My First Summer Vacation in Decades

summer vacationYou guys, you guys! In three weeks, I will be dragging my three ungrateful children to Taiwan for six weeks of mandatory Chinese life immersion! Hapa Papa will not be joining us for awhile so it should be “interesting” to say the least. (However, my mom did somehow bribe my eldest cousin to help me out with things so it shouldn’t be too bad.)

Actually, I don’t think my kids are ungrateful. They’re actually pretty excited because they have a lot of good and fun memories of all the awesome indoor play spaces in Taiwan. I think they also remember some of the foods they like – and since they’re better about eating new things than they have EVER been, I have high hopes that Cookie Monster will not spend 90% of the time eating white rice.

Plus, I’ve been really trying to sell Cookie Monster on the cool camps I’ve signed him up for. Four weeks of local camps with local Taiwanese kids learning magic tricks, going on field trips, and creating stuff with fancy Tinkertoys, etc. should do more for his Chinese than four weeks of being stuck in a school geared to overseas Taiwanese kids learning Chinese characters and studying Chinese culture. (If that’s not guaranteed to make a kid hate Chinese, I really don’t know what is. It makes me hate Chinese.)

I think Gamera is most excited about buses. Glow Worm, of course, has no idea what’s in store for him. Poor chap. He’s going to have a rude awakening when he’s being shoved into school from 8am – 4pm every day. At least he’ll be in the same class as his big sister.

Anyhow, if you know anything at all about me, you’ll know that I NEVER call the trips we go on as a family, “vacation.”

That’s because calling it a vacation implies a fun and relaxing time. And trips with my troop of assholes is the opposite of fun and relaxing. (And yet, still, I still plan them. Clearly, I’m a masochist.)

However.

This year, this glorious summer, will be different.

For the first time, in decades, I will have an actual summer vacation.

All three children will be in school/camp from 8am-5pm every single week day for four weeks. FOUR. GLORIOUS. WEEKS.

This must be how SAHMs feel when ALL their kids go to school during the fall. (Maybe they’re onto something, after all.)

This will also, likely be the LAST time I will have an actual summer vacation for at least 2-3 years (when Baby4 will finally be old enough to attend local Taiwanese preschools during the summer).

I plan to make the most of it.

So, because I’m a planner and also slightly afraid that I will waste this rare opportunity for solitude, I present to you, my illustrious plans for my summer vacation. (WHOOOOOO!)

1) Eat.

I’m not kidding. I plan on eating as much as humanly possible.

One of my friends, Dongua (冬瓜 – I know, I know! Not proper pinyin, but that’s what he goes by!), posts so many reviews and pics of places he eats in Taipei that basically, I’m just going to eat my way through his pic folder. I’m calling it the Dongua Taiwanese Food Challenge. The gauntlet has been thrown and I volunteer as tribute.

Incidentally, Dongua has been mentioned on a Taiwanese blogger site as well as another blog if you want to check them out.

The best part is, several of my friends will also be in Taiwan at the same time (although we will not be living together). But that means I have eating buddies! WHOOO!

2) Shop.

Truthfully, though it may seem that I have already purchased every Chinese book and game known to man, it is not so! And I plan to rectify that! Guavarama will be ordering a few boxes of books for me and they will be delivered to my residence so I don’t even have to do any work!

Mostly, I will shop for popular music and old Chinese kungfu movies (like Once Upon a Time in China) and perhaps some educational DVDs for the kids.

I don’t tend to buy clothes even in the states where I have a snowball’s chance in hell fitting into the clothing. So, I won’t be buying clothes in Taiwan where people are tiny and have no breasts or hips. (Or at least, that seems to be what the clothing stores are telling me.)

I used to be able to buy shoes, but after I had kids, my shoe size went up so now, no shoes in my size in Taiwan.

Don’t worry. I’ll spend a crapton of money just fine. (Please don’t tell Hapa Papa. *waves*)

3) Write.

When I first planned the trip it was before I got pregnant. I had it in my head that I would be putting my ebook together from my previous posts and series during this time and do a lot of writing and submitting to online publishers.

I might still do that.

But mostly, I will be writing for this blog. Either posts for the summer or posts for after the baby arrives.

Truthfully, I don’t really know. Maybe I will write fiction. Who knows??

I just know I will have large blocks of empty space for me to write. I have fantasies of bringing my laptop to a local Taiwanese boba shop and acting like I’m a fancy schmancy writer in a public space. Too bad it will all just be in my head.

4) Plan for Fall 2016 curriculum for the kids.

I’ll be homeschooling Gamera in TK this fall along with Cookie Monster starting Grade 1. Oh, and did I mention I’ll be popping out Baby4 in mid-October?

Yeah. That.

So, I need to plan for things I want the kids to learn and how to do that (by signing up for as many classes as possible, obviously). And then researching children’s science and educational videos in Chinese (aka: stealing YouTube playlists from Guavarama). And then figuring out how to stream them on our Apple TV/Chromecast/Amazon Fire. I think we have them all. I just don’t know how to use ANY of them.

5) Read.

Thanks to the beautiful thing known as technology, I can read a lot of books on my Kindle app without bringing a ton of books with me. And, if I’m feeling the need for REAL books, I can hang out in Eslite for HOURS and read their English books in comfy couches.

SO EXCITING.

6) Nap.

What’s the point of large, unscheduled blocks of time if I can’t nap? Ooooh. Maybe I can even nap while getting a massage!! That’s killing two birds with one stone! WHOOOOOO!

That’s it. For me, personally, anyway. We’ll go to fun places and visit family for the kids, too. But for the hours that I’m free each day, I’m gonna do at least one of these six things. (You’ll note there is a purposeful lack of anything museum-like or culture-related. That’s because I’m a Philistine and don’t care at all.)

Anyhow, I look forward to chronicling all my adventures (after all, I’m suppose to write!!) and tempting you all with pics of yummy food.

See you Wednesday!