Our Pages

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A Picture's Worth a Thousand Words...Or is it?

-->
By Erin Knightley

Ah, photographs.  Isn’t it amazing how easy it is to capture a moment in time? For years and years we can look back at our happy, smiling faces and remember what an amazing time we were having.
After all, a picture is worth a thousand words, right? Although…no one ever said those words weren’t bald faced lies.  Allow me to demonstrate.
The week after Christmas, my hubby and I went to Colorado with my mom and dad to enjoy our first taste of the Rockies.  Along the way, we snapped tons of photos. Let us see what the photo *seemed* to be saying, and what was actually happening.

Exhibit One: Dogsledding.
See the big smiles? The goofy grins? The adorable dogs?
 
Yeah…look closer and you might just see the icicles hanging from my nose, lol. It was freezing! And I don’t mean ‘throw another log on the fire’ freezing. Oh no – I mean ‘start looking for a dead tauntaun and a light-saber’ cold. Not only am I periodically doing checks of my nose and cheeks to make sure they are indeed still there, but I’m avoiding all liquids despite the altitude due to the fact I’m wearing 17 layers of clothes and the only ‘conveniences’ is a frozen solid block of port-o-pots where I am afraid of recreating the famous scene from A Christmas Story, only substituting my hiney instead of Flick’s tongue and a toilet seat in place of the flagpole.
Exhibit Two: Snowmobiling
What could be more delightful than snowmobiling across the continental divide? When the concierge set this up, she assured me, my hubby, and my soon to be 65 year old dad that we would have a looovely tour.  And just look at these pictures! Majestic mountains, gorgeous blue skies, powdery snow—what more can you ask for?
Oh dear lord—thank heavens for these pictures, because those precious few moments were the only time in the entire 2 hour tour that I wasn’t hanging on for dear life as the guide held the pace at 50 miles per hour (literally), tearing through the mountainous terrain like a bat out of you know where, all the while hollering warnings over his shoulder to ‘turn with your bodies!’ so not to flip the death, I mean snow mobile over on the hairpin turns. The only thing I saw on this trip (besides my life flashing before my eyes) was my hubby’s back and the green and white blur of the forest zooming by in the periphery. Scenes from “What About Bob” can’t help but come to mind as I scream across the tundra, holding on for dear life and yelling “I’m on vacation!” into the howling wind.
By the time we were done, I felt like I had been tossed in a bouncy castle with 40 five year olds hopped up on Kool-Aid and birthday cake. Toss in the fun factor of certain death if we miss-steered and the lovely, ever-present exhaust fumes and you have a day that was MADE of win. 
Yes, that was sarcasm.  Oddly enough, my hubby had the time of his life on this excursion, laughing as my dad and I clung to each other and wept with relief when it was over.  Oh, and side-note—I’m totally using that picture in our next Christmas card to brag about the fab vacation we had ;)

Exhibit Three: Skiing
Ah, the idyllic pastime of the wealthy. So chic, so fabulous, so ‘Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.’ Notice the gorgeous weather and picturesque, snow-covered slopes behind us. Surely hot chocolate and cavier are waiting for us beside the cheery fire in the lodge, no?
 
NO. God no.  I think ski boots were originally invented by the military as a torture device designed to mimic the yoga chair pose for hours on end, leaving one to wonder if, in fact, muscles actually can turn to jelly. Or molton lava.
Then someone said ‘Hey! Let’s strap a pair of waxed sticks to these babies and throw ourselves down the side of a mountain!’ Then someone else said, “Why don’t we have a thousand other people on the slopes with us, so we can add in evasive maneuvers and on-the-fly physics calculations to spice up the day?” And then someone else said, “But wait! Lets put mortally wounded people on stretchers and have them be continually taken down the mountain, so everyone can see exactly how death-defying their recreation of choice is!”
Yay! Thanks guys – you know how to make for an awesome day of near-death experiences. And here’s the real trick: Someone figured out how to get you to drop hundreds of dollars on rental equipment and lift tickets, and still manage to get you to pay $15 on two hotdogs.

So there you have it—pictures may very well be worth a thousand words, but in my experience, those words are all LIES. But you know what? I find I'm okay with that, lol. Because when I'm old and grey, I want to be able to look back on these serene pictures and reminisce about what a lovely trip we had to Colorado that one year, shaking my head as I wonder why it was I never went back.
Now tell me, do you have lying pictures from your vacations too? Or have you ever done something you were stoked about, only to have it turn out to be waaaay different than you imagine?
(I feel I should point out that I really did have a wonderful time, especially since I was able to spend such quality time with my parents. But me and Colorado? We’ve met, shaken hands, and parted ways. That goes for extreme sports, too! ;) )

PS: If you’d like to see the one picture that is one hundred percent accurate representation of how I felt at that exact moment, here you go:

22 comments:

  1. Bwaaa haa ha! Great blog, Erin! Those pics really are liars, because you look like you are having a fabulous time! Hearing the initial description of each of your excursions, I would have been all "Wow! I want to do that!" Except for skiing--I already know I'm mediocre at that--but after hearing your descriptions?

    Uh, yeah, that cruise the kids want to go on is sounding better and better--where the zip lining and snorkling are pretty much what you expect!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yes Deb - the next trip shall be *tropical*! LOL
      To be fair, the dog sledding would have been super fun if it hadn't have been -10 degrees (or if they'd had indoor plumbing!)

      Delete
  2. They are still great pictures even if not quite accurate and, you did survive! I've tried to ski. One swollen knee later and I didn't revisit that sport again. Besides, I don't like being cold. Yep we have pictures of perfect harmony when we made the kids stop fighting long enough to smile for the camera and then they were back to fighting. Sometimes family vacations with small children were not the relaxing escape I was hoping for, but there are still some great memories too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha - I remember the futile efforts of my parents to get that perfect shot of us as kids. Good thing parents have photoshop now! ;)

      Delete
  3. Erin,
    Great blog! I love to start my morning with a laugh. For me, I would have to say "swimming with dolphins" blew. There was no SWIMMING involved. We got to touch dolphins. And the water was freezing!!! In addition, hubby took off on a snorkeling trip with our son AND all the money after booking our dolphin excursion. All I had was a twenty with a tiny rip in it, which apparently can't be used in Mexico. No ripped $20 bills, we were told. So I had a starving, whining nine year old and no way to feed her.

    I decided we were headed back to the cruise ship, but we had to walk through all these street vendors to get there with them trying to entice my daughter with their shiny babbles. She was begging for a souvenir the whole way back to the ship. To be polite, I told this one insistent man that I didn't have any money, but we would come back once my hubby returned. He said something rude along the lines of "sure you will" and I about lost it and said a few rude words of my own. I really would have brought my daughter back out to get a souvenir, but then I decided there was no way we were stepping off that ship again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh my word, Sam - now that's an adventure!! You and your poor daughter, lol. I can just see all those vendors cursing you as you go down the street, half-starved and fishy-smelling from your dolphin touching ;)

      Delete
  4. My only trip that didn't work out the way I thought it would was my first trip as an 'adult'. I was just out of college and paid for the trip to Los Angeles to visit my boyfriend (now hubby) who was there for a conference.

    First problem - the air tasted acidic. Bleh. Air should be tasteless.

    Second - Disneyland was kinda boring....particularly since I was with two guys (hubby and a friend) who refused to go on rides. I've been spoiled by childhood trips to Disneyworld and Epcot.

    Third - Since I couldn't buy anything and I hate shopping Rodeo Drive was kinda disappointing.

    San Francisco is great and hubby says San Diego is nice but I don't see any need to go back to LA.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ugg - my sister lives in LA, and she is the ONLY reason I visit there. No offense to those who live there - I just need my space! And fresh air. And seasons. lol

      Delete
  5. Pardon the coffee all over your screens, folks. That was from me snorting.

    Note to self: do not fool yourself into believing you can read Erin's blog while drinking coffee.

    So...um...I know myself better than to try any of those things you tried. LOL. I do have a few pictures of the sort you describe, but for the most part I avoid anything death-defying or inducing, so my collection of such photos is rather limited. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HA! Yes, I should probably put my foot down on the extreme sports from now on. I think I am officially past the age of stupid youth, and firmly in the cautious middle-age group! At least I'll always have the pictures!

      Delete
  6. Thanks for the warning Catherine! I put my cup down before reading. This story is the reason when someone asks me if I ski, I just say I do apres ski, by the fire

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now THAT sounds like fun, Nancy! LOL - particularly without the aching legs ;) Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  7. That sounds EXACTLY like our last winter trip to Jackson Hole for me, except add in a day of snow-shoeing. Here's a hint: Sometimes the snow shoes don't really work, and you fall in a snow drift up to your armpits and you have NO HOPE then of avoiding getting snow down your socks/pants/underwear. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL - oh Sonja, I can just picture that! Miraculously, I managed to keep the snow out, but it may have had something to do with the thirty layers of clothes that I wore ever day that were all but duct taped to my body, lol

      Delete
  8. "‘start looking for a dead tauntaun and a light-saber’ cold"

    Best. Metaphor. Ever.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Fabulous blog, Erin. I'm still laughing...and I feel the same way about winter. Hate. It. Which is why I live in North Dakota, right?

    Hoping for a trip to NC soon.
    L. j.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Clearly you have moved to the perfect place for you, lol. Hope you can make it back soon!

      Delete
  10. Good entertainment today! LOL That is exactly how I would feel, but they couldn't get me to do those things in the first place. And, I had every opportunity since I lived in Jackson Hole in Wyoming for 6 years! :) Needed a laugh tho! Thanks! Maxie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad I could give you a chuckle today, Maxie! Thanks so much for stopping by to say hello :)

      Delete
  11. OMG I cannot stop laughing!! Absolutely love your behind the scenes of these photos!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL - thanks! Making y'all laugh today makes all the misery worthwhile! Sort of... :P

      Delete