Orlando!

We are finally here after making a thousand mile journey. So many parents, over the years, have made pilgrimages to this humongous cluster of theme parks in search of entertainment, rites of passage, or even magic. We knew our kids would enjoy this place but we weren’t quite sold on it because it seemed so artificial, overblown, crowded, and expensive. But we’re here… perhaps it’s the fear of depriving our kids of the essential childhood experiences or the pressure to keep up with the Jones’s. By the end of the day, I was feeling nauseated from all the rides and going to puke if I see another hint of the artificial color! But kids seemed to enjoy it and thanked us for the experience. In the end, I was glad to check this one off of my bucket list!

Cancun in November!

With all the drudgery of flying behind us, it was quite shocking to step into the hot tropics and jump into aqua water in November!
Had to walk around for a mile or two in search of ATM machine to get some cash to pay for lunch at a restaurant. The ATM machine was broken and I was getting grumpy walking around in Summer-like heat but also fascinated to be surrounded by all the vivid colors of the flora. The restaurant owner was gracious and trusting enough to let us come back and pay the next day.

Day of the Dead in Cancun

Caught a local bus to downtown Cancun  to go to the day of the dead event.  It’s a unique cultural event for celebrating the lives of deceased members of the families and friends by welcoming their spirits back to earth. The bus ride itself was entertaining as we passed through all the glitz (both glamorous and tacky) of this built up resort town. But what I enjoyed most was the enticing summer breeze blowing in through the open windows of the bus.  The event was full of people with a variety of skull makeups and outfits,  many of whom had set up alters for their deceased family members and were busy cooking and serving food.
We were just speechless and totally absorbed with the people watching. The timing of our trip worked out perfectly and we were so fortunate to participate in this event and immerse ourselves in this unique tradition.

Looking back and forward

I hear the usual chattering of my kids echoing out of the bedroom, breaking the weekend morning calm. It’s truly a welcome sound, reassuring of their good mental and physical health. The house is fully awaken now with their footsteps and the clanking at the breakfast table, followed by my wife asking me if I want fig, cherry or blackberries. Before I get caught up in the hustle and bustle, I managed to fit in a moment of gratitude and hope for the new year. And I patted myself for being a multitasker.

Dreaded F word

For first time in my kid’s 7 years of life, the dreaded F word came out of his mouth at the dinner table. 

A dead silence  ensued. 

I was at least relieved to  know that he didn’t know what it meant.  As I was trying to figure out how to deal with it, I recall my own experience  with it when I was a teenager in a foreign country struggling to learn English. 

It was one of very first words that I acquired while trying to mimic and fit in.  I can still remember the impact of that word on people’s faces as I uttered casually. They expressed shock and confusion,  but eventually  smiled and forgave me.

It has come a full circle; now it’s my turn to smile and forgive as my kid gets bigger and inevitably acquire more choice words.

Gearing up for the Family Road Trip

Loading up the van trying to remember everything from dog food, toilet paper,  tooth brushes, swimming suits, phone chargers, snacks, to camping gear. Wife says “Did you check the engine oil and the tire air pressure?”

Getting the house ready for vacancy : thermostat,  watering the plants, paying bills, trash out, lights off,  security lights on,…

And finally pulling out of the driveway,
Wife says “Honey, did you turn the oven off?”

Family huddles and shouts out “Let’s have a great trip!”
Barely 15 minutes into the trip,  one of the kids  says  “Could you stop? I have to go potty.”