Category Archives: Vacation

Camping Again

Memorial Day CampingMemorial Day Camping

Over Memorial Day weekend we went camping. The last time Abby and I went camping was nine years ago. Kids and dogs will do that to you.

A group from our church goes camping together every Memorial Day weekend, so it was a great way to get back into it and introduce the kids to the experience of camping (and introduce us to the experience of camping with kids). Not only did we have friends to distract the children but we were only an hour away from home if anything (weather, bugs, children…) made the trip unbearable enough to pack it in.

We planned on staying Saturday through Monday but left on Sunday night, more to preserve sanity than from actually losing it. Milo didn’t go to sleep until 11 on Saturday night and was up by 5, so he was running on fumes. We opted to end on a high note.

The weekend was a blast. We didn’t do much of anything, but we had fun doing it. With everything that’s been going on we needed a vacation. Which is a bit sad, because we can’t do something like that without thinking about what could have been.

We were also able to introduce Lexi and Milo to smores. Milo loved them. Lexi just wanted to eat uncooked marshmallows. Throwing stuff into the river was a prime attraction. Milo enjoyed trying to jump over tent stakes. Lexi loved playing with the big boys (there were half a dozen teenage guys on the trip; the closest in age to Lexi was 10). Lexi was mad on the way home because she wanted to go camping for four days, not two. Back at home on Sunday night when we put Milo to bed he asked if he could sleep in a tent again.

Lexi also declared that rule #3 of camping is you get up really early so you can sing and dance in the sun: ‘La la la!’

I guess we’ll have to go camping again to hear the first two rules.

California New Year

I just got back from a whirlwind trip to California to cover the Foursquare NextGen Summit ’07.

I got out to Anaheim about 12 hours late thanks to the vomit-thing the rest of my family succumbed to. Thankfully my bout with it was the shortest and about 15 hours after I stopped throwing up I was able to jump on a plane. Not the smartest thing I’ve ever done, but a job’s a job and it all worked out in the end. (Plus my new flight meant running into Josh and Steph at the airport–well, I didn’t actually run into them, more like caught up with them in security since they were slowed by dog and child and I skipped ahead in line thanks to flying first class–another bonus to buying a ticket hours before you go when all the coach seats are soldout.)

Continue reading California New Year

Christmas 2007

Yesterday we returned to a snowy St. Paul and finished up Christmas 2007. We had three Christmases and one birthday party in three days. Whew. I also managed to take 381 photos, which I’m slowly trying to get online.

Maybe it’s the multiple Christmases (you can add a fourth Christmas when you include the one we had with my family in Thanksgiving), or the traveling and not being at my own house, or maybe it’s just the fact that I’m an adult now, but Christmas never quite seems as magical as it did when I was a kid.

Thankful to be Home

Hendricks Family Take 5700 miles, 12 hours, 4 podcasts, 2 half-listened-to audio books, a lot of U2 and one puking incident. It’s been a long day, but we’re finally back in the Twin Cities after three days in Kansas (and two on the road). Lexi did great, except for the whole not sleeping well Saturday night and throwing up on the ride home. But what parent hasn’t had to clean vomit out of a car seat? I remember throwing up myself in a car seat in our old Ford pickup and my dad having to clean it up. What goes around comes around, so to speak.

It’s no secret that I love going to Kansas, and this trip was no different. We were able to spend a lot of time with family. My immediate family–my parents, my brother and his wife and daughter and my wife and daughter–were all together for the first time since my niece, Charlotte, was born. The girls had a blast together and when Lexi woke up on Friday and my brother and company had taken off, the first thing Lexi said was “Charlotte?” It took a few hours to convince her that Charlotte and Uncle Rick and Aunt Limor had gone home. And then to convince her that they had gone to their own house, and not our house.

Continue reading Thankful to be Home

No Place Like Kansas

After a delayed flight, Lexi and I returned from our daddy-daughter weekend in Kansas the other night. She slept most of the flight down and mostly entertained herself on the flight back (to the point that I could sit next to her and read a book without constant interruptions), so my worst fears weren’t realized.

Though sitting in the airport before we left was interesting. She insisted on pushing her stroller around the waiting area. Then a guy wanted to sit down and moved her teddy bear, Pinky. Lexi took interest and noticed the guy’s bag of chips. She asked for one, the guy looked to me to make sure it was OK, and then pointed the bag to Lexi. Sucker.

She ended up eating the rest of the bag (after one melt down when I dragged her away to change her diaper and another near melt down when I was going to insist she eat fruit snacks but the chip guy couldn’t handle the melt down and insisted I let her have the chips. I gave in, mainly wanting to keep Lexi in a happy mood for the flight, but also for the sake of the chip guy who wouldn’t understand that I was trying to teach Lexi that she can’t always have what she wants and that you shouldn’t eat an entire bag of a strangers’ chips. And more importantly, the chip guy wasn’t prepared to put up with her melt down in order to teach her those concepts. That’s my job, which I prefer not to inflict on strangers if I don’t have to.

Continue reading No Place Like Kansas

Off to Raymond, Kansas

Well, I’m off to the see the wizard. Lexi and I are flying to Kansas tonight to spend the Labor Day weekend with my parents and take in the 10th annual Raymond Labor Day Parade. Raymond is a town of less than 100 people and I’m supposedly related to half of them. The parade increases the population exponentially, so it’ll be quite a show.

Plus I designed the T-shirts the town is selling for the weekend, so I’m eager to see how that turns out (I really pushed for them to have T-shirts, it being the 10th annual parade and all, so I really hope they sell out).

The only part of this daddy-daughter weekend I’m not looking forward to is the part where it’s just daddy and daughter on a plane for two hours. That could be all kinds of interesting.

My 2005 in Cities

If Jason Kottke is doing it, why can’t I? Here’s my 2005 in cities (one or more nights spent in each city, cities marked with an * were visited multiple times in non-consecutive days):

St. Paul, Minn.*
Los Angeles*
San Diego
Wilmar, Minn.
Cleveland, Ohio
Mason, Wisc.
Green Bay, Wisc.*
Great Bend, Kans.

Not nearly as exciting as you might think. (Can you tell I’m sitting around with the laptop tonight? Sheesh)

Back in L.A.

I’m still recovering from my trip to L.A., more so in getting back to speed at home than anything else. It was a good trip, a quick but productive meeting and a chance to relax a little bit and hang out with some friends. Though I didn’t have much sightseeing planned, I did get to visit Manhattan Beach before my flight left. It was foggy and a little cold, but it was still the ocean. Somehow seeing something, even if it meant leaving by 6 a.m. to avoid most of the traffic, made the short trip a little more normal.

The other shot is the view from Brad’s office, the guy I work with in L.A. That’s the Foursquare Angelus Temple with the big dome in the foreground and downtown Los Angeles in the background. Nice view, huh? I can see a playground from my window, if I lean back.

Los Angeles/San Diego 2005

Ah, home sweet home. Abby and I returned home from our trip to California just as the sun was rising this morning. We took a red eye flight home, which logistically worked out pretty well, though productivity wise I’m not sure it was any better than flying back today.

We flew out Wednesday night and I had business meetings on Thursday and Friday with Foursquare and Personality. Saturday morning we drove down to San Diego for the weekend and came back late Sunday night to catch our flight.

Los Angeles was sunny and warm, and aside from the business meetings, we had dinner with my cousin and his family, had dinner with the Personality crew (where I met someone who works on the Simpsons–watch for a blog entry about that), and had some good conversations.

Saturday morning we took off for San Diego and spent most of Saturday at Sea World. I don’t know if I was that impressed. I could better appreciate the massive manatees and buluga whale swimming in a semi-natural habitat than I could the orcas and dolphins jumping and doing tricks. I think I’m more of a natural guy that way. My favorite part of Sea World was probably the Pets Rule! show. Seems dumb to be impressed at pet tricks when you can see a 9,000-lbs. whale fly out of the water, but I know Shamu can jump. I didn’t know a cat could be trained to walk a tightrope (or do much of anything for that matter).

After Sea World we headed to the beach where I kicked off my sandals and stuck my toes and eventually ankles into the cold water of the Pacific Ocean, something I was too cool to do as a teenager the only other time I was within sight of the ocean some ten years ago.

On Sunday we went to the San Diego Zoo for the usual assortment of thrilling animals, including elephants, hippos, giraffes (one of which was named Abby!), a rhino and lots of monkeys. Even though the Minnesota and Como Zoos have a lot of the same animals (and I’d say Como has one of the best primate houses), I still love seeing them. There are so many weird and funky animals. Diversity is cool. The saddest thing was seeing a number of animals that are extinct in the wild.

Of course one of the best animals was a capibera, the world’s largest rodent and namesake of our dog, Speak. Speak was named after the Tick’s dog, who wasn’t really a dog, he was a capibera. And of course, the San Diego Zoo had plenty of opportunity to exclaim, Monkey outta nowhere!

Sadly, I don’t have too many pictures yet (perhaps Abby will post more). Our digital camera quickly ran out of space and batteries, and my old school film will take some time to develop. A little more preparation would have served us better, but I’ve yet to fully experience the improvement to vacation photography that is a digital camera. I appreciate it all right (I didn’t even want to bring my film camera), I just haven’t been fully prepared for it. I blame it on the fact that the camera is my wife’s.

That’s the quickie recap, mainly because I wanted to say a few things about the trip, but don’t have the time to go much more in-depth. Besides, I’m hungry and it’s already 7:30.

Cross-country flying lessons:

  1. Buffy the Vampire Slayer DVDs are a great way to pass those 4-hour flights.
  2. Luggage “irregularities” are standard procedure. Northwest misplaced my luggage, forcing me to wear jeans to a business meeting, and they treated the entire thing like business as usual. I’m still waiting for a response to my complaint, though I’m not expecting much. All I really want is an apology, which they didn’t even bother to offer in the first place.