Posts Tagged ‘ road trip ’

I’ve Heard Of Sleepwalking, But… Sleep-Eating And Sleep-Playing?

Saturday, January 4th, 2014

3 years, 1 month.

Dear Jack,

On the way back from spending Christmas at Nonna and Papa’s house, a very peculiar thing occurred in the car, which happened to be the Lexus LS 460 that I was reviewing last week.

You had fallen asleep with a snack bar in your hand.

An hour later, your hand moved, causing you to subconsciously grasp the snack bar again and bring it to your mouth.

About that time, Mommy whispered my name and told me to give her the camera.

Between the two of us passing the camera back and forth to each other, we were able to capture a 6 frame historical timeline of you going from A) being a asleep, B) rediscovering your snack, C) eating your snack in your sleep, and D) waking up because you ate the snack bar.

I don’t want it to seem like this was a matter of a few seconds, because actually, it was a span of over several minutes!

Maybe I should start leaving a snack up by your bed at night, so if you get hungry in the middle of the night, but don’t want to bother actually waking up, you could just reach over and enjoy a snack.

Mommy and I have also caught you sleep-playing with your toys.

It’s kind of freaky, actually, to know that we put you to bed hours prior, yet there you are laughing and narrating what Mater and Donatello are doing.

The couple of times it’s happened, when we step into your room to check on you during the middle of it, you seem just as confused as we are.

I’ve heard of sleepwalking before, but never sleep-eating or sleep-playing.

As for me, if I could sleep-work, I would be happy. It’s so hard forcing enough time into my schedule to get everything done.

Then again, if I could sleep-sleep, that would be even better.

Okay, I’m going to bed now.





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

P.S. Here’s a collection of my Toyota family reviews so far; just click on title to read the full story:

2014 Lexus LS 460: 2014 Lexus LS 460 Review, From The Dad’s PerspectiveJourney To Howard’s Chapel (The Church Built Into A Rock)Ironically Driving A Lexus To See A Dinosaur Named Junkasaurus WrecksWhat Parents Do When The Kids Are Asleep With The GrandparentsGrandma Regifts As-Seen-On-TV “Perfect Polly” To Great-Grandson; I’ve Heard Of Sleepwalking, But… Sleep-Eating And Sleep-Playing?

2013 Avalon Hybrid: 2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Review, From The Dad’s PerspectiveA Family That Recycles Together Doesn’t Decompose

2013 Toyota Rav4: 2013 Toyota Rav4 Review, From The Dad’s Perspective

2014 Toyota Tundra: Dad Gives 3 Year-Old Son A Monster Truck For Birthday… Sort OfNashville Dad Introduces 3 Year-Old Son To Country Music3rd Birthday Monster Truck Road Trip: Build-A-Bear3rd Birthday Monster Truck Road Trip: Little River Falls, AL3rd Birthday Monster Truck Road Trip: Mountain Driving3rd Birthday Monster Truck Road Trip: Canyon Land Park3rd Birthday Monster Truck Road Trip: Canyon Mouth Park

2013 Toyota Sienna: We’re Ready For A Family Road Trip… Minivan Style!It’s Officially Cool To Drive A Minivan Now


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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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Thank You For Letting Me Sleep In On Our Vacation!

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

2 years, 11 months.

Dear Jack,

Going into last weekend’s mini-road trip and vacation, I kept my expectations extremely low, as I’ve learned to do based on previous overnight family trips.

I kept in mind, as Clark Griswold puts it, that a family vacation is not a vacation, but instead a quest for fun.

The thing that most worried me was the sleeping situation in the 3 bedroom house we rented to fit my parents, my sister and brother-in-law, and your cousin, as well:

Mommy made a pallet (a Southern term for bed of blankets) for you on the floor next to our bed.

So that I wouldn’t be disappointed, I just went ahead and assumed that you would wake up in the middle of the night, realize Mommy and I were in the same room as you, and cry until we let you sleep in the bed with us…

Which would soon after result in me sleeping on the couch because I wouldn’t get any sleep because you never actually sleep if you’re in bed with us; instead you cry/play.

Not only did you sleep through the night on Day 1, but on the 2nd day you actually slept in! Mommy and I got to sleep for over 9 hours in a California King-sized bed!

That is miraculous!

I actually got an abundance of rest while on an overnight family trip? Thank you, Son.

Not only that, but our family actually got to chill out. At one point, Mommy took the Sienna for a spin to Starbucks, and you and I watched Monsters, Inc., or at least the first 42 minutes of it.

Peaceful. How cool.

So, here’s to hoping our “pallet plan” works for next time, and every future next time.

Noted: You sleep better on the floor when we’re in a strange house.




P.S. To see more pictures of our family road trip, go to The Dadabase’s Facebook page and click on the picture folder, Louisville AdVANture Road Trip October 2013.


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We’re Ready For A Family Road Trip…Minivan Style!

Friday, October 11th, 2013

2 years, 10 months.

 Dear Jack,

So let me catch you up… back in July I was invited to the Sienna AdVANtures Tour in Las Vegas where everyday dads like me were asked to test out the 2013 Toyota Sienna and all its new features.

Hey, I’ve never been to Vegas… I would have loved to have gone; except the dates interfered with our family vacation in Sacramento.

However, I think it all worked out all right, because… we get to test drive the Sienna for a whole week, 3 days of which will include our family’s road trip from Nashville to Lousville with my side of the family.

Yes, there will be 8 of us, but there will be enough seats for me to be able to shuttle us around Louisville, KY. The zoo is our special stop!

Needless to say, you’ve been loving getting to cruise to school in a minivan.

The concept of “the ceiling window” (moonroof) is something totally foreign to you; as well as the huge window next to you so you can look rare sights… like the pink flatbed truck we saw and the three hot air balloons, which were landing dangerously close to the Interstate.

We even got to see 3 deer crossing the road on the way home the first day.

That’s what you’ve enjoyed the most so far about the van; getting a great view of what’s going on as we drive.

And there are a couple of other things I’ve enjoyed watching you be fascinated by, too…

Like being able to see what’s behind us with the integrated backup camera that automatically replaces the GPS whenever the vehicle is in reverse. You were confused by how I got things to appear on there, so I got Mommy to wave at you for a few seconds, while I obviously kept my foot on the brake, for the quick demonstration.

That cleared things up a little; but then you asked to watch her on there the next morning after she had left for work.

And you think’s really cool being able to open the sliding doors by pressing a button.

As for me, I have found the blind spot monitor to be especially snazzy. This little orange light pops up on the outer side of the rearview mirrors whenever another vehicle is passing me or trying to get by.


Now that we’ve tested it out for a few days, we get to leave in the morning for our family road trip, minivan style.

What an interesting time for this to happen, considering that for the past two weeks we’ve watched your new favorite movie, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, a minimum of 23 times now.

You are totally enthralled by the thought of such a magical car.

I think, in your mind, the van we get to have for our Louisville road trip is our real life version of a Chitty Chitty Bang Bang car.

In other words, you’re a fan of the minivan! I’ll write more about our family road trip as the adventure begins.

To be continued…





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

P.S. To see more pictures of our family road trip, go to The Dadabase’s Facebook page and click on the picture folder, Louisville AdVANture Road Trip October 2013.

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