Thursday 03 August 2006

Misery: Day Five

The kids bursting with excitement doing their favorite thing

No joy on the connectivity front. While we were driving around, though, I saw a McDonalds with wireless connectivity. There is something wrong with an area if the McDonalds are connected and the Starbucks aren’t. That’s just so twisted.

In less important news, we headed off to a state park. There was a beach there with sand in an inlet, plus fishing and horses.

When we first arrived, Charles refused to get out of the van, claiming “I hate this place”. I then pointed out that it had sand, at which point Charles was willing to take a look. It turned out I was telling the truth and Charles decided that he could spend a little bit of time working the sand in to proper form. After examining the situation, however, he decided the sidewalk lacked a proper road system with parking. Charles proceeded to build one by sweeping out the pavement with a little shovel we found.

We also saw a water snake there, although it headed back out to deep water before I could get my camera ready. We also saw some schools of minnows so thick that we originally thought they were moss covered rocks under the water.

Uncle Craig set his minions children out gathering grasshoppers for fishing. Aunt Linda caught the first one, but the kids eventually managed it as well. They caught several fish (unlike at the dock) rapidly. I could watch out from shore and see almost continuous ripples from fish looking for snacks on the surface so it seems like a good spot for fishing with young children.

Unfortunately, Charles’ road project was cut short by the need to head out for some horse related activity. In protest, Charles declared that he would have nothing to do with the horses. Mom, Scott, and I didn’t do horse things because we had to look after the young ones (Alice, Charles, and Liam). Everyone else headed off to do some trail riding.

Mom arranged for Alice to be lead around on a pony because Alice was very excited about the horse experience. There was a small trail next to the main trail head for the pony rides. Alice went around that 9 or 10 times — she wore out the horse who got balky because it was tired or just tired of the trail. Alice would have been happy to go a few more rounds.

About half way in to Alice’s horse expedition Charles, who had been sitting in a funk the whole time, started wandering around, looking extra sad. I went over to ask him what was wrong and he said “why I never get to ride horses?”. I pointed that perhaps it was because he had declared his complete lack of interest earlier and had failed to ask to ride a horse. This failed to satisfy his wounded feelings, so I paid for him to ride on the pony as well. Charles then endured the experience, as is his style, for about three laps. But it did mean we had all three kids on horses. Laurie will be so happy.

Corwin, meanwhile, was proving his natural instinct for horse riding. The report I recieved was that a biting fly nailed Corwin’s horse on the posterior, causing it to buck. Corwin hung on, impressing the rest of the group, but he did comment later that he didn’t want to be in a rodeo.

After horses, the mommies abandonded us for some sort of spa thing. Frankly, the less I know about what exactly went on the better so I didn’t inquire as to any details. Once we were rid of the mommies, we headed off for the kind of lunch daddies like, chinese buffet. We had seen one on the way to the park, so we headed back for it. Once we got there, we found a sign on the door:

Due to accident, we are closed until further notice.

This wasn’t the best news I had recieved recently but Charles thought it was very cool. We managed to find another chinese buffet which turned out to not be closed due to “accident”. This meant that the kids could get food they would eat without an endless ordering process. That’s what dads like.

Due to the mommies taking one of the cars, I sent Corwin with Uncle Craig’s family while I transported LeAnn and Scott’s crew. This meant that Liam sat next to Alice where they could poke at each other. This worked well because Alice likes to poke and Liam thought being poked by Alice was hilarious. Charles had to sit between Ashlyn and Gwyneth. I encouraged them to rub his head for luck, which they found to be great fun. They also thought it would be fun to get him chanting without realizing that if you get Charles started, he can be very hard to stop. When Gwyneth finally begged for Charles to stop repeating his phrase (which I could never quite decipher myself) I deigned to intervene and silence Charles. I was just happy that Charles had been so interactive. I was also hoping that Corwin would get some interaction time with his cousins, but naturally I recieved no debriefing on that front.

That evening, Mom popped out to Walmart with the little monkeys and bought Alice a Dora life jacket. Alice thought it was super fantastic. It would feature prominently for the rest of the vacation.

While Mom was off shopping, the rest of us finally managed to get out for some mini-golf. We picked a course that was almost completely shaded by trees in a little valley off the main road. Some of the holes were a bit short due to the constricted area, but they blended well in to the sloped sides of the valley, making for an overall nice course.

We called it an early night after dinner, because the kids were started to get a bit ragged from the hectic pace.

Posted by Dad about Family at 20:14 | Ping URL

Very pleased on the horse front.

Posted by: Godmother Laurie on 08 August 2006 at 10:37

As one of the mommies, I thought I’d share a little bit about the mysteries of the spa. Mommy Susan, Mommy Linda, and Mommy LeAnn headed off, hot, dusty and wearing eau d’horse to one of the area golf resorts that included a spa. I don’t know how Susan or Linda felt, but I felt much as I did back in middle school when I first had to shower around other girls. We were shown to the women’s locker room, where we showered and put on robes and slippers. Susan and Linda didn’t have enough time for the spa lunch before their brow shaping, so they ordered a smoothie, which apparently wasn’t as filling as they would have liked. I, on the other hand, sat by myself in the cafe and dined on a tasty salad of mixed greens, chicken, feta, and berries while the nearby co-ed whirlpool started making airplane noises (not my characterization; it came from the man who got out of it very quickly). I tried to sneak in some time in the steam room before my French manicure, but the manicurist found me. Not a regular denizen of spas or salons, I usually ask the manicurist what nail shape and color she’d suggest. I should have been a little more forceful with this manicurist. She first squirted cuticle remover (yes, they do remove cuticles! It’s not as painful as it sounds) on the back of my hand. That’s when the other manicurist reminded her that she’d forgotten to use nail polish on an earlier client. Not too promising. The manicure was rather mediocre, but when I returned to the locker room I was able to spend some quality time with Susan and Linda in the sauna dressed only in a towel. We followed this up with another rinse in the showers. On the way out, Susan and Linda received prescriptions from their estheticians for skin-care products.

The night before, I gave A11, A10, and Gwyneth their own spa night in the master bath. First, they had a jacuzzi bath. Then I rubbed lotion into A10 and Gwyneth while A11 soaked. After all the girls got dressed, I moved from one to the next, painting toenails, filing and buffing fingernails, and painting fingernails. Scott, dubbed spa slave by Mommy LeAnn, brought in cups of herbal tea and cookies. Gwyneth ran out before her manicure because Howl’s Moving Castle was playing and she didn’t want to miss it. A11 had an especially nice manicure, I thought.

Posted by: LeAnn on 14 August 2006 at 18:24
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