Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Another Day In Paradise
Coming home to this Arctic cold really makes me long for another day in our recent Puerto Rican paradise. It was a much needed break from everything, but most of all a great chance to bond as a family. Team Building, as I like to call it, was a great success! From the great weather, the hours spent enjoying recreational activities and the hours spent just relaxing, the trip was well worth it.
I would have to say that the Europeans have it right...
I may be lambasted for this in this public forum, but part of the success of this trip was the fact that my children both of Puerto Rico's drinking age, were for the first time able to experience the "adult activities" legally. It is no secret that Frack-my son-has been pushing the limits of our patience since this summer. I get that he is of the age of experimentation, but every weekend dude? And-forgive me-but Frick probably did all the same things he is doing and never got caught? Having said that...we were a bit worried about Frack and his antics while on vacation and legal to drink.
As a test of sort, we decided to give him some rope and see if he would hang himself with it. The first night we arrived I had come down with that unfortunate vomit bug that seems to be going around, and was unable to do anything except crawl into my hotel bed and die. That left My Guy, Frick and Frack alone to go paint the town without me. My Guy reported that Frack (Frick is a college student in NYC ya know) had announced at the dinner table that evening that this was the first time he was able to order a cocktail legally. A milestone for him, and absolutely to be celebrated. My Guy wondered quietly how much he would celebrate.
After dinner and two cocktails for all, the group then ventured about 50 ft over to the hotel casino. My Guy, a brilliant business man, told our children that he would finance and monitor their gambling for the evening. The only caveat, was that they split their winnings with him. Much to Frick and Frack's surprise and delight, a deal had been struck and off they both went to their first choice, the Roulette table. My Guy sat across the pit at the Blackjack table where he could monitor their progress. He was pleasantly surprised by how the children stood together and watched the game take place for the first 30 mins or so. They then got their colored chips and began to play. When the chips piled up and the winnings being tallied were "colored up"; (meaning the more chips, the more the color of your single chip) my children began stowing these brighter colored, more valuable chips in their pockets. A tip they learned from their mother, a notorious chip hoarder.
After an hour or so of some really fun gambling, Frick and Frack left the table victorious! Both had won quite a bit for their first time. But the amazing this was this..after a great night of gambling and drinking, both children retired with My Guy early. We could hardly believe it. My Guy and I told them that they could go out on the busy, touristy strip-not too far-but far enough- to explore the city TOGETHER. They were not to leave each other. They declined that first night and unbelievably every night after.
I bounced back the next day, and joined my family at the beach and for all the festivities that followed. But amazingly Frick and Frack never left us. And they hardly drank alcohol. After the first day or two of being able to drink at lunch and dinner and the casino, I noticed that they weren't interested in the drinks that much. They would enjoy one with dinner, maybe, but I never saw them order one at the casino again. And the drinks were free!! I know they didn't because by then they had graduated from the Roulette table to the Blackjack table. Gambling Blackjack was much more fun when your mom and dad are right next to you, walking you through it. All in all-Frick and Frack both left Puerto Rico a few hundred $ richer and with a much different perspective on drinking. (I know it would have been a different story if their friends were there) But I am encouraged by the maturity of both of them. Again, maybe the Europeans are onto something...
We are still basking in the glow of the great family experience, and I think we all have a new found trust for each other and the decisions that we make. All of that accomplished in a plane ride to the Caribbean. If you ask me, it was truly a trip to remember and a true paradise.