Tag Archives: Disney

Road Trip

car1

Before

car3

After

Just back from vacation, the reason for the awful delay between posts.

So over the next few days we will catch up. Starting today with our road trip, or trips, to and from Pennsylvania to Florida. Just before we left, the conversation in the office here centered around driving to Florida, and I said something to the effect that “the last time we drove to Florida …” A co-worker said “That is one sentence you will never hear me ever say … The last time we drove to Florida.”

But we did, two cars, six adults (3 drivers) and two kids. It’s about 1,050 miles to Orlando. Driving down is okay because you’re excited about going on vacation. So you break it up, drive 6 hours the first day, stay in a hotel, finish the second day.

car2

Can you get me out of this car? Now? Now?

Problem is the 7-year-old knows she’s gonna be in the car a long time. The 2-year-old doesn’t, so first stop for gas is total meltdown. Hungry. Tired. Confined. Full of energy. And still buckled up.

So we talk him off the ledge and forge ahead. We pass time by watching movies and looking for license plates (we found 42 states on the way back, plus D.C.). And then there are weird town names that always make you laugh. Garysburg, Bowmansdale, Micro, Sunbury (Ga.), Midway, Dumfries, Skippers, Coosawhatchie, Gross and more.

Oh, and the signs, which can be confusing, but on a 20-hour trip, they pass the time.

I think we could have purchased the world’s largest cigar, cigarette, 10,000 pairs of Wrangler jeans, illegal fireworks, legal fireworks, a questionable burrito and beef jerky in one place. And if there aren’t 1,000 signs for Cracker Barrel restaurants on Route 95, there aren’t 10.

All in all, driving 20 hours (twice) with 2 kids, it went as well as can be considered. Nerves got frayed, for sure, but we are still speaking.

The end.

On the way to school today, Maren asked if there were any new Princesses to see in Disney World. “Is Merida gonna be there? I hope so, cuz she’s the only one with a different story.”

Uh, what are you talking about, kid?

For the uninformed (those who don’t have a daughter under the age of about 12) Merida is the girl in Disney’s Brave, the one with the crazy, red, flaming hair who rides horses like John Wayne and shoots arrows like Robin Hood. Maren is curious to see if she will meet Merida on our trip South in a few weeks, along with Rapunzel, whom she has yet to meet as well.

princes

Same old story

I thought it was because she had met the others. Nope. She’s actually, I think, pretty tired of the them. Not the princesses, mind you, she’s still gonna melt when she sees one, but the stories.

“The princess stories, they are all the same,” she said walking across the parking lot today. “Pretty princess, gets in trouble or gets lost or falls asleep, Prince Charming saves them, they kiss, they get married. End of story.”

I think, hey you are awfully young to be that cynical. What about happily ever after and the pink and purple nightmare that is her bedroom?

A new verb…

I’m starting to get to the point in my life where not a lot blows my mind. Maybe it’s because I’ve seen so much, both good and bad, that I expect to see the best and worst of people. How cynical, I know.

The only thing that really wows me anymore are my kids and the things they do or say. The other night my daughter told an unnamed member of the family they ate way more crackers “than are in a serving size.” Luckily said person laughed. This week Brant and I had a one minute and 22-second conversation (I have video) about which movie he wanted to watch after dinner. It was sort of the definition of frustrating. Brant knows exactly what he is saying. I know about one out of 12 words he is saying, so we inevitably end up yelling at each other in a language neither can really understand. He starts crying. I start laughing. He cries more. I get yelled at by Mrs. Bowman.

But I digress…back to the wowing.

On the way to work today I heard something I had never heard before. As long I’ve understood the English language (a knowledge-base that increases every day), I have always thought the word “dad” was a noun. Today I heard it used as a verb and it made a bunch of sense.

I’ve turned other nouns into verbs before. A small group of us have long boasted about our ability to “newspaper.” We should’ve made t-shirts, but we weren’t/aren’t smart enough.

So as I finished my drive to work, I thought a lot about dad as a verb and what it means to not just be a dad, but to dad.

This is one that doesn’t have a solid definition. How it is defined is different from one dad to the next, but I don’t think it’s that hard to dad. It’s difficult to be a father, the guy who has make the tough decisions or be the bad guy now and then. It’s the father’s job to help their children become good citizens, good students and just good people, to teach manners, the ABCs and right and wrong.

That’s the hard stuff.

Dad-ing (the verb) isn’t the hard stuff. To dad all you have to do is be there. Spend time with your kids reading, playing, teaching. Go for a walk or a bike ride with your kid. Take them swimming. Catch fireflies. Look at stars.

It doesn’t have be grand to count. Sure, Disney World is great and all, but your kid will love you just as much for pushing them on a swing as they will for taking them on Dumbo.