Yes, I’ve been away for a long time. It basically boils down to travel, Carol’s mom not having accessible internet, my parents not having accessible internet and not much in between. Now on with the updates…
1. Traveling with “Tad” – My son got a tadpole that will turn into a frog for his birthday. Very cool in many ways. He’s been feeding it every day, watching it grow, etc. Along comes our 2008 Whirlwind Grandparent Tour and no one around to “tadpole-sit”. Therefore, Tad has to travel with us. Now “Tad”, as he’s been named, has got to be the lowest of all pets on the maintenance scale. All you have to do is feed him once a day and not do any of the following to his water: add chemicals, freeze, boil or completely spill. Simple enough. However on our last day at my parents house his water was changed with bad water (meaning tap water with chemicals) and “Tad” passed away one day later. Much sorrow and many tears followed. We are examining options for replacing “Tad” as I write this.
2. Santa Claus, Indiana – it’s a real town. Perhaps you’ve seen all the commercials filled with lies about it. We did. Carol wanted to go for her birthday (Dec. 23 and she always gets screwed). So we packed up a day early and went to Santa Claus, Indiana. There is one real hotel in town where we made reservations. We pull up with much excitement hoping to find a real holiday and birthday treat. I go in to check us in… can’t find reservation. Luckily they have a jillion rooms available and claim that they’ll get us squared away later. As I’m completing paper work the lady says, “You weren’t hoping to see Santa Claus were you?” Okay, let’s back up… we came out of our way to a town named SANTA CLAUS just a few days before Christmas… so I just look at her. She goes on, “Well you missed him here and he won’t be back until after Christmas.” Hmmmm… I guess I can squeeze around that with the kids. They aren’t huge Santa stalkers anyway. She also informs me that the restaurant in the hotel is the only sit down restaurant in town. [You know that aforementioned commercial about Santa Claus, Indiana with the really cool diner… complete lie.] We have a decent dinner and then head to our room. We pull back the covers and yep, that’s popcorn still on the bed. Not the kind of snack I want left behind. They change our room and after some pool time we hit the hay.
Next day, we go for breakfast, restaurant is closed for breakfast. I ask for suggestions from hotel clerk who recommends the biscuits and gravy at Subway. We remember reading something about a Rudolf’s Diner or something and go to check it out. Closed on Mondays (it was a Monday). Return to the hotel for the carb-o-liscious danish spread only to discover that nothing is out. We ask about it and they bring some things out that are still half frozen. [Ever try to eat a half frozen muffin? It should be an Olympic sport.] In one last attempt to save Santa Claus, Indiana we decide to visit the much praised “Santa’s CandyCane Castle”. We pull up and its the size of a small gas station. In one room there are computers which enable you to talk with elves at the North Pole… for $7.95/20 minutes. We decide against it and go into the other room where there is lots of candy, priced extra high. They do have an enormous assortment of candy cane flavors and we all get one and leave. As we are exiting, our youngest son looks around and says, “That’s it???? What a gip.” Which pretty much sums up the trip and probably the way my wife felt about her birthday.
3. Jesus – While the above two stories don’t end well, overall we had a great holiday. We were able to spend time together and with our families. We got to take a breath and break which was much needed. Most importantly our own kids kept reminding us and everyone else of the true meaning of Christmas… Jesus. This truly makes me the luckiest father on earth.
p.s. we got to go sledding while in Michigan and it was great!