Summer Graffiti

As the sun continues to shine, my work days have gotten a bit brighter. Even the rail cars are getting into the spirit.

I spotted a “Lilo and Stitch” graffiti painted car outside the window today. It made me smile at the abilities of some vandals. The recognition of a cartoon character on either side of a tag is becoming commonplace.

Seeing “Lilo and Stitch” reminded me of our trip to Hawaii seven years ago. As well as our trip to Tokyo three years ago. Which got me thinking about all of our vacations to Disneyland. I really do enjoy my time with my family as we make memories.

So if a graffiti vandal can make me happy, then I really don’t mind seeing their crimes. Especially on rolling art canvases that travel the continent.

Swimming

I love to swim. Almost every time we would travel, we tried to stay in a hotel (or motel) with a pool. After a long day of conventions/skating/Disneyland- it was a good way to relax before bed.

Oftentimes we would be the only people in the pool. It was as if no one else enjoys swimming. Or perhaps they just don’t like us. We are a bit of a strange family- pretending to be dolphins or zombies. That may have had something to do with having the hotel pool to ourselves.

We also enjoy swimming in the ocean, lakes and other natural spots. My wife used to call our kids “Water Babies”. We would hunt down places to swim whenever possible. Hawaii and California have beautiful beaches, and British Columbia has some fantastic lakes. What’s not to enjoy?

I always enjoyed swimming. For about half a decade during my preteen years- my family had a house with a pool. I swam regularly in it, even though I think my parents felt otherwise. I mean I also played a lot of video games and locked myself in my room watching television… But my exercise was to go swim. And I was good at it. I hope to be swimming regularly once more in our new home.

I do find it odd that last June I mentioned about buying a home with a pool: Pool of Thought even before we listed our house for sale. One year later we will be living out this desire. Our own private oasis in this world. Inadvertently I guess I had created a Vision Board and achieved the goal. Imagine what I could do if I set my mind to a goal?

Do you enjoy swimming? Do you hunt out hotels with pools when you travel? Let me know in the comments.

Hawaii

The weather is super nice lately in the Lower Mainland.  And everything is lush and calm. The family and I are planning on going to the beach tomorrow as well.  All of this is wonderful, but swimming in the ocean isn’t as nice as it was when we were in Hawaii.


Hawaii was a place I wanted to go for years. Back in 2014, we went as a family.  Surprisingly we did it on a budget, but continued to have a luxurious time.  We stayed at the Hawaiian Hilton Village Resort.  We booked over a year in advance and got a wicked deal on a huge room. This was the same hotel Elvis would stay at until the late 70’s.  


We had a corner room and a beautiful view of the city. It was magical and exciting.  The resort had a fireworks show on the Friday, so we bought tickets to see the live performance that kicked off the fireworks. At one point during the fireworks they played “What a Wonderful World” and I cried. I cried because Hawaii was everything my father once loved, all rolled into one.


My father loved Elvis Presley. When my father first came to Canada, he bought tons of Elvis records (I still have them in my possession). My father loved to golf, and Hawaii had lots of courses.  In the blotter my father had on his desk at work, there was a picture of a topless Hawaiian Hula Dancer. He had the picture hidden under his calendar, but as a nosy child, I remember finding it.  But what made me cry was the song during the fireworks.


All his life, my father wanted to go to Hawaii.  However, he never wanted to do go with his family.  I think in a way he saw going to Hawaii as the bachelor life to the extreme.  Golfing, women, Elvis, but most of all- no wife or children.  When my wife and I went, we enjoyed every minute we could with the kids.  At the pool, on the beach, in the hotel room, at the restaurants- all of it was quality family time. A time that my father missed out on. It made me sad to think that I could have had a better relationship with him, had he only tried.


The fireworks did me in though.  All of it came together in that one moment.  “What a Wonderful World” was the final song played at my father’s funeral.  I remember reading his eulogy that I had written.  I made it through the entire thing until the last line.  Then I began to cry.  My father was gone. We would never be able to create new memories or repair the lost relationship. Going to Hawaii with my family was a way to make the bond better with my children than the one my father had with me.

That night in April 2014, we sat watching the explosions on the deck chairs at a resort that Elvis would stay at, hearing a song played at my father’s funeral.  My children never having met him and not knowing why I cried.  I cried because I made a better choice than my father.  I chose to share experiences with my children- because I love them and I want them to love me.  I want them to cherish the memories of me.