I checked out this donofalltrades.com site and noticed that a post hadn’t been added since July 11th, and that post was a Daily Prompt number. July 10th was the last unprompted post on the blog, and that was to shout out about the 100th post. What a lame fuck I’ve become.
I reached 100 posts and then I stalled mentally.
I was frazzled. Between the never ending files that keep making their way to my inbox at work, to wrapping up the t-ball season, getting ready to coach the upcoming soccer season, remembering to get haircuts and put pants on, secondary work, family obligations, cleaning up dog poop, mowing the lawn, breathing, etc., blogging got the boot for a bit.
Other than a stray comment here and there, I’ve been away from it for nearly three weeks and I didn’t even realize it had been that long.
A couple of people were kind enough to inquire as to my whereabouts though, and I appreciate them for that. One of my real life friends texted me pleading that I blog again because he enjoys reading my nonsense while he poops. Shame on me for depriving him of that pleasure. I’ll go ahead and assume that many of the rest of you missed me as well, but simply didn’t know how to reach me to tell me so, or couldn’t find the proper words to describe the void in your life since I’ve been away.
So what have you been doing besides what everyone else in the world with a family and a job has to do, Don?
Thanks for askin’! We’d been kicking around whether or not to go on a family vacation for several weeks. I think we’d resigned ourselves to just staying home this year until on Thursday, July 18th, Wife finally found an acceptable condo in Florida that didn’t require we pawn our kids’ bikes and toys and take out loans to afford to stay a week in some shitty condo. With a semi-reasonable place to stay found, we decided that we’d load the family into Ole’ Girl and hit the road for some old fashion family beach time after all! Oh, and we’d leave on Friday, the very next day!
We normally like to park our fat asses somewhere in the gulf, especially Orange Beach or thereabouts, but this time we struck out on lodging and had to go all the way across the state of Florida to St. Augustine. It was somewhere new, so I was sort of excited about a change of scenery. The drive from STL to St. Augustine, FL is about 14 hours before stops are factored into the equation. Using mathematics, we know that with three kids in the car, 14 hours feels like 37 fucking days.
Wife left work early on Friday and did an amazing job of Jenga stacking all of our crap inside the van so we didn’t have to use the rooftop contraption that is always an adventure anytime we strap it to our non luggage rack having van. We left the house around 6 p.m. or so, which was 2 hours later than the latest we were hoping to leave. At 6:03 p.m. I was already about to turn the van around in a fit of rage. I know it would surprise none of my regular followers to learn that G$ was the cause of 97.5% of the in car turmoil. Everything is “mine, mine, mine” which is accompanied by snatching whatever it is that Cool is holding right from his hands. Cool whines and cries, G$ screams and cries and daddy ponders driving the van right off the goddam highway and into the nearest river.
I’m adamant that the drive be made in a single trip, with no spending the night along with way. Pushing the little ones to the brink of insanity by keeping them in the car for 16 plus hours is just part of the family fun.
We were making fine time after dropping Jojo off at the in-laws house until somewhere in Podunk Kentucky my debit card was declined at a gas pump. Apparently, it’s my responsibility to contact my card provider to let them know when and where I’ll be travelling with my card. After a brief exchange with English as a second language customer support employee Nadia and security department personnel whoever, the matter was taken care of and we were on our way again.
The drive through southern states like Kentucky, Tennessee and Georgia wasn’t wholly unbearable, other than G$ getting pissy at some point and demanding some sort of satisfaction which turned out to be in the form of a ride in his mother’s arms in the front seat for a little while.
One thing I did notice, unrelated to this adventure, mostly, is that people from South Carolina and Georgia are completely devoid of any sort of driving manners whatsoever. Whether it be driving 32 mph in the fast lane and not moving over for faster traffic or cutting in front of another car just inches from the other car’s front bumper with no turn signal to indicate that the asshole is changing lanes, chances were good it was a car with a SC or GA plate affixed to it every single time. Also, I don’t know when or how the State of Georgia became the size of Canada, but it took what seemed like 47 hours to get through the state on the way home. When I thought we were finally through it and into Tennessee for sure, there was another welcome to GA sign! What the fuck!?
We arrived at the condo and it was a filthy circa 1970′s setup with three floors for us to live on for the week. Holy fuck, the up and down the stairs to get to the kids was exhausting! The carpet was nasty and the mold and cockroaches were unwelcome surprises, but it was reasonable and as close to the beach as it got in this area.
If I had to guess, I’d say that 83% of our time not driving on vacation was spent walking.
We walked up and down three flights of stairs many times a day to put the kids to bed or get from our room to the front door. We walked to and from the beach over the protected dunes all the way to the ocean and back several times. We had a good distance to walk to and from the condo pool, and just when we thought we hadn’t quite had enough walking already, we took a day trip to St. Augustine’s Old Town.
The police cars in St. Augustine read “The nation’s oldest city” presumably because “Boring as fuck to most human beings on a budget and all normal children” isn’t as tourist friendly. It’s a bunch of shops with crap nobody needs along with some restaurants all of which have to be walked to and from in the oppressive Florida heat. There are some tours to be taken, but most of them are, yep, walking tours. They’re walking tours that would cost us nearly $100 per tour and we’re not that interested in learning while on vacation thank you very much. I’m sure some folks enjoy learning about the oldest wooden school house in the country or about Spanish settlers, but I’m done with school and know how to Google shit like that for free in the air conditioning.
So, we just walked without paying to have to do so.
Here’s G$ walking.
Here’s more walking in the heat.
Ace carrying G$ because he could no longer walk.
And finally some sitting on a cannon or some such excitement. Look how fun this sitting on a cannon is! Holy shit, who needs Disney!??
The most fun the kids had outside of eating some ice cream before it melted in the heat 2 minutes and 4 seconds after it was exposed to the air was playing near this fountain with randy green water in it. Good times!
Thoroughly exhausted from our Old Town St. Augustine walkabout, Wife and I got a wild hair that it’d be a neat idea for the
unappreciative little fucktards kids to experience Sea World. This brilliant idea allowed us to incorporate even more walking, spending way too much money AND getting back in the van together for four hours out of the day, so it was a no brainer.
Upon arriving at Sea World, it was immediately obvious that English was not the preferred language of 97% of the guests, so saying “excuse me you dick” after one of them bumped into me for the 159th time was probably a lost gesture of kindness on my part. G$ must have caught on that we were subjecting him to another day of walking and looking at stuff, because he was in meltdown mode right away upon entering the park. He was screaming his little head off in Shamu Stadium (I believe we were in the Bolivian section based on the conversations around us) until the whales finally did something amusing.
G$ was mesmerized by the whales or orcas or whatever they’re called. They were pretty kickass as far as sea creatures go, I guess.
We watched the shows and the kids got to ride on some rides and we walked a lot again. It was good walking this time instead of bored out of our skulls walking though. Ace and I rode another roller coaster as well, even though she had her reservations about The Manta.
*Here’s where a funny picture of her scared out of her mind was supposed to be, but I can’t find it anymore. Use your imagination.
We also lost Cool for a few minutes at the end of the day after we inadvertently got into one of those God forsaken “Quick Queue” lines. This is the Sea World version of the “Flash Pass” I’ve lamented on this blog when discussing recent Six Flags visits. The line to this ride was denoted as a line for special douchebags (Quick Queue holders) only by a 3″x5″ card I think. Everyone was going in the wrong line and it was the end of the day so we were all tired. Somehow, while leaving the special assholes line and joining the peons in the regular line, we forgot about Cool for a few minutes until Wife finally asked where he was. Well, it turns out he was still back in the special dickface people line with some nice woman who’d picked him up and had coaxed his name out of him. Of course everyone there realized what had happened and I felt like a total dick. There’s probably somebody out there blogging about “some fat straw hat wearing fucktard who lost his kid for a bit at Sea World.” If you read that one, he or she is talking about me. I know I’d have blasted me pretty good about it.
Nearly losing Cool wasn’t as scary as when he nearly drowned in the real kid friendly pool at the condo whose shallow end was 4′ deep! What the fuck kind of setup is that?
Cool forgot his waterwing device and while we were waiting on Ace to go and get it for him I suddenly hear Cool say, “Hey daddy watch, I can stand up in the water…” before he inexplicably jumped into the pool without his wings on. He went under like a rock, came up maybe to his eyes and then went down again immediately. The poor kid was flailing the whole time before I could get to him while some real fucking dimwit hero just stood there literally 2 feet away from him and watched the boy going under water. Thanks for nothing, jackoff. Seriously, if Wife had been there, I may have handed Cool to her and fucking killed this guy for just standing there. Anyway, Cool was fine but he scared himself and me pretty good. The pool can can be quite an adventure with two little boys running about with their big sister and only one set of adult eyes to watch them all.
We managed to make it out alive though and had a fine time at the beach. Cool loved that he could ride his bike on the beach as well as swim and chuck sand around.
He also enjoyed just laying around in the water.
The ride home was pretty awful, what with the Georgians and South Carolinans at it again with their vehicular cluelessness. I’m also pretty sure my GPS lady, Juanita, was trying to sabotage me for some reason by sending me miles and miles out of the way.
We had to stop at some shit hole for gas and so that I could take a wicked leak when I came across this tempting advert as the Europeans call them.
Oh, Katie or Debbie, for $50 I assume that BJ means nice blue jeans or that these ladies will find you a better job or something. My phone never did pick up reception in that area, so I couldn’t call to find out what I was missing out on.
My card was declined at this shithole gas station so I went across the street where it eventually worked. That it wasn’t working all the time was making me nervous because I was about out of cash.
We found a place to eat that that Goober from Diners Drive-ins and Dives went to in suburban Atlanta called the Marietta Diner.
This place was a lot of bling and razmatazz, but at the end of the day, the food was just ok. There were about 239,000 items on the menu though, so it’s possible that something they serve is really really good and we just missed it. When I went to pay the bill here, my card was declined yet again! What the fuck?!!!
Well, it was the card provider again, trying to protect me from myself even though I told them when I had to straighten it out the first time that I’d be in this area and travelling until Sunday. It was only Saturday. Mel the security expert was less than thrilled with my attitude, but I was pissed off pretty good at this point in my relaxing vacation, so Mel could go fornicate himself real good for all I cared. Mel did get me going again though, and the rest of the trip was nice and quiet.
G$ relaxed to a Shape Magazine while the other two kids slept peacefully.
Me, I bought a lotto ticket in Florida and made plans to never do anything again, including shaving. This is my pathetic 9 day growth.
There is lots of gray and hair growing where it never used to, but when it comes to face hair, I suck. I may try to grow a mustache though, just to see if I can! I just thought of this idea and I’m pretty stoked about it already.
Wow, this got pretty long (that’s what she said!)!
Here’s one more of the kids on the beach because I like pictures and they’re cute fucking kids and I can put as many pictures of them on my blog as I want!
For those who read this far, I’m sorry, but thank you! Talk to you all sooner rather than later next time!