Posts Tagged ‘ road trip ’

Dads Are Weird Car Passengers

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

3 years, 6 months.

Dear Jack,

Yesterday on my business road trip from Franklin, TN to Murray, KY, I was a passenger for a total round trip of over 5 hours.

Seriously, I was in culture shock.

Please understand why…

Since you were born 3 and a half years ago, I have been driving you to and from school every single day. On the weekends, I drive the both you and Mommy around.

For all our road trips, to Louisville, KY, to Atlanta, GA, to my hometown in Fort Payne, AL, it’s me that’s driving; I’m never the passenger.

It’s even rare for me to be driving in a car by myself. There’s always someone for me to entertain and/or take care of.

So for me to be a passenger for over 5 hours yesterday, just sitting in the back seat… man, it was weird!

I read for a little while, I texted Mommy, I texted my friend Jarred, I took a little nap; but ultimately, the experience somehow made me feel lazy- like I was evading my role.

It’s just that I am wired to be the driver, the navigator, the one who is ultimately in charge.

I am wired for responsibility. But as a passenger in a vehicle, it felt sort of wrong; like how in my letter to you yesterday I explained that it felt wrong not seeing you all day long.

This morning, I drove you to school as usual. It was as if everything were back to normal.

I answered your questions about why dark clouds mean it’s probably going to rain and explained how the sun dries up the rain once the sun comes back out again.

As I drove you, I taught you. That’s what I do. That’s part of the dynamics of our father-son relationship.

What I don’t do is just watch the telephone poles go by as a classic 90s hit comes on the radio.

We can drive it home, with one headlight…





Add a Comment
Back To The Dadabase

Family Friendly Road Trip: SkyView In Atlanta, GA

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

3 years, 6 months.

Dear Jack,

In the same way I’ve been establishing myself as a car reviewer from a family friendly perspective, I will begin doing the same thing with our road trips from now on.

Here in just a few weeks, we’ll be road tripping from Sacramento to Lake Tahoe!

But for my first official “family friendly road trip,” I want to feature our visit to the wonderful city of Atlanta, Georgia this past weekend.

As we drove our Prius closer to downtown, we saw a giant Ferris wheel. While it wasn’t part of our itinerary, we were actually there just to check out the Wizard World Comic Con, Mommy and I were able to convince you to check out the SkyView Ferris wheel with us.

For the three of us, it cost about $28 to go 20 stories high; 4 turns.

I feel it was well worth the money. It’s definitely not something a family normally gets to do, outside of a circus.

It definitely provided for some pretty cool pictures and memories. Plus, it’s something that helped you build confidence in yourself. I’m amazed how much you didn’t question it at all.

You just gladly hopped on board.

Seriously, we were 20 stories high! You are only 3 and a half. Your willingness to try the SkyView, without worrying or crying, was quite impressive.

I enjoyed watching from the seat across from you and Mommy, seeing the looks on your faces as we scoped out the city of Atlanta from above, where the people below appeared as tiny ants marching. (Dave Matthews Band reference.)

Yep, our family did an unplanned, random, fun “touristy” thing in the very friendly city of Atlanta. And sure enough, you bragged about it to all your friends and teachers at school yesterday.

I have a feeling that the next time we visit Atlanta, which I hope is later this summer, you are going to ask to ride the “big wheel” again.





Add a Comment
Back To The Dadabase

Hungry Hungry Hippos Is A Toy, Not A Game

Sunday, June 1st, 2014

3 years, 6 months.

Dear Jack,

Last weekend your Nonna gave you a $20 bill to spend on anything you wanted at any point in the future.

To my surprise, that money actually lasted an entire week!

This past weekend while we visited Atlanta for the Wizard World Comic Con, we discovered there was a Target that basically shared the parking of the Le Meridien where we were staying.

You had been asking me for months now about the classic game, Hungry Hungry Hippos. It just happened to be on sale for $13, compared to its normal price of 20 bucks.

I was amazed that Mommy and I were able to convince you to keep it in the box during the 5 minute journey back up to our 8th floor hotel room.

Going into this, I knew from past experience not to expect you to play by the rules.

Yeah, that would be an understatement this time around.

The blue hippo was your favorite. You manually opened up his month and directly placed the plastic marbles in.

Even still, after the 2nd time of playing Hungry Hungry Hippos mostly the way it was intended, you proclaimed, “I don’t like losing.”

It’s not that you suddenly lost interest in it once you learned how to play. It’s that you decided that Hungry Hungry Hippos is much more fun as a toy.

By the first night in the hotel, Hungry Hungry Hippos became your “bulldozer airplane.” Apparently, when turned upside down, the platform can fly and hover through the air.

Despite that, it seems that the collection of hippos are becoming categorized like stuffed animals:

“Mommy, can I bring Hungry Hungry Hippos to bed with me tonight?”

Even the plastic marbles have another function besides actual game use. You’ve been using them as freight for your Take-n-Play Thomas the Train sets.

It seems like Hungry Hungry Hippos is everything you had hoped it would be…

To a 3 year-old boy, it’s not a game. It’s a toy.





Add a Comment
Back To The Dadabase

Do 3 Year-Old Little Boys Love Monster Jam Trucks?

Monday, March 17th, 2014

3 years, 4 months.

Dear Jack,

Last Friday my friend Scott asked me about my plans for the weekend. When I told him, he replied, “Nick, sorry, but you just don’t seem like someone who would be into monster trucks.”

I smiled, then gave him a reasonable explanation: “I have a 3 year-old son who is into monster trucks, therefore, I am into monster trucks.”

Mommy and I had been wanting to take you to see the monster trucks for quite a while now. We actually were considering taking you last year, but back then at age 2, we figured you might not be ready for something so big and… epic. 

And then back in January, Monster Jam came through Nashville where we live, but the show was too late in the afternoon so it would have disrupted your all-important bedtime schedule.

So as crazy as it sounds, we decided to drive nearly an hour and a half to Huntsville, AL to see a daytime Monster Jam show.

Do I even need to come out and say, that you loved it!?

Probably not. It’s a given.

We arrived early enough to be there for the pit party; where we had the opportunity to check out the monster trucks up close, as well as a chance to meet the drivers.

I thought it was funny how happy you were to meet the mascot for Jack’s restaurant (a Southern burger joint chain); you thought it was the red M&M! I didn’t tell you otherwise.

Leading up to the trip, I had three different people warn/remind me to buy you ear plugs for the show. Good thing, because I definitely wouldn’t have thought of that on my own.

At one point, you used two Monster Jam trucks as earplugs over your actual earplugs.

But earplugs are the price to pay to actually see these toys come to life. There were some fun ones there too- like Higher Education (the school bus) and Monster Mutt (the dog).

I was for certain that for a souvenir, you’d pick Monster Mutt, but I was wrong- you chose Mechanical Mischief, a gray monster truck. I think you chose him mainly because you recently learned how to say “gray” in Spanish… gris.

A lot of the letters I write to you are a way of preserving memories from your firsts. Well, this first of seeing a monster truck show was a first for Mommy and me as well.

And for the record, I’m not into monster trucks simply because of you, but I definitely have a valid excuse now!





Note: Tickets for this story were provided courtesy of Monster Jam.

Add a Comment
Back To The Dadabase

Our World Is Right In Front Of Us And It’s Pretty Good

Friday, March 14th, 2014

3 years, 3 months.

Dear Jack,

Tomorrow is the big day… We’re going to the Monster Jam show in the morning!

For the first time, you will get to see what happens when we drive past Whole Foods on I-65 in Nashville.

All you know at this point is that the other way on I-65 goes to Louisville, KY where we have visited the zoo a couple of times now; where they have the rhinos.

So I explained to you that going south on the Interstate will take us to a place called Huntsville, AL… where the monster trucks are. (As if it’s a special monster truck city where the monster trucks always are; where they live, work, and play in organized chaos.)

Today you have been deciding which toy monster trucks to take with us on the mini-road trip; hoping to see the “real life” Monster Mutt tomorrow, which is a monster truck that looks like a giant puppy, floppy ears and all.

It’s funny how a family trip to go see monsters trucks run over old cars (or whatever they do) could be such a big deal to the three of us, but it is. It’s a big deal to you, so it’s a big deal to Mommy and me.

This morning Mommy sent me a text that seemed to summarize things, as if in a simple, yet poetic way:

Spring and summer are on their way and we have lots of fun things to be excited about— because our world is right in front of us and it’s pretty good :)

She’s right. When I see you and Mommy in front of me, I see the world and I know that it’s pretty good. Well, actually “pretty good” is an understatement.

Maybe I could use #blessed as a good start. (Yeah, the hashtag makes it even cooler.)





Add a Comment
Back To The Dadabase