Last Leg Of The Journey

Our road trip today was a little over six hours. We stopped at In-N-Out again. I was told by the cashier that I was number 1. So I totally did a dad moment and said, “You know it. Afterwards we were stuck in traffic heading through Los Angeles and spotted a couple billboards for Disneyland.

We made it to the hotel without issue. My wife and I went out to get a few snacks for the parks and I’m the kids were too excited to remain at the hotel. So they took off to Downtown Disney and wandered the stores. We met up with them at the first store and the played around getting some photos and grabbed a cheap dinner. My wife wanted a re-created photo of the kids at the gate waiting to enter. (Albeit we do have a substitute teenager in place of our oldest.)

Our evening ended back at the hotel. We stood on the balcony and watched the fireworks that exploded from the park. Our energy levels and dopamine was kicking in and getting to sleep was tough. But we did it.

The excitement of our first day is about to commence. Now onto a post- Covid lockdown adventure in Disneyland. Did I mention that I’m super excited about Galaxy’s Edge? Yeah. I kinda love Star Wars…. Squeee!!! I’m the biggest kid of them all right now.

More adventures to follow over the next few days.

Road Trip 2022: Beginnings

Wednesday we departed our home at 4:30am. Our trip was taking us south towards California. Because we were so early, we missed the rush hour traffic in Seattle. Shortly after that we paused at a rest stop and traded driving- it was now my turn. That lasted only about an hour until I got a speeding ticket. Now I’m not allowed to drive the rest of the trip.

Anyways… I got us to Voodoo Donuts in Oregon for 11am breakfast. After getting a sugar rush, my wife was driving and we were excitedly bouncing to some sing-along-songs until our next stop.

Shortly after 2pm we stopped for In-N-Out Burger. Seriously good burgers for an amazingly good price. Five burgers for $21. With fully bellies, it was time to get on the road for our final push for the day.

Ok, we drove for about an hour before we stopped at our usual rest stop in Weed. A quick stretch, bathroom break and photos… then it was onto our last stop. About five hours later we made it to the hotel. That last chunk was not so bad, until about the last leg of the journey. Because we knew today was coming to an end. All of us needed to get our bodies out of the car. It was as if we were suffering from rigor mortis.

On the bright side, we are now spaced out and refreshed in our hotel room. With only five and a half hours tomorrow remaining for our trip, I’m pretty sure we will do it in one go. Then we will be free of the car for almost five days. During which time, we will be walking. A lot. But that’s where the fun comes in!

Road Trip 2022: Beginnings

Wednesday we departed our home at 4:30am. Our trip was taking us south towards California. Because we were so early, we missed the rush hour traffic in Seattle. Shortly after that we paused at a rest stop and traded driving- it was now my turn. That lasted only about an hour until I got a speeding ticket. Now I’m not allowed to drive the rest of the trip.

Anyways… I got us to Voodoo Donuts in Oregon for 11am breakfast. After getting a sugar rush, my wife was driving and we were excitedly bouncing to some sing-along-songs until our next stop.

Shortly after 2pm we stopped for In-N-Out Burger. Seriously good burgers for an amazingly good price. Five burgers for $21. With fully bellies, it was time to get on the road for our final push for the day.

Ok, we drove for about an hour before we stopped at our usual rest stop in Weed. A quick stretch, bathroom break and photos… then it was onto our last stop. About five hours later we made it to the hotel. That last chunk was not so bad, until about the last leg of the journey. Because we knew today was coming to an end. All of us needed to get our bodies out of the car. It was as if we were suffering from rigor mortis.

On the bright side, we are now spaced out and refreshed in our hotel room. With only five and a half hours tomorrow remaining for our trip, I’m pretty sure we will do it in one go. Then we will be free of the car for almost five days. During which time, we will be walking. A lot. But that’s where the fun comes in!

Road Trip Time

Today is starting with an early morning wake up for all of us. Of course, we are all energized and ready… seriously.

So Early

This is the kind of road trip that can get a person excited. Even the teenagers are awake without grumbling. Albeit quiet and subdued. But ready to go nonetheless. No photos of them quite yet as that kind of energy isn’t powered up.

I know I have been talking about this trip to numerous friends and coworkers, so many people already know where we are going. The picture of my watch is a dead giveaway. If you haven’t figured it out- here’s another angle of the picture.

Hidden Mickey

Disneyland! We are so excited! This early start to our twenty two hour drive is going to get us revved up for our four whirlwind days in the parks. At least we are breaking up the journey down into two days. Only once have we pushed through in one stretch- never again.

I’m excited to share our adventures over the next few days. I hope you enjoy them as well!

Disneyland- HERE WE COME!

Vacation About To Begin!

Work is over for the next week and a half. Time to enjoy some well deserved sunshine! Now, as the sun sets, I am happy to be off work.

My son and I had a good evening in the pool after dinner. After tonight’s relaxation- fun is the goal for the next seven days! I’m looking forward to time with the family as we hit the open road! We are packed and ready to roll.

Hooray for time off!

Vacation Anticipation

Relatable post time. Here come the memes.

I have only one more shift to go before vacation. Yes, there is a countdown within the family of how many hours remain as well!

There’s always the moments when your brain is already focused on the future and not the day at hand. Nothing is going to get me down. I’m preparing myself to be checked out.

Getting thru that last couple of days of work are always difficult before a vacation. It’s even harder to return to work after some time off.

But a break is always healthy. Leaving work behind and just focusing on some mental relaxation is paramount to good health. We all go through this. I hope you all have good vacations as well when you go on them!

Another Beautiful Evening

Last night my teenager and I had dinner together. We watched the clouds in the sky as the sun vanished behind them. I’m still mesmerized by the views we have from the back of our home. I was happy to share the moment with someone.

There’s just something magical about nature and how the universe works. I don’t know the answers to Life- but I will say, watching a sunset hanging out with someone you care about really fills my heart with joy.

Cheering On Theory From Afar

This past week, my wife and son were in Calgary for a speed skating camp. Today was a competition for the skaters.

My wife shared with me a live feed of the event on YouTube posted by the Calgary Oval. I watched our son competing from the comfort of our living room. seeing his name on the television brings me a sense of pride and joy.

But watching him skate brings me more joy. He is passionate about his skating and is always pushing to improve his skills.

In his two races- he got new personal bests. He even shaved ten seconds off one of the heats. I’m really impressed and I hope he continues on the path to success in speed skating. The trips out of province are a good chance for him to get better and meet with other skaters.

But I can’t wait for them to come home. I miss the family when they are away.

Bro Time

This afternoon I got some time to hang out with some of my friends. We didn’t do anything exciting- just hanging out. Well worth my afternoon!

We farted around in the pool for most of the time. Lots of jokes, and throwing a ball between one another. A perfect afternoon of nothingness.

Later in the afternoon- my friend brought out his drone. He played around filming my home and created a video that he will be sending to me later on. I love the idea of seeing our home from a new perspective.

I had a few other buddies show up throughout the evening. Loads of good conversations were had. I’m glad they all showed up, I needed their company. It was a good evening. I’m glad we did a bunch of nothing together.

Nothingness was a ton of fun. I’m glad to have some bro time.

Alone On The Pool

My wife is out of town with our youngest in Calgary. Our other child is at work and won’t be home for a few more hours. After doing my weekly Thursday shopping- I opened the pool to give it a clean.

Now I’m floating around by myself- listening to music and enjoying life as the sun beats down. I am enjoying my solitude. Getting here was hard work and headaches for many years. Now it’s time to enjoy the fruits of our labors. Even if it is by myself.

Being alone isn’t so bad, but I like to share experiences with others. Come on by for a dip. I’ll gladly share this life with friends!

Weather Seems Nice

Normally we don’t do a big vacation in the summertime to a nice warm place. Living in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia- we have really nice summers. So there is never a need to travel to a sunny destination.

As you can see, this upcoming week has some high temperatures and mostly sun. A good way to enjoy August. Why should we go anywhere?

You see, our goal is to be in Disneyland for the first time during summer. Similar highs, but the lows are far warmer. We won’t get much of a chance to cool off each day. But that will be just fine with me!

We have been waiting for this trip to Disneyland for over two years. We bought tickets hoping to travel in July of 2020 to see what the summer season (and July 4th) would be like in the parks. But, you know, Covid had other plans for everyone.

Soon we will be south of our home and enjoying the Warm California Sun. I’m excited about our family vacation and look forward to the weather being on our side!

Last Minute Darwin Dinner Date

I left work at 6pm to go home. On my way, I went to pick up our middle child from their work. What should have been a 20 minute drive to meet them was well over twice that. So we decided to grab some dinner and wait out the traffic.

We stopped at Red Robin near where we met up. The burgers were pretty good and of course an Oreo milkshake was needed. We had a good conversation that was more adult-like than we normally have.

I’m glad we took the time to just hang out. It was far better than me rage driving in bad traffic. After our dinner, the commute home was quick.

Our doggo needed our attention since they had been home alone while we were both at work. It’s rare that someone isn’t at home to love her. She was super excited to see us when we did arrive home.

It was a pleasant evening together. A chance to hang out as friends instead of parent/child. I look forward to many more dinners like this as they grow up and want to share about their day and life with me.

My Little Sister

It’s my little sister’s birthday today. Sadly, I have not had the opportunity to visit with her for about a year. Life gets a bit hectic and making plans have also been thwarted by scheduling conflicts. Here in BC, those ferries are unreliable as well these days.

I did give her a call today on the phone. We had a pretty good conversation about growing up, becoming parents, and hoping that things get better. Not that anything is truly bad, but things can always be better.

She will always be known as “Joe’s Sister” in our circle of friends. Her personality is much larger than being known as that. I look back fondly on our memories growing up. We always had each other, through good times and bad.

So thank you for being my sister Nikki! Love you always- as only an older brother can (including insults!) Happy Birthday.

Cat-Astrophic

Our kids have asked for a cat on numerous occasions throughout the years. My wife and I are quite allergic to felines, so we always said no. We always said that when they are adults, they can do what they want. Our kids accepted this answer.

As I mentioned the other day, we are in the Final Month Of Tenants in our basement. We agreed to allow them to have their dog and cat during their stay. Over the past year the cat has become friends with us. Specifically our 18 year old. The tenants asked if they could leave the cat behind.

So now we have a cat. After years of denying one in our home- “Buddy” has joined our family as of Saturday. Naturally, our 18 year old would like to give him a new name. That will probably happen over the next few days. Naming an animal makes having it as a part of our family more real.

The cat isn’t that bad. In fact he is very cuddly and friendly. Doggone it- I’m not supposed to be a cat person.

Behind the Scenes

I often share images of hanging out in our backyard. But I don’t always talk about the work that goes into cleaning and maintaining the pool everyday. It usually takes me 30-45 minutes by myself every time.

The first thing I do is get some music playing. It just makes manual labor so much more enjoyable. Then I take off the floating pool rings that protect and keep the heat in the pool.

Then it’s time to vacuum and skim the pool. (Periodically I’ll also scrub the sides with a gentle brush.) Of course, when vacuuming- there are numerous valves to twist in a certain order before and after.

Then I test the pool and add chemicals as required. Lastly, I rinse and inflate the pool toys if they need it. Fun takes work! Now to jump in the water to cool off!

Free Coffee Table

I did something the other day that I said I wouldn’t do anymore. I picked up a piece of furniture from the side of the road.

We had been recently shopping around for a new coffee table. We wanted something small and oval shaped. This one fit the bill perfectly. I did a quick inspection before tossing it in my car. Glass was clear- no chips or scratches. The legs were chrome, but very pitted and rusted; and the wood was pealing. Nothing a little TLC couldn’t take care of.

I took the whole table apart, sanded the legs and wood. Then I stained the wood a light colour followed by a clear coat. I was unable to save the chrome legs, so I used a Rustoleum spray pant and made them a sand colour. The entire process to update the table took about 2 hours.

Finished table is lighter in colour and suits our decor now. I am happy with how quick it was to refurbish the table. Plus it saved us money- about $100. Not too shabby.

A Day Of Rain

The rain came in yesterday and was gone by this afternoon. Working in the rain sucks, so I have sympathy to those who endured the downpour. But it was a nice refreshing cool down that we needed. Plants seem to be a bit happier in our garden as they also needed the refreshment.

I enjoy sitting out on our deck and watching the clouds afterwards. I snapped a quick picture, then put my phone away and just enjoyed the fresh air. The world can be filled with dark clouds periodically, but when those pass- it’s just calm with a gentle breeze that makes you breathe easier.

Do you like when the rain passes by quickly?

B E – A G G – R E S S – I V E

My wife pointed out that behind the wheel, I am an aggressive driver. She’s not wrong. I hate driving. Especially if other cars are on the road.

Commuting to and from work is irritating to say the least. Far too often there are drivers in the passing lane- not passing. They just casually drive right next to the other car- many times trying to “police” the people behind them. Stop that. You are pissing off drivers like myself.

If you get in the passing lane, you better be passing, not crawling. If I have a driver coming up behind me in the passing lane, I do my best to move over when possible, or I keep passing the line up of other cars so that our lane keeps moving. It’s the right thing to do.

Driving sucks. I hate it. Perhaps I should just give up and stay in the slow lane and just get where I’m going and accept whatever time I get there.

Life is too short to get angry.

But it’s also too short to go under the speed limit! Move already!

Fun Lies To Children

Having small kids is filled with telling them lies. Many of the lies are done in order to calm or control the kids in some way. I know many parents who have told the same lies I have told.

The Three Big Lies

Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy are the three main lies we have told to our children. These fibs led to some good behavior and some magical moments as they grew up. It is always fun to be the character behind the curtain and make their dreams come true. A few gifts, some candy, a dollar or two. But I have a couple of other lies I have told over the years that I found amusing.

ID4

Telling our children at a young age that the move Independence Day was based on true events brought me joy. I wrote about it here: ID 4. Watching the film every year is one of my guilty pleasures. The kids also enjoy the film, so no harm no foul in telling them that lie.

However, my favorite lie was telling my kids that when the ice cream truck was playing music- it meant they were out of ice cream. That worked for a very long time. Each of them just grew to accept that we weren’t going to buy a frozen treat. Our youngest was the last to discover the truth. One day our son was over at a neighbor’s house and those parents went and bought ice cream from The Ice Cream Man.

I saw him getting a treat as I was leaving for work that day. Not sure if it was guilt in his face for being caught, or the look was the fact that he realized that I was always lying about the music. At least now if the truck comes to the neighborhood, our teenagers have their own money to spend if they choose to.

Is there any lies you have told kids in order to humor yourself, save money or perhaps your sanity? Let me know in the comments.

Final Month Of Tenants

Our tenants have given their notice to move out at the end of this month. As much as the income was nice and beneficial from having them there, it will be amazing to have the space back for our usage.

The tenants of our basement suite happen to be the original owners of this house. When we first bought the home they were only supposed to live here for six weeks. That would have put them out at the end of August last year. As we were about to move in, they had asked if we could extend it to February as they waited for their new home to be built. We agreed. Of course, as February approached they asked to extend it to May… then July… as the house they were getting built was getting delays.

Even though they are moving out at the end of this month, their new home isn’t quite done yet. In fact it sounds like mid October may be the completion date. But during these final stages, they wanted to be closer to the new house (which is on Vancouver Island). That’s completely understandable. Maybe now they can apply some pressure to their contractor to get their place done. I am glad that we have become friends with the former owners. As leery as we were at first, those fears subsided over the year.


For us this means nearly 1900 sqf of living space will become available to us. A full kitchen, living room, den, two bedrooms, two full bathrooms and plenty of extra storage. It also means we can begin to furnish our current space as we move some of our older furniture downstairs. This has become an exciting journey for my wife and I. We have been window shopping (and a bit of real shopping) as we plan new styles for our home.

This has made us feel youthful and fun. When we first started dating we went on many dates doing this sort of thing. Planning bedrooms, living rooms, etc as our family grew. The plan when we purchased this house was to allow for our children to have their own space as adults to live. We are helping them by furnishing the area and hope that one or two of them take the opportunity to use such a magnificent space to grow into adulthood before the possibility of moving out on their own.

Until that time, we will use the extra kitchen to prepare meals while we sit out at the pool instead of always running up and down the stairs. We will also have the space for friends and family to stay and visit for longer periods than just a few hours. Especially those from out of town. There will now be a few beds available for guests.

Everything feels exciting and new again about this home. Only one month to go!