Sunday, April 30, 2017

Spring Break (the last part)

Family trips. They are a mixture of good and bad, wonderful and terrible, contentment and annoyance, relaxation and work... all rolled into one memory. That's obviously because we are all human, living in a fallen world, and the good and the bad all combine together. There were plenty of moments I wished we could have hit the pause button on time. Other times, I'm sure of it, we each thought to ourselves, "Get me out of here now!"

I am also sure that the fond memories are the ones that will come to mind with greater force and frequency, and the less pleasant ones will become memories we will laugh at. We work hard to attain to the good stuff, and we take life with all it's different facets and temperaments knowing that all those kinks and quirks help to bind us together in a way that is unique to the collective "us." We learn to laugh and to be in acceptance of what makes us family.

This isn't just a description of family trips, but also of real family life.

We are not seasoned road trippers. We have certainly frequented the American skies, but that's an entirely different way to travel. I think I would do better to have a few road tripping tricks up my sleeves. Games we can play, maybe? Music we can all agree on? A better audio book? A way to keep the boys from stinking up the car?

Yes, there were bad smells and sometimes bad attitudes. Sometimes, "lame-o" jokes were not at all funny but kept on going. Michael got poison oak real bad on his face and neck, and he looked like a grotesque giant just in time for Easter. The kids had arguments about the middle seat and about who would have to share a bed with Jacob. Some of us wanted to bop to loud music in the car, while others wanted silence or music of another style. Then there was the part about where we ended up staying (see Spring Break Part 3)...

Left-over motels. Oh, how un-luxurious they were! It was either the ghetto motels or no trip at all, so we decided to make motels part of the "adventure" and something that would hopefully make us laugh one day. Jon is still not laughing. He may never.

So we stayed away from them as much as possible and spent our waking hours exploring the parks or the towns.

Michael picked me a giant calla lily from the edge of a creek; Jon suggested a picture, but Michael didn't want one. He did a pretty good faking a smile...

I was surprised to learn something new about my husband: He really likes driftwood.

After Jon's "trick" in Santa Barbara (see Spring Break part 1), I decided to do my own little stunt, too.
I'm nowhere near being as flexible as I used to be, and I forgot to point my toes. That's all I've got these days.

Then the boys wanted a trick so I suggested this...

Michael's trick was to imitate a funny yoga pose we saw on the cover of a book in an art store in Santa Barbara. I didn't get a picture of him, though. The man on the book cover was wearing a loin cloth. Just sayin'. 

This is normal business for Olivia, and it wouldn't be considered a trick, but I think it's pretty cool that she doesn't go screaming about things like bugs and reptiles. Maybe she could use this skill to play tricks on people.

Andrew's driftwood raven.
(So much burnt wood from last summer's fire.)

Jacob's duck

More little paths...

Despite some less pleasant realities of family trips, we love being together. One night we brought our dinner out onto the beach and this game happened...

Kung Fu tag

It might be considered inappropriate, or too rough, or just plain ridiculous. No matter, the belly laughs were worth it.

Jon says he used Andrew to knock the others down. You have to be a boy or have lots of boys around to understand this is perfectly normal and fair in Kung Fu tag.

I'm smiling still now.


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