What’s Good in Tater Town 7/14/19

It will be easy to do this what’s good post. I’ve got two weeks of vacation to cover. If I can’t find good there, there is something wrong.

  1. I took 5 vacation days and got 9 days away from work.
  2. My first day off I had a nice, lazy day at home and then went to a party at a friend’s house.
  3. My second day of vacation I left with both of my kids to meet my wife in Kentucky and visit family. We missed our summer trip home last year. It was nice to be able to do it this year.
  4. We then went west to my brother’s house and spent the day hanging out in the pool, eating, playing basketball and just having fun with his family, my sister and her son and my nephew and his girlfriend.
  5. We went kayaking the next day and I was able to be on the river for 4 hours without flipping my kayak or having any other major issues.
  6. We had one more day there to just relax, play in the pool and go out to eat.
  7. When I got home, I had two more days off before going back to the real world.
  8. I used one of those days to go see the new Spiderman movie. It was really good. I need to go to the movies more.
  9. I went bowling with friends on my last night off before heading back to work.
  10. I went back to work on a Saturday, so I was able to ease back into work on a day when only half the staff was there and my boss was not.

It was a good nine days off. Now I have today off and then tomorrow I go back for a full week of work. Here’s hoping I can find some good there.

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What I Did On My Summer Vacation

I love traveling. I love going to all of the different places my wife’s work takes her. I love traveling, but traveling is tiring and I need a vacation when I get back from my trip. This past week I’ve had the type of vacation I’ve needed for a while. The type of vacation where you get to relax and have fun with no travel stress, no airports, no 12-hour flights.

My vacation officially started on the 4th of July, but we didn’t leave until the 5th so I had one day to relax and spend time with friends. We skipped the fireworks so we could get out of the neighborhood before the traffic and get some rest before our drive the next day. The 5th was travel day. I’m not a fan of 8 hours in the car, but at least you have control over your trip and can stop and rest if needed. There’s also no TSA lines, delays or random strangers to deal with. When we got to our destination we had dinner and I read my book while everyone else played cards.

The next day we headed west to my brother’s house. We spent the day hanging out with his family, my sister and her son and my other nephew and his girlfriend. We had good food, played in the pool, played basketball and just relaxed and had fun. The weather was perfect. We ended the day with fireworks.

The next day was a kayaking adventure. I will admit that I was leery about the whole kayaking thing. I’m not a swimmer and I’ve always had a bit of a water phobia so 4 hours in a kayak on a river did not sound like a good way to spend the day. I ended up really enjoying it. I was better at kayaking than I expected and the 4 hours went by quickly. We did have a couple of issues. My brother flipped his kayak twice after being hit by others and lost his glasses to the river. We hit one point where a tree had fallen over the river and we could barely get through, Luckily, the guy who ran the company where we rented the kayaks was there to help us through, We had to lie flat in the kayak to fit under the tree and then he pulled us out in the open to row away. It was the one time I felt a little panic start to set in as I could feel the kayak tip while I was trying to get low enough to fit. We survived and  I would definitely do it again.

That was the most active we were the entire trip. The next day was another relaxing day hanging out at my brother’s house and playing in the pool. We also played a lot of Kan Jam. I really need to buy this. It’s a really fun game. We went out to eat that night and then our time there was over. We ate lunch at our normal leaving town lunch spot, Freddy’s Custard and Steakburgers, and headed back to spend one more night at my mother in law’s before heading home.

Luckily, I mixed up my dates and asked for one more day off than I needed and then decided to keep it. Tomorrow is my regular Friday off because I work Saturday, so I came home to two more days off before going back to the real world. I’m probably going to go see Spiderman today. Tomorrow I have to take my daughter’s car in for an oil change, but I will get to read my book while waiting, so it’s not terrible.

It’s trips like these that make me long for retirement. I’m ready to spend my days relaxing and reading a book. I’m ready for no work stress and not dealing with other people unless I want to. I’m ready for the simple life again. Alas, I’ve got 6 more years to go before I get there.

Wordless Wednesday: Fun With Arrows

Ok. There will be some words. We leave Friday to visit family in Kentucky. I was looking for pictures from previous trips and these were the only two I had in my “already posted to WordPress photos. Facebook photos aren’t working and I don’t have time to go through my phone.

Photo 1 is when we got an arrow stuck in the tree and we were all trying to figure out how to get it down. My brother apparently planned to throw another arrow at it.

Photo 2 seems self explanatory. Just me about to shoot.

 

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I Need a Vacation

I know that I’ve posted pictures from two different trips this summer. I know that as far as my job goes I’ve been on vacation twice this summer. I know that this means that no one will feel bad for me, but it doesn’t change the fact that I need a vacation.

I can’t find the post I read that talked about the difference between a trip and a vacation, so I can’t link to it, but I agree. I have been on two trips this summer. I loved the trip to England and Paris. I loved spending time with my family. I loved having both of my kids on the trip. I loved visiting all of the sites. It was also very tiring. It started with a long flight from Baltimore to London. Every day we were there, we had specific things on outr schedule to make sure we saw everything we needed to see. We had a schedule to follow. Some days were very long days. It then ended with another long flight back to Baltimore.  The second trip was accompanying my wife on a work trip to India. If you’ve read this post you know that was not relaxing. It also involved even longer flights to and from DC.

Most summers we try to take a trip as a family.  We love to travel and I wouldn’t give up my trips. The difference most summers is that we also take trip home to Kentucky to visit family.  These visits are different and more what I would call a vacation, not a trip. For the most part, we don’t have a schedule while we are there. We might have a few things we want to do while we are there, but there is no specific time or day we need to do it. I send a good amount of time relaxing and reading a book while we are in Kentucky. Sometimes I go see a movie, sometimes I don’t. It depends on my mood and what’s showing. We spend time hanging out in my brother’s pool. We wake up when we wake up and go to bed when we feel like it. There is no rushing around. There is no place we have to be and no specific time we have to be there. This is vacation.

This is what I’m missing this year. Time to relax and refresh. I am now less than three weeks away from my daughter moving away to college. I’ve started thinking about the possibility of a career change. I’m finding it hard to turn my mind away from the stress of life and work on my off time. I need the relaxing time away to help turn my mind off. I’m not going to get it this year so I need to learn to “vacation” on my time away from work, even if I am just sitting in my house.  Next time I take time off it will have to be more vacation and less trip.

Tater’s Writer’s Block Tuesday

I decided that I needed to write something this morning. I had a thought about what I wanted to write. I sat down with coffee and the laptop and got started. I typed a sentence. I deleted the sentence and typed another. I deleted that one and typed two this time. I've now deleted those two and instead started writing about deleting the previous sentences. I can't seem to get more than a sentence or two into a topic before I get stuck. Normal people would probably just put the laptop away, but I've never been normal. Here are some things I could write about if I could write more than a sentence:

The Post-Vacation Blues - I'm still in the middle of the post-vacation blues. I'm counting down to retirement(8 years) when the vacation will never end. I think it's harder after an event you've been anticipating(high school reunion) and also after visiting family(why did we choose to love so far away). I guess I will get over it soon. If not, maybe I can win the lottery and be on a permanent vacation.

Politics - The Today Show is playing while I'm writing this. There is plenty I could write about in the news, but I'm not ready to go there. Everyone knows how I feel about President Trump(I throw up in my mouth a little every time I write that) and he's doing nothing to change my mind.

Unfriended - Speaking of my thoughts on the president. I was very vocal during both the primaries and the general election on my feelings on Trump. I noticed during this time that a couple of people were no longer my friend on Facebook. I guess they were either tired of reading about politics in general or didn't like my opinions. It's not the first time I've lost Facebook friends. I keep discovering that people who used to be my friends are no longer my friends(usually when they comment on a post I'm following) and I'm never really sure when or why this happened. I think a few unfriended me because I'm not "Christian" enough(meaning I don't blindly follow the political opinions of a church), some did it over politics and a few just don't really like me. Their loss.

Random Thought While Trying to Sleep Last Night - I don't think it would be possible to time travel without messing up time. Even if you went back as yourself in the past there is no way you could replicate everything and any little deviation could have a big impact on current time.

That's a lot of writing for someone claiming to have writer's block.

How to Make Vacation Seem Like Work

I will be on vacation soon. I will be away from work for a week, so I will be on vacation. The problem is, this vacation will not be very relaxing. After a good run of trips to places like Lake Tahoe, New Hampshire, Zambia, Norway, Sedona, etc we are only taking one week this year to head back to see family in Kentucky. That could be relaxing, but we took care of that by adding in some college visits. Here is the itinerary:

Day 1 – Drive 9 hours to mother-in-laws house. Eat dinner. Visit some. Go to sleep

Day 2 – Eat breakfast. Drive 3 hours to Indiana University for college visit(do I really want my kid to be a hoosier?) Leave IU and drive 3 and a half hours to a hotel outside St Louis

Day 3 – Head out early to see some sites in St Louis before going to college visit at Washington University. After college visit go to arch, city museum and other attractions. Very tiredly drive back to hotel.

Day 4 – Head out early to go to Clark Farm to see the Clydesdales before driving another 4 and a half hours to my brother’s house.  Spend a little time visiting with family before attending my 30 year high school reunion.

Day 5 – Finally a day with no driving. Hang out at my brother’s house. Hope the weather is good for swimming.

Day 6 – Still in flux. Hang out at brother’s house all day again or spend half a day there and then drive 2 hours back to MIL’s house. I’m hoping at some point my wife tells me what we are doing.

Day 7 – If we are still at my brother’s house, up early to drive the 2 hours to MIL’s house. If already there, a nice no travel day to possibly go to a movie.

Day 8 – Drive 9 hours back home.

I am scheduled to be back at work on day 9. I might need to ask for an extra day to recuperate.

 

May the Norse Be With You Part 1 Oslo

This year’s vacation was a trip to Norway as selected by our recent high school graduate. We headed out Thursday evening a flew overnight from DC to Olso via Newark. The flight wwent fine even with a very short layover in Newark. I was able to finally see Spiderman 2 on the flight and then actually slept a little.

We arrived at the Oslo airport Friday morning and was able to take a quick 19 minute train ride to the city center and to withing walking distance of the hotel. After checking in and resting for a little bit, we headed out to the Royal Palace for the changing of the guard. We stood there for a while and thought it would be a low key affair, but it turned out to be well worth the wait. These guards are also allowed to interact with you.  guard
From there we walked to Frogner Park were there were a lot of weird statues of naked people, then down to city hall, the pointing finger statue and the opera house. The opera house allows you to walk on the roof. It was beautiful at sunset.

cityhall frogner finger opera

The next day we went back to city hall to go inside and then took a ferry to the Viking Ship Museum and the Fram museum. Both very interesting. Probably my favorite part of Oslo.

inhall.fram viking

The next morning, before leaving we stopped at the National Gallery. We couldn’t take a picture of The Scream, but we did see work by many other famous artists, including Picasso.gallery

 

Will add more posts from the trip soon, with more description(hopefully).