I have become THAT Mom

We have been celebrating a bit LOT in the Tourist household this past week!  It seems that if you say YES more than you say NO, the possibilities become vast.

This time last year, my eldest kiddo GeneticOffspring (GO) registered for High School and said he was going to take bigger risks and try new things. I encouraged that frame of mind. It was working for me so why wouldn’t it work for everyone? GO is a was a very shy person who was afraid of what if’s. That seems to be an epidemic. The worry of What If. He entered High School with the intention of joining new clubs, speaking to new people and best of all trying new things.

How did that work out for him? Well, grade 10 was filled with new friends, higher marks, extra curricular activities, and laughter. All of these outcomes were a result of saying YES! Because his attitude and hard work became visible to teachers who run the extra curricular clubs, GO was invited to join the Grade 11 and 12 Concert Band and Improve Team to travel to California to represent Canada in a band competition. Since he was already on the Improve team, Band, Jazz Band and is a nice kid, the selection was made easier for the teachers. He was given a new instrument to learn (E flat alto clarinet, not that big of a change from B flat but big enough that we needed to google E flat alto clarinet fingering ) and new music to play. He had 3 days to learn before his first performance. Knowing him the way I do, this was a HUGE step of YES and I knew he was shaking inside.

The highlight of the trip for him is performing IN DISNEYLAND. We all know how I feel about Disneyland. Well, I passed that gene on to my kiddos. He says he can’t wrap his head around sitting in the Plaza Gardens beside the Castle, overlooking Walt and Mick (the Partners Statue in the center of the Hub). He has been practising for hours. He has learned that with practice and hard work you are better. Better at music, better at understanding the reasons behind hard work and most importantly, better at being an authentic self.

While he practices, we get to enjoy the musical stylings of the Alto Clarinet while it plays the Muppet Show Theme song, The Disneyland Medley and and a bunch of other fantastic musical numbers that have my toes tapping.

Alto clarinet
Image via Wikipedia

Occasionally I yell out “TEMPO” and the Tempo returns and the music is once again easily recognized.

This is SUCH a proud moment for our family, it was decided that we must pack up and fly to Disneyland to listen to MY Offspring play Disney music IN Disneyland! How could I not? I am going to film it. We booked the flights and the hotel. Plan to be there for just the weekend. We shared this wonderful news with GO and as you can imagine it went over like a led balloon…

The look of horror on his face said it all. The first thing out of my mouth was “you won’t know we are there. We are staying far from you. If you see us on Main Street, I won’t look at you. If you want to approach us then you must come to us”. He seems a little better about that. I understand, I really do. His first trip alone and his mommy is coming. First of all I WISH! They get to go to Disney Studios! I promised I would pay for the trip only if (he thought I was going to say only if he paid for half the ticket, but NO) took a lot of pictures of the studio! I WANNA GO! He was surprised and thankful to hear that!

The truth of the matter is, it didn’t occur to me that I should fly down that weekend to watch GO play, I was thinking how cheap it would be to travel without him! I could think of a million things we could do without him complaining. We wouldn’t have to go to the Lego Store! I asked ChatterBox where she wanted to go and she said to see the Stars on Hollywood Blvd. Cool! I’d love to do that! We could go to El Capitain Theatre, I have always wanted to do that and see the Chinese Theatre, then go eat at Disney’s Soda Shop!

So for all intense purposes I am THAT Mom, the one who can’t wait to get rid of her kid so I can go play. Only you and I know differently…and so will GO after we return home and he sees the stalker concert footage filmed by a proud mama.

All I need is a Beverage with an Umbrella Perched on the Side

Shades of blue
Image via Wikipedia

This afternoon I laid out on my lounger in my backyard. I think it was the last really nice day before my vacation is over for another summer. I leaned back with my hands crossed behind my head, ankles crossed and just relaxed looking at the light blue sky above me. That is when I saw it. An airplane flew across the perfect blue sky leaving a contrail, marking up the perfect view. When I see an airplane I often think about who is in them and where are they going or where did they come from. My husband knows by the direction where the flight is likely headed – Fort McMurray would be his answer. Fort McMurray? Land of the Oil Sands? How unimaginative, boring, disappointing, and disenchanting. All that answer does is thwart my imagination and bring a frown upon my face. But, he wasn’t there to give me the smarty pants answer. So I speculated the aircraft came from London, England. Filled with travelers who had a marvelous time punting on the Thames, having tea parties on the ceiling, dancing on the roof tops of London, or even visiting Admiral Boom’s home for 3:00pm. I want to do that. Yes I want to hang out with Mary Poppins, but I also want to back to London.

I’ve said before that I love to travel. The only thing almost a great as visiting a place is reading about it. So looking at that blue sky, it made me want to make a list of place I want to go with and without the children.

1) Europe – on the continent. I was there when I was 10, turning 11. At the time it was a great vacation with family. Looking back, I cannot believe what I saw! I want to share that with my children. I will, it is happening this year.

2)Mediterranean Cruise – No Children. I have never been on vacation without them. mostly because I believe in the family first/always prescription. Vacations are the best time to hangout with your kids and laugh, have fun in a different setting. Sharing unusual things is a treat and an honor. But The time has come, I need a vacation FROM my kids. I don’t think that is selfish, I think it is long over due. I need a re-charge. I want to visit Greece and Italy from the shores. I want this BAD.

3)Alaska – I went on a solo trip before my family came along as a find myself/escape from reality type of trip. I saw amazing things. A Kodiak Bear fishing on the shore, humpback whales swimming along side the ship, dolphins playing in the wake of the boat, Bald Eagles flying over head, and puffins sitting in the sun. I want to share this with my children. The Disney Wonder Sails out of Vancouver next year. Vancouver is driving distance from my house….Honey…you reading this today?

4)The Grand Canyon. Ever since the Brady’s went on the Brady Bunch, I wanted to go. Maybe I will run into Peter Brady and…. wait…. I will save that private moment for later.

5)The Redwood Forest – I remember driving through it as a kid. I was 6 and we were on the way to Disneyland. The sights and sounds of the Redwoods are still a very strong memory. Including the time my dad and uncle nearly burned DOWN the forest at a KOA campground – but that is a story for a different blog.We stopped at the Paul Bunyan, Babe the Blue Ox and the Trees of Mystery – California. It was a roadside attraction and is still there according to waymarking.com

http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM3GBB

6)How fun would it be to have just a road trip of sideshows? Largest ball of yarn, The Last Supper Sand Sculptures, or just drive and see giant fruit. What a fun picture collection that would be!

http://www.roadsideamerica.com/

7 ) Laying on a Tropical Beach. I don’t care which one, I just need a drink with an umbrella in it, white sand and blue/green ocean. I would prefer it without kids, but with the right beverage in hand, I likely would no longer care if they came. They are old enough to entertain themselves!Or better yet, bring the grandparents! They hate laying on the beach and would plan a ton of sight-seeing stuff and would bring the kids.. .one better, My Honey hates sitting still!  He would go too!!!  Oh I am liking this trip better by the second. Me+beverage+umbrella+sun+sand+quite=heaven

8 ) The Canadian Maritimes – in the fall. I want to see were my Great Gram came from, Souris PEI. I want to see the red sand of PEI. I want to see an Iceberg floating past the shores of Newfoundland. I want to visit Lunenburg for the Tall Ship Festival. I want to stand on the rocks of Peggy’s Cove. I want to see Halifax harbor. I want to share this with my family.

9)New York – ideally I would go with a fabulous gay male friend. That way we could have breakfast at Tiffany’s. Visit Riverside park where Joe Fox told Kathleen Kelly it was him, go to the top of the Empire State building and pretend it was Valentines day. Go to Serendipity and wait for  Jonathan Trager to bring the matching glove. Get our picture taken outside Bergdorf Goodman and pretend to be Carrie. More likely it would be with my husband which would be great too, because he would make me go to Yankee Stadium, and I would drag him to Madison Square Gardens.He would want to go to Museum of Natural History and I would drag him to the MoMA. We BOTH would want to go to F.A.O. Schwartz.

10)The 10th place on my must see travel spots is a 5 stop adventure. But I would make it 6. AND it must be done with my family. Start at Disneyland California, fly to Walt Disney World Florida, fly to Disneyland Paris, Fly to Hong Kong Disneyland,  to Tokyo Disney Resort and end back where it all began in California.

Yes, I know what you are thinking, the amount of money you need is crazy! You need to win a lottery! True, winning the lotto WOULD be the perfect solution. But, the world is supposed to end in 2011. If I get a really big line of credit, start traveling soon, I could conceivably finish my top 10 travel destinations BEFORE the world is obliterated. Then, the world is destroyed and I no longer care about paying back the line.

To be a tourist in my own life, I recognize that I still need to be a tourist in the truest sense because that is what feeds my soul.