Monday, June 20, 2005

Who do you think you are?

We've just returned from our much awaited, much anticipated family vacation. Let me first start out by saying, for the record, that I'm under no delusion that there is such thing as a "vacation," in the traditional sense, for parents who take their children on a trip. This was a vacation for the kids, I fully admit that. I have a dream that one day Topher and I will go back to New York for a proper vacation (which consists of sleeping for the first two days). But that's after babies have been weaned and the ban my children have from going to Grandma and Grandpa Valentine's house has been lifted (they're still on probation, time suspended for good behavior). I think Christopher, although a very good sport, still held on to a little bit of the dream, manifested in that novel he packed and the ipod he brought along. But it's good to have a dream.

Growing up, in Lincoln, Nebraska, our family "vacation" was coming to Utah. That 16 hour drive, interrupted by one luxurious night at the Cheyenne, Wyoming Holiday Inn, was the vacation we came to expect every year. Don't get me wrong, we loved coming to visit our cousins-complete with sleepovers and slurpees. And most importantly: no one had a trampoline in Nebraska. My brothers and sisters and I would hear about our friends' families going to Hawaii to surf or to Vail to ski, but that wasn't who we, the Valentine's, were. We ate carrot sticks and sandwiches in the wood-panel station wagon, and we took great pride in that. (As an adult, I"m not so sure why, but I still hang onto it.) We weren't deprived or anything, I mean, we went to Disneyworld once, when I was 12, but my mom made all seven of us matching shirts (in different colors--I was teal), so we learned there was a price for everything.

So growing up with my no-frills summer vacations, who do I think I am going to the front of the line at every ride at Disneyland? I loved it, don't get me wrong-- it was the only way to do Disneyland with small, small children, but I felt extremely guilty about it, darting my eyes down everytime we rushed ahead, following Golda, our VIP guide, to the front of the line while she explained boldly to the ride operator that she had an important guest with her and could we, please (she was extremely polite--I'm sure there's special training for that and Disneyland, but it creeps me out to think about it for very long), go on the ride this very minute? I was stung when audible whispers floated above us, because I imagined they were wondering which one of my children had cancer. But no, we went with my brother, the rock star, who said that fame is fleeting and we might as well use it while we can, because he won't always have it, and that made sense to me, so although I felt guilty about it, I fully took advantage of my brother's fame. I'm such a Gemini.

The universe is balanced, and we did blow a tire in Cedar City, and this somehow made me feel better about getting free stuff. We did have to buy a tire, afterall. We suffered. But then again, while we were lifted up on the bed of a tow-truck, kids still buckled in, Miles, our oldest, yelled, "This is the best vacation ever! We're taller than everyone!" and that was before the beach and Disneyland. I guess we could have packed the minivan with carrot sticks and driven three miles and called it good.

16 comments:

c jane said...

Dear Judy,
I didn't even know that you had a blog! I am so happy to have a new intelligent blog to read! I love it!
I am glad you had a nice trip and got VIP treatments at Disneyland. But even more than that, I am glad you are home safe. We missed you!

Stephanie Aurora Clark Nielson said...

should i call you judy or lisa?
anyway, do you think your special brother could hook us up with the star treatment at disneyland, while he's are at it could he get me a handicap sticker to put in my car? front row parking would be nice when i am at the grocery store...

christopher clark said...

Stephanie, you don't need a handicap sticker, because with the Jimmy V VIP deal they valet park for you!!!!! I'm not kidding.

Lisa: "Note to self: I DIDN'T NEED TO SEE THAT!"

c jane said...

What is Jimmy V? Is that some code name? Ohhh I get it now...is he going by Jimmy these days? (I thought you meant Brown 5 at first...do you catch my drift?)

Stephanie Aurora Clark Nielson said...

that would rock! i hate taking shuttles anyway!

christopher clark said...

Courtney, I wish I caught your drift. But I don't. Brown 5?

c jane said...

ok...i thought that when you mentioned the "Jimmy V VIP deal" I thought it was "code talk" for Maroon 5 (the V standing for 5 instead of Valentine) because maybe Judy doesn't want stalkers on her blog bugging her about her hot brother. So then, I came up with my own code for Maroon 5...that being BROWN 5...are you with me? ohhh sometimes i can be a real idiot. Sorry Judy if I blew your cover.

christopher clark said...

Court - FYI: Lisa brags about her brother almost as much as her father does. You don't have to worry about any cover; there ain't none.

lisa v. clark said...

I don't think I'm the one telling all my classes who I"m related to.. . ah hem . . and noone is as bad as Robert. .. except maybe Shauna.

Just Me said...

I came across your blog from chris's and I'm intriged, hope to see more blog by the both of you.

jayniemoon said...

Lisa, Lisa, Lisa,
I'm glad you told me you have a blog. Funny funny for sure. I love the 'Oh Judy" in the store story. Classic. I can just imagine you saying it too. And as far as disneyland goes, you son of a gun for cutting in line. Tee-hee.

AzĂșcar said...

I, too, experienced la vie Disney at the age of 12 when all four of us kids got the chicken pox.

Since we were out of school anyway, why not take us to Disneyland?, thought my ever-practical parents (more concerned with getting the obligatory Disneyland visit over with than the very real possibility that they were dragging four Typhoid/Varacella Marys into the happiest place on earth--practical or biological terrorism, you choose!)

This is what I remember about Disneyland and my mother:
No mouse ears were purchased "These prices are outrageous!"
No delicious looking mouse ear ice creams were purchased "I can't believe the nerve of these people charging these kind of prices for ice cream."
"You know, Lagoon is a whole lot closer to home and a whole lot cheaper. We're never coming here again."

And we've never been back to Disneyland. Lagoon? Ah, yes, Lagoon: every year on the Edgemont Stake Lagoon Day.

-Carina

AzĂșcar said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bek said...

The last time we went to disneyland we ate so many churro's we started calculating things in churros. Mouse ears "I could get 3 churro's for that". The cost of a ticket to the park -- 25 churros. We got a little crazy w/ the Churro's. I guess we needed something to do while waiting in line.

Lorien said...

We had a wooden panel side station wagon, too! '66 Dodge. I drove it on occasion in high school. Classy rig. And great on a trip. Seatbelts? What are those? Just climb in the back, spread out, and relax. That's style!

wendysue said...

Hey I loved that station wagon Lisa! The best was when we ride facing backward in the back after church and your Dad would hit that bump out of the parking lot and the back door would fly open and we'd all scream!! AAAAAAHHHHH!