“In The Shape of An L On Her…”

Car!

Random did it. She turned 16 yesterday and went and got her learners permit today! She passed the test without issue.

So my oldest is now learning to drive. I raced home from work so that I could take her out for a spin. She slapped the “L” on the back of my car and we got ready to head out. Being her first “official” driving experience (she may have moved the cars a few times over the past year in our driveway, but I won’t tell) she did everything by the book!

She walked around the car- twice. She sat in the driver’s seat and adjusted her mirrors, steering wheel and seat. Her seat belt went on, she started the car and the radio got turned off. As we drove, she used signals, drove just below the speed limit, shoulder checked, and focused. Our trip up the road to the gas station was one of the most perfect by-the-book rides I have had since probably my road test 35 years ago.

Starting with the good habits is difficult. I know how I drive. I know what my car is capable of. I also know how to *ahem* bend the rules a bit. I had to put all of that behind me and talk with her about how to drive properly. She did great- and her smile afterwards was worth it all. Like back when I taught her how to ride a two wheel bike. She was so proud of herself. That was eleven years ago…

But she’s still my little girl. And I am proud of her accomplishments as well.

Growlers- July 2018

Last weekend I drove up to Visit my sister with my two youngest. On route from the ferry and just up the road from my sister, I was able to stop at a couple of breweries and get some new growlers filled with beers.

I saved them for today. I plan on sharing them with friends over a bbq at our place. I was hoping to pick up a couple more growlers while in Leavenworth but never did. Partly because wine was more prevalent down there. Another reason was the cost was more than double what I’d pay up here in BC.

One brewery wanted $45 for a bottle and $10 to fill. Another place only offered the major beer companies that was on tap for a growler fill. It seemed that the town was just starting to get into growler fills but wasn’t quite getting the concept.

Growlers are a way for friends to enjoy a variety of crafted beers. Friends who go for tastings and bring home memories in a bottle. Friends who like to share the tastes and experiences with one another. It’s not about filling a bottle just to get beer. Growlers are a way to bond.

Time to bond with friends!

WASPS!

Today we were cleaning around the yard getting ready for a bbq party tomorrow. As my son was cleaning up toys, he got stung five times by a group of wasps. They even chased him into the house to get him the last two times! I went to check where the nest was and got stung as well for just being in the area. FFS!

Every year I usually destroy two wasp nests. Seems like I found the first one of the year. Last year one was in my roof and the other next to our awning. So my son and I went to the store and got our spray attack ready. We are prepared to kill!

These jerks won’t be stinging my guests this weekend after tonight. Once the sun goes down, death shall be brought upon the beasts! Why must wasps be so evil?

Go make honey like the bees you jerks.

Leavenworth Day 1.

My wife and I arrived at Leavenworth yesterday in the late afternoon. We drove down Front Street and found a parking spot rather quickly. The obvious aspect of this town is that it is styled with a Bavarian theme. Immediately I noticed two things about the town.

1. There are a lot of overpriced souvenir shops.

2. There are a lot of places to drink. A lot.

So we wandered into the Goose Ridge Vineyard Tasting Room and sampled some white wines and a dessert wine. The hostess was very friendly and knew about the wines she was serving. But when we asked questions about Leavenworth, she didn’t have any real answers. Which I found to be rather odd for a tourist destination.

We left the town so we could check into our Bed & Breakfast. We booked a suite in the Pine River Ranch which is about a 20 minute drive out of town. The room we are staying in is the Natapoc Suite: a super cute half cabin. There’s a fireplace, log furniture, and a soaker tub next to the kitchenette in the middle of the room. With it is included 3 bottles of wine (and a wine tour as well) and a cheese plate that was waiting for us when we arrived.

After a glass of wine in our b&b, we went back into town for dinner. We stopped for a couple of beers first at Icicle Brewing before heading into a restaurant called “Mozart’s“. We were seated at a table near the window and a lovely little Happy Anniversary card was waiting for us.

We had ordered the escargot to start and a share platter for the main. The meal was amazing. Well worth the prices in all honesty. The taste sensation of every bite had me wanting more. If you got to Leavenworth and want a celebratory or romantic meal- this is the place.

We made our way back to our accommodations and finished off a bottle of wine and a bath. I won’t tell you the rest- but it did involve the bed. Alright- we were asleep by 11pm. Relaxed and done for the day.

So day one was a success. Onto a full day now back in town.

17 Years of Marriage

Today is our 17th Anniversary. It so happens to fall on a Tuesday, just like the day we were married. If you want to read about our wedding, check out my post from a couple of years ago: This Is What 15 Years Does.

Getting married on a Tuesday meant that all of our major milestones will land on a weekend. Which has/will be very convenient for big celebrations.

2011 Sunday 10 years

2016 Sunday 15 years

2021 Saturday 20 years

2026 Friday 25 years

After that, it gets a little dodgy for the major fifths. But you have to admit that 25 years is a pretty hefty goal in this day and age. 2026 only puts me at age 50. I know we will remain together until one of us croaks. We’re just a great match with crazy quirks intertwined together.

Talking on the phone with my wife, we never want to hang up. Sometimes one of us calls back to try and annoy the other. We are also on our way to becoming one of those old married couples in matching outfits on a regular basis. We already have matching shirts. I’ve also convinced my wife that Sketchers are great shoes. Should I mention our matching inhalers?

I don’t know of anyone else out there that would’ve stayed with me this long in spite of my idiosyncrasies. My wife is a lucky lady to have me. I’m even luckier to have her.

Happy 17 Years of Marriage Lee-Anne! Thanks for memories!

Day 2 of More Nothingness

This vacation is filled with no plans, but we are still doing stuff. This morning I slept in and was served bacon and pancakes. It seems that when I was drinking the night before- I had agreed to take my son and nephew to the driving range. So I had to live up to my drunken promise.

We took some old clubs and my brother-in-law and I tried to explain how to golf to the kids. A few good hits, but mostly terrible form. We had lost of laughs and busted up a few dozen tees in the process.

While we were gone, my daughter used her free time to write. She is taking it upon herself to write a novel this summer. In a couple of years she wants to major in writing at school. This trip has been a great excuse for her to express her ideas.

Afterwards, I took each of my kids for a rip on the quad. They even took turns driving. We made a few videos and took a bunch of photos. It ended up being a fun day of nothingness again.

That’s the best way to spend a vacation.

A Day Of Visiting and Nothingness

Relax… don’t do it.

I expected nothing of the day. And that’s what I got. After a long journey to arrive at my sister’s, it was great to just sit and be.

My day started by laying on the couch. My brother-in-law made us some bacon and eggs at noon. He had just flown back home today from his work site.

Afterwards, I hit some golf balls into the ocean from my sister’s backyard. I showed my nephew and my son how to swing a club. It brought back memories of my father and his love of golf. It felt natural to swing and hit the golf balls.

Later my sister and I went out for a drink at the local brewery. We talked in a way that I haven’t shared with her in many years. We enjoyed a bonding as adults expressing our emotions. I grabbed a couple growler fills and we headed back to her place. Now we are relaxing having me a few wobbly pops as we enjoy the ocean view. All that’s left is…

Relaxing.

Our Canadian July 4th Tradition

Even though my family and I are Canadian, we celebrate Independence Day the same way every year. We get together and enjoy a typical American meal such as burgers or pizza- tonight is Costco hot dogs and soda.

I put on the closest t-shirt I have to being something that symbolizes USA. And we wish a happy, healthy Fourth of July to our friends in the USA.

Then we watch the one film that symbolizes July 4th for us.

We love this film. Two years ago I wrote about how the tradition began and our journey through Nevada on the Extraterrestrial Highway: ID4

I wrote again about the film Last year and my opinion on “fake news”.

But something wonderful about the film reminds me of America. It’s a classic Hollywood Blockbuster with action, comedy, and heart. It showcases heroics, the fall and rise of a diverse group of people and a sense of leadership. Leadership that is needed to bring the US back from destruction.

I love this film- for all it’s campiness and ridiculous moments. And for the joy it brings my family as we look forward to viewing it every year.

Where Do We Go From Here?

I’ve been searching for something the past few days. Actually, it feels as though I’ve been searching for something for ages now. I’m not sure what it is I need. I keep looking towards travel as the answer.

Our recent trip to Tokyo was amazing. The exposure to another country and culture was uplifting and pleasurable. We experienced traditional temples and cherry blossoms surrounded by a bustling city. It was awe inspiring to say the least.

As I said- I want to travel more and see other countries. I feel the need to experience cultures that are vastly different, but in some way similar to ours. I am unsure of where to start. Do we hit up another major city or see some beautiful countryside and old buildings?

I keep getting drawn to the idea of Peru or Hong Kong. I’m tempted to make a trek to Germany and Czech Republic as well. Unfortunately, all of this costs money.

Without having the ability to spend a ton of money on a whim, I have to figure out some more economical ideas. Later this week, I am taking two of our kids to go visit my sister and her kids. It’s only for an extended weekend, but the last time I was there was last summer. Next week, I am also planning a small getaway with my wife for our anniversary.

Later in the summer, I will be taking my kids to a rustic cabin followed by camping on the lake. Then in the fall is our regular trip to Disneyland to experience the new Pixar Pier.

In the end, it feels as though I have a lot of time off- because I do. I really want to see the world, so I’m trying to sprinkle some local trips in with one or two bigger journeys. I want to share the adventures with my family and am trying to include them every chance I get. The kids will grow up so fast one day, that I won’t be able to enjoy these type of moments:

The biggest question still remains- Where do we go from here?

Was 1998 Really That Long Ago?

Back in May of this year, I mentioned how I like to communicate with old friends: Friends For A Lifetime. Last night I met up with someone I consider to be one of the nicest and wisest men I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.

It was twenty years ago when we lost touch. No idea how or why. Most likely, our lives suddenly changed. Back then he dubbed the year: 98 Revival. We had only met once after that in 2001 for my bachelor party. Without knowing it, it turned out to be our last big hoorah.

Even after 20 years, we laughed and shared stories. It felt youthful and revitalizing to have some one-on-one time to talk. Kids, jobs, hardships, accomplishments- all happened as we went our separate ways 20 years ago. Big events happened to each of us in 2007 that carved out who we have become to this day.

What we talked about mostly was music. Music that inspired us. Music we would listen to back in the day, and what we continue to listen to. Music that he created with numerous friends of ours. He continues to create music. A love of creating and performing is in his blood. Give him a follow on Facebook at Sick Logic. It’s never been a one man show, but a difficult road for him to journey with constantly changing band members.

In 2016, I met up with a mutual friend of ours while I was in Los Angeles: Seeing Old Friends. Perhaps one day we can all regroup and live like we did back in “The Complex.” Crazy, stupid times that killed brain cells all while making memories.