Categories
family

Daddy Days

This weekend, Kristen is off to Chicago with Erin for a girls getaway. Since I’m traveling a little over 1/5th of 2010, she certainly earned some time to herself.

Kristen’s definition of a girls weekend is Thursday afternoon to midnight on Monday. I like her style.

As we compared notes leading up to this trip we determined that this is the first time Kristen has ever done anything like this. It’s been fun to hear her talk about the trip for the last month or so, all the places she wants to visit, and of course– all of our favorite food places she wants to enjoy. (We lived there for 8 years. She is busy satisfying cravings for Johnnie’s Italian beef and Oatmeal shakes from Irazu. I’m totally jealous.)

The flipside is that I’ve earned some solo time with Megan and Paul!

So far, so good.

I’m not going to lie. I love that I get this time to be with them like this.

Last night, over a healthy dinner of tacos, rice and beans, and chips… we talked about all sorts of drama at school. Apparently, Foursquare provides endless playground theater that I was previously unaware of. There are some kids who like to steal the ball and throw it over the fence. Yeah, straight thugging.

We don’t have overly adventurous plans for the rest of the weekend. Which leaves plenty of time to do what they love to do most. Relax and be kids.

  • Thursday night I was impressed that I could make a healthy, well-balanced meal that they actually ate. Roasted fish, roasted apples, and whole grain rice.
  • Friday was a marathon of driving as we went from school to the San Diego State ticket office back to the YS offices to the house then to dinner at Rubios. I felt like a soccer mom with all of that carting!
  • Today we plan on going to the nursery so we can start seedlings of our winter garden, doing some weeding and cutting of grass, relaxing in the afternoon, then going to the Aztec game a bit early to enjoy some of the tailgate festivities before SDSU plays Colorado State tonight.
  • Sunday, I hope to keep it simple. Church in the morning and then finish painting the dining room while the NFL games are on. At some point, Paul needs to do his homework.
  • Monday, I’m just happy to get them to school. We will spend some time in the early evening making sure the kids rooms are clean(ish) before mom gets home.

Goals:

  1. Quantity time.
  2. No trips to the ER.
  3. Keep the house clean.
  4. Convince the animals to sleep in tomorrow for daylight savings time.
  5. Create some memories.
Categories
family

Weekend Review

I’m still amazed at how much fun we can have in a weekend. It’s been since high school that I’ve had weekends off so consistently. Love it!

Friday night, we stayed home and rested. With temperatures in the 100s most of last week, the kids had been stuck in the house a lot. I’d even say that by Friday night they had a bit of cabin fever. Saturday morning, I got up early, did a little reading and writing, then took Megan and Stoney to dog beach.  It’s amazing how much fun we can have there. Stoney loves to play with his ball, but really he loves to socialize with other beasts. You forget that dogs are a pack animal until you let them hang out with other dogs. Stoney would like to be a dominant male… which basically means that he spends his time at the beach trying to get other dogs to submit to him. On Saturday, the funniest part was when two springer spaniel puppies spent 10 minutes messing with him. These 7 month old pups knew some of the rules of being submissive/dominant, but like adolescents, were playing with the rules. Stoney would chase one down and he would roll over to submit to some sniffs. While Stoney sniffed his belly, his brother would jump on Stoney’s back. Stoney would snap at the other and chase the other puppy. It was a riot. In the meantime, Megan and I enjoyed wading in the San Diego River. The crystal blue warm water was perfect. We could have stayed there all day… if Stoney didn’t want to chase and play with every dog on the beach we could have.

After a couple hours of beach time with Stoney, Megan and I took him home. We rested for a little while, had some lunch, then packed up the truck to go to the beach as a family. It was hot at our house when we left. Close to 100 in San Diego is twenty degrees warmer than normal. As we headed west towards the Pacific anticipation built up. To be honest, it was a tense drive! Megan and Paul were snippy with one another the whole way to the beach. Mom and dad were in that “head down, focus” mode! When we finally got to Torrey Pines State Beach we were ready to pour our energy into the waves.

As we gathered our stuff out of the truck to take to the beach Megan and I decided to lose our sandals. This is pretty normal and isn’t usually a big deal. But about 200 yards from the truck we were really in pain. It was so hot that I could feel the bottom of my feet burning, literally. Mom was able to swoop up Megan and carry her the rest of the way to the beach while I tried to trot there. It felt like I was walking on glass the whole way. When I finally made it to the beach the pads of my feet were covered in first degree burns. It’s hot! (They are now blistered up, yuck!)

We spent the next four hours playing hard in the surf. The water temperature was refreshing! And the waves were awesome by the shore and a bit scary at the break line. I had fun getting Megan and Paul on the boogie board by the shore. They caught little 2 footers and would ride effortlessly to the beach… like 50-75 feet in total. It was awesome! When they tired of that I’d head out towards the break line where the waves varied from 5-10 feet. With surf that big I got plenty of practice ducking the big ones. It felt so good to be in the water! I was able to watch the surfers from close up, chat with fellow boogie boarders, and catch the occassional big wave. It’s hard to describe the joy of catching a wave. It’s a lot scary as the wave is way more powerful than you… but completely exhilarating when you catch it just right and zoom along with the wave breaking behind you while you dodge tourists.

Exhausted, we left the beach about 4:30 and went out for pizza. It’s taken us a while to settle on a favorite pizza joint. Truth be told, San Diego has a lot of good cuisine but pizza is not their thing. When we go to Pizza Port, the pizza is good enough, the surf feel is awesome, and the kids love that they have machines to dump quarters into. While enjoying our pie we watched the local Chula Vista Little League team pound the Texas team to take home the U.S. Championship, it was good fun. We drove home, full and tired. Everyone was sound asleep by 9 o’clock!

Sunday morning, our small group decided to bring a little rejoicing to the church by hosting a surprise tailgate party. That was a great lead in to worship. I’m still lost in the idea that we celebrate sports figures but not religious leaders… it was fun to mix those two things up intentionally for a morning. I think it was a success.

After church, we went home and chilled for a while. We watched Chula Vista win the Little League World Series (woot!) and then went to Maddie’s 3rd birthday party. All of the church staff has kids about the same age, so it was a blast to see all the little kids party and dance together. Megan and Paul… were awesome in playing along with a “little kid party.” They really did have a good time. And it warms my heart to see that they feel like they fit in. The whining about leaving Michigan… finally dissapating.

From there, we went home and embraced the quiet. The kids convinced mom to allow them to camp out in the living room. They were in bed early and mom and dad retired to read and go to bed early.

I think it takes someone who never really got weekends off to really appreciate the simplicity and joy of a weekend off. Then again, I think everyone loves weekends and I’m just finally getting to join in!

Next weekend, college football. That makes me super happy.

Categories
family golf hmm... thoughts

The weekend that was

This morning my back and arms are sore, my legs feel heavy, my eyes don’t want to open… signs of a very cool weekend. I took the weekend off. For the first time in a long time I actually completely disconnected from work. It was much needed.

Last month Kristen scored some great tickets to San Fransisco on Southwest. We jumped on the opportunity to get away! We were really good about getting away without kids in Michigan, but moving 2500 miles away from that network has meant we haven’t had family or church family around to hook us up with some getaway-ability. We made this one happen.

Kristen and I have been to San Fransisco before. First in 2001 we spent a couple weeks in the bay area. We did a lot of the toursity things down in San Jose, Santa Cruz, Napa, and a day-trip to Alcatraz. Then when we lived in Oroville we did some more quick trips around San Fransisco to the parks and driving across the Golden Gate bridge. But we had never really stayed in the city or did anything beyond the true tourist stops. So we intended to change that.

dsc_0009We flew in Friday afternoon and made our way into the city on BART. After getting lost a couple of times we made our way to Japantown. I’m getting more and more “anti-chain” and while the Hotel Kabuki is part of a larger company it is still a one of a kind place. It was as Japanese as I’d like to go without going to Japan. When we checked in the manager told us that since we were hear for a romantic getaway he was upgrading us to a suite. (Always leave a comment when making a reservation!) So he put us in this funky suite with a living room and a bedroom seperated by these fun sliding panels. The kicker for us was that the room also came with a sauna. I never knew I wanted a sauna in my hotel room before… it was a lot of fun!

After checking in we went on a walk in classic Adam and Kristen style. We had no idea where we were going and 90% of our intention was to get lost. So we walked up Filmore Street, had lunch at a place called LeMed, and then got royally lost and tired walking around Nob Hill. San Fransisco is laid out like a grid, so you can never truly get lost. Plus, with iPhone’s in hand all you really ever have to do is open up Google Maps. We walked until we were tired and went back to the room to chill and recharge. (Literally, our batteries died!) Later we went out for a dinner. We started at a wine bar then wandered up and down Fillmore Street a few times before deciding on a Thai place. Literally, we walked until our legs could take it no more!

Saturday morning we got up early and met Dave & Justine for breakfast at a little diner. It was fun to hang with them. When Dave stayed with us in December he was completely miserable with his internship and San Fransisco in general. It was fun to see the 180 transformation… amazing what romance will do to a situation! We lingered around at breakfast, enjoying our visit, but finally had to end it when Justine had to go to work.

From there, we checked out of our hotel, explored the Kintetsu Mall (a treat all its own full of places to eat and unlimited Japanese boutiques, totally worth it!) Then we jumped back on the bus and headed to Union Square. Since that wasn’t our scene we kind of went nuts on the transit system for a while. First we took a cable car over to Fisherman’s Warf. I have always wanted to ride a cable car and it was actually more fun than I had imagined!

Again, Fisherman’s Warf wasn’t our scene. We’ve already “done that” and it’s a total tourist trap. So we jumped on a streetcar and headed out to The Castro. As a straight couple that may seem like an odd place to hang out! But it was a total blast. It’s ecclectic and fun. Since it was Saturday afternoon everyone was out and about, chatting on the street, walking dogs, and basically just enjoying a perfect Saturday weather-wise. We had an awesome lunch at the Anchor Oyster Bar before heading back downtown.

From there we just got on more cable cars and explored. We hiked up the famous Lombard Street curvy road deal and took a ton of pictures. Completely exhausted, we rode the cable car back to Union Square, bought a couple souveniers for the kids, and got back on the BART for the trip home.

We got home about 11 and promptly crashed after saying goodbye to Mandy and Jon. (Who earned their saint stripes by watching the kids… who had quite a good time without mom and dad around!)

Sunday morning, I skipped church and played in a golf scramble with Tic. Tic is leaving YS later in the summer and as much as I enjoy his company I knew this would likely be my last big opportunity to spend a chunk of time with him. We played horribly. Each of the people in our foresome had a few good shots, one fantastic shot, and roared with laughter all day until we finally finished at +2. It completely capped off my weekend!

So that was my weekend unplugged. With a big week ahead it was fun to fully do a weekend where we went all out all weekend. I invite you to check out our pictures from San Fransisco. More importantly, I hope you get the opportunity to unplug and get away with the one you love soon.