Expectations on Vacations

Disclaimer:  writing this post from my phone has been a bit challenging in the formatting department.
Expectations, we all have them whether we realize it or not. Sometimes we don’t realize what they are until they are unmet.

Check engine lights that remain in the ‘off’ position, wifi passwords that work, air conditioning that cools the whole house, because we never claimed to be camping, we’re Glamping folks.  These expectations failed us on this trip.

Exhibit A: Porta-potty at the most beautiful location, Emerald Bay in Lake Tahoe.  Oodles and oodles of tourists using these Porta-potties.  Joy enters the one on the far left and tries not to entertain the idea of rolling down the cliff while on the potty. Porta-potty directions:  1) Prepare yourself, it will smell. 2) Try not to look in the hole, (like a pink elephant in the room) it’s so hard not to look. 3) Carefully place purse, hat, and sun jacket on the hook on the door. 4) Do not touch the toilet seat. 5) Porta-potty creators made an awesome bar that you can hold onto as you squat as not to touch the surface of the toilet seat (thank you for that).  6) Reach for the toilet paper and carefully balance as you take care of business.  (This where all my expectations went unmet. As I reached for the toilet paper, yes, you guessed it, there was none. So what’s a girl to do? Beyoncé booty shake. It’s not like I could shout out to my potty neighbor and say, “Hey, can you spare a few sheets of toilet paper there?”  Nope, I was all alone.) That potty at Emerald Bay was just…ew.

Exhibit B:  Bracelet in this picture gone missing.   After three hours of lake time paddle boarding and sunning and a wonderful trip to a local vegan, milk allergen free, gluten free frozen yogurt shop (now if only the yogurt were free) we decided to do what normal tourists do, go to the gift shop and drop bank after the $35 yogurt spree. As we’re in the gift shop and almost all the children had chosen their Lego sweet tarts, initialed pocket knives, and t-shirts, my Middle is still looking for the perfect Lake Tahoe bracelet.  I’m carrying all the loot and ready to pay while the rest of the extended family is waiting outside.  Then red-headed Middle, in sheer panic, realizes that her most prized Pug bracelet from Clair’s, has gone missing.  Frantic search ensues, with three unhelpful sales clerks who clearly know we’re searching, but don’t attempt to help, extended family coming in to help with the search party, and hysterically crying Middle.  We didn’t find Exhibit B.  Turns out later, she explained that the reason she was so sad is because she had been wearing the bracelet for over a year, in hopes that she’d take it off only when she got a real dog.  **Gush** Unmet expectations. She left part of her heart in Lake Tahoe.

At one of the many professional development trainings I’ve been to over the years, it was suggested that we provide students with a theme to connect all subjects. I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with change. So the theme I’ve always chosen has been…Change.  Change happens constantly and is often why our expectations are turned upside-down and backward.  One of these statements can be applied to most situations and life events:

Change can be positive or negative.
Change is inevitable.
Change is necessary for growth.

Exhibit C: Tween-teen attitudes.   Glamping with 5 teen/tweens has been a piece of cake, a dried out frosting-less piece of cake.  The boys have said LOL, not laugh-out-loud, they say, Lol, like its a word, in response to everything. It’s been at least 558 times at the time of this post and the trip ain’t over yet.  Because apparently everything is laugh-out-loud funny. And the farting.  Oh the farting. So many boys equals so much fart talk, and the girls can’t help but join in. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em  that’s always been my motto.  There’s more.  The moodiness.  Ugh.  The complaining.  Day two of our Lake Tahoe adventure was supposed to end in a memorable paddle boarding experience.  It ended up being a wind advisory day when paddle board rentals were not allowed.  Indecisiveness about Plan B, and intense brooding from Middle and Little, and the lovely boy attitudes that came with being cold and sandy.  How do I find the love amidst the intense anger I feel?  It doesn’t help that I got an annoying chest cold and coughing up a lung an hour.  Expectations are connected to change.  Expectations can be positive or negative.  Expectations are inevitable.  Expectations are often necessary for growth.

In the book, Bittersweet, Shauna Niequist expresses change this way, “This is what I’ve come to believe about change: it’s good, in the way that childbirth is good, and heartbreak is good, and failure is good.”

I’m trying to embrace the bittersweet.  I hope you all can too.

Until next Friday…love you loves.

______________________________________________Gastric bypass update:

I’ve been missing eating in volume this vacation.  It’s a time when indulging is expected. More change.  I know it sounds strange, but there is some grief attached to not being able to eat like I used to. I think I was really good at stuffing my feelings, literally.










2 thoughts on “Expectations on Vacations

  1. Hang in there, friend! I totally get the unmet expectations topic. On a recent getaway that was totally not what I pictured, I was able to get some comfort from the fun that the others had. Some. 😉


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