Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Adventures of "That Guy" - Day 3

Ok, I know. Day 3 of my vacation was 5 days ago.
But I know you're just dying to hear about the rest of the trip, so I figured I should finish telling these tales.

And this one is one of the more memorable tales from our trip.

In life, every man faces challenges.
When given the opportunity, are you going to try to ride a bull named "Fu Man Chu"?
When standing at the top of a cliff over a body of water, are you going to have the guts to dive?
And when you face a water slide a grand as this one, are you going to have what it takes to give it a shot?

Quite a scary slide, I know.
One of the things I love about being a father is playing the role of Superdad. Some dads may be the type that would sit by the pool reading a book and say "You boys go play. Have fun." I'm not that guy. I try to play with them as much as possible. I try to introduce new games or fun ideas to them. This year one of my bright ideas was to play with them in the kiddie waterpark. There was a sign that said "You must be under 14 to play in the water park." but there was also a sign that said this...
Is that last line not common knowledge?
so I didn't really trust their judgement in what signs they posted.and chose to ignore their age limit advice.

The waterpark was like a splashpad with a couple of slides. I slid down the red slide beside Ethan, racing him to the bottom. Of course I left him in my dust. He didn't have a chance of winning against my speed and agility.
Ethan enjoying the red slide.
But things didn't go quite as smooth when I followed him down the blue tube slide. As every good slider knows, you can't just sit and push yourself down. If you want to reach maximum sliding velocity you have to grab the bar above the slide and swing yourself down the slide helping you gain momentum before you even hit the slide. Knowing all these great tips, I grabbed the bar.... felt the sea breeze blowing lightly across my face.....pushed back on my heels, ready to charge into the tube slide...lifted my feet and used every bit of upper body strength I have to force myself into a fast swing into the tube....saw the top of the tunnel and realized I might crash my head into it and slightly lowered my body to avoid such a collision.... then the tradgedy happened. I felt a shocking thud as my tailbone crashed into the bottom of the slide. Somehow I had overcompensated trying to miss the top of the tube and instead used all my strength to force myself down onto my tailbone instead of into the slide.
It was painful to say the least.
As I slid down the slide in a semi-fetal position, I knew the pain I was feeling wasn't going to go away quickly.
I was right.

I have either bruised or broken my tailbone. As I write this, now 5 days later I am still hurting. I feel fine standing or seated, but moving from one position to the other is not fun.

Thankfully, this injury didn't ruin the trip
It did make me uncomfortable at times and I quickly became the butt of every joke (pun intended), but mostly It just gave me yet another reason to laugh at myself.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Adventures of "That Guy" - Day 2

Well, the adventures continue.
Friday was great here in Panama City with the family.

Lots of time was spent playing, laughing, and eating.
Here are some of the more interesting details...

1. Lights On
We didn't get the boys in bed until after midnight Thursday night. So when I woke up at 8:45 Friday morning, I wasn't all that surprised to find that everyone was still asleep. But just the fact that both our boys slept past 8am is a first. I'm looking forward to the day when they both decide that "sleeping in" is a good idea.

2. Gavin's Attention Span
We knew when we arrived that Gavin doesn't have a very long attention span. But we were reminded of this fact quickly when  we started our water fun for the day. The condos we're staying in have 3 pools, a lazy river, a small water park area for the kids, and of course beach access. We never really planted ourselves at any one of them because Gavin (or Ethan) would say "Let's go to the lazy river" then 5 minutes later, "lets go to the pool". There were times it felt like we were traveling between areas more than enjoying the areas themselves. But the boys we're happy. So we were too.

3. The Lazy River
When we first got in the lazy river we were just chillin', letting the current carry us around as we floated. Then I heard someone say "Shawn Stinson!". To my surprise, I turned to see a friend from high school, Matt Hardemon, floating by. It was good to see him and talk for a little while. There is some commentary that could be made about the fact that we ran into each other in the "lazy" river. But I'll just leave that alone.

4. Pea Soup
Unfortunately, the ocean looks like this, minus the leaf.
The ocean is full of what they call "june grass". We call it algae, seaweed, and grossness. So our ocean swimming has been very limited. But it hasn't stopped our fun.

5. Captain Anderson's

I could say a lot about this restaurant. It is easily my absolute favorite restaurant anywhere, ever, period.
The waitress did steal some of our joy when she said "I'm sorry, but we're out of crab claws." (You should have seen the sad look on Ethan's face. Pitiful, just pitiful.) But we survived. We're going back Monday night , so we're hoping by then they've found more crabs whose claws we can devour.

Well, that's it for now. My tailbone is hurting as I sit here typing.
I'll tell you why when I post again tonight about our adventures from Day 3.

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Adventures of "That Guy": Day 1

Our home for the next 5 days, Splash Resort.
 Earlier today on Facebook I posted this...
"Effective immediately I will be 'that guy'. You know, the one that posts a bunch of beach pics and stories of the restaurants he's eating at with his family during their vacation. Consider yourself warned."

I guess this blog post is the beginning of those postings.

Me and the lovely Kristi have been planning this vacation for months. We're so glad it's finally here.
We've brought our boys, once again, to Panama City Beach, FL  AKA the Redneck Riviera.
We love it. Great fun, great food, and of course the world's most beautiful beaches.

But what I enjoy even more than the beach itself are the experiences we have when we travel together.
As I write this, it's currently 1:53am  Friday morning. We have all finally settled in for the night and I've had a little time to reflect on our trip so far. So, as you can imagine, I'm exhausted, but not too exhausted to share ....

4 highlights from the first day of our summer vacation:
1.) The smile on Kristi's face when she picked me up from work.
We wanted to get here as quick as possible tonight but I had to work today, so we made arrangements for my brother in law to drop me off at work this morning and for Kristi to pick me up at 5. That way we could head straight to PCB. When she got to my office to get me, she was beaming. What a great smile. I think the only smile that compared to it was the one on my face as I climbed into a car that she had completely packed herself. It's amazing how much more relaxing the first few hours of a trip are when you're driving a vehicle that someone else has packed.

2.)Ethan and Gavin have started really enjoying Looney Tunes. As we made the 5 hr drive from Birmingham to PC I was asking Ethan about his day. One of the first stories he told me was about a new Looney Tune cartoon he had seen. It involved Bugs Bunny and a creature that tore stuff up and ran around like a tornado. "It's called the Titanium Devil" Ethan said excitedly. I almost didn't want to correct him...almost.

3.) One of the joys of travel is finding good travel music. So recently I put together a list of beach or summer songs for us to jam to en route.As we shuffled through the list on the iphone, we also stumbled across a few other random songs I had on there. One of those was by Michael McDonald. Kristi immediately asked me to change the song. Then she started to say how much she didn't like his voice. I really wish I could  have recorded the next part for you. She continued on to say everything he sings sound like this... "mmph..mmvr...mmmph...mmmppph" I know that doesn't translate well in writing. But you'll have to trust me. Her Michael McDonald impression is equally  accurate and hilarious.

4.) We arrived to our condo around 10pm. (15 min earlier than Kristi bet that we would. I really should have wagered some money on that bet.) As Kristi and Ethan unpacked, Gavin and I headed for Walmart. Now wait....think about this for a and Gavin.  (He's 5 yrs old)... at PCB... at 11pm. Needless to say, it was an adventure. There should definitely be a website for these people and their various stages of dress or in some cases... undress. I knows there's a site for strange looking walmart customers, but the people we saw were in a whole 'nother category.  There really should be a "People of Walmart, at the beach, at 11pm" site.

That's about all I got tonight. On the agenda for tomorrow...trying to avoid the incredibly thick seaweed in the ocean, having fun in the pool and splashpad at the condo, and of course, the part of the trip I look forward to the most, eating dinner at Captain Anderson's. I know you can hardly wait to see the pics of my food that I'll post.