Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Escape from Antelope Island

The day dawned clear and bright, and I was in high spirits despite being unable to convince anyone to eat breakfast at the Mayan. Our plan was to visit the Great Salt Lake, and specifically, Antelope Island. Soon after we'd loaded up the car, we were on our way.

Adventure awaited us!

Antelope Island is the largest island located in Salt Lake, and is accessible by crossing a seven-mile causeway. We had given the children the camera with the instructions to "take pictures of whatever is interesting." Five minutes later we had to warn them to stop taking pictures of each other or we'd seize the camera.

As we crossed the bridge, looking out over miles and miles of desolate area suitable for raising brine shrimp or faking moon landings, Wifey began to wrinkle up her nose as she detected a whiff of nasty in the air.

"Daddy," said the boy. "What is that smell?"

"It smells like a fart!" said the girl. "Did you fart, daddy?"

"I wanna take a picture of daddy farting!" said the boy.

"It's my turn to use the camera!" yelled the girl.

"No fair!" the boy countered.

"Shut up, nobody farted!" yelled Wifey. Then she leaned over to me and said quietly "You did fart, didn't you? You can tell me."

Isn't it nice to have a family that loves you?

It turns out that it wasn't me (well, not much, anyways) but was rather the lake stench from the sulfates that wash in but can't leave. Man, what a smell. Yuck.

Once we'd reached the island, we stopped at a scenic overlook to take a few pictures and be devoured by flies. Apparently as a result of radiation or excessive salt, the flies have grown to tremendous size and begun attacking humans. One of them raised a vicious welt on Wifey's hand that left her swearing and locking the rest of us out of the car until we'd apologized for laughing at her.

As I've said before, I feel that it's important to use every single bathroom that you find on vacation. Because you can really judge a people by how they maintain their tourist bathrooms. As luck would have it, this fly-ridden desolate outpost had a small toilet; and so I decided to use it.

As is standard procedure for every parent, I offered the children the chance to relieve themselves, which they both accepted. Wifey declined, both because of the fly injury and because she'd gone to the bathroom just the day before, and she averages one bathroom visit a week on vacation.

I swear she's got a hollow leg or something.

When I opened the bathroom door, I was horrified to see a swarm of mosquitoes rise up from beneath the seat and come towards me, a writhing curtain of blood-sucking darkness straight out of Hitchcock.

"I don't have to go any more!" yelled my daughter as she fled. I couldn't blame her.

"I think I can hold it," I said to the boy. "What about you?"

The boy shook his head at me. "I gotta go."

Sighing, and hoping that this wasn't going to end up like the latest Knight Shamalyan movie where all the bit players ended up dead, I took him inside. The door thudded closed ominously.

There was no plumbing in the toilet, only a pit with the excrement of previous visits, various pieces of trash, and the world's largest toilet-borne congregation of mosquitoes.

"You go first," he said.

All I could think about was how painful it would be to have mosquito welts up and down my private parts. I was gonna hold it, even if it meant pissing my pants later. "I insist, you go."

He shook his head. "I want you to go first because I love you," he said.

What could I say to that? So I gritted my teeth and tried to think about ways to convince Wifey to rub in mosquito cream on the affected area later.

This is a family blog, so I'll not be graphic other than to say that every time you disturb the surface of the liquid, more mosquitoes come roiling up out of the briny deep. I'm pretty sure that toilet eventually drains to a coffeemaker in hell somewhere.

Once I'd finished, both with my prayer and my peeing, I turned to him. "Your turn now."

"I don't have to go anymore," he said. "Can we leave?"

"But you said you have to go!" I insisted. "That's the whole reason we came in here!"

"I just wanted to keep you company," he said. "I didn't want you to get lonely."

Even though it was a sweet sentiment, I still wanted to throttle him.

Back in the van, we continued our tour of Antelope Island. In order to honor the antelope from which the island derives its name, there are giant buffalo sculptures all over the island, painted in a variety of psychedelic fashions.

No, I can't explain it either. But the children got plenty of good pictures of them.

Psychedelic Buffalo, the Official Antelope Island Mascot

Soon we'd completed our tour of the island, and we were ready for lunch. So after a quick drive back across the causeway (with more accusations of gastric terrorism against me by my children), we began searching for somewhere to eat.

We chose Sonic. I've always loved Sonic, ever since Wifey worked there and would have hair that smelled like tater tots after her shift, whose delicious aroma would fill my nostrils like a heady perfume as we made sweet love.

To this day I can't eat tater tots without becoming aroused. If the Mayan served tater tots then Wifey and I would get arrested for indecent exposure every time we went there, which not incidentally would be twice a day.

Anyways, several hours later found us at our next destination. Now, this stopover wasn't for fun; I had to do a little work on the front end of our vacation, so the next two days Wifey and the kids would be on their own while I worked. So this was our last "free" night together for a few days.

Since swimming is our children's greatest passion, we were sure to go visit the pool as a way to burn off energy from the drive. It was nice, a far cry from the freezing-cold pool in Utah. Warm, with a nice little sprinkler effect at one end, and big enough that several people could swim in it at once. We quite enjoyed it.

Except for the company. I swear there was a skank convention in town or something. This family was there, about six of them in total, each one skankier than the last. The only one that wasn't skanky was the baby. From tramp stamps to nose rings to ill-fitting swimsuits, this family had the skank gamut covered.

I was afraid to get in the hot tub that they'd been in for fear of getting some sort of disease from them. Eventually the Skankletons left, though, and we had the whole pool to ourselves. Good times.

After a nice dinner (the details of which I have completely forgotten), we retired, the first full day of vacationing a complete success.

Tomorrow: Tennessee Wifey and the Storage Locker of Doom


David said...

The IKEA in Chicago has one of the cart lifts. Entirely too cool

Alice H said...

Mosquito bites on your naughty bits would be no fun, and would probably keep you from being able to go out in public for several days for fear of accidentally scratching in front of a group of schoolchildren and being arrested.

Kate said...

Mosquitoes? P'shaw! Trying a pair of jeans, ripped at the crotch from riding a horse, no underwear, and sitting on a fire ant bed! Now THAT is hell!