Thursday, November 17, 2011

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Virginia Vacation: Part 2 (finally)

And now, the rest of the story….

Screw You, I’ve been busy….
Also, since it’s been over two weeks now, my events are probably out of order cause my memory sucks.
Example: One story I forgot to mention, at the end of day 2, we went to Walmart and my 3 yr old was accosted by Corky from Life Goes On.
Here’s how it went down.
I’m standing at the end of the toy isle where my daughter is playing.  I see the Down’s Syndrome dude coming up the isle.  He’s smiling, like they do, and seeming friendly.  Then he stops his cart right be my daughter, reaches down and grabs her shoulders/neck area and does what I perceive as tickling while laughing.  My daughter looks back at him like “WTF!” Then, he moves on just as quick.
Normally, I’m real protective of my cubs.  Especially her.  But I didn’t see anything wrong with it, and neither did she.  At first.  After he left, she started to freak out.  She started wimpering and saying, “The yellow man (his shirt color, not skin color) chokeled me.”
I tried to calm her down, and assure her that he was just playing and trying to tickle her cause she is so cute.  But she was adamant that he “chokeled” her.  I felt terrible.  I stood there and watched and didn’t do anything.  It happened so quick.  Plus, what could I do?  I’m pretty sure beating up a Down’s kid is a hate crime, regardless the reason.
Day 3
More Rain.
Did I mention the Hotel had kickass continental breakfasts?
I think I gained 50 lbs that trip.  Just ask my pants.
We spent the morning driving around Big Stone, visited more relatives, and went to the Museum of Southwest Virginia. 

We stopped at a McDonald’s up the mountain for lunch.  Cause the fries taste better at altitude.
Then we headed back to the hotel for rest and a swim.
I took the kids swimming while my wife and mom took a nap.  Cause I’m an AWESOME husband/father/son.  And cause women are lazy.
The 3yr occupies most of my time in the pool, as the boys can swim pretty good.  I just have to keep an occasional eye out to make sure they don’t drown one another.
While with the 3 yr old, the following conversation took place:
*3 yr old daughter gets out of pool and proceeds to run around pool*
Me: “Don’t run honey! You’ll f….”
*She falls hard on her butt and side*
Me: “I tried to tell you not to run. Its slick around the pool and you will fall.”
*she looks at me like I’m Mr. Obvious*
Her: “Yeah.”
Me: “Are you okay.”
Her: “Yeah. Ouch.”
*she slowly makes her way back into the pool via the steps*
Her: “I have some owies now.”
Me: “Awww…poor baby.”
*I notice a visible red abrasion on her forearm*
Me: “Do you want me to kiss it and make it feel better?”
Her: “Yes!”
*She holds up her arm & I kiss it*
Her: “And here.”
*she holds up you foot & I kiss it*
Her: “And here.”
*She holds up you palm & I kiss it*
Her: “AND HERE!”
*She points to a big red mark on her butt cheek*
Me: “I’m NOT kissing your booty.”
Her: “COME ON! It’ll be fun!”
Me: “Uhh, no, not for me.”
*she grabs my chin and looks me in the eye like she’s trying some magical toddler hypnosis*
She: “Do you hear me?”
Me: “I’m still not kissing it.”

That evening, my cousins had orchestrated a family get together around an excellent feast. 

Did I mention the extra 50 lbs?
It was great to see everyone.  Some I hadn’t seen in 20 years, and a few I’d only seen on Facebook.  Sad, I know.
Day 4
This was our last official day in Virginia.
We spent it sightseeing.
We went to the Natural Tunnel State Park, which also is where the legendary Lover’s Leap is located.

 I tried talking the wife into recreating history (ladies first, of course), but she said no. Obviously, she’s racist against history. 

We also drove up to High Knob, which is one of the highest scenic overviews in that part of the state.
About half way up to High Knob, we hit snow.  Thankfully, being from Indiana, driving in snow doesn’t bother me.
Driving in snow on a narrow winding-ass mountain road is a bit different.  But we made it.
Day 5
We woke up, packed, and headed back.
Our last official stop was at the ORIGINAL Kentucky Fried Chicken place in Corbin, KY. 

My 12 yr old is a huge fan of KFC drumsticks, so this stop was for him.  But it was pretty cool to see all the historical stuff they have there.
Back on the road, we hit a traffic jam between Lexington and Cincinnati.
And not just any traffic jam.  I’m talking, dead stopped, people out of their cars walking around, traffic for miles and miles cause the interstate is closed, traffic jam.
It had evidently been that way for hours. We were only in it for about an hour.  Somebody said it was multiple wrecks with an overturned vehicle or something.
Eventually, we made it home.
The end.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Our Virginia Vacation: aka Ed Contemplates Quadruple Murder/Suicide


We planned to leave our house bright & early last Wednesday.
I even had the car all gassed up and loaded with luggage the night before.
And then morning came.  And showers were taken.  And 3 kids were dressed.  And a cooler was packed.
And make-up was applied (not MINE of course. THIS beauty comes natural.)
Our 7am departure time turned out closer to 10.
Traveling with 3 kids is never easy.   Add in 2 women and somebody ALWAYS has to pee. 

After stopping 3 or 4 times in what should have been a 6 or 6 ½ hour drive, we got to our hotel around 630pm.
That’s almost NINE hours!
We’re lucky we ever made it down there.
The hotel was a newer Comfort Inn and quite nice.
It had all the things we look for in a vacation hotel: Indoor Pool, Complimentary Breakfast, Cheap, No bedbugs or dead hookers under the mattress.
This one had a Huddle House (like Waffle House) across the parking lot, which we dined in that first evening.
We finished the first night off with a swim.
 Followed by 2 hours spent trying to get the free Wifi to work.

The mountains are beautiful even in the rain.
We headed out to visit some of my mom’s relatives, but it was a little early so instead we drove up a mountain and got lost.
I was trying to find the tiny coal camp town that my dad was born in.
After several winding switchbacks on a narrow mountain road with speeding coal trucks passing in both directions, we ended up in Kentucky.
Believe it or not, you CAN turn a mini-van around on a narrow mountain road without driving off the cliff edge in front of you or slamming into the jagged cliff face behind you.
When we got back down the mountain, I stopped and asked for direction.
Ok, ok, the only reason I stopped was because SOMEBODY HAD TO PEE.  Somebody always does.
We eventually found our way to the coal camp of Derby (my father’s birthplace) after going up ANOTHER mountain.
Geez, Virginia!  Mountain much?
Seriously, it would be a lot easier to find things if maybe you did away with some of these mountains, or put everything on the same one.
After that, we stopped by a local cemetery to look for the graves or my ancestors.
And another.  AND another.  AND after stopping to see my mom’s relatives, we hit one more.
The wife and kids asked if we were on another “Big Tree Expedition”.
See, let me explain…
I love history.  Like REALLY love it.  If it’s old, it’s awesome.
Old towns, old buildings, old books, whatever.
In fact, I wanted to be an Archaeologist when I was a kid.
It was on the list right after Doctor and Actor/Comedian, but before Fighter Pilot and Male Stripper.
I also love trees.
I’m probably the only tree-hugging Republican on the planet.
And the bigger the tree, the better.  Why?  Because it’s OLD.
This WHOLE country east of the Mississippi used to be forested.  Sadly, it was cleared by settlers.  The trees you see today are all replants.  There are very few virgin timber stands/forests left.  Most are single trees or areas that were inaccessible or too hard for the timber companies to reach.
Indiana publishes a Big Tree List every 5 years, telling the biggest trees of each type in Indiana and where they are located.
One year, I took the wife and kids on a trip to southern Indiana for Spring Break, and figured we would stop by the biggest tree in Indiana (Supposedly a 167 ft tall Sycamore tree, 8 ft in diameter!!!**squeals& faints**), which I had gotten the coordinates for from the Big Tree List.
We spent probably 3 hours driving around in circles looking for that f@#King tree! 
A tree we SHOULD have been able to see from some distance, given its height and Indiana’s flatness.
Did I mention I’m a relentless finder-er.  When I am looking for something, I won’t give up until I find it (or until the wife makes me, as it was in this case).  Probably the only time in my life that I am patient is when I am searching for something.
We never did find that f@#king tree!
 But we did stop at a virgin forest on the way back in a different part of the state, which the wife and kids greeted with, “Oh great, more big trees.”
Anyway, it’s become a running gag, whenever I am spending a long time looking for stuff the wife & kids could care less about.
Meanwhile, back in Virginia…
We found some of my ancestors graves, then headed back to the hotel to get out of the rain and take it easy. 

(To Be Continued)…

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


I am BACK from Virginia. I plan to do a vacation recap, as soon as I have time to type it all out and post it on here.

Now, some posters I made from stuff I found online awhile back.

Hope everyone had a safe, fun, and Happy Halloween.


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