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Weekend Update: Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial DayI hope everyone had a wonderful and inspirational Memorial Day weekend. We traveled to northeastern Pennsylvania to spend the weekend with family: barbecue, softball, parade, beautiful weather and yummy food. Three-day weekends are perfect opportunities to spend time with family, but I didn’t want to forget the purpose of Memorial Day. I thought about friends who were killed in combat; although I served in the U.S. Air Force in combat for a brief period during the Iraq war, I’m thankful for those in uniform who continue to serve so that we can call America our home.

I took a break from work and blogging for 5 days.  Imagine 5 days without internet other than reading e-mails via my phone.  I’m a bit dependent on my laptop since I do so much reading, posting, photo editing on it.  However, I was determined to relax and give my attention to time with family and friends (and I wasn’t going to have internet access anyway).  So, instead of breaking up this post into what could easily be two or three posts, it’s a highlight of all the cool stuff we did over the long weekend.

Calvin and Sam

Calvin and Sam

We drove up 6 hours to visit family in Allentown,PA.  They showered us with unbelievably delicious food (read: sushi, shrimp, and cheesecake), a comfortable bed, and fantastic war stories from Vietnam during the late 1960’s.

Calvin just wanted to love on their 13 year-old dog Sam, but she was a bit feeble and shaken by even the gentlest pat from a toddler. Unfortunately, Calvin got hold of a cute mini shopping cart that he wheeled around all over creation. Since it was meant to be a decoration and not a child’s toy, he bit the dust a couple of times. By the time I woke up Saturday morning to kisses from my two guys, I noticed Calvin had a humongous shiner and one-inch scratch underneath his right eye and chin. Steve said he had a couple of bouts with the metal shopping cart. I really hate it when my sweet little boy gets scratched up like that, especially when it’s on his precious face.

hot wheels
hot wheels

If it wasn’t the dog or the shopping cart that piqued his interest, it was definitely his great uncle’s sweet sunshine-yellow motorcycle which served as a perfect prop for a few fun photos. Our little guy had been feeling under the weather earlier in the week (high fever, loss of appetite, and overall fussy demeanor). Even though the fever was long gone, his appetite still wasn’t quite up to its regular moose capacity. He was still finicky, and he hardly eating for meals (unless those meals consisted of grapes, raisins, or bananas). I knew it was going to be a long weekend, especially since he wasn’t sleeping well, and he was hot, sticky and uncomfortable in our non-air-conditioned car.

cousin Emily warming up at bat

cousin Emily warming up at bat

We showed up to great grandpa’s house and Calvin was just a fussy, inconsolable toddler for about two days. Then on Saturday, he suddenly felt better. He enjoyed his cousin Emily’s softball game and kept gravitating toward any spectators who had food.

His recovery was apparent by the mammoth amount of calamari he consumed at our favorite diner in Binghamton, New York that evening. That lovely diner is the same place where Steve and I celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary last year…after a 9 hour drive from Charlottesville. Yes folks, it’s THAT good. That night after having a belly full of very good food, Calvin slept until 0830 the next morning which meant that I slept in, too. Steve and I were able to sneak out and watch a movie (Star Trek) while great grandpa stayed at home with Calvin.

Dietrich theater in Tunkhannock, PA

At the theater, I saw a black & white photo on display that I had shot several years ago and presented to great grandpa as a gift.  He entered it in the local photography contest, and I won second place!

I spent Sunday hobbling around like an old lady. I tried to suppress yelps of pain every time I stood up from a seated position or tried to walk downhill or down stairs. I felt like my quads were on fire and my abs were aggravatingly sore—all thanks to the killer workout that my husband led that morning.

Tang Soo Do baby
Tang Soo Do baby

We met up with some friends at Robinson’s Martial Arts Institute to train for the first time in months. Calvin came along to play and to entertain us. Part of our training was to dodge the running toddler. Steve made us do several repetitions of sprints followed by 10 push-ups. I pushed it hard enough that I really felt like I was going to lose my breakfast. Note to self: never EVER take multi-vitamins before a workout. Avoiding scrambled eggs would be a good idea, too.

Calvin and Mommy with Master Robinson

Calvin and Mommy with Master Robinson

If the sprints weren’t enough pain, they were quickly followed by frog jumps while our hands were interlaced behind our heads, down and back the length of the karate studio floor. Ouch! By the 9th or 10th repetition, I could no longer feel my legs. I was landing on lead stumps that collapsed whenever my feet hit the floor. Once we were all done with our “knock you over and punch you in the gut” warm-up, we were then ready to work on Tang Soo Do forms. Although were were all still sucking wind, nursing our sore guts and legs. We finished the workout with oblique crunches (my obliques hate me, now) more push-ups and ninja rolls (fun and ow). I should have gone directly for some ice packs to avoid the inflammatory cascade that was very quickly making it way from my back, abs, quads and calves to the rest of my body. But I didn’t, and then I woke up Sunday morning in sheer regret.

By Monday, the pain had subsided a smidge, but not enough to make hours of road trip travel any better when I had to resort to basic functions like walking. I looked like someone who had just had hemorrhoid surgery when ambling from the car to the rest area. Quite the spectacle, I assure you. No, I do not have a video. If I did, do you really think I’d post it?

We did spend Memorial Day morning with family at the annual parade in downtown Tunkhannock. There were marching bands, horses, fire trucks, tractors, many truckloads of little league baseball teams, a miniature donkey, and classic cars. It was Calvin’s first parade, and he enjoyed every single minute of it.

cousin Isaiah in the parade

cousin Isaiah in the parade

We celebrated Tunkhannock’s Memorial Day in traditional style with the city-wide chicken barbecue lunch.  Calvin crammed an entire half-chicken into his mouth and ate most of it caveman style.  Gone are the days of me having to cut up his food into little pieces.

on the road again

on the road again

As I type this, we’re still on the interstate headed back to Charlottesville. At the last rest stop, I changed Calvin into his pajamas and we sang him his bedtime lullabyes. He’s zonked out, and I expect him to transition to his crib without much protest. The light rains have cooled off this otherwise warm day. Road tripping is so much fun on holiday weekends. The Boy Scouts are out en force at state visitor center rest stops serving up hot coffee and free food for weary travelers. We passed at least 3 rest stops from Virginia to Pennsylvania and back with Boy Scout sponsored safety breaks. We made sure Calvin offered a generous tip, and we tucked in to several hot dogs and servings of cold lemonade at the West Virginia visitor’s center southbound on Highway 81. Thanks Boy Scout Pack 159.  Y’all were swell!

I had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend. How was yours?

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