July 1st Canada Day

Getting up early, are you mad?

You wouldn’t think there’s much joy in getting up early, especially with kids. They’re like little alarm clocks…

Oh, who are we kidding?

Trucks. Jet engines. Kids waking up. Decibal level of noise in that order.

They’re like garbage trucks right outside your window emptying a bin full of glass, chunks of construction metal and concrete.

Now, it’s not something the kids do out of cruelty, no more than a meteor smashes into a planet does it out or cruelty – They are simply natural disasters with limited awareness of the effect they have on the world around them

Hey, it’s 7am, I think I’ll slam every door in the house closed, then play the drums at a concert hall level, then make a sound like I’m falling down the stairs so you can’t, you know, ignore that.

So why get up early when, for the first time in a long time, you could actually sleep in?

Plus, in a hotel room, it’s 10X harder! First of all, it’s hard to sneak around without anyone waking up. You must have the dexterity of a Cirque du Soleil acrobat and the patience of a bomb disposer.

But I wanted to get the blog done and the only time I could do that is in the early AM.

So, I eased out of bed without making squeaks cuz the Prettiest-Girl-in-the-World has mommy senses (which can detect her child sneezing from a mile away), unplucked the iphone from the charger, had a quick pee without it sounding like Niagara Falls, slipped into my clothes, found my shoes without asking my wife, “hey, where are my shoes?”

Then, I found my wallet without asking my wife, “hey, where’d I put my wallet?” extracted my hotel key from underneath a pile of coins, avoided tripping over the boys’ shoes that I asked them three hundred times to put under their bed, padded towards the door without sneezing as my allergies kicked in and my nose ran like a stream after a rainstorm, then unlocked the lock, pried the door open and shut it without a huge click as loud as a cannon going off.

All so I can write.

But there’s also another reason I got up so early.

The world is a different place at 6am. Crisp. Fresh. And largely free of people.

Is the word a better place without a lot of people? Well, yes, for sure, but more importantly, it’s a lot more peaceful.

A beautiful hanging basket from Victoria.ca

In Victoria, on Canada Day, on this day, it was especially peaceful. The sky was a bright, desert-sky blue. No crowds filled the sidewalks. No cars roared by or honked.

Gulls cried overhead. The odd boat puttered out of the Inner Harbor. The air smelled of the sea, not exhaust fumes and sweaty people who forgotten to put on deodorant. The coffee was freshly made, the baked goods newly delivered and smelling of cinnamon and warm chocolate. I didn’t have to fight anyone to get a seat or wait behind anyone who stared up at the food board and took a freaking year to decide to have a black coffee…

So why wouldn’t you want to experience that?

Why wouldn’t you go for a walk along deserted streets, passing by the hanging flower-baskets dripping after just being watered, stop at a café, sit down and look out at the glistening ocean waves while listening to Bach play on the café speakers and think, my goodness, isn’t the world wonderful, my goodness, wouldn’t the world be better without, you know, morons, anger-filled nutjobs, stressed out parents, activists, honkers, clueless idiots who stop their shopping carts in the middle of the aisle and block the entire aisle…

Without,  you know, people?

Cuz that is what the world is like at 6am. At least in Victoria. Today.

A perfect time to write. Because later, who knows what will happen?


A few sites to check out if you’re going to Victoria

https://www.tourismvictoria.com/  A good site for all things touristy.

Trip Advisor – Personally, my go-to site for tourist stuff.

Visit a City – You can plan days (so if you only have 2 days, they have suggestions)

Free Touristy Things – So you don’t have to spend billions.

Top 10 List – that leads to other top 10 lists.



Traveling With Kids – Doubletree Hotel San Diego – 3 Days Left

3 Days Left

Early AM

Damn mommy-hearing.

IMG_2233The Prettiest-girl-in-the-world can hear her youngest gurgle in his sleep from three floors down. I suspect, if put to the test, she could hear one of them cough from the lobby four floors down. With fire alarm going off. And a jet overhead.

It’s really remarkable.

I have exactly the opposite ability. I can’t hear what you’re saying if you’re standing beside me. It works well when the boys are shouting at the computer 2’ from me. Die! Die Bunny-spawn. Blam! Blam! It works well if someone wants to get up, go the bathroom then blow dry their hair.

elmer fudd huntingBut mommy-hearing may well be better than dog hearing. So I have to be Elmer Fudd quiet. Like I was huntin’ wabbits.

The boys were great last night, so quiet. This morning, they did their best not to wake us up. Despite that, I was awake at 6. WTF? Even when I can sleep in these days, I can’t. I have no idea why.

In a hotel room that doesn’t have a lot of space, I can’t get up and write, cuz that would have to be in the room where the boys sleep, and I can’t write in bed,  cuz that would wake up the Prettiest-girl-in-the-world.

So I waited, thinking my deep thoughts and a little pissed off I couldn’t go back to sleep.

The boys woke up about 7. I heard the pad-pad-pad-pad of bare feet on the carpet. Flick the light goes on. The light to the bathroom fills our space too. The bathroom door creaks open. The light is turned on, and, with it, the fan. Water streams into the toilet like from a garden hose. Then the toilet is flushed, hands are washed, the light is turned off and pad-pad-pad, back to bed.

It’s not exactly quiet. But I know they’re trying to be quiet.

God bless them.

iphoneIn the end, it’s not the boys who wake up the Prettiest-girl-in-the-world. No, it’s me. I hit the wrong button the iphone and instead of getting readable map directions to the zoo, where we planned to go today, I get verbal ones. At the top volume.


She looks healthier than she did yesterday. She’s still got a cold, but she’s had about 10 hours sleep and that’s gotta help.

Today, it’s the zoo and another attempt to see her mysterious friend, Schmennis. I’m beginning to think it’s an imaginary friend – which would actually explain a lot.

Outside, the weather is wonderful, and the oldest is about to have his first experience navigating. For some reason I don’t entirely understand, the boys can be so well behaved, such little angels, such creatures of goodness and purity one moment, then they get in the car, they turn into the spawn of Satan.

iPhone-4S-GPS-ImprovementWe tried telling them how hard it was to drive and navigate when they made so much noise. Epic fail. We tried bribery. Nope, not working either. We tried tiring them out. We tried threatening to take things away. We tried getting them to do interesting things –  other than poking each other or snapping the stretchie froggie at each other. Yeah, not working either.

So, we thought, why not let the oldest experience the joy of navigating? If we could, we would have given him the joy of driving in freeway traffic, but he’s a bit young. And too short for the seat and pedals.

This will either be a good lesson for him on how difficult it is and why the boys have to be quiet while we try and find places or he’ll be amazingly awesome in which case he’ll be promoted from chief-angry-bird- player-in-the-car to chief-navigator.

I suspect I know which way it’ll go.

It could, however, also end very, very badly for us if we ended up in Tijuana.


A few things I’m curious about. Has anyone had success keeping kids quiet in the car? How did you do it?

Has anyone ever let their kids (ages, say, 7-14) navigate?

And hey, please, if you like the blog, or like the pictures, or like the font, please share with friends, or follow. 🙂