Vaction Observations…

I was thinking about some things upon our return.  Here are some things I learned or observed over vacation.

1.  Your feet are attached to your body.  Please remember to put suntan lotion on them, or they will burn and burn very badly.

2.  To my surprise, I have been wrong all these years.  It is not called a grilled cheese sandwich.  It is called a girl cheese sandwich.  I also found out that my little girl will only eat girl cheese sandwiches.  She hates boy cheese sandwiches.

3.  Do not let your child EVER order Superman ice cream.  They will not like it and you will end up eating a $3 scoop of ice cream that you will not like either.  Sorry, Jason.

4.  Ok, I am getting on a soapbox.  Smokers, the world is not your ashtray.  Especially the ocean.  Please do not smoke in the ocean and then flick your cigarette butt into the ocean or on the beach.  Not cool at all.

5.  The Cafe on the Beach, at Manatee County Beach, hands down, has the best corn dogs I have ever had.  I miss eating them already.

6.  If you are from a foreign country, say Sweden, we have clothing etiquette on the beach.  It is TOTALLY INAPPROPRIATE to let your 8 year old little girl run around without her top on.  They may be acceptable in your country, but not in ours.  When in America, follow our lead, please!!

These are just a few of the things I thought of.  I may post a few more later.  Can’t let them all out of the bag, yet.


Vacation recap…

Well, the Griswolds, I mean Tarapchaks, are back from vacation!!  Let’s see, what comes to mind.  Ah, yes, National Lampoon’s Vacation Part II.  Yes, it was an eventful vacation.  Let me give you a daily highlight list:

Day 1:  We were not in Florida for two hours and I tangled the rental mini van up with a fire hydrant.  The fire hydrant won by inflicting major damage to the driver’s side door.

Day 2:  If you are ever on Anna Maria Island and are traveling the back roads of said Island looking for a seafood restaurant, remember to obey all posted speed limits.  The police will pull you over and ticket you for speeding.

Day 3:  We were across the street visiting some neighbors, when Carley took a tumble off of something over at the house we were staying at.  In my haste to run over to help her, I ran through some wet grass.  When I hit the driveway, I literally hit the driveway.  My wet shoes slipped on the driveway and I went down faster then the Titanic.  At least my elbow broke my fall.  Not damage done, but a sore elbow for a few days.

Let’s see, the score is Vacation 3, Stef 0…

Day 4:  Finally, a day nothing happened to me.  Unfortunately, Carley was not so lucky today.  She took a tumble off the back of the golf cart and scraped herself up pretty good.

Day 5:  There is a major interchange of I-75 and Route 301 about a mile from where we were staying.  Today, an unfortunate accident occurred.  A tanker truck hauling fuel was run off the I-75 bridge and fell to Route 301 below.  The tanker exploded and caused major damage to the bridge above and the bridge is being shut down for weeks as it is being torn down and rebuilt.  You can read the story here.

Day 6-8:  Uneventful, thank heavens.  The only issues we had were caused by the above accident.  It caused our travel times to triple in getting anywhere.

So, we are back.  In spite of the items above, we did enjoy the beach everyday and some good restaurants.  We had a good time with the kids and, let’s face it, we made some memories for sure!! 

Outta here…

Well, we are vacationing early this year, due to my scheduled surgery in mid June. We usually head off to Myrtle Beach, but we are heading to Florida this year. In preparing for our trip, I thought that I would check online for some travel tips and how to prepare a good travel route. Well, I found a great one, compliments of Clark W. Griswold…

PS- I am taking half the fun out of our trip. We are flying….

I will be “unplugged” for a week. See you on the flip side!!

Disney Day 1 & 2…

So, we made it to Orlando!! The kids traveled just about perfectly!! YEAH!!!! The kids really enjoyed the plane ride and it was about 20 minutes shorter than planned. I guess you fly faster when you fly south (that was a joke…). Anyway, we got into our condo and it ROCKS!!! Way too nice for the Tarapchaks, but I think we will manage.

Today was our first day in the parks. Magic Kingdom was the destination of choice and it was all that I hoped it would be for my family. Here is what we hit today, in no particular order:

It’s a Small World

Peter Pan’s Flight


Mickey’s PhilharMagic

Dumbo the Flying Elephant


Ariel’s Grotto

Tomorrowland Transit Authority

Stich’s Great Escape

Monster’s, Inc. Laugh Floor

The bold/italic attractions above were my favorites of the day. Sorry, tear moment here for me. For a dad with who knows how much time left, to be able to take his daughter on Dumbo the Flying Elephant and hear her laugh so much… That small amount of time with her in that ride is a highlight of my life!

Anyway, here is a video of days one and two. DISCLAIMER: either the internet connection here is VERY slow, or YouTube is bugging out, or whatever, this video may take a little time to download. Just a warning.

Stef, you were just diagnosed with cancer…

disney.jpg…what are you going to do? I am going to Disney World!!!!

Yep, through the blessing of God and some very dear friends, we have the opportunity to go to Disney. We leave tomorrow and will be down there through the week. I plan on doing some blogging while we are there, so I will NOT be unplugging from the matrix this week.

We are blessed and excited. The kids, well, the boys, at least, are very excited. I think they are more excited about the plane ride than anything else.

So, we will give you some updates as the Tarapchaks take on Disney!!

Kid-isms from vacation…

img_8724.jpgOK, we learned a few things on vacation. I think these are my top two..

From J: He was impressed that the condo door and the outside scream door were the same color (did you catch that). He said the outside SCREAM door. Then he goes on to ask why they are called scream doors when they don’t really scream. Silly Dad, thinking all my life that they were screen doors. What was I thinking.

From Derek: He is smart and knows the proper names for his anatomy. However, on vacation, his brain took a little vacation as well. I am not sure how he got on the subject, but for all of you who thought that the “dots on your chest” were called nipples, you were wrong. They are actually called nimples. Just so you know.

Oh, I almost forgot, Derek thinks J is a petalogical liar as well… That was a new one on me!

Ahh, that was refreshing…

img_8727.jpgWell, we survived another vacation. It was a fantastic, do nothing vacation. We were beach and pool bums for the week and we loved every minute of it. The kids are serious beach bums and loved riding some waves, building some sand sculptures, and just being kids.

We saw some really cool things, such as snails and dolphins. Once we found the first snail, whose shell was about three inches long, the hunt was on. Derek found five over the course of the last two days we were there. Seeing the dolphins was a great treat. There was about six of them about three hundred yards from shore. It was really cool to see them move across the water. The kids really liked seeing some of these animals/fish/whatever in their natural habitats, especially Derek, who is a huge fan of bugs and snakes. The snails were right up his alley.

I really enjoyed re-connecting with my kids. Life gets in the way of life and I hate that, so it was good to spend some one-on-one time with them. Derek and I spent some time boarding and playing paddle ball. J and I spent some time jumping waves and building a sand volcano. Carley warmed up to the beach after a few days. We found out that she is more of a pool gal. Sandi got her to jump off the side of the pool and that was one of her favorite activities.

So, we are back and I am ready to plug back in and get some posting done. I will have some pics up soon, but I am having a little trouble with my ftp site. So stay tuned for some pics and I am happy to be back!!