vakkotaur and I have been visiting my family one major holiday a year and his the other. Last year, we saw my parents on Thanksgiving and his on Christmas; this year, it was the other way around. Since my sister adopted a baby boy in late October, that meant a trip to Houston, as my parents have been doing the spoiled grandkid thing.
We flew in on the Saturday before Christmas. We got in late enough that we didn't do much but eat and sleep that night. Sunday, we met a few hams I knew in the Houston area for lunch, then tried to catch up with my parents for dinner - but as we were in Bellville, where they were staying, they were in Houston. Oh well.
We spent Monday with my parents at my sister's house. Gayle's son, Oran, is a big baby, they tell me. I wouldn't know. He was fairly quiet that day, however. We sat around and watched James Bond movies. I don't even remember what we did Tuesday. Christmas Eve was the traditional family gathering and exchange of presents; we got a couple of gift cards and some interesting toys, including an electric ice scraper. (You plug it in to your cigarette lighter, and a heating element under the scraper blade softens the ice.) Chrostmas Day was another dinner with Gayle's in-laws. We spent Friday and Saturday trying to catch up with more of the ham radio crowd in Houston and not succeeding, and flew home on Sunday.
The sour note came on Thursday evening. The baby got very noisy after the in-laws had left. After three days of that, my nerves were wearing thin, as I have a very low tolerance for screaming kid. I said as much to Gayle. Wrong move: after a brief discussion, she told me I needed to just chill out. That has never had the desired effect on me. When someone tells me that, I just get more irritated. This time was no different: I picked up my camera bag and walked out. After a few moments, Gayle's husband Robert came out and tried to pour oil on the troubled waters, but failed. I took a walk around the block - well, several blocks - then walked back inside, told everyone goodbye, and left.
I doubt I'll be spending much time around my sister until her son gets old enough to be something other than a noisy kid.