the last place you’d expect to find him

So where were we?

After the farmer’s market, we went home for some lunch. (See: goat cheese and peach jalapeno jam on fresh baguette and Oh my God I’ve found Nirvana.) After lunch, Brooke really just wanted to hang out at the house, so Luau and Papa kept her company while Katie and I headed back into town on a mission to find a gift for her friend.

I was still snap happy, so I took some more pictures. Like this one …

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{photos of …  beach flags for sale in front of the vintage shop}

and this one …


{a hobo bag created from reclaimed canvas} 

and this one …

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{an array of colors and textures at the vintage shop}

and this one …


{various and sundry items at the same shop including a glass bowl filled with beads described on its tag as, “A jar of really cool beads.”}

Katie and I decided we wanted to live there. The owners didn’t seem to mind. After ogling their wares (including the coolest navy blue acoustic electric guitar that had Katie droooooooling) for far longer than was socially acceptable, we hit the Bubble Tea shop. After testing EVERY flavor that they had on offer (no, seriously, EVERY one), Katie went with black tea. Three sips in, we both decided we’d stick to our usual coconut next time. They can’t all be winners, folks.

Nasty arse bubble tea in hand, we headed for home. We got there just in time for a dip in the neighbor’s pool. Which went something like this …


{Luau and the girls in midair as they jump into the pool}

And then we headed home for some downtime before the main event.

During the week, my dad had told me that he wanted to take the girls to a local amusement park. I have a confession. I was shocked. My kids love rides. But my dad? Well, let’s just say that an amusement park is not a place you’d expect to find him. Ever. Like EVER. He hates crowds and he abhors carnival rides. He put the fear of God into me about them when I was a kid. And when I was an adult. And now.

The carnies don’t maintain the rides, Jessie. 

Look at that guy over there with the cigarette hanging out of his mouth. You think he gives a sh-t?

All it takes is one cable to snap and you’re done.

When I say this is not a man you’d expect to see at an amusement park, I ain’t kiddin.

But I mentioned one day when we drove past a fair early in the Summer how much my girls love rides. And games. And cotton candy. And everything fair-related. So wouldn’t you know it, we were heading to Adventure Land.

We started with some measuring. Brooke is now less than 2″ shorter than me. And yes, that means that I would be well below the top of Alfie the Adventurer’s ruler too.


{Katie measuring Brooke on the Adventure Land “you must be this tall” ruler. For reference, Katie and I are the exact same height.}

And then they were off in search of their first ride.


{Katie giving Brooke a piggy back ride through the park}

They decided to warm up with the little kid flume, aptly named the Little Dipper.


{Katie hamming it up for the crowd on the Little Dipper, pantomiming a shiver}


{the girls coming down the flume’s little hill in their log}


{Brooke looking completely serene while Katie makes a hilariously dramatic cringe for the camera}

It started to get dark just in time to hit Paris.


{a spontaneous hug beneath a lit replica of the Eiffel Tower was one of the highlights of the night – at least for Mama}

And then out for a drive …


{a really crappy photo of the girls driving around the track in an old fashioned car. See: They can’t all be winners, folks.}

And then to the big kid flume.


{an even crappier photo of the girls on the seriously large flume. It was this or the one with some guy’s head in the foreground. You’re welcome.}

And then there was this, which could be a post unto itself.


{the girls holding hands before a ride begins}

Yup. They’re up there.


{the ride in motion}

And then there was this. My dad and I stood together watching Brooke jump. It was impossible not to smile. Seriously. Impossible. She was scripting Annie the whole time. My favorite part was when she shouted, “You’ll stay up till this dump shines like the top of the Chrysler Building!” from above our heads. Good stuff, that.


{Brooke on the bungee assisted trampoline jump}

For the record, Katie jumped too and was, of course, equally entertaining to watch, but unfortunately there was a huge floodlight right behind her head and none of the pictures came out. So here’s a random, unrelated picture of Katie. Pretend she’s jumping.


{Katie in the car on the way to Adventure Land. Or, if you have a really good imagination, jumping. Wheeeee!}

Not long after that, we pretty much became a walking yard sale. It wasn’t pretty. Mistakes were made. (By me.) Meltdowns happened. We don’t need to (and won’t) talk about that part. Except to reiterate what I wrote on Facebook when I woke up Sunday morning …

Me to my dad in the car last night as we drive home from the local amusement park where we’d apparently stayed just one ride too long (or maybe two, okay probably three), pushing Brooke over the edge into a really bad place thus prompting her sister to go into a full-throttle fourteen year-old snit:

Thank you for everything tonight, Pop. Until it all went to hell, it really was a lot of fun.


Meh, so we melted down a little bit. It happens. It really was fun, wasn’t it?

That. Right there. That’s how you Grandpa.


5 thoughts on “the last place you’d expect to find him

  1. Sounds like fun was had by all. Those who did and those who observed. As an observer, these days, I can relate.

    Love you,

  2. Cutting out early is the hardest lesson to learn – we are getting better at it. We had a successful county fair visit last night and only brushed the edges of a meltdown when we said it was time to go.

  3. I always think of that Seinfeld episode where George starts going out on a high note – figure that out and I am an autism mom ninja!

  4. Sounds like a fun night, other than the meltdowns. But carnivals, amusement parks, and things like that are way overstimulating- so better to have fun and melt down than never have fun at all? (or something like that, my non-neurotypical mind hates sayings lol.)

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