AndyO Blog

Monday, June 22, 2009

Summer vacation - Day 2 - 6/22 - Monday

This entry is about my second day at Lake Chelan. You can read the first entry here.

Like many mornings I've spent at Campbell's, this one started with breakfast in the Bistro restaurant. Cameron was excited about eating their biscuits and gravy (he's turned into a connoisseur of sorts). I ordered Drew the Apple Oat Cakes (just about the best pancakes I've ever tasted), and I ordered the meat lover's omelet. Brenda also joined us for breakfast, which was nice. But then Drew decided he didn't want anyone to cut his pancakes (after we'd cut them up) -- and all hell broke loose. Oh well.

Hot tub politics

The weather had turned cloudy and cold, so when the boys and I got back to the room we went in the hot tub instead of the pool. When I got out, I ended up talking to an older woman who told me her life story.

She survived World War II by moving around Austria with her parents, and in the Fifties emigrated to the U.S. She talked about how hard her parents had worked and contrasted that to today, where she saw a lot of lazy Americans who didn't want to work. She also said she didn't like President Obama apologizing on foreign soil, as she thought America had made many sacrifices and didn't need to apologize.

I told her I agreed that America had made a lot of sacrifices (especially during the early 20th Century). But I thought America's policies after World War II with regard to Communism and globalization were not always helpful to our global neighbors -- and often interfered. Case in point: Iran.

(I guess I should point out that I don't always find myself talking about history and politics at the hot tub.)

Shopping

Another vacation pastime that the boys and I share is shopping on the Chelan strip. Typically we go out and buy all kinds of useless stuff, but this time we had several clear objectives:

Drew wanted flip-flops (because his brother had them), which we picked up from a clothing store.

Cameron wanted a small radio, which we picked up from Radio Shack. (Usually we ended up buying some cheap remote control car or airplane which breaks in about 5 minutes; but there was a moratorium on all remote controlled toys for the summer.)

Then we walked to Riverwalk Books, and we bought a bunch of fun toys and items, including one called Ball of Whacks. The Ball of Whacks has 30 magnetic pyramid pieces that can be assembled into a rhombic triacontahedron -- or split into many other shapes, like stars. I watched Drew, my four-year-old, play with it for hours. He'd take it apart and then put it back together, over and over.

I also bought Common Errors in English Usage, a fascinating book by WSU professor Paul Brians about words that cause problems in the English language. For example, when should you use farther vs. further -- or immigrate vs. emigrate? For some reason I find this stuff interesting. If you do too, check out Paul Brians' website.

Seeing old friends and meeting new ones

When we got back to the room, we saw some kids who are always at Campbell's when we are, Camille (9) and Taylor (15). Camille and Cam have been playing since they were 3 or 4 years old, and there are some pictures I've taken of them where they look they could be cousins (weird). 

From L to R: Cam, Camille, Drew

A motley bunch: Cameron, Camille, and Drew

Also that afternoon, Cameron ran around with another boy he'd met earlier when we were in the hot tub. They went kayaking and swimming together -- the first time Cameron has gone off by himself at Lake Chelan. 

One of the best burgers of all time

Later, when Brenda was back from her conference and Drew was having a meltdown, I took Cameron up to the Veranda restaurant for a late dinner.

Cameron wasn't hungry, but I ordered the Hawaiian Kai Burger and Clam Chowder. I didn't know exactly what to expect, but the teriyaki and roasted pineapple hot sauce on that burger made my taste buds very happy.

When I returned to the room, I told Brenda the burger was one of the best I'd ever had. I knew I'd have a hard time resisting ordering that burger again.

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posted by AndyO @ 12:40 AM   0 comments links to this post

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Summer vacation - Day 1 (Sunday)

Today, we drove to Lake Chelan for a work conference for Brenda. We've been taking this trip now for 9 years. While she's busy with the conference from Sunday through Wednesday, the boys and I sit around, go swimming, eat, and watch movies. The temperature at Lake Chelan is usually somewhere in the 90s.

Once we arrived at Campbells, where we were staying (and the temperature was hovering in the 60s!), Brenda ran out to her conference. We had a room on the ground floor, which faces the lake. As I was putting clothes away, Cameron and Drew ran around like two kids who had been cooped up in the car for three hours.

Cameron started talking about going swimming over and over until I told him to stop. Drew wanted to go out to the lake. Eventually, I told them to go out to the beach. Instead of playing in the sand and dipping their feet in the water, they decided to wade into the water in their clothes. 

After this, and some additional bad behavior, I realized I needed a new plan: I devised a point system on paper. I told them if each of them reached 20 points -- or 30 points combined -- we were going home.

Then I told them we needed to go to dinner.

"I don't want to go to dinner!" Cameron said.

"One point!" I said.

Once they dressed in dry clothes, we started walking to the restaurant upstairs. Cameron and Drew ran in the hallway.

"One point each!" I said, and they stopped running.

By the time we got to the Veranda Restaurant at Campbell's, they both had 5 points. I knew at this rate, we'd be leaving in an hour. Fortunately, their behavior improved.

The menu at Campbell's is always great. I told myself I'd order something different every time I ate at the restaurant. For this meal, it was the fish and chips by George! I also ordered the Hawaiian Steak Bites appetizer, which Cameron also enjoyed.

We went back to the room at 8:00 p.m., and Cameron wanted to rent Hotel for Dogs, which I was happy to pay for. Unfortunately, I had to work during this time to finish some things I didn't have time to do before I left.

I turned out my light at midnight.

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posted by AndyO @ 6:17 PM   0 comments links to this post