Once a source of "Not all you want to know about Texas Adventure Racing," but now just some "leisure" adventure through the eyes of "The K-SPoT"

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Holiday Hullaballoo pt. 1

Ethan sizes up the presents
So we made it out of H-town for a week or so to spend time with my fam. But before we left, I went on a midday bike ride since (1) the weather was perfect, and (2) I doubt I would get much training done once I got to the Spoke. Our adventure was possible also because of the wonderful generosity of the Hyperturtles: they had agreed to house- and cat-sit while we were away. Plus, we added fish-sitting late on the menu as they were coming up to our doorstep the morning we were to leave. As we later found out, the fish were on Nikko's menu as well...

oooh, Mo got a present from Kenny!Our adventure would turn interesting right away as I quickly remembered that Mo is not too fond of flying. I could feel her tensing up the closer to takeoff we were. We sat in the exit row for the first flight, which is just like sitting in first class--its so roomy! As we take off, Mo puts a deathgrip on my left hand and I let out an almost inaudible whimper. Our first leg was uneventful and we arrived in Minneapolis it seemed in no time. We head over to our next gate and I spot a Starbucks along the way--I of course have to stop by and say hello. After a brief layover, we were on a plane again, this time on to our final destination, Spokevegas. The ride was more bumpy this time around as we were entering our final approach to Spokane INTERNATIONAL Airport. LOL. We landed safely and soundly and I was able to revive my hand which had turned into a scary pale blue.

that was the last time anyone saw FrostyThere was snow on the ground so we were happy at the prospects of sledding and snowball fights and snowmen! Bruce came by to scoop us up late Saturday night. Of course, Mom was waiting we skillet and spatula in hand to cook us up something for late, late dinner! LOL. This was pretty much the summary of our vacation--eat, sleep, eat sleep...ok, so we squeezed in a couple more things into our tight schedule. We got into a nice routine in no time. Every morning we got up, ordered our breakfast :), walked to the Fred Meyer about 8 blocks away, get some Starbucks, and wander the vast aisles of Fred Meyer. That place is so big, we were able to go there every day while were in Spokanistan and see a whole different part of the store! That's pretty much how our days went when we were there. It was Christmas eve, so we had to start and finish our giftwrapping that night (can't wrap gifts beforehand since there's a chance they would get searched at the airport). It was nice to see everyone again and my niece Tanesha was able to make it too! But unfortunately my brother could not get time off of work to make the trip from the other side of the Cascades to join us.

Mo and I hiking Underhill Park, post snowball fightAs Mo and I were finishing up the presents, Bruce calls me upstairs--his car battery had died while he was at a local bar and he needed me to go back with him to jumpstart it. So I go over there, jump the car, and was expecting to head back to help Mo out. Nope, Bruce insisted that I stay with him for ONE more drink...sad thing is, I know that its never ONE more in any circumstance! Even if I say ONE more, I know, subconsciously, I'm saying something more like, 5 more...anyway, I digress. So we belly up to the bar and comisserate with some not so savory clientele at this establishment. Por ejemplo, two guys walk into a bar...no this is not a joke...they order their drinks, sit there for about 5 minutes, then a woman with questionable attire and body odor comes in after them. I look away for one second and by the time I look back, the guys are gone, their drinks half finished, and the woman is walking out the door in tow. Hmmm, comprende? Sad thing was that it was Christmas eve and there were actually a few people there, obviously by themselves. The whole time we were there, Bruce was explaining to me how great Mo is and that I should never let her go...he was saying this so much that even the bartender had to step in and say, "I think he knows, you've been telling him that for the past hour now!" Too funny.

riding the gondolaSo eventually I had to call it and said we had to go and we did, suprisingly with no resistance. By the time we made it back, Mo had already finished wrapping the presents and was in bed. Funny thing was that I woke up Christmas morning remembering that I forgot to wrap Mo's present! So I quietly snuck around and (poorly) packaged her gift and put it under the tree. Man, Ethan must have been a good boy this year because that tree was PACKED! Now it was a waiting game. Mo and I sat in bed and she asked, "so do we wait here until we hear Ethan get up and run around all excited?" I replied, "yup." We didn't have to wait long--we heard the pitter patter, ok more like a herd of elephants running upstairs and we knew he'd be bashing in our door in any second. "Uncle Ken and Auntie Mo, get up!" he exclaimed. How could we refuse? Hilarious. So we trudged upstairs and had a little breakfast before we all opened up the presents.

the loof carouselAs the wrapping and bows flew, it was great fun watching Ethan dole out and open up presents...it made me reminisce about back when I used to wait up in bed for Christmas Day to come! Ah, youth. So, one by one, we tried to make our way through the stack of presents--everyone was good this year. Mo got some nice gifts like a watch from Bruce and Emma, a set of recipe cards from the Hyperturtles, and Sims 2 Pets and Electronic Sudoku from me...I had more surprises for her, but we agreed to open up some presents after we got back to Houston. I got some sweet gifts too, like a modern version of the swiss army knife (it has a memory stick!), a checkers game with shot glasses as game pieces, and a really nice knife set from the Hyperturtles! Of course, Ethan was the one who made out like a bandit, the biggest prize being the Gamecube. We knew he'd be playing that pretty much the whole time we were there, which was pretty much the case. Mo and I played occasionally with him, but we were no match for his superior gaming prowess...at least I wasn't. I was able to beat him a couple times at Naruto, but that was it!

the goof carouselAfter Christmas day it was pretty quiet for us. No hanging out at bars, no going to parties...it was so different for me this year. We just went for our morning coffee walks and occasionally drove out somewhere for some old fashion fun. One day we drove over to Riverfront Park just to get out of the house. I told her about my younger days and how one of my first jobs was working at the park and working the carrousel. So of course we had to ride the carrousel! But first we rode the gondola. It was a bit cold and damp, but it was still a great view of the falls! We went straight to the carrousel and got on our horses the first chance we could! We had agreed prior that I would go for the rings while she took the pictures. I was able to get the ring on every pass, but no gold one for me. Finally, to round out our Riverfront Park experience, we went over to the pavillion. She tried to hoodwink me into ice skating with her, but I resisted and made a deal that I would go skating with her at the Galleria. What was I thinking?!? Anyway, in substitution, we matched skills at putt-putt golf instead. It was a below-par (hah!) course from my experience, but still we had fun.

Mo and the feastThe next day, again to mix things up, we went over to Fairchild AFB to get some exercise in. It wouldn't be anything too vigorous, but something to get my joints moving again. We played some basketball and I went for a short run afterwards with intermittent pullups. In an effort to get the whole family out of the house, we went bowling over at Lincoln Heights. That was tons of fun! Bruce was coming off his victory over us at Monopoly the night before and apparently was still on fire--he won both games with me being 2nd both times. I was pretty rusty, but so was everyone else. Still, good times. We then wrapped up our visit with a huge pre-New Years dinner! Man, I KNOW I gained at least 10 pounds! Danny came over afterwards to have what was left over, which was a lot since there was no way all that food was going to fit in our stomachs, and then he took us over to his house to bring in the New Year. He was also our ride to the airport the next day, so we just spent the night at his compound in the Hangman Valley. I couldn't believe how huge his cats, Jewel (for former Mayor Juliani) and Ty (for former ND coach Ty Willingham), have become! So we spent a quiet night in and had some champagne and turned in pretty much at 12:01am...


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