Posts Tagged ‘ monster truck ’

3rd Birthday Monster Truck Road Trip: Mountain Driving

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

3 years.

Dear Jack,

So the whole idea behind “getting you a monster truck” (a Toyota Tundra) for the week of your 3rd birthday was for you to actually get to go for a worthy ride in it. For your monster truck road trip, it was important to me that we didn’t just see cool stuff, like Little River Falls, but that we also got to take full advantage of driving an awesome truck in between in each stop on our tour.

I remember the last time I took this trip, it was challenging and a bit scary to drive up and down some of the roads along the canyon. I mean, incredibly steep and narrow passages.

However, being in our monster truck changed that.

There was one point where I had planned for Mommy to hop out and run down to the hill to take a picture of us driving down the ridiculously steep (and dangerous) road.

It wasn’t until the end of the road trip that I realized we had already crossed that point a ways back; I just didn’t realize it because of how well our truck handled it.

So, sorry Son. I meant for the trip to be a bit more… scary. I’m sure in a regular car it would have been. But I could tell you didn’t mind.

The whole thing was a dream for you.

By the way, it was so cold that morning. It started out at 32 degrees and ended at 36. This was the first time for me to get to experience dual control heat for the seats. As you can see from these pictures, I kept mine on 68, while Mommy’s remained at 75. Not to mention, the seats had their own heat controls as well. Classy!

Our next stop was the old abandoned theme park, called Canyon Land, then Canyon Mouth Park.

I kept peeking back at you during our ride. You didn’t say much, but you didn’t have to. I could tell this trip meant the world to you.

To be continued…





Disclaimer: The vehicle mentioned in this story was provided at the expense of Toyota, for the purpose of reviewing.


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3rd Birthday Monster Truck Road Trip: Little River Falls, AL

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

3 years.

Dear Jack,

After leaving the Build-A-Bear Workshop in Chattanooga, TN, we drove an hour across Lookout Mountain to my hometown of Fort Payne, AL for the next stop of your monster truck road trip for your 3rd birthday in the Toyota Tundra, which served as your “monster truck.”

We visited Little River Falls, which is just a few miles from the house I was raised. Growing up basically on the Alabama/Georgia/Tennessee border, in the tale end of the Appalachian Mountains, I identify myself more with all three states as opposed to exclusively Alabama.

The truth is, I don’t know much about the rest of my homestate of Alabama; pretty much just the part that is included in the tri-state area around Chattanooga, TN, which was the biggest city I was familiar until I moved away after high school.

I took you there because I wanted to introduce you to the version of being a boy that I knew from the 1980s and ’90s. I was a Cub Scout, so anything to do with the great outdoors, including forests, waterfalls, and huge rocks, I was there.

The reason I chose Little River Falls for your 3rd Birthday Monster Truck Road Trip was ultimately to introduce you to that part of me; a part of me that very much illustrates who I am.

I want you to grow up truly knowing me, in real time. To know me, I knew you had to experience seeing that strong yet reserved beauty of not only the waterfall and canyon, but also the therapeutic drive through it.

You were able to see where they paved a two lane road around a big tall rock. How cool is that?

This is the version of the South that I grew up in… exploring nature and making a simple, yet memorable adventure out of it.

Speaking of, I want to tell you more about the drive through the mountains.

To be continued…





Disclaimer: The vehicle mentioned in this story was provided at the expense of Toyota, for the purpose of reviewing.


P.S. You were here. By that, I mean, the red star on this map.


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Remote Control Truck (With Optional Remote Control)

Monday, November 18th, 2013

3 years.

Dear Jack,

Your 3rd birthday, this past Saturday, marked the first birthday of yours where you’ve been old enough to truly decide for yourself what you wanted to buy with a gift card.

And you instantly knew what you wanted to buy: a remote control truck.

The proud smile on your face in this picture says it all.

As Mommy and I took our time looking for Christmas gifts for your cousin Calla, you so patiently (!) followed us around; never saying a word or begging to leave.

Instead, you toted around that remote control monster truck; the box was as nearly as big as you are.

You were so happy to be getting a “big boy toy.”

Honestly, I was a bit surprised you wanted such a complicated toy.

Or maybe you actually are old enough to want a remote control toy?

Once we got home, we wasted no time whatsoever tearing the box apart.

While you definitely wanted me to teach you right away how to use the remote control to make it go, about ten minutes later you were on the ground, pushing the thing across the carpet.

Sure, it was fun for you getting to drive your new remote control monster truck across your parking lot of Hot Wheels, but I suppose you missed the hands on experience of pushing a toy and making the motor sounds yourself.

The most fun part of it for me was hiding the remote control behind my back while you played with your truck on the carpet, then making it suddenly drive away from you, then having it come back charging at you.

I cracked up at your response the first time I did that:

“Daddy, it moves by itself!”

Your innocent answer made me so happy. Plus, I loved helping you suspend your belief that this toy truck really does have a mind of its own.

The remote control, as far as you’re concerned, is optional.





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And I Thought It Was Just A Toy Ladder…

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

2 years, 9 months.

Dear Jack,

With all the cool monster trucks and trains I’ve bought you, still you manage to entertain yourself with the most random things sometimes.

For some reason, your favorite toy of Labor Day weekend was the little ladder from your Tonka fire engine truck.

I first noticed you were carrying it around when you and Papa (my dad) got out of the car in the T.J. Maxx parking lot.

It just seemed like a little too much trouble for you to be holding it; especially in the store. But you did.

I’m just glad that none of employees in the store thought you were walking out with merchandise.

The ladder also had other uses throughout the weekend…

Like while I was bent over painting the living room wall as one of our family’s Labor Day home improvement projects, you stuck the ladder up the back of my t-shirt:

“Daddy, look… I give you a tail!”

And there was also the part where you said goodbye to Papa and Nonna for the weekend while wearing nothing but a diaper; and the ladder, which happened to be sticking out the front of your diaper.

Of course, this wasn’t the first time you’ve used a random item as your favorite toy of the day. Not even two months ago, you took a spatula to school without me really even noticing; not until the director mentioned it as we were walking in the front door.

So actually, I guess I should be expecting you to carry around weird items more regularly. It’s like you get a thrill by taking strange objects outside of our house and into the real world… as a way to qualify their true existence.

Or maybe, having a toy ladder or a spatula somehow makes you feel more connected to the big world out there. Maybe it makes you feel more awake and less in a dream world.

Maybe you’re just a curious little boy who makes me laugh on a daily basis because you do stuff I would never think to do.

Don’t be surprised if tomorrow morning as we’re leaving the house, I’m holding the remote control.





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Daddy, I Kick You In The Face Right Now?

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

2 years, 8 months.

Dear Jack,

I suppose it would sound weird to describe to anyone else our shared understanding on how you and I play together, when it comes to your toys.

Basically, you always want me to lay down on the floor near you as you push your monster trucks over less fortunate Hot Wheels.

But, you do not want me to actually touch any of your cars and actually play with you.

You want me there, but not officially involved.

So I honor your style. I just lay there on the floor while you play. From time to time, I help you locate whichever random car in your toy box you can’t seem to find at the moment.

While I honestly would prefer to get involved in your plot lines of play time, I have to admit it’s nice to be able to just lay there lazily on a Saturday morning like that.

Granted, I have to keep my eyes open because sometimes you will just charge towards me with a crazy smile on your face; therefore initiating a wrestling match.

Last weekend, you caught me off guard with a very sincere question:

“Daddy, I kick you in the face right now?”

It was hard not to laugh, but I could see you were truly unsure of the answer.

“No, Son. We don’t kick each other in the face. There’s a difference between playing and hurting. We can’t kick each other in the face, but we can’t definitely wrestle.”

I’m empathizing with you, though. It’s got to be confusing, trying to figure out what is playing and what is hurting.

All I can say is, trial and error. But yeah, it’s always a good idea to ask me first when you’re unsure about which is which.

When it comes to kicking me in the face, I’m especially glad you asked first!




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