Family Vacations: Memories of Armpit Hairs and Salami


We're about two-thirds of the way to our destination - Panama City Beach, Florida - for a family vacation with my husband's side of the family, who we'll be hanging out with for the next week.  

This is the longest road trip we've ever been on with all four of us, and I'll admit that I was worried about being cooped up in a car for the 12-hour trip, mainly because I remember what road trips were like when I was a kid. 

The main things I remember about those trips was leaning up over the front seat to chitter-chatter with my parents, my mom reading a book in the passenger seat, responding with, " yah?  Hmmm..," my brother announcing to my parents that he could see a hair growing in my armpit, and my dad periodically leaning over the back seat with one hand on the steering wheel, the rest of his body almost completely in the back seat, as he swatted at anything he could with his other hand, shouting, "Do you want me to pull this car over?  Huh?"  

Ahhh, the good old days.  

But there hasn't been any of that on this trip. I'm sure it's because my boys are eight years apart, so there isn't any sibling rivalry, thank goodness. 

Most of the banter has been between me and Mark or me and the teenager (note to self: maybe I'M the problem?  Haha, that's just silly!!) 

One of our conversations:

 (With the radio cranked, me and Mark singing and chair dancing)

Jace: Turn the music down. 

Me: *singing and dancing*

Jace: Oh my gawd, stop, you look ridiculous, and that's too freaking loud.  Turn it down.

Me: It's not ridiculous, it's totally crunk!  

Jace: I swear to God, if you say that word again, I'll jump out of this car.

Me: I think we're awesome dancers, don't you, Mark?  You know, Jace, you're lucky you have such fun parents.  Looking at Mark, I do my fingers in a cross-hatch motion, making an air hashtag and say, "AmIRight?"

Jace: That's it. Tonight's the night. 

Aside from stuff like that, it's been uneventful. 

Packing for our trip wasn't too bad, either. Since my children have outgrown everything they own, we had to buy a whole new wardrobe for them both, which made packing simple because I just transferred everything over from the Kohl's bags to their suitcases. 

Going through my own closet, I pulled out my favorite beachwear (swimsuits! Yay!), wondering if I still fit in the suits I bought last year, around the time I'd lost some weight that has since crept back on. I'm all, "They're stretchy, they'll totally work," so in the bag they went. (I'll keep you posted on how this turns out.)

I pulled a few tops off their hangers, popped then in the bag, then I came across what used to be one of my favorite beach dresses.

It's a maxi-style, long and flowy, black, with a giant orange and pink flower on one side.  It's got almost a bra-like top, gathering in between my ta-ta's. Very flattering.  

I pulled it off the hanger and considered it for a moment, remembering the last time I'd worn it:

It was in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, two years ago.   Like we've done for many years, we'd traveled with our closest friends. On this night, we were to have dinner at one one of the nicer restaurants at the resort. 

My friends went up to their rooms to get ready for our reservation. I opted to stay at the swim-up bar for one more cocktail with my best friend's husband, which sounds bad, but it's not like that.  

After that one drink turned into a couple, we headed up to our rooms to join the others.  We couldn't quite remember the exact building our rooms were in, so when we knew were in the vicinity, we just stood out in the courtyard and started shouting our friends' names.  

They came out on their balconies and were all judgey and all, "What are y'all doing?"  And, "You're just now coming up? We have a dinner reservation in 15 minutes!"  And, " Are you drunk?"

I threw on my black maxi dress after taking a quick shower, and made it to dinner on time. #SuckItYall

A few weeks later, back at home, we all got together at our house so we could go through our vacation pictures and rehash our trip.

Mark pulled out the projector and the big screen and we went through the slideshow of all our hundreds of pictures. We had tears rolling at the hilarious pictures of my oldest son in his snorkel gear, just because his expressions are so funny. 

Then we came across a group picture of us all at dinner that night where I'd been tipsy and had on my black maxi-dress.  The wait staff had played salsa music, and had pulled us up from our table to dance with them. 

We clicked through pictures of us sweating and dancing, our drinks held high, and you could tell we were laughing and having a ball; pictures of us doing a toast, "to friends that are family! To awesome vacations!"

Then a group shot of us girls, with me front and center, and... Wait... what was that? In my dress... It looked like... was that a piece of salami in the top of my dress?  

Oh God, no.

Sweet and holy Lord, that was my areola.

On the big screen.

With my friends, their spouses, and our innocent and precious children gathered around to see. 

Why hadn't anyone told me that night a few weeks prior that I was traipsing around the resort basically topless?   

I realized that night that these "friends" weren't my friends after all.  

"It's not that bad," they laughed, but I know they're liars because I could see with my own two eyes - very clearly - a few circular pieces of flesh, the sizes of which would make Oscar Meyer himself blush, glowing through the black fabric pulled tight across my bosoms. 

Standing in my closet with The Dress in my hands, I shook that terrible memory away, and - considering this vacation is to be a family gathering - with my husband's family, no less, and my breasts have no business showing themselves (not this time, girls) - I hung the dress back on the rack. 

I made sure to pack lots of undergarments on this trip so that I'll be properly clad, should I over-imbibe, which isn't unlikely since my husband's family is Catholic, and everyone knows that's the best part of being Catholic. 

Just crossed state lines - we're in Florida!  

Let the vacay begin.