It’s summertime, so, of course, I am heading out in a couple of weeks on a family
vacation trip. I should be totally excited but instead I am dreading it. Kids and close quarters doesn’t sound relaxing at all. Any tips to ease the stress?
Don’t make me go….
Ah! The Endless Summer…not so much a fantastic surf movie, but a nightmare that parents must endure each year. Go old school- grab a wine cooler and turn on some Jimmy Buffett. Let’s be cheesy and crass and love it, shall we?
First, I wish it was the 1970’s and I could just tell you to refill your valium prescription and call it a day. But alas, as things have only “progressed” and gotten “better,” many would pause at that suggestion and call it inappropriate. Idiots. It used to be that easy. Kids had to occupy themselves and actually play together or find something to do. These days parents are the social coordinators and playmates. Some might even say a modern day jester.
Look, you organized the vacation. I am sure there is pressure to go somewhere from the significant social calendar that Austinites abide by these days. It sucks and it’s expensive, but it’s apparently required.
I always think that setting expectations is the key to almost everything in life. Make sure they understand that you’re all going to have a great time, but there are limits to the budget, energy and overall health of the group, so you must stick to a few activities. Jesus, you don’t have to do everything. Soon enough these kids are going to kiss your feet when they’re out looking for a real job in the real world. These are the times of your lives, kids! Soak everything up now while there’s still cream on top.
Do the best you can. Try to have fun. If you get overwhelmed, call an adult time out. I do that all the time! It helps. Remember, it’s a finite period of time. It will end. And I would get my Xanax refilled if I were you. It’s for self-preservation, for Christ’s sake. You deserve it.
Dear Beat Babe,
Any fabulous ideas for a fun Fourth of July Party? We are having some friends and family over to celebrate and want to make it special.
The Fourth of July is one of my very favorite holidays. Not only because of the fireworks, but because it truly feels like summer! The ice cream, the popsicles, the watermelon and the grilling outside…it just feels like an old town dream. In honor, let’s make a coke float spiked with a good bourbon and get to party planning.
Food and drinks are always the most important factors to a good celebration. I have some family traditions I keep on the Fourth. My mom made fried chicken and Texas chocolate sheet cake. I love to make fried chicken but it can be pretty labor intensive. Problem is, everyone loves it and if I even hint I may not make it I hear groans of despair until I cave. The result is beautifully browned, crisp and tender chicken with just the right amount of salt and seasoning that everyone raves about. It’s a show stopper. I’ll send you the recipe if you want. If that doesn’t sound up your alley, there’s a Popeye’s on most city blocks. How’s your ice cream headache?
Make sure you have a summery cocktail on board. An easy option for a group is a light, refreshing sangria. It’ll last a lot of the party and it’s really easy to throw together. Don’t eat too much of the fruit or you will pass out at noon like I did a couple of years ago. FABOO!
Kids only care about dessert, so make sure it’s a good one. I always make that Texas sheet cake just like mom used to (chocolate of course). I mean, you can make all of the red, white and blue angel food cake concoctions you want, but kids want chocolate. So I give it to them. There’s really nothing better. The result is worth any effort on this one. You have to make sure you have Cherry Bomb Popsicles or whatever they’re called, too. They’re freaking delicious, and after you’ve had 4 sangrias and already eaten your cake, a bomb pop seems innocuous. Kinda like the ice cream and bourbon I am now licking off my upper lip.
Look, just keep it simple. That’s a summertime key ingredient. Make sure you have food, drinks, and enough sparklers to go around. Get the flags out and try to get a plan together to actually go and see some fireworks, and the sangria will take care of the rest!
HAPPY SUMMER EVERYONE! SEE YOU IN THE FALL!!
The Beat Babe will be back in September! Meanwhile, feel free to catch up on all her advice here, share your comments and thoughts below, or send any problems to TheBeatBabe@RYmagazine.com. Happy summer!