Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Magic Shake-Ball

Helllooooo, North America!!!!! I’m writing from ENGLAND: the land of the man, the myth, the Bard, the upstart, the dude, the THING ITSELF. Where every day is Shakespeare, and Shakespeare is every day! As if this weren’t enough, there are actual British people staying in my home in Boston right now. That’s right--Shakespeare’s countrymen are using our toilets and kitchen. The only way to get closer to Shakespeare would be for me to go to his birthplace, Stratford, and to physically bind myself to a rock. Stay tuned for more on that.

In the meantime, I will share some observations about this family trip, the goal of which was not only to get closer to Shakespeare but to get away from the pressures of our everyday life back in Boston. To that end, I insisted on beginning our trip in Wales--in the middle of nowhere. I may not have gotten in touch with myself, but I did get in touch with some of the key differences between Family Vacation Fantasy and Reality.

Fantasy: Our family holding hands running through grassy knolls dotted with sheep.
Reality: We freak out that there’s no Wi-Fi.

Fantasy: Our family playing “I Spy” while driving through grassy knolls dotted with sheep.
Reality: We smash the rental car into a stone wall to avoid an oncoming truck.

Fantasy: Our family ascending gloriously on the Tram to the highest peak of LLandudno.
Reality: Our child--who evidently has a fear of heights--screams “I Hate You!!” repeatedly after getting off the Tram.

Fantasy: Our family bonding with local Welsh people who invite us to partake in their grassy knolls dotted with sheep.
Reality: Our inability to correctly pronounce the name of the town we’re staying in causes much irritation and confusion amongst the Welsh.

But there were also these wonderful gems, the little surprises you experience on vacation. Like the lady in a remote village shop who was so excited about using a Visa card (her first time) that she did a little dance. And the cool stuff I learned from the local guy who gave me and the kids a ride in his tow truck.

Question for Magic Shake-Ball: Will we have internet access for the rest of our trip now that we’re in England?

Shake-Ball's Answer:
“Most barbarous intimation!” (Love’s Labor’s Lost 4.2.14)

I’m taking that to mean it would be barbarous to suggest otherwise.

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