January 5, 2007

New Year's Trip Report


Well, vacation is done, and well... I need a vacation from my vacation! Whew... Man, I love my kids and all, but 10 days and 1600 miles and sleeping in 5 different places in 5 different cities, 6 days of playing lifeguard at the pool or ocean, explaining to them why the men are sleeping on the benches with newspaper covering them in the French Quarter, and C-O-N-S-T-A-N-T questions about whether they are all my kids and how do I handle it - it all starts to wear on me after awhile...

It's funny, to me and my kids alike, how people react to a young guy (I still get the - you're my doctor? do you have your driver's license yet? - questions at least once each shift) alone with 4 young kids. Everywhere we go, which is a helluva lot of places, we are asked usually not once but many times if they all are mine and why are they so well behaved. It's funny to the kids that people constantly comment because this is all they know. It's just us, it's how we roll...

There was too much trip to give a narrative of it all, but I want to hit a few high (and low) points...

We started off in Mobile, caught up with family, and went to the USS Alabama where the kids and I boarded the battleship and played like World War II sailors for an hour or two.

Then, on the way to New Orleans, I wanted to stop at my dad's cemetery; but, I sadly admit that I couldn't remember where it was and well, I felt too damn ashamed that I had forgotten to call family for help... It had been at least 5 years, maybe more, since I visited. Definitely a low point, and something about which I still feel awful...

We visited Melissa, Bruce, and Wyatt-man in New Orleans, and they took us to the French Quarter to meander and visit the aquarium. Aquarium is amazing, especially considering it was ruined by Katrina. And speaking of K, wow... N.O. is back baby! Yea, there are still houses being rebuilt, and yea, the WalMart is still boarded (heh, is that really even a bad thing?), but as far as the N.O. I know and love, the party is there.

Funny story about lunch in the Quarter at Landry's. I ordered the shrimp creole, but the server insisted that it just plain sucked. He recommended the shrimp etouffee, and I agreed. It was tasty, I'll admit, until about half-way through when - CRUNCH... Hmm. That sounded like... GLASS! Glass being ground by my teeth... I stealth-like spit my oral contents into the napkin, and yep - it was a kernel-of-corn-sized piece of glass. Except that the crunching wasn't actually the glass being ground, it was my 1st molar, the pieces of which were right there in my napkin for me to inspect.
So, the moral of the story? Don't listen to the effing servers at Landry's...

From N.O., I went minus half a tooth with the kids on to Daytona Beach, where we funned and sunned for what seemed like forever. We all had a kick-a** time doing the GYGO triathlon, although I must admit that it felt more like a boring brick and less like a true race than I wanted it too. I was hoping to get the adrenaline surge, but it just didn't happen. Hats off to Kahuna and Wil for their efforts - what a great concept is the virtual tri!

We snuck by St Augustine, THE oldest city in the US (so this is how I learned it too, although I guess it probably more correctly is the oldest city built by European settlers) and drank from the Fountain of Youth. No, I don't have any fewer wrinkles... Yet.

We were walking away from some fort built by Spain in St Augustine when Anna said a couple of her increasingly common wow-how-does-a-3-year-old-know-to-say-that- sayings. The first one was "Daddy, is the reason that you know everything because you are the daddy?" and the second, "Daddy, how did God know how to make us?" This from the same girl who last spring awoke from a long road-trip nap and said "Daddy, are we in heaven yet?" All I can say is - wow...


Savannah yesterday and for awhile today, then finally home.


Home... An internet connection that works. Something other than pizza every other meal. My gym, my pool... My bed with its layer upon layer of down ...
Even my clutter...

Ah, home... There's nothing like it anywhere...

6 comments:

Laurie said...

Such a distraction I almost forgot to read your post!

Sounds like an awesome trip. Your kids are lucky to have such an active dad who takes them to so many fun places.

I know exactly how you feel about finally being home. Vacations are a lot of work!

Triteacher said...

Home is good.

Glad N.O. is back; it's one place I have yet to visit. I will.

Bike Chick said...

I loved New Orleans and I'm glad to hear that it's back. You and the kids had tons of fun, sounds like. Anna's questions are great. My niece is always asking outrageous questions like that. Makes life interesting around them, huh? Enjoy your homecoming.

Melissa said...

Glad that ya'll made it home safely. We are proud to have been included in the New Year's Road Trip. Door is open anytime.
About Anna - even after a wild House of Blues concert with Papa Grows Funk and Dr. John, jazz brunch in the French quarter and countless renditions of the "Who Dat" Cheer - the song stuck in my head is the incomparable Anna the Songstress singing "I Want My River Back".
Hugs & Kisses to the kids.

ironjenny said...

Welcome back! Loved your GYGO video.... Sounds like we need to get bike chick's niece, Anna and Ally together... they're an army of angels!
Jenny

Flatman said...

Sounds like you guys had fun. I have to come back to work after vacations to rest up too!