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Journal for 30 April 2009


Today’s highlight: Courses canceled at the Carlson School due to some jackass threatening to shoot up the place. (For me, school’s out for summer.)

Tonight’s highlight: Mathias hugging me, saying “I love you,” and patting me on the back.

Tomorrow’s highlight: Business class on NWA and British Airways.

Sunday’s highlight: India.

Life is interesting.

Posted in Journal at 11:53 pm

BabyLog: Mathias’ Amazing Expanding Vocabulary


I haven’t given a Mathias update in a while, but the past few days definitely call for one. Sometimes his growth and development comes in the form of gradual changes, and other times it comes like it has over the past few days. I’m not sure when exactly it happened, but both verbally and conceptually he seems to have gone up a few steps. Just over a week ago he grasped the concept of a circle–the first shape he’s been able to identify verbally–and since then has started identifying things like airplanes, trucks, screwdrivers and a wide range of food products.

Over the weekend he and I were out in the sunroom–his defacto playroom–and he was banging away at his toy piano. After a couple of minutes he paused without warning, looked at me, said “practice,” and went back to banging on the keys. I was floored. His Thomas And Friends video has suddenly stopped being “choo choo,” and has started being “Thomas.” And today, he saw a picture of himself, pointed at it, and said “me.”

Mathias has had a relatively long track record of putting two words together–usually some noun preceded by “a,”–but today he walked up to his mom and matter-of-factly said three words: “I love you.”

So, a lot of changes from the little one around here, and he’s not even two.

Posted in BabyLog,Journal at 9:37 pm

TraveLog for 19 Apr 2009: A Wedding on a Big Boat

Waiting to Board Voyager of the Seas

Now that everyone is back home and pretty much settled in, I’d like to be able to say Mike and Andrea’s wedding was great, but part of me would still like to know who the hell I can punch for everything that happened.  What was supposed to be a small, leisurely gathering to witness and celebrate a new marriage was turned into a day-long rush-and-stop-and-rush endurance test.  Royal Caribbean, who’s Voyager of the Seas was to be the site of the event, definitely bears some of the blame, but the complete lack of coordination and communication by the planning company Mike and Andrea worked with didn’t help.

The schedule as we knew it going in was we were to get to the Port of Galveston cruise terminal around 10:00, and would likely be onboard around 11:00, over three hours before the ceremony, allowing plenty of time for the families and friends to visit and walk around the ship, for the bride and groom to prepare for the big event, and for a certain toddler to take his afternoon nap.  Long story short, we didn’t get on the boat until 1:30, and a number of delays and changes after that caused the ceremony to slip to 3:00, one hour before the non-cruising guests—everyone except for Mike and Andrea—had to be off the boat.  Mathias never got his nap, the reception basically left time for photos and nothing else, and the officiator at the wedding even managed to accidentally swap Andrea’s name for… Lisa. (“She was holding the flowers,” was the explanation we got later.)

Mathias on Voyager of the Seas

Both Andrea and Mathias get extra bonus points for the day,  Andrea for holding it together despite the cavalcade of idiots running amok across her wedding day, and Mathias for dutifully putting up with a second long day of limited sleep time.  (As many parents can attest, a sleep-deprived but patient toddler can be a rare combination.)

~ ~ ~

Our experience trying to park our cars was kind of representative of everything that happened.  We actually scoped out the cruise terminal the day before to make sure we knew where we were going, but upon arriving Sunday morning, with two huge ships in harbor and people everywhere, all bets were off.  We dropped off Mike and Andrea and headed for the parking lot.  Arriving there, we were told it was only for people on the ship, and we were supposed to park in short-term parking.  We headed back to the terminal and couldn’t find the short-term parking, and, still believing that we were scheduled to board the ship in the next half hour, parked on a sketchy-looking nearby street (and by “nearby” I mean roughly three city blocks away).  Upon getting into the terminal and checking through security, we found out the short-term parking was in the same lot as employee parking, it just wasn’t labeled as such.  Not wanting to return to our SUV to find it stripped of its tires and devoid of our luggage, I left the terminal, spent 10 minutes driving through the line of cars in front of the terminal (again), negotiated with law enforcement on parking, and waited through the (now much longer) security line a second time.

The time spent didn’t matter, though, as we still had a full hour and  a half before boarding.  We just didn’t know that yet.

~ ~ ~

In the end we were told there was a large Mexican tour group on the boat, and there were problems with many of their visas, and that boarding couldn’t begin until all the current passengers were “dealt with.”  I asked why that wasn’t recognized when the tour group, was, you know, BOARDING THE FUCKING BOAT, but was told there was no way Royal Caribbean could have foreseen the problem.  Right.

But, in the end, none of that is too important, as eventually we got to see this:

Mike and Andrea

And, hopefully, in a few years everyone will be able to look back at the crazy events of the day and laugh.

I still kind of want to punch someone, though.

Posted in Journal,Travelog at 11:06 pm

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