws live 2 hours South of Boston (Orleans, Mass.). Great that you were in shape for all the walking in Boston!

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