07 January 2008

notes from vacation

Oh, how I wish life could always be a vacation. Sleeping late, no housework, lots of video games, eating out, and of course, spending lots of time with family and friends who you don't see nearly often enough.

Some highlights, in no particular order:

Rock Band: I would estimate that we spent about 34 zillion hours playing Rock Band. I became an accomplished drummer, Greg rocked out on the bass, and James sang lead vocals, quickly becoming an expert on a couple of Ramones songs, which he made us play at least 75 times a day.

Horses: James and Evan both got to ride one of Grandma Kathy's horses, as well as visit with all of the horses (and cows, and a donkey) out at the farm. It was Evan's first time riding, and he did pretty well. He was incredibly excited until he realized he had to wear a helmet, so most of his ride was spent trying to take his helmet off.

Christmas: I don't know why I didn't put this first. We had a really nice Christmas with Greg's family. It's so nice that all of his siblings are able to come spend Christmas at their parents' house -- it's always full and busy, the way Christmas should be. I always miss my own family, of course, but it helps a bit to be part of another family.

The boys were showered in gifts, and loved each and every one. The favorites?

1) Nintendo DS: Greg's brother handed his down to us, and gave us a few games. It would be a huge understatement to say we all totally love it. It's getting a lot of use so far. James asked for one for Christmas, and I kind of didn't want one, because I knew we would all want to use it a lot, but I'm not really complaining.

2) Mythical beasts: Greg's brother also got the boys a books and game about mythical creatures, which came with little figures of the creatures, and they are so into them. They spent a lot of time over vacation telling people about Chupacabra (imagine a two-year-old saying that word -- so cute) and now that we're home they've been playing with them a lot. This morning they were fighting over the Hydra -- something I never expected my children to fight over.

Movies: We saw many movies over the course of two weeks. I was psyched to get the movie Labyrinth as a gift, and doubly pleased to see how well it holds up after twenty years. I saw a few movies I would never have watched if it weren't for Greg (namely, Transformers -- the new one, though we now own both movies -- and Alien vs. Predator: Requiem) and I can honestly say I did not hate either of them. Who woulda thought. We also saw King Kong again (the Peter Jackson version), which I love, and which made me cry a little. Again.

The best movie we saw would have to be The Maze, a rare 3-D mystery/suspense movie from 1953, which we did not watch in 3-D, but which we enjoyed anyway. It's a pretty conventional film -- a little too slow, even -- until the end. The end is the real reason to watch this movie. It turns the film from something unremarkable into one of the greatest so-bad-it's-good movies I've ever seen.

New Year's: We went to a fabulous New Year's party at the home of one of Greg's brother's friends, without children, and we dressed up in silly costumes, played hours and hours of Rock Band, relaxed in a hot tub, played some pool, played a little Mario Kart, and had our fortunes told by a mysterious gypsy woman. We finally crawled into bed at 7am, totally satisfied. Oh, and I also took part in the traditional Norwegian custom of eating pickled herring for good luck in the new year. Greg's family loves pickled herring, and they make me eat some every year. The best I can say is that it hasn't killed me. Yet.

Evan boycotted pants during this vacation. He refuses to wear "wiggly" pants. We have yet to figure out what makes pants wiggly, but it seems to be a fairly common problem, since every pair of pants Evan owns is now considered wiggly.

And of course, it was so nice to see Greg's family again. Since we couldn't make it out to visit over the summer, we hadn't seen them in a year, which is really way too long. It was a lot of fun getting to hang out with all of them again.

I'm sure I'm forgetting some things, but that's a brief rundown. Pictures will be posted eventually. And now that we're home, (semi) regular blogging will resume.


John S said...

What a nice write up. =) I know I've said it a few times already, but it was REALLY great being able to spend so much time with you guys. A year really is too long, and I hope we can avoid that in the future.

I'm so happy the boys like their Mythical Beasts figurines and game. It was an impulse gift by me, partially because I thought it was cool, and I hoped they'd like it. And yes, Evan talking about the Chupacabra is pretty adorable. Hopefully he likes me next time I see him.

We'll definitely try to come see you guys when we're up there at the end of May, and I can't wait. Please give hugs to everyone for me, and take care.

Ren said...

Please tell me you have a video of you guys playing Rock Band...