You didn’t even get a tan? I remember my Alternative School teacher in High School reprimand me with wholehearted disgust after I returned from Cancun senior year paler than an English albino on Spring Break in Norway. All I had to show for my trip in Cancun my senior in year high school was an assemblage of color lamented wrist bands proving, I drank my NBA basketball card collection money in one not so comped swoop. Never got why my dad would pay for my room and airfare in Cancun yet insist I sell all of my NBA Dream Team rookie cards for extra shekels to blow on low grade Tequila poppers and more Corona with Lime. But at least, I knew how to pop a Corona open with a lighter by the end of our trip. Plus, I’m forever blessed with images of my wild man friend Jared with his old school boom box like a more loquacious Radio Rahim, blaring Oh What A Night with his new harem of New Jersey gals. Who couldn’t get enough of his magnetic, party animal, putz free personality.
What makes Spring Break suck? Trying to hook up with the same chesty Italian girl in Cancun from your Princeton Review class in Tuckahoe. Realizing after 3rd flailing tries to drum up interest in hooking up with you again, that tan, six pack ripped, Guido’s from Jersey, the original metrosexuals are more up her alley than a knock-kneed bench warmer. Who spranced down the basketball court, on his tippy toes, looking like I was modeling Jimmy Choo high heels instead of David Robinson high tops.
Why did my family vacation in Norway for Spring Break? The main reason is because letting your parents plan on your vacation on Spring Break for you sucks. Especially, knowing, it’s a paid for, arranged trip to visit them in Arizona, so they feel better about themselves for blowing of their grandchildren for cheaper property taxes and majestic looking piles of rocks in the desert 350 days out of the year. Also, spring break in Arizona with your 3 kids as a stay at home dad isn’t pleasant vacation from domestic servitude because your old school dad who views stay at home dads as sheltered bums makes it very clear by his huffy signs of disgust 2 days there, signaling, he doesn’t believe you deserve any vacation at all. In fact, the only reason you’re arranged visit is happening is because your parents have frequent flyer points and my mother would be speechless next time one of my dad’s yenta wife friends asked her how often she saw her grandchildren, let alone helped out last year. Paying for daycare doesn’t count.
Arizona was our original Spring Break destination but we had a giant misunderstanding with my parents, meaning they promised to give us X for our house, after we made an offer for it and then backed out only giving us Y. It was a dream house, we were going to pay the majority of the mortgage for. It was an old Victorian in Mahopac, overlooking the lake, had 2 acres of rolling hills land, the perfect climbing tree, a freaking purple farm house we could’ve have rented out to some artist to give my daughter drawing lessons. But poof, the dream went away, because my parents deemed the house too nice, outshining their estate home in Arizona shrine to themselves, so we lost out on the deal of the century. Wife cried and was heartbroken over it. It was a roller coaster of emotion. Just imagine, you extend an offer on a dream house, only to have it go poof to find out on Thanksgiving eve, your parents deciding to pass on providing the reminder of down payment money needed to secure the home and home loan because my younger brother was getting engaged soon and didn’t want his big brother to make him feel smaller than what his limited imagination does in the 1st place. So, my saintly, hippie, lactation consultant nurse wife booked us a trip to Norway, only 99 dollars for each family member each way, out of Stewart Airport, which is only 20 minutes from where we live and not Newark or La Guardia. Sign me up coach, I’m ready to nosh on some primo smoked trout in Norway right away.
After the birth of my 1st child, Matilda Singing Rose Kornbluth, I recall my mom throwing my dad under the bus during a chat on a park bench. She mentioned how all the pictures on Facebook showing us taking sweet Matilda on hikes in Maine and so forth bring her non-stop joy yet the joy was bitter sweet because it illuminated for her the painful reminder of the fact how growing up, my parents never took my younger brother and I on many family trips, even on local affordable getaways to Manhattan, only a 30 minute drive north for us because my dad would freak out over who’d look after us kids. My dad used the same logic for never getting us a dog, the one time I broached the idea. He said something like, you and your brother are lazy pieces of shit, mom and I work. So, who’s going to look after the dog? As you complete your metamorphosis of complete uselessness trying to beat Metroid again for the zillionth time. My dad’s always been a Hyatt hotel type of a guy, so camping outside a cornfield was never his idea of semi splendid isolation as a caravan of cool Philly, public school teachers puffed nearby with us, as Grateful Dead’s American Beauty sailed through the air. Actually, this was before Matilda was born but we do call her our American Beauty, because we’re convinced she was conceived in our REI tent, in a cornfield, outside of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY on July 4th weekend when the band Further was in town, whose the new incarnation of the Grateful Dead before John Mayer’s luscious lock flowing licks got involved in the mix. Never forgot, taking our daughter to a Further show 2 year later, a week after her 2nd birthday up in Bethel Woods, which is the outdoor venue where the original Woodstock was held. My daughter did an intricate, at one with the music dance to Eyes of the World which had all the hippies aghast in spellbinding, believing in old soul reincarnation now delight. Prior, I took my just turned 2-year-old daughter around the parking lot scene in Bethel Woods to take in the sprawling, dishelved freak show, bad idea. Two seconds later, my 2 year old daughter points at a dinged-up hippie, sucking down Nitus balloons like his remaining oxygen supply dependended on it. After the hippie sucks down his last balloon, my daughter points at the balloon and says, birthday and I said no, burn out day.
Now, my 3 kids are doing snow angels on spring break, enveloped by the Fjords in the remote hinterlands of Norway, with cliff mountains dominating the background in resplendent, been there, done that, seen my fair share of Ice Ages, come and go man. And it was perfect. The heated bathroom floors and dead spot free WIFI so I could tweet up a storm of new jokes overseas from Flam, drinking super affordable Italian reds Barolo’s didn’t hurt my vacation enjoyment factor either. Neither did the mesh lined trampolines, and Peter Jackson, Lord of the Rings inspired tree houses turned into playgrounds with zip lines throughout the city of Bergen, in addition to the 5 different types of complimentary, brie included in our boutique hotel, on top of access to Absinthe and all Norwegians understanding of my dry, NY sense of humor made Spring Break in Norway far superior than my jokes bombing in Arizona because some Southwest hick waitress at the local Cantina in Scottsdale, has no idea what I’m talking about again.
Backpacking through Norway with 3 kids was a needed family adventure I’ll cherish in my heart forever. Going to Clearwater Beach, a retirement community for Spring Break in college, only for my fake ID to be confiscated was nowhere near my past collage of sucky spring breaks of yesteryear. Now, I have memories of my son Art Show doing snow angles in 5000 thread count soft snow in Flam, Norway only to take a stroll later with daddy around the lake, surrounded by mountainous, majestic, Fjords, only to blare out, “Drago, Drago, Drago.” You can really here my son’s Drago echoes cascade off these edge of the earth mountains. My reverberating, ear splitting laughter, as a result of my son’s hilarious, inspired, picture perfect comedic timing, was perfect. No wet t-shirt contest at Senior Frogs or busty Italian vixen with o percent body fat from Princeton Review looking like a blond, younger, more fetching version of Lorraine Bracco, popping my cherry in Cancun would top this moment ever.
Spring Break in Norway was in our control, not my parents and it was just what the family doctor ordered because my wife’s Instagram follower count went through the roof. Now, her phone was the happiest place on earth and I didn’t have to fret about concerns about my wife dusting off her old bikini 3 kids later. Nor did we have to apply sun tan lotion on our 3 kids every second they hopped out of the pool again in Arizona or if we went to Florida for that matter for Spring Break, so it was a win, win.