Gratitude day 84

I am grateful for charcoal briquettes. So much more like a real fire than propane, and better tasting BBQ cuisine, like the salmon fillet, potatoes, and red peppers we dined on tonight.

I am grateful for water just warm enough to swim in all day at the beach here. It’s about the same temperature as Elk lake in the summertime, which is the one you see when you drive to Victoria from the Ferry Terminal. In the ocean it’s even better, and especially when it’s November.

I’m grateful that I’m not grateful to be coming home soon. Usually by now in a vacation I’m ready to come home. This time I am not. I’m choosing to see that as a reflection of what a great vacation this is, and not what my normal life is like, and I think that’s supported by a quiet longing to get back into the thick of things when I return.

And, today of all days, I am grateful for the service of our military, particularly in the past and the service of my grandfathers and great grandfather. More so, I am grateful for the peaceful existence I’ve been privileged to live, and for the fact I’ve never known any armed conflict. That’s not the case for many people alive today or in the past. That’s just plain dumb luck, being born in the right part of the world at the right time. I wish everyone could live like that, and I think any cause that works for peaceĀ is probably a good one.

Gratitude day 83

I am grateful for this technique you can use to make poached eggs ahead of time, by undercooking them slightly and keeping them refrigerated after putting them in ice water. I am making eggs bendict for a crowd tomorow, and I just poached all the eggs and cleaned up. One less thing to worry about. Sweet!

I am grateful for a fun day with my family, brother, niece and nephew at the San Diego Natural History Museum in Balboa Park. It seemedĀ easier (and cheaper) than some of the bigger attractions, like Legoland and the Zoo, and it fit the bill nicely for what we all wanted to do today.

I am grateful for my folks, who took care of all 4 grandkids (aged 2-8) so that my spouse, my brother, my sister in-law and myself could all go out for appetizers and drinks during happy hour at a bar by the beach. It was great to be childless adults for a bit, after being pretty much full on with kids doing kid stuff for the past number of days.

Gratitude day 82

I am grateful for a day without my phone. It ran out of battery power, and I left it that way, intentionally, for a good long while.

I am grateful for in and out burger, and particularly, the dinner my brother and sister-in-law bought for everyone from there. Thanks, Paul and Gina!

I am grateful for extended family (2 second cousins, once removed, and their spouses) here. Makes San Diego feel like home. Or maybe it would feel like that anyway. It’s pretty dang nice here.

Gratitude day 81

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I am grateful for a lazy day by the beach. We’re in San Diego. There’s lots to do, and also, there’s nothing to do. Both are great options; but we opted for the nothing to do option, save for a bit of shopping and several trips to swim in the waves.

I am grateful for Cooper, who, when he was figuring out body surfing asked me, “Papa, will you put my a$$ here?”

I asked him, “What? What are you talking about?”

“Put my a$$ here.”

“How do you know that word?” (knowing full well he’s heard me say it a gazillion times)

“After I’m dead. Put my ash here, okay?”

Halloween brought up the topic of tombstones, and then cremation. I guess he figured this was as good a place as any. And he’s right.

I am grateful again for bicycles. Simple, beautiful machines that they are. Cheap, too. There’s lots of renting options, but I found a second hand one for $60, and the guy said he’d buy it back for $20 when I go. I am now the proud owner of the bike we’ve named “Rustbucket”

Gratitude day 80

I am grateful for an uneventful road trip to San Diego from Anaheim today. There is a stomach bug going around our crew, and I was feeling a little queasy at the start. Perhaps it was psychosomatic, or perhaps the Gravol worked. Either way, I am glad nothing happened.

I am grateful for these swell little cottages we are staying in, right on the beach. They are a little rustic, and remind me an RV without wheels, but this is a delightful way to camp.

I am grateful for a meal prepared and eaten by us. Eating at restaurants is fun, but less so with little kids and it gets monotonous after a few days. A steak, salad, grilled peppers, and tomales (from a guy selling them on the boardwalk) made for a fine dinner. Sitting on a patio by a beach with that and a few beers is a great way to spend a warm evening, all while kids made friends with other kids and raced around in an endurance game of tag.

Gratitude day 79

I am grateful for The Carousel, Star Tours, Space Mountain, Autopia, Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, The Pirates of the Caribbean, Splash Mountain, Disneyland Railroad, Peter Pan’s Flight, Pinocchio’s Daring Journey, Casey Jr. Circus Train, Heimlich’s Chew Chew Train, It’s tough to be bug, Tuck n’ Roll’s Drive’em Buggies, Luigi’s Flying Tires, Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree, Radiator Springs Racers, and the Grizzly River Run, because I did them all, some twice. Not bad when you are tagging it out with a sub 32″ 2 year old in tow!

I am grateful for a change of pace starting tomorrow. Disneyland is fun, but it is also exhausting.

I am grateful for any beverage cooled with ice. Water, particularly, is good that way.

Gratitude day 78

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I’m grateful for the over-the-top, dinner theatre spectacle that was Medieval Times this evening. Totally fun. Who doesn’t love theatrical sword fighting and jousting while eating rotisserie chicken with your hands? What’s not to like!

I am grateful for the photo my mom showed me today of me in the bed I slept in as a kid. Farley now sleeps in that bed, same as his dad, cousins, uncle, grandad, great uncles, great great grandfather and great great uncles. IKEA just doesn’t make kids furniture like that. It’s solid as a rock, and I’d bet it still has several more generations ahead of it.

I am grateful for the amazing view in the hotel room we are staying. We’re on the 15th floor overlooking the Disney California Adventure theme park.

Gratitude day 77

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I am grateful to Tigger, who fully reciprocated a for real hug from Farley

I am grateful to my brother, for a swell trip to Space Mountain and a dang fine pedron margarita.

I am grateful to Julie, who had both my boys while I went on Space Mountain and enjoyed a dang fine margarita with my brother.

I am grateful to my folks, who made this whole trip possible.

Gratitude day 76

I’m grateful to be on day one of what I think is going to be a stellar vacation. We’re going to DISNEYLAND tomorrow. Cussin’A!

I’m grateful for two boys who had great behaviour through a long, long day, flying from Victoria, through Seattle to Santa Ana. Could have gone sideways, but it didn’t.

I’m grateful for one of the finest steaks I’ve had in a long time.

I’m grateful the wailing kid in the next room isn’t mine. We’ve had our moments through today, but one is sleeping soundly right now and the other will be soon.

Gratitude day 75

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I am grateful for St. Anthony, who is the patron saint of lost things. We’re going on vacation tomorrow, and we had vouchers to get from the airport to the hotel. They went missing. I was convinced they’d gone into the recycling. Julie prayed to St. Anthony, and kept her faith long after I’d lost mine. When she found the vouchers, she asked me pointedly, “Who ya thankin’?”. Here’s the answer, I am thanking St. Anthony. He’s just one of the benefits of marrying an Irish Catholic girl.

I am grateful for the extra hour that comes with the end of daylight savings time. I managed to get a coat of deck stain on the back stairs before 10:30am. Awesome!

I am thankful for a terrific birthday party today, with “build your own snowman” kits as goodie bags. The boys LOVED THEM, and they had a great time at the party, too!