A few years ago while driving back from a wedding in Tennessee, I wrecked our car. To be precise when I swerved to avoid another car, a ditch wrecked my car. In either case, it the radiator was punctured and we were suddenly stuck in Georgia without a working car.
So like any other rational people, Jenn and I decided to make a vacation out of it. We did a little research and found a great hotel in downtown Atlanta. The next morning we had a truck tow our car to Atlanta for repairs and we checked into the Glenn Hotel. While the car spent the week getting repaired we toured Centennial Park, watched whale sharks and penguins at the Georgia Aquarium and generally adventured around. We ate bison burgers, coal-fired pizza and attempted to make superior use of our four unexpected days in Georgia.
Years later that accidental vacation was of the best family vacations we’ve had. It didn’t have to be: That week could have been nothing more than an unpleasant footnote on our car’s maintenance records. Instead our mishap compelled us to pause and that space gave us the room to adventure together.
When I was in high school I decided I could do a flip. I’d seen other people do flips before, I was fairly athletic at the time and thought I could totally, definitely do a flip. So I tried. I made it halfway and landed flat on my back.
What made that failure all the more amazing is that I had the same idea in 4th grade, except that time I was sure I could do a flip on a bike. (Thanks Rad!) That didn’t work out so well either and I walked away with a commemorative broken arm.
In both cases I had all the confidence I needed, but I screwed up the formula.
I thought it worked like this:
1. Believe you can do something
2. Try and succeed!
I was missing the second step, which it turns out is pretty important.
1. Believe you can do something
2. Learn how to do it
3. Try and either succeed or repeat step 2
That second step would’ve probably saved me a broken arm and an eventual fear of flips. Of course, there’s really no assurance I would ever have landed a flip. But applying confidence the wrong way all but guaranteed failure.
With so much going on, we haven’t had much chance to do something for our anniversary. We did get a great 24-hour getaway in St Augustine and there’s a good chance next week we’ll get a night away. But between house hunting, marshmallow making and child rearing all of our free hours are accounted for. So a more proper getaway like we had in previousyears will wait.
With the older wonderkids with my parents and the youngers under the watchful gaze of my mother-in-law, Jenn and I took the chance to take 24 hours in St Augustine. With no real advance planning we drove into the city to find most of the hotels and bed & breakfasts booked. We ended up staying at the Casa Monica which possesses a stunning exterior. The exterior wasn’t matched in our room which, though nice, wasn’t commensurate with the opulent facade and lobby.
We walked the streets and toured a bit of the city. A friend recommended Casa Maya for dinner. It’s good he did because it was tucked away on a side street and with a never-ending string of ‘casas’ in St Augustine, we surely wouldn’t missed it. Fortunately we didn’t. Their Mexican fare manages to be both authentic and inventive. Jenn and I both had meals featuring locally sourced fish paired with incredibly crisp salsa and fresh avocado.
Our time was brief and we missed more of the sights than we saw. We only managed a few walks down the historic streets. If not for piggybacking with a tour group for a look at a historic Inn we would’ve missed that part of the experience too. Fortunately it’s only a 90 minute drive from home, so we’ll return with the kids.
This weekend we hunted for shark teeth at Venice Beach, shark tooth capitol of the world. We found some teeth, as well as some fossils in the beach. But our best find was this tiny octopus hiding in an old conch shell. I didn’t notice him at first, but Sebastian saw a tentacle and asked what it was. (He first thought it was a starfish because of the suckers.)
Our friend Tamara just graduated school and celebrated a birthday in the same week. So there was a party. Our kids love parties and they love friends, so if you put the two together and add a dash of desserts they’re in heaven for those few hours.
There’s always a good chance that matching outfits with your kids will land you on awkwardfamilyphotos.com. But it’s worth the risk when the payoff is 20 minutes of pure joy jumping and playing around with your son.
If there was a ever a day that deserved unreserved joy, it would be Easter. It was Easter when hope was born to man from Jesus’ victory over death. So we wore our brightest pants and played and celebrated life. Happy Easter Monday!