Last week, I willingly agreed to journey south with three kids,
a grumpy husband, and two years' worth of People magazines. We were
road-tripping to Florida!
I was practically Ma Ingalls.
That is, of course, if Ma Ingalls ate Cheez-Its in her covered
wagon while perusing Kim Kardashian pregnancy photos as she
traversed the New Frontier.
Admittedly, our family vacation got off to a poor start when I
realized I hadn't adjusted our schedule to reflect the new dates of
the CPS break. For whatever reason, they moved Spring Break back a
week because of the school strike. I refused to believe the boys
until I located the lost memo stashed between a hot lunch order
form and a holiday wreath fundraiser notice.
Despite disagreements over radio selection and who could spot
the Waffle House signs the fastest, we arrived in Daytona in one
piece. Joe took that opportunity to begin asking questions about
the condo I had booked.
"How many bedrooms does it have?"
"Two. And I got it for $585 for the WEEK, including taxes, fees,
"Wait. This place cost only $585? Marianne, that doesn't sound
"What do you mean? $585 sounds AWESOME."
"Every place you looked at was well over $1,000 for the week.
There is definitely something wrong with it. Nobody is paying only
$585 for a weekly rental."
"WE ARE because you married a financial GENIUS. $585! $585!
As we walked towards our rental unit, we passed a large dumpster
and climbed up a narrow stairwell. I began to sweat. What if Joe
was right? What if the place was a disaster? What if there were
BUGS? Or worse…
WHAT IF THERE WAS NO CABLE??
My husband let out a huge sigh of relief as we entered. It
wasn't exactly the Ritz, but it was clean and livable. But then a
wave of horror and desperation hit as I read the notice on the
While Joe relaxed on the couch and congratulated me on finding a
nice place for half the cost of other rentals, I hyperventilated in
the kitchen and tried to do the math on how long it would take to
handle laundry when I wasn't allowed to run the washer and dryer at
the same time. When I explained to my husband that I would now be
up until 2 a.m. every day in order to keep up with clean towels and
clothes, Joe's reaction?
"But we've got HBO AND Showtime!"
Somehow, I didn't feel the slightest bit like Ma Ingalls at 1
o'clock in the morning while watching "Dexter" and eating the kids'
Easter Peeps as I awaited the final wash cycle. But then again, Ma
Ingalls would have never scored a $585 rental like I had. No siree,
She would've just made Pa Ingalls build her a beach house.
Marianne is mother of three sons and the wife of a southside Irish fireman. She has learned that sometimes you're just too dumb to know what makes you happy. She blogs regularly at We Band of Mothers (webandofmothers.com) and curses with even greater frequency. Her material is written for the imperfect, the imprudent, and the impatient mothers who know that all this stuff is really very funny if you just give it a minute.
See more of Marianne's stories here.
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