The Romney family–all 30 of them including the 5 sons, their wives and 18 grandchildren–are on vacation this week at the Romneys’ $8 million estate on Lake Winnipesaukee in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, and the Washington Post published a fascinating article about the family’s vacation traditions.
Romney’s 13-acre estate features a six-bedroom house, a horse stable with guest apartments above it, a $630,000 boat house, tennis and volleyball courts and a shoreline stretching 768 feet, more than double the length of a football field, according to public property records.
Attendance at the annual event is “mandatory.” Everyone has to show up, no excuses allowed.
One summer when Romney’s eldest son, Tagg, now 42, was working for the Los Angeles Dodgers, he told his father he wouldn’t make it to Wolfeboro. Baseball, after all, is a summer sport, and he didn’t think he could take a week off in the middle of the season.
“My dad said, ‘No, you will make it,’ ” Tagg recalled in an interview. So he showed up, noting, “I had to beg forgiveness from my bosses at the Dodgers.”
Also required is participation in the annual “Romney Family Olympics.”
The Romney Olympics have long included a mini-triathlon of biking, swimming and running that pits Mitt and his five sons and their wives against one another. But after Mitt once nearly finished last, behind a daughter-in-law who had given birth to her second child a couple of months earlier, the ultra-competitive and self-described unathletic patriarch expanded the games to give himself a better shot.
Now they also compete to see who can hang onto a pole the longest, who can throw a football the farthest and who can hammer the most nails into a board in two minutes…
The days are filled with highly-structured games and competitions. There is a water skiing, a “home-run derby,” and games of tennis and basketball. During the week, the grandchildren have to stage a “talent show” on an outdoor stage that Mitt built. Mitt also created a “chore wheel” to divide up the household chores. At the end of the week everyone poses for a group photo to be used for the family Christmas card. The grandchildren dress in matching outfits according to gender, as in the photo above from last year.
And the nights? The adults have a rollicking good time holding meetings, each of which is “focused on a frank and full discussion of a different son’s career moves and parenting worries.”
Can you believe that? Do you suppose attendance at this “vacation” is a condition of the trust funds Romney set up for his sons? Can you imagine the anxiety any normal person would have as the weeks and days ticked down until vacation week? I’d be a nervous wreck!
Once when I was a kid, my entire extended family spent a week in the governor’s mansion on the Indiana Dunes (my great-uncle was Lt. Governor of the state at the time). One day some of the adults tried to get my cousin and me to compete to see who could do the most chores in the shortest amount of time. When I realized what was happening, I opted out. It was pretty traumatic being manipulated and controlled like that–I was so angry and humiliated!
Imagine a whole week of that kind of bullsh$t, and you’ve got the Romney’s summer vacation. Is it just me, or is there is something seriously wrong with this family?