The First Day
Before I get to the three valuable lessons I learned on the first day, let me bring you up-to -date.
On Friday, all we had to do was take a ferry, drive to Victoria, check-in to our motel. Alive. Well-fed. Not too late so the boys could get a good sleep.
Pretty simple. I was sure nothing would go wrong.
We didn’t miss the ferry. The usual random loading didn’t drive me insane. Neither of the boys fell off the ferry. Neither threw up on anyone. The traffic in wasn’t bad and the sky was purple and pink and amazing.
We arrived at the motel, the Accent Inn, and checked in. The room wasn’t huge and didn’t have much space for us to move around in, especially when the pull-out bed was pulled out.
But for the next week, it would be home. The Accent Inn didn’t have access to a pool, but it did promise a new breakfast room and free wi-fi. Breakfast, the boys couldn’t give a damn about, but ever since they have discovered Clash of Clans, they don’t want to be any place where there isn’t wi-fi.
We unpacked our 8 bags, and the boys went to sleep without any fuss. Like they were plotting something. It worries me most when they’re quiet.
But we all got a pretty good sleep.
I know that doesn’t make for a good story, but it does make for a good start to any vacation. That made me confident the entire vacation would be awesome. And, like a good super-villain, I was sure ALL my plans would come to fruition.
Then we hit the first challenge. We raced downstairs with only 15 min before breakfast time was over. And we found…
The breakfast nook was a moshpit of people trying to toast their toast, find where they’d hidden the plates and slam their bums into a chair so they could eat.
It was busy!Worse, there wasn’t a line per se, just people milling around the various stations. Chaos reigned and I hate chaos.
My inner-German recoiled at this. I wanted to get out my high leather boots and riding crop and restore order, but I’d left them at home.
The boys looked a bit shell-shocked, but I knew they were our ace in the hole.
“Ok, grab that last cream cheese packet before the Asian lady with the burnt bagal realizes it’s the last one.”
“The girl has just dropped off more spoons. Grab 4 while everyone else is loading up on coffee.”
“There’s a seat, man, a seat! Get it! Run, Forrest, Run!”
No wonder Fagin used them. They were like greased up little piggies. They dodged, they weaved, they ducked and they could squeeze into a space the width of a plate.
Somehow we managed to get food, a place to sit and we ate like a dozen people stood in the doorway glaring at everyone who had a table, cuz, like there were a dozen people standing in the doorway glaring at everyone who had a table.
I had learned my first lesson of the adventure. Get to the food early. Not 15 min before breakfast ended.
Somewhat full, we headed off to our first destination. The Hillside Mall. We needed supplies and I wanted to look around.
Man, has that mall changed. It’s bright and shiny. Even the bathroom. I wanted to take a picture of just how beautiful the bathroom was, but it’s kinda frowned upon for a guy to take pictures in there so take my word for it.
It was going to the bathroom that I learned lesson #2.
I asked The-Youngest if he wanted a donut as we manned up to the urinals and unzipped. His mom was getting a tall, non-fat, no whip, cinnamon dolce latte and me, being justjoe, was going to get a timmies coffee, but I could get him a donut as well. He said sure and mumbled something about a cookie while piddling.
Well, his mom bought him a cookie and I bought him a donut. He beamed. Triumphant.
I learned my second lesson. When someone mumbles while piddling, they are actually giving you important information that they can later say they told you about.
The last lesson was not that sometimes the boys will con the Prettiest-girl-in-the-world and I, (that’s something I already know, I just forget it sometimes,) no, it was that The Oldest may need some help when it comes to talking to girls.
Hell, most guys need help, if truth be told, but he’s at that awkward stage when he goes beet red when forced to talk to, you know, a girl.
He was on the hunt for a case for his iphone. A black one, of course. With lightning bolts. And skulls. Lots of skulls. No, nothing with pink bunny ears! No, not that one with sparkly jewels!!!
When someone, invariably a pretty young woman, came up to him and asked if she could help, he’d duck his head, mumble something and shuffle his feet. Much like me when asked what I do for a living.
Now, while it doesn’t speak well to my character as a human being, I find this massively entertaining to watch. I do.
He couldn’t even muster the basic guy move, the point and grunt.
“Ugh. That. There. Want.”
However, we don’t have all the time in the world, so we learned we had to intervene. It was kind of a game. He’d pretend to look at an iphone cover that was vaguely black, while we grilled the staff about one with lightning bolts and skulls.
But you know what, after the first couple of fails, he was able ask a girl for what he wanted. It wasn’t in a loud, booming let’s-get-ready-to-rumble-voice, but he got the job done and I was so proud of him.
He overcame his fear.
So, let me change that last lesson. I need to remember to just give him a bit of time. He’ll work it out.
With all our supplies in bags and the Prettiest-girl-in-the-world somehow managing not to wander into any of the shoe stores having incredible sales on, we went off to our next adventure.
A trip to a fort.