Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Family Vacations.

My friend Amie (from the David Sedaris story) recently went to Alaska on a family vacation.  I stole that very pretty picture of Alaska up there from her Facebook album.  I realize it's weird for me to:
A. Steal Amie's vacation picture and
B. Even talk about her family vacation when it has absolutely nothing to do with me.

HOWEVER, here I am doing just those two things.

I was looking at the rest of her pictures from her vacation and they were so pretty.  They were filled with fishing (as in putting on a special outfit- I had to look up the name of it-fishing bib,  going out into the water waist deep and standing around for hours "fishing"), going on little planes flown by her uncle, camping, hiking, beautiful scenery, etc.  The photos were emitting a very palpable feeling of serenity.

After I looked at her album I turned to Chad and said: "What a lovely white family vacation."

Let me explain…

Indians don't vacation like that.

Fine, that's a huge generalization.  I guess I can rephrase that:

MY Indian family didn't vacation like that.

I have been very fortunate to have parents that love to travel and have wanted to "show us the world" from a very young age.  They have taken us to many many places and have thousands of photos to document our trips.  After looking at our countless family vacation albums one would never, ever think, wow, just looking at those photos relaxed me.  In fact they may need a relaxing vacation after looking at all the touristy things we did in the photos.

Vacation was never lets relax by the water and read a book or meditate on the beauty of earth.  Vacation was let's go go go…we're in a new city with lots of exciting things to see and do, we gotta do them or the trip was a waste.

After two days of trying out the local restaurants and hitting up the closest McDonalds (always a big treat for us, thank goodness those golden arches were everywhere), my parents would scour the local grocery store to see what we could get our hands on to make some home cooked Indian food.  The easiest ingredients to find in almost any city, in any country, are rice and lentils, which luckily make up one of our greatest comfort foods.
"Dahl bhaat" (Rice and Dahl)
After my mom would figure out how to make it in our hotel room, my parents would always sit back and say: "Nothing like home cooked food."
And we'd go to bed because the next morning we'd have to wake up early to see the big attraction for that city.

Eventually a small rice cooker was always packed on road trips.

My parents visited us in Seattle a couple of times.  Each time they would feel so restless; needing something to do, something to see.
"So, this is what you people do here, huh?"  My dad said on day 2 of their visit.
And after a little prompting/insisting by my bored mom we drove to Buchart Gardens in Vancouver, Canada.
We drove 5 hours.
One way.
Into Canada.
In March…
...to see some flowers.
March is not a sunny time in the Northwest.  It rained the entire time and we were cold, but at least they felt like they did something.

Amies vacation looks like it was a fun way to spend a few days with good friends, I don't think my family would've enjoyed it so much.  But then, maybe she wouldn't have enjoyed our family vacations that much either.

I guess it's all….relative.

Sorry, couldn't resist.

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