Monday, November 16, 2009

Vacation ramblings

Not sure if it's banking specifically, the economy, missing the best part of the race season with the hand injury, or just a bad attitude in general, but I'd been in the worst funk I can remember being in for the last few months - work had turned into a serious grind, I had little patience and had become short with people, and was just flat out burned out - of pretty much everything, including stuff I usually like. Annie, who's virtues exceed mine by quite a lot, had to have needed the vacation more than I did, but hadn't resorted to being crappy to be around.

So we got out of dodge to get some carefree time on a family road trip. A few take aways from this years trip which included stops at Zion, Disneyland, and Vegas.
  • I'm very conscious of not taking important things for granted, but one occurrence that happens on occasion is the kids asking me to play, usually in some fantasy world that their little imaginations have drummed up, and I'll either engage them for a few minutes thinking the brief, half hearted granting of my time will trick them into feeling like they got some asked for attention, so I can get back to whatever it is I'm treating as more important - or, I'll tell them just a minute, which, more often than not, is a dishonest way of ignoring their request. The best thing about getting away for extended days off is getting away from those distractions that too often trump the imaginary world my kids invite me into at their age. The kids loved having undivided attention and full engagement in whatever world they wanted to pretend we were in, and I was reminded that there's not a better therapy for a parent than to let their little imaginations teach me how to get away from the grind. It's one of their greatest gifts to me. I've let getting into a rut rob me of this on occasion - good to learn to watch for it and limit it's causing me to miss out on some of this stuff going forward.

  • Kylie is borderline of having grown past the innocence of the imagination and precious freedom from self consciousness that you get with the first few years. She started the trip being a little too cool for some of the childish fun, but to Annie and I's delight, realizing we were getting some last glances of her most innocent years, reverted to letting imagination overtake self image for most of the trip - we were sad to realize it, she's our oldest and therefore first to grow out of that stage, but sure were grateful for the time away to be able to get just a few more memories and be able to sit back and enjoy Kylie the little girl before she's not anymore.

  • Really enjoyed the goof off time with Annie, away from the day to day demands at home - can't imagine life without her...

A few photo's from the trip:

Met the Laroza's at Zion for dinner and some hiking the next day - took the kids to the Emerald pools. Passed a youth group on the way back, and heard several of the teens complaining about the distance and percieved exertion required for the hike, and had to laugh as I looked back at Brock, the two year old who had hiked the entire thing himself, declining several efforts by me to pick him up and carry him to speed things up.
One of my favorite things at Disneyland are the Dole Whips at the Tiki room - pineapple ice cream in pineapple juice. Brock discovered that they're also one of his favorites. One of our favorite pranks on the trip was abusing Brock's fondness for the Dole Whip's - did the fakie with the spoon for what must have been 20 reps, and he chased it every time thinking the deliciousness was going into his mouth, only to see it turn sharply into my mouth at the last minute - much to the delight and laughter of everyone but him.
This is my favorite photo of the whole trip. Partly because I'm so photogenic and this is a very handsome picture of me sleeping while standing, partly because Chesney hit the right of passage height to be able to ride most of the rides and this is right after her first run on Splash Mountain, but mostly because it caught the knucklehead doing his thing. He couldn't do the ride, so isn't familiar with Brer Rabbit or diving into the briar patch - but somehow decided to reenact it - if you look closely, you'll see him, at least the bottom 3rd of him, exiting the right side of the frame. It was exactly as graceful as you might be led to believe from the picture.
Here's the sequel - he's shaking out the cobwebs from landing right on his face.
Chesney being trained as a Jedi - she did great till Vader shows up, then she got scared and bailed back to dad's lap.

Had a full 5 days of this excitement and frolicking at Disneyland - it was a really great time. We put Disneyland on a rotation of once every two years, seems to be the right frequency for it to maintain it's magic with both mom and dad, and the rats of the rug. Tried it annually early on, and it wasn't quite as new/good.
Annie and the kids hottubbing and getting some vitamin D intake in Vegas where they had a generous go fish table.

Pretty great what getting away with the family can do for the soul - feel recharged, refreshed, and ambitious again - renewed some perspectives and enjoyed the heck out of the family. Makes a guy feel good.


Eber said...

You know Brock is going to pull the dole whip fakie on you when you are 95 and no longer able to feed yourself. Just fair warning.

Cristine said...

Great blog. interesting to read and nice photos.

evilbanks said...

Sounds like a great trip man, always good to get away!

Jdub said...

EB - if that's the worst trick Brock plays on me when I'm back to diapers, I can live with that.

Christine - thank you.

Banks - yup, ready for another one already.