Family Oblications

by Christine@TheAums on March 7, 2011 · 1 comment

We’ve all heard of the staycation, but have you experienced the oblication?  Okay, I admit, I was convinced I made up this word during our 10 day trip to Florida, until I found it the topic of countless sites online.  So, I guess I’m not alone in feeling like flying across the country with 4 little kids to visit the great-grandparents is not what I consider a “vacation.”

Here are a few definitions of “oblication” from the

#1 Taking valuable vacation time and dollars for obligatory family or friend visits.

#2 A “vacation” that isn’t really a vacation. When you spend your vacation taking your kids to visit relatives.

#3 Not exactly what would qualify as a holiday.

Most people take oblications because they love the people they plan to visit, and in our case it was Great Nana and Grandpa, the Aumies’ paternal great-grandparents. Because family is so important to me, and I want my kids to feel the same way, we could not miss this opportunity to visit with the elders of our clan and absorb their wisdom.

Let me share a little bit of what we learned during our oblication:

Great Nana and Grandpa are from Long Island and have fabulous accents that really highlight their *ahem* colorful language. With all the “holy”s and “Christ”s thrown in you’d think we were at vacation bible school! We did make it to Sunday Mass, but I also heard my 3 yr. old ask for help putting on her ‘F$%#ing’ shoes.
Umm, sweetheart, we’re from California…we don’t use that word.

Kids can survive on very little, whether it’s toys or food, which makes me question ever spending money on them again. They seriously survived 10 days of playing with dental floss, sea shells, and change from my purse! As for food, they were quite content with kettle corn and chocolate malts for lunch. 

Who needs toys?

There is a bright side to everything. Ever been attacked by “no see ums?” It looks something like this: 

and it itches like mad, especially in the middle of the night when I have no self-control and scratch until bloody. The upside is the kids had dot-to-dot entertainment on the flight home!

Even if Nana and Gramps shelled out money to put us up in a divehotel, it’s okay to shell out more money from our pockets to upgrade our accommodations.  Was I wrong to not put up with a small room for 3 adults, 4 kids, and 10 days? Was I snooty to complain about a myriad of drunks partying outside our door between 4 and 8am? Should I have been okay with a motorcycle driving up and down the lawn after midnight? How about the maid banging on the door despite the Do Not Disturb sign?  Go ahead and judge me, but at least our new digs gave me a small glimpse of an actual vacation.

The Driftwood Inn, Vero Beach

Just because you are in Florida and near the Kennedy Space Center does not mean you will get to see the shuttle launch. When I found out our travel dates coincided with the launch of Discovery I jumped for joy at the thought of witnessing history with my Aumies. Did you know you can’t just park at the space center and pull out your lawn chairs (why did I have this image in my head)? Apparently you have to enter a lottery just to get tickets. In the end we decided it would be more exciting to watch on TV because at least we’d hear the countdown.

Can you see the space shuttle in the distance? Neither could we.

And Florida, oh, Florida loves vegetarian Californians.  We could not be more welcomed and accommodated in that state.  I can’t tell you how many grilled cheeses, cheese pizzas, and french fries we ate! I also can’t tell you how many citrus fruits we purchased that came from California…and it’s nothing to be proud of because they tasted like, hmmm, how would Nana and Gramps put it?

Walmart actually came through with all the ingredients for this veggie/tofu stirfry!

Definitely, our oblication did not cut it as a vacation, but the obligation part was a success! To visit great-grandparents while all is still well, for the most part, and let the kids get a nice chunk of quality time with them, is priceless beyond words, even four-letter ones.

There are 85 years between Great-Grandpa and my baby girl…wow!

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