Things that might cheer up a grumpy academic:
- Taking a road trip with 2/3 of the brood. There is nothing quite like driving on the freeways of the vast land that is the US. Maybe I need to moonlight as a trucker. Seriously, if I didn’t worry about blood clots in legs, I would drive cross-country all the time, everywhere.
- Enjoying a lovely hotel room with the kids. Watching Friends reruns on Nick at Night (evening/night program on Nickelodeon), which is now a family tradition when we go on vacation, since we don’t have cable.
- Splashing with the kids in the hotel pool. Holding a reluctant swimmer Smurf with one arm and playing “pool catch” with Middle Boy using the other arm.
- Sleeping on a very uncomfortable pull-out sofa, so the kids could sleep on the king-size bed. Thanking lucky stars to live in the US, because everyone back where I came from sleeps on pull-out sofas their entire lives (apartments are too small to have separate bedrooms, so most rooms are both living and sleeping areas).
- Dropping a ton of money at an amusement park. Getting immersed in the kids’ enthusiasm and joy as they go on various rides. Forgetting to be grumpy altogether.
- Feeding the kids delicious and overpriced food at a restaurant with wild-animal animatronics.
- Driving back without stopping, with the kids snoozing in the back seat nearly the whole time. Vowing to get more music for the car for the upcoming 10-hour trip for work (yep, I will drive).
- Looking at the pics of Smurf and MB. Melting.