Parking the Car, and Other Puerto Rican Adventures

Our third child arrived in December. By the time she was five months old we had already taken the enlarged family on a couple of trips, but those ventures were to introduce the new daughter to relatives. While we did earn some stripes taking three young children on a plane, trips to visit relatives only technically count as “travelling with the kids”. Once you arrive, someone else wants to hold the baby or play with the kids or feed all of you. It’s an easy life. Continue reading “Parking the Car, and Other Puerto Rican Adventures”


A Weekend at Sleeping Bear Dunes

The college girls came bouncing past us in their bikinis. Itsy-bitsy, teenie-weenie, and polka-dotted. I was propped up against one of the only trees large enough to create any appreciable shade. I didn’t have the energy to ogle the polka-dots. I sighed and dragged myself to my feet Continue reading “Sandy”

Going Dutch

Tourists considering the Netherlands for a vacation probably envision a smooth lager at an Amsterdam cafe table, one snuggled between a tulip vendor and a canal. That is entirely appropriate; the country’s most famous son, Vincent Van Gogh, painted pictures of flowers and cafes. One look at “Cafe Terrace at Night” will make any sane person want to order up a carafe and a cheese plate. A vacation in the Netherlands based on Van Gogh’s work would be very pleasant indeed (if also impossible; many of his paintings were done while he lived in France). But that vacation would be missing the Dutchest experience I had while I was there, because Van Gogh never painted a picture of an exhausted family on bicycles pedaling furiously through the dark and the rain, fueled on by a lunch of fried horse meat. Continue reading “Going Dutch”

Getcher Zen On

A strict hierarchy governs the list of objects that can hold our childrens’ attention. Any body of water ranks high. Drilling down a little, moving water trumps standing water. Knowing this, I directed them towards the little waterfall. They’ll be playing there for hours, I presumed with a confident smirk. But as they approached the waterfall an enormous koi swam by in the pond, torpedoing my presumption. Continue reading “Getcher Zen On”