For the love of Monopoly
One of our favorite things about vacation rentals on family trips: The surprises we find in the cabinets and drawers.
No matter where we go, no matter what sort of rental we get (house, apartment, etc.), L and R always manage to discover some sort of treasure with which they become obsessed. The treasure usually then becomes part of our lives.
Our recent vacation on Maui was no exception. The item of choice: Monopoly.
To be fair, L had played a version of this game before—Monopoly Junior, which is a version of the original game that has been simplified for kids under the age of 8. This time, however, she and her sister, R, were digging a rare and unusual grown-up version: a Peanuts-themed take on the original game.
(The Peanuts theme was a weird coincidence; Charles Schulz spent the latter part of his life near our home in Santa Rosa, California, and we’re members of a museum there in his memory.)
The sisters found the game in a chest of drawers. Once they checked out all the pieces, once they had me teach them how to play, they became full-on junkies, insisting that we play for at least a few hours every day of the trip.
Most of our games took place before 9 a.m.; I had the morning shift and this was how we spent it.
Invariably, R would start out strong, buy a bunch of properties, then lose interest when she ran out of cash. L, on the other hand, was a veritable shark, waiting in the weeds for tactical purchases, accumulating monopolies, then building houses and hotels to wipe the rest of us clean. She also went after the game’s equivalent of utilities, which always cost of the rest of us dearly.
Of course we tweaked the rules a bit. R was *very* upset at the idea of going to jail and refused to play unless I guaranteed she and her sister didn’t have to go. As a result, only the grown-ups could end up in jail; the worst fate for those of us under the age of 8 was “Just Visiting.”
Another change had to do with paying rent. If either of the girls didn’t have enough money to pay me rent, I would accept payment in smooches, with an exchange rate of one kiss for every $10.
(One game, I had three monopolies with hotels on every property. I got a lot of kisses.)
In the end, though I think I would have rather spent that time with the girls outside, it was wonderful to see them taking interest in a board game, and even more uplifting to see them wanting to experience it TOGETHER. They’ve been clamoring to spend a Saturday playing here at home. The requests are proof positive of how this past family vacation changed their lives—that makes me very happy, indeed.
What do you love most about vacation rentals when you travel with family?