09 November 2013

National Lampoon Frantz Family Vacations

Ever since I was born, my family has always done at least one family vacation per year. Nothing screams, “family bonding” quite like confined spaces, short tempers, and single bathrooms.  My mother loves these trips for the sole purpose of bringing our family "closer together", and I’m pretty positive my dad finds some sort of sick enjoyment in testing our limits. If you’ve ever seen National Lampoon Family Vacation, then you have yourself a vague visual aid as to what these Frantz family "vacations" are like.

Denmark 2000

As we begin thinking about this years trip, I can't help but look back on our past disastrous excursions in preparation for what is to come...   

The Palm Springs Vomit Tram of 1999

On a trip to California, my family decided to check out the Palm Springs Areal Tramway. Strollers weren't permitted on the tram, so my father was forced to carry my brother the majority of the day. On our way back down, I decided to relive my father and volunteered to hold my brother. With wide arms I looked up at Albert as he dismounted from my father's shoulders. As he reached my level, Albert let out a huge burp followed by a spout of green vomit that splashed across my face and head. We were only half way down the Chino Canyon, so I was forced to stand on that tram of doom dripping with broccoli vomit for the second half of our ride. Once we reached the bottom, my mother took me to the bathroom and made me strip down to my underwear where I was forced to throw away my favorite sparkly Limited Two t-shirt and flared jeans. After washing my hair in the sink, my mother slipped her 80's chunky knit sweater over my head, creating a makeshift mini dress. As I walked out of the bathroom with dripping wet hair and a "dress" that barely covered my butt, we found my dad and brother who only greeted me with laughter. 

Awaiting The Light On The Green & The Yampa- Our Family Rafting Trip of 2004

When we got older, my dad planned a week long rafting trip. We rafted the Green and the Yampa by day and camped by night. Other than being attacked by horse-flys and the swarm of mormon crickets that invaded our tent one night, we had an overall great time, aside from my mother. Both me and my father love the outdoors, my brother tolerates it, while my mother would prefer a "safe" night in at the Ritz. Needless to say, my mother was a worried wreck. By night two she was convinced that we were all going to die. We'd either be murdered by a man lurking in the woods, die of some sort of infection, or drown. On one of our last days, we faced some of the biggest rapids we had yet to see. Right before making it out, we got stuck on a huge slab of rock. Water rushed over us and our raft began to tip. Our tour guide began to panic (the only person that brought my mother any sense of security) bringing my mother to tears. As her eyes grew wide and her fingers pierced the side of the raft, she looked directly at me and said in the most somber, serious tone, "we are going to die right now, Mallory."She even went on to tell me that she loved me, as if she was saying her final farewell. I'm not much of a worrier, but the severity in her voice had me convinced that we really were going to die. She grabbed my hand and we both held on as we anxiously awaited the light. When we finally made it back to land safely, my mother jumped off that raft quicker than a jack rabbit. I was fully prepared to watch her kiss the ground and divorce my father on the spot, thankfully neither happened.

Teenage Woes in Williamsburg - 2008

Misery at its finest.
My junior year of high school we went to Williamsburg, literally the worst place on the face of the planet. Costumed interpreters, fifes, drums, and veal chop. Prior to our trip, my high school boy friend had "broken my heart." A historical trip to 18th-century Williamsburg wasn't exactly my idea of a tried and true heartbreak cure. My world was a melodrama, too small for trivial things like history. We ate meaty dinners by candle light, went on never ending tours of museums, and my spoiled attitude landed me at the butt of every family joke. As we walked home from dinner on our second night, a man in a wig, stockings, and a stupid cloak began making fun of my frown. The lack of electricity, the creamed celery, the family jokes, and my broken heart began to bubble in my chest and I started to cry. Just like an episode of Dawson's Creek, I ran back to the hotel with tears streaming down my face. Although I'm sure I'd like Williamsburg more now, it will forever be tainted by my teenage woes. 

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