When I was a kid I heard about the continental breakfast at the hotel we were staying. I thought this is going to be a huge breakfast of plate tectonic proportions. Rivers of sausage gravy, bacon tray falling over like water falls, mountains of biscuits, and piles of scrambled eggs thick like a tempur-pedic mattress.
To my dismay, I was greeted with a tray of donuts, danishes, cereal, juice, and coffee. I guess this is food that’s available on every continent and not continental is size.
We are partial to Hilton brand hotels. We enjoy the free breakfast at the Hampton Inn and Homewood suites takes it up a notch. Although not free, Hilton Garden Inn has a great buffet and it’s what I imagined as a child.
On a recent trip, I had my first real disappointment with Pei Wei. I get the same thing every time; Kung Pao chicken extra spicy with fried rice. When it came out, it was loaded with veggies and very little chicken and barely covered with sauce. I sent it back, and when it returned there were a few extra pieces of chicken and gloopy sauce (not stir-fried into the meat) and a hand full of chili peppers thrown on. When I left I felt like complaining but on my next visit to that town, the Pei Wei was no longer in business.
If we are ever in the vicinity of a Pei Wei, we will make every effort to eat there. We visited friends in Clearwater, FL and visited Big Cat Rescue and timed it so that we could eat lunch at the nearby Pei Wei. We will fight Charlotte traffic on 485 just to get a taste like a drug addict. I’m sure if we had a Pei Wei in our town then it would lose its luster and we would probably get sick of it. Either that or I would weigh 1000 pounds.
Which song do you get tired of first? Is it Jingle Bells, Frosty the Snowman, Winter Wonderland, Rudy the Red Nosed Reindeer? Technically, these aren’t really Christmas songs. They are more of winter songs which don’t have any tethering to Christ. Watch any Christmas movie and you will probably hear 700 different versions of Jingle Bells and by the end of the week after Thanksgiving, you are ready to quit Christmas music.
I used to prefer the Christmas “hymns”, songs about the savior which is the whole reason for the season. However, there are very few new songs and they contain terrible theology or Americanized to the point they shouldn’t even be canonized into Christmas. I stick to Christmas instrumentals now so I don’t have to hear some new artist destroy a classic by over singing.
Travel ball is all about the parents. There is nothing than a parent loves more than saying their kids play travel ball. Now that your ego is out of the way lets dissect what playing travel ball really mean.
How do you want to spend your weekends?
Do you want your kids to play one game and go home and do something else with their weekend? Or, do you want to be at the ball field at 7am and stay until 10:30pm (or later). That’s the worst case scenario, but sometimes it’s a two-day tournament and you have to repeat the early wake up the next day, sometimes just to go home after the first game.
How much do you want to pay?
Rec-ball is usually a flat fee for spring, summer, and fall season. Travel ball has a larger sign-up cost with commitment and per tournament fees. There is fundraising to help offset the costs of the per tournament fees. If you like to raise money or have deep pockets, then travel ball is a good option. Don’t forget your family will have a pay a fee at the gate if you don’t head coach, that will run you at least $7 per person.
What do you kids want to do?
Are your kids super competitive or do they just enjoy the playing game? There’s a balance of what you know is good for your kids and what they want to do. You have to let them learn on their own sometimes.
Do you like to hear parents nonstop bragging about their kids?
Before the first practice even begins parents are already setting the bar high for their kids. If they fall short of that expectation then venom is spewed towards the child in the form of correction. This doesn’t always happen, but it’s about 90% of the time.
This is hands down the most condescending ad of the year and worst gift idea at the same time. Maybe they want to be isolated from technology. Your older family members prefer you come to visit them in person rather than seeing your digitized face on a screen. You can’t hug a tablet and get your oxytocin.
They don’t want to see you on a vacation they weren’t invited to. They don’t want to watch you bake cookies, they want to be in the same room with you. I know some families live far apart, but what kind of person lives far away from a family member who can’t operate an iPad. If it’s so easy, then why does it have a support feature? Let me get this straight, you buy your family member a GrandPad that’s simple to use, but you won’t even help them if something goes wrong?
Another thing, if you are going to share big news about your upcoming pregnancy over facetime video then I hope your elder family member can handle the emotional surge and doesn’t have a medical emergency right in front of you. Maybe that support button will come in handy if it ties to LifeAlert.
Today marks St Nicholas Day. There is no better time to teach your children about who Santa really was. We decided before we procreated that we would not pretend that someone came into our house and left presents for our children. It’s not fair to them or us because why does some stranger get credit for all the good stuff? Plus, we don’t have a chimney, so how does he get in? Well, I guess it’s easier nowadays since Amazon has access to your house and can open your door and leave packages. Maybe Amazon is the new Santa?
How did I learn that Santa wasn’t real? Well, during my 2nd grade class we all were talking about Christmas and I mentioned that Santa was bringing me some Star Wars toys. The entire class erupted in laughter and began shaming me about believing in fairy tales. You know, kids are mean and cruel, much like adults when you talk about Jesus today. When I confronted my mother, she unvieled the falsehood of father Christmas. This created a seasonal schism that altered my holiday happiness for years to come. I don’t want that for my offspring. I want them to build lasting Christmas memories without any trauma. Well, other than what my parenting already provides.
There is a drawback about not playing along with the whole Santa song and dance. You have to be cautious that your children don’t ruin Christmas for their friends. But the main reason we teach the real Santa, is we want them to know the real Jesus. We want them to focus on the greatest gift to this world and not on trinkets that will gather rust. We didn’t want them to one day say. “If Santa isn’t real, then is God real?”
Just like the checkout line at Walmart, It doesn’t matter what lane you pick, it will be the slowest. Just be patient and don’t deviate from your lane. If you know you need to exit the freeway in a few miles get over to that lane. Nah forget that, ride the fastest lane all the way and squeeze in at the end.