Dave and Cathy's Family Blog

August 31, 2010

August 2010 – Family Update

Filed under: 2010 Lake Tahoe,Lilah and Luke,Mom and Dad — dave9169 @ 5:46 pm

Here are the August highlights:

Tahoe 2010

What would August be without our annual vacation to Lake Tahoe. I’m sure one day we will explore a different venue, but there is something special about going back to the same place every year to experience things anew. This year, we did quite a few new activities, including jet skiing, parasailing, paddle boarding, ice skating, and hiking through Squaw Valley.

Unless you’re a big fan of motorized water sports, I don’t recommend renting a jet ski for more than 30 minutes, especially when you’ve got two passengers on there with you. Of course, I only made this realization after about five minutes into it. Sure it’s fun to speed along the surface of the water, take a few good turns, and get the kids to scream in delight, but after about 15 minutes I was ready to finish. Lilah would have none of it though. She wanted me to go faster and kept asking me how many miles per hour we were traveling. Luke liked the jet skiing too but not as much as Lilah. Something that became evident when Lilah insisted on going faster while Luke countered that we were going fast enough and that if i wanted to ski faster just with Lilah (while he remained on the shore) that was fine with him. In the end, we rode the entire hour, but I was counting down the minutes big time ;-).

Parasailing was another story. The kids were amped and giddy with excitement. Lilah kept saying she was scared but she wanted to go – this is Lilah’s typical routine when she’s excited about something. She tells us she’s scared…we reassure her (multiple times)…but then the event comes and she is fine. She absolutely loved the experience and was all smiles and giggles once she and Cathy were up in the air (video clip of gals landing with Bon Jovi playing the background). Luke has the opposite temperament. He won’t tell you he’s scared. In fact, he’ll tell you he wants to go “right now,” but as the moment draws closer he gets that quiet nervousness (he won’t admit to), but is cute to see. He definitely enjoyed his experience too and worked on his nervousness by asking me the obvious question: can we fall? I reassured him that we had so many belts and clips on us that there was no way that could happen. With that initial reassurance he relaxed a bit and worked on his nervousness by making observations such as the water being really blue and wondering if this was what it felt like to fly.

Our next new activity was hiking through the high camp at Squaw Valley. Before getting there, however, there is a nice cable car ride that takes you up 2,000 feet. Squaw Valley is where the 1960 winter Olympic games were held so it is a prime ski resort, however, in the summer time there are also many activities to do there such as hiking, mountain bike riding, swimming, ice skating and plenty of fine dining (although most of the dining is at base camp). I thought we would take a nice leisurely hike in Squaw, but soon after we reached high camp, Lilah turned the hike into a mission to find snow. As I looked off into the distance, I wasn’t sure we’d be able to touch the snow Lilah was pointing too, but I figured this goal would keep both kids motivated so Cathy and I went with it and Lilah achieved her mission.

After the snow hunting expedition, we ate at the high camp cafe. I wouldn’t recommend this place unless you have plenty of time and money to kill. Basically the food prices are high (as it seems to be the only place open at lunch hour) and the service is slow because they do not have enough waitresses. Our poor waitress (from the Czech Republic) was so overworked that she lost our order, which meant we ended up waiting a really long time for some so so food. But that did not dampen our spirits because we had another activity on the agenda — ice skating. I don’t think I had ice skated since the third grade, but I got the hang of it fairly quickly and enjoyed zooming around the rink with Lilah while Cathy and Luke took a breather to watch us and also see the paintball war that was going on not too far away from us.

Those were the new things we did, but we also revisited some of our other favorite Tahoe pastimes — river rafting, miniature golfing, biking (video clip), kayaking, and a nice long day out at the beach. This year, we even brought our own inflatable raft only to learn that I am not very good at rowing it (I’m much better on a kayak though). The kids didn’t mind too much, however, as they thought the raft was cool and there were also plenty of other activities to keep them entertained and distracted from dad’s poor rowing technique.

This year, we didn’t get a whole lot of rapids on our Truckee River raft trip, something that may have lulled us into a false sense of security. The kids are supposed to wear life jackets on the river but the river was so mellow that we let the kids take them off rather than here the constant whining from Luke about not wanting to wear the jacket because it was uncomfortable. Well, toward the end of the ride, Luke was in the process of sitting down in the boat (he was half standing) when we went over a decent bump that sent him catapulting right out of the raft. Luke reacted quickly though and swam as hard as he could back toward the raft and Cathy quickly scooped him up and in, cracking up the entire time. I don’t think he was in any real danger, but I could tell it shocked Luke a bit because of how fast he reacted and made his way back toward the boat (in this video clip he insists he was not scared though). Next year, we think we might try going on some rougher rapids at the small Truckee river, but he will definitely have a life jacket (and helmet) then.

In addition to the activities, we also hooked up with some friends from Camarillo who happened to be in Tahoe at the same time. It was nice hanging out with them and the fact that both our sets of kids got along made it even better as the kids just hung out and entertained themselves. Luke continues to have an uncanny knack for making friends as you can see in this short little beach clip where Luke and his friend are surrounded by kids admiring their crayfish collection.

Luke Gets “Stapled”

For the kids, one of the highlights of going to Lake Tahoe, is getting two stay in a hotel for two nights. We always break up the drive by staying near Fresno on the way to and from from Tahoe. It’s usually a nice peaceful time, but not this time. Right before heading out to dinner, Lilah and Luke decided to get into a pillow fight. Next thing you know, we hear the loud crashing sound of Luke’s head hitting the hotel wall (Lilah got him pretty good). Within moments there is blood trickling from Luke’s head, crying, and a sense of “mini-panic.” Luckily, there was a hospital right across the street from the hotel we stayed in. We managed to get Luke in and out of the emergency room in a little over an hour, but to me that time seemed like an eternity because while Cathy stayed with Lilah in the waiting room, I went to the treatment area with Luke who kept breaking out into tears anytime the doctor mentioned he might need stitches or staples. Luke didn’t want anyone touching his head, but that was a wish we could not grant. First, the nurse had to clean his wound so that the doctor could get a good look at it and determine whether or not he was going to need stitches or staples — this led to a few tears. Next, the doctor came in to look and she confirmed he would need to get staples (more tears from Luke), but before that we would have to numb the area. The nurse came back or was it the doctor (I can’t remember anymore) to numb the area which required the use of a needle. She proceeded to poke the needle into Luke’s head several times — lots more tears — and when she was done she told him he was through the hardest part and all that remained were the staples which he wouldn’t feel because of the numbing needle he had just taken to his head. Luke didn’t quite believe this so he sobbed a bit but at least it wasn’t full out wailing. The doctor finished Luke up with three staples to the crown of his head. When it was all done, Luke’s mood changed and little by little he became his normal self again and began to see the staples as kind of like a badge of honor. In fact, shortly afterward, during dinner, Luke related the tale of another friend of his (Slater) receiving staples and told Lilah she had never gotten staples before, as if to imply he was somehow a tough kid for having gone through this ordeal (well, thanks to your sister that’s true Luke ;-)).

Kids Get Goofy

When you hang out together as a family long enough, there are going to be moments where you irritate each other. The kids are notorious for bugging each other. But one of the funniest stories I have about this involved Luke becoming irritated with Cathy because she did not feel like going into the water. Luke kept saying “just do it,” but when he realized that Cathy was not going to budge he got a little upset and said something to the effect that Cathy was no fun and why did she even have a shirt that said “Just Do It” when she never does it. He then went on to tell her she should just get rid of that shirt at which point I had to step in and tell Luke to stop. Afterward, Cathy and I both admitted to each other that Luke can be a pretty clever little guy with his observations.

But just as you have those irritating moments, family vacations can also bring out the goofy side as you can see by the following sequence of pictures below which were taken on an evening when we were all feeling pretty good.

We Visit Baby Calan

Another highlight this month was visiting Heidi and Tyson’s baby boy, Calan. It’s funny, for months Lilah kept telling me she wished Heidi was having a girl because she was really not interested in having yet another boy around. However, once Calan became a reality she had a complete reversal. She kept telling us she wanted to go see him. We told her we would see him soon but that we needed to let the parents get their bearings and some of their routines down before we just went barging over there. Then, on her own, Lilah surprised us one day by coming home with gifts for baby Calan. Cathy had given Lilah some money so that she could buy lunch and some other items while at the mall with her friend Tory. Instead of using the money all on herself, Lilah stopped by the Disney store and picked up a few gifts for Calan (a bowl, a soft blanket or PJs, and something else). Cathy and I were both touched by her sweetness and within a few days of the purchase we visited Calan for the first time. Here are a few pictures of the kids with baby Calan, who is not even a week old here.

Bonus Material (video clips)

The Parents

Cathy continues rocking with her indoor cycle classes. She is only supposed to be a substitute, but now has her own class on Tuesday nights in September (a trial run), which is very cool. Her name even made it on the YMCA activity calendar, which is a kind of a big deal. She will be running a 5K in September and also be part of a relay team at the Carpinteria Triathlon. I completed a mini sprint course in Santa Barbara this month in 46:30 minutes which put me sixth in my age group and next month I’ll be doing my biggest race of the year – the Malibu Triathlon which is 1500 meters of swimming, 40K of biking, and 10 K of running. It’s my last race of the year and the longest race I’ve done in 20 years. I’m excited and looking forward to it.

That’s all for now. More next month!

One thing that wasn’t too cool about the camping was our noisy neighbors. This camping stuff is all luck of the draw. Meaning the Adventure Guides reserve the spot, but not everyone in the Adventure Guides is a considerate neighbor. The guys and kids next to me were loud X 100. Lilah and Luke were ready to go to bed by 9:30, which I extended to just before 10:00, but that was already a stretch (they were beat). So there we are in the tent trying to get to sleep, but the kids next to us are screaming and cackling and talking really loudly as they continue playing one game after another. This went on until about 12:30 or almost 1:00 AM. And the dads were no help. In fact, I could hear them saying stuff like “If our wives only knew how late we let the kids stay up, they’d kill us.” And somewhere along the line, two of the guys began singing. They sang, The Gambler, by Kenny Rogers, and My Angel is a Centerfold, by the J Geils Band. What was funny was how proud they were of recollecting all the verses to these songs and the sense of contentment they seemed to get from it all. Luckily, the kids fell asleep before the singing began, but daddy was left there to endure the serenading from the drunken cowboys. I chuckled about it because that’s all you can really do, but I’m not sure if I want to camp that way again.

Powered by WordPress