Monday, June 22, 2009

Travel Log Blog

My mom wants to know what I have been up to.

That’s what she said when I talked to her yesterday about my disappearing blog.

And I can understand. I have my daily blog diet too.

So, Mom, this is for you and all my friends and anonymous stalkers.

Starting with last week ….

On Monday the kids and I tried a new exercise class offered by a homeschooling dad with a passion for martial arts and parkour. I can’t quite describe the class except to say that it felt like being a kid – running around the park, jumping, squatting, kicking, crawling crab-style up and down the hill, walking tight rope along the curb. I was laughing most of the time.

Unfortunately I did not feel like a kid when I was still sore on Wednesday. But it was awesome. I can’t wait until next Monday to do it again.

My 7-year-old son must have really enjoyed it too because he was doing some of the exercise “moves” on the dance floor at Kip’s concert Friday night.

On Tuesday I took the kids to San Diego on an Amtrak train trip organized by another homeschooling mom. For $8 each we rode from Union Station in downtown LA to the famous Santa Fe Station in San Diego and back.

The kids never get tired of that trip. We have done it a couple of times now. Not only is it fun to ride the train, but there is always a great group of kids to turn the train car into a party on rails.

When we got to San Diego, a couple of moms, our kids and I walked over to the New Children’s Museum where our kids discovered the joys of painting a car, pelting each other with giant tire-shaped pillows, dancing in a “port-o-party,” etc. The whole museum felt like it was an expression of creative experimentation. It reminded my 10-year-old of Odyssey of the Mind, a club where kids are encouraged to come up with creative solutions to problems.

Pillow fight room

painting a car ... again and again and again

On Wednesday I spent most of the day (other than the normal parenting/housekeeping chores) doing research, trying to decide where to go for our 15 year anniversary "honeymoon" week in August. (My very generous parents are taking the kids!) I’ve basically narrowed it down to a rustic bure in the South Pacific or a resort in Mexico. I’m having a hard time selling Kip on spending money to sleep in an un-air-conditioned hut under a mosquito net. I guess I just have fond childhood memories.

While I was doing this the kids were going through their bedroom, purging under-appreciated toys until the foyer was full of Trader Joe’s bags ready for our HomeSchool LA garage sale on Saturday.

Wednesday evening the kids and I went to our friends’ house for dinner. Jon, who ran the marathon with me, and his wife Cindy have a regular potluck dinner at their house now. So a couple times a month we get together and enjoying great food, conversation and friendship. I love it. I think it feels very natural for me because most of my life I have been a part of church communities which had, or tried to have, similar small groups.

Thursday was our 15-year anniversary and we celebrated by going for a sunset sail just outside the marina. Kip was extra romantic and decorated the boat with rose petals. We went out for dinner and even spent the night on the boat.

Friday we went back down to San Diego, this time with Kip for Beautiful Criminal's concert at the San Diego Fair. Usually when we go to the fair we make it an educational trip, spending most of our time at the free agricultural exhibits.

This time we walked in through the entertainment gate and my kids realized the fair has rides! So I reluctantly bought a bunch of tickets and they had fun. The San Diego fair is bigger than any of the rural county fairs I remember as a kid, but it’s still smaller than the LA Fair and comfortably less crowded.

The show was over after 11 p.m. and we didn’t get home until 2:30.

Saturday Kip got up at the crack of dawn and headed to Catalina Island with a couple of guys, one of whom was participating in a paddleboard contest. The kids and I also got up early and helped with our garage sale to raise funds for HomeSchool LA.

By Saturday night the cold that I had been ignoring hit me full force and I crashed pretty hard. We didn’t make it out to do anything else until Sunday evening.

Sunday it was Father’s Day and I got to talk to both my dad and father-in-law. By evening I was very happy to have Kip back. His little sailboat made it back home about 10 hours after he sailed away from Catalina Island. He was exhausted and sunburned but had new stories to tell.

Today was Monday and the kids started a soccer camp. After running errands I was actually home alone for about an hour and a half. It was very … different.

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