Love Boat floats, Safari sinks

Anyone with a teenager knows that vacation planning is tricky.

The old adage “You can’t please all of the people all the time” must have been written with teenagers in mind. 

You can’t please them ever.

Jackie and I recently watched the brainless, mildly entertaining  Adam Sandler movie, Jack and Jill.  There was a scene that takes place on a gigantic Carnival Cruise-like ship, complete with wave pool, limbo lessons, buffet lines, crowded hot tubs, and colorful umbrellas in slushy drinks.  I was half expecting Captain Stubing to announce the latest activity on the Lido deck.

Jackie bolted upright, paused the movie, and exclaimed “WHAT?!  You mean ships like this exist?  WHY DO WE HAVE TO GO TO AFRICA?  This boat is way better…..”

I forget the rest of her diatribe because I was too incredulous to continue listening.

I look at that cruise ship and all I see are annoying crowds, rowdy activities, forced fun, tacky tourists, and fattening food.  Jackie sees Paradise.

Apparently, our upcoming family trip to Zambia, Botswana, and Mozambique is something Jackie is being forced to attend under duress.

The nurse who administered our Yellow Fever shots may have been the first problem.  Jackie noted that anything that requires shots is not worth doing.  On top of that, our over zealous nurse was particularly insistent on pointing out that every place we are visiting is at high risk for malaria.  “What’s that?”, Jackie asked.  “A potentially fatal disease”, the nurse answered.  Clearly she does not have children of her own and never learned how to avoid causing unnecessary panic.  While Jackie’s consternation grew, she explained that we must wear hats, apply sunscreen and DEET spray, sleep under mosquito nets, and wear appropriate protective clothing at all times.

Thus, our trip has been translated by Jackie as follows:  we are forcing her to endure pain (the shot), wear ugly clothing (i.e. no short shorts), apply sprays (annoying), sleep in the equivalent of a cage (netting), and risk a fatal illness (seriously, Mom?)

I see the chance of a lifetime to witness the magnificent Victoria Falls, experience safari in the Okavango Delta, and relax on the beach in an exotic location.

Beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder.

Maybe next year we will send Jackie on vacation with Captain Stubing and see if she can win the limbo contest.


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