Summer Swan Song

Dear Summer,

Thank you so much for coming to visit. It seems like just yesterday that you arrived.

I am sad to say it but, farewell fun in the sun, fireworks, and family picnics. So long to sipping lemonade, sleeping in, and slip-n-slides. Goodbye going to the park, pool parties, and play-dates. Your favorite activities will be left behind and the playgrounds will be abandoned for a while.

But, we enjoyed our time with you. There are so many wonderful memories. Don’t worry, I’ve enclosed pictures for you.

Remember all the walking we did in the Las Vegas heat. And the littlest dude was sick with strep. That part wasn’t fun but we made up for it by eating well the rest of the trip. The fast food tour of the West coast was worth it.

I loved seeing the family for the first time in five years. WOW. How everyone has grown? Me a little wider. LOL. It was nice to sit and reminisce about childhood. Celebrate graduations and the next phase of life. Soak up some vitamin D on the front porch with you.

I’m so thankful that we were able to stay up late and sleep in. No where to hurry off to. People talk about lazy days and stopping to smell the roses (as the expression goes). Such beautiful blooms to admire, it was wonderful to stop and smell them along the way.

What fun it was to see the sights. Play tourist and buy souvenirs. Like trips to the USMC base, Camp Pendleton, to see the helicopters; the LEGO store; and the children’s museum in San Diego. Imagine an exhibit on garbage and recycling. We learned a lot about taking care of our planet because of it. We won’t forget our time together in California.

The thing I love about you, Summer, is the meals we share. We had a lot of great gatherings; breaking bread and catching up with all of our friends. Chicken and burgers on the grill; fresh fruit; ice cream … making s’mores over an open fire while watching the sunset … all of your favorite smells and flavors.

We read lots of great new chapter books with the boys. And they did some reading on their own which makes me smile. I’m glad it wasn’t all video games and movies. They managed to unplug a little bit too.

We will cherish the laughter and the tears of our trip to Chicago for Comic Con and LEGOLAND Discovery Center. Two LEGO locations, in two different states, during your visit; how funny.

I admit that it wasn’t all good times. There were those moments we had to say goodbye, not like I’m saying goodbye to you now, but final goodbyes to life long friends. People who lived full lives and people who were taken too young. Thankfully, you were here and, we could comfort one another which made it bearable.

Another one of my regrets is that we didn’t really make it to the beach. We drove by several while on vacation, but our feet never touched the sand; our toes never tested the water. Oh well, maybe next time you’re in town we can make that happen.

Thank you for helping us make the most of the season. Now we have new stories to tell; to hold us over until next year. Summer, it’s always hard saying goodbye. We wish you didn’t have to go but it’s time for the boys to go back to school and the rest of us to fall back into our routine.

We’ll miss you … Please take care until we see one another again.

Love Always,
Gail

PS. Next year come a little earlier and stay a lot longer.

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Vacation 2012 Postcard: Las Vegas

Las Vegas, Nevada is an amazing place. It’s a city that never sleeps. Bright, bold, boisterous, and busy.

If you’re into people watching, Las Vegas provides an abundance of free entertainment. People from all walks of life make their way to this place. But people watching is only one of the many things to do in Vegas. There are wonderful sights to behold. You don’t have to gamble to enjoy what this town has to offer. There is truly something for everyone.

That’s why we thought it would be a blast for our boy; a pit stop on our journey to see their maternal grandmother.

I know I am breaking the widely advertised rule, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” But I have to share.

We chose Excalibur for its theme. The boys were geeked to stay in a “castle”. Our oldest was most impressed with the door handles fashioned as swords, reminding us that the Excalibur was King Arthur’s sword.

We figured we could have dinner at the Round Table Steakhouse and watch an authentic joust. There’s the arcade called The Fun Dungeon where out gamer boys could spend some quality time.

We also had a list of non-Excalibur related adventures:

  • Hoover Dam Tour
  • M&M World
  • Circus Acts at Circus Circus
  • Fountains of Bellagio

Despite the available options, tears and disappointment marred our two and a half days in Vegas.

The five year old was sick, running a fever.  Strep throat we found out later. A visit to the med center, picking up medicine, ensuring naps and adequate hydration, altered our itinerary.

Our youngest who loves to be plugged in and a gamer at heart, hated the arcade on the first visit, and would not “go in there”. Who would have thought? Not us. He said, “It scares me. Those sounds scare me.”

Unfortunately, it meant our seven year old had limited time in the Dungeon, which made him say of this trip to Vegas, “It’s not as fun as I remembered.”

Our gamer guy was enthralled though by the adult arcade (aka the casino):

“Mom, can you teach me how to play these games?”
“No, they’re adult games.”
“I know but I want you to teach me how to play them.”
“That would be illegal. Do you want Momma to go to jail?”
“No.”
“Okay, please don’t ask again.”
“When I’m bigger can I play these games?”
“Sure. When you get older if you want to play these games you can. Please just do so in moderation.”
“’Kay.”

Cute right? Not when you’re living in the moment. It’s endearing and funny when you recount the story though.

But it got worse from there.

We tried M&M World but the five year old is afraid of people dressed up in costume like Chuck E. Cheese and the Red Robin bird. So when Green showed up there was a monumental melt down. Lots of screaming, “I want to find an exit.”

By the time we checked out of the Excalibur my husband and I were both drained, emotionally and physically. We’d had to split up to manage the needs of both boys. My husband took my oldest to the Dungeon and for meals while I stayed in the room with the littlest dude nursing him back to health.

Vegas didn’t turn out to be the fun filled stay we envisioned. I pray this isn’t an indication of how the rest of vacation is going to go. Hopefully, the return trip to Las Vegas will yield a better experience.

So, I will retract the statement:  “There is truly something for everyone.” Because clearly there wasn’t anything positive for my five year old, at least not this time around.