Tuesday, December 30, 2008

STRIKE! And, on the road again.

Monday, my grandma kept asking us what we wanted to go and do. My dad replied that he likes relaxing on vacation. Most of the time, when he takes time off work, he ends up doing farm stuff. Every time he goes away on vacation, he has to work so hard to get the farm ready for his absence. I know how he feels.

When I was a reporter, I generally spent the week before I left banking stories to be used in my absence. Now, my vacations are directly preceded by finals. As a result, I start my vacations exhausted. I zone out a few days, then rush around to visit everyone in the remaining days and end the vacations exhausted. Boo! Well, I’m taking a page from Dad’s playbook: take it easy.

Midday, we played a dominoes game called Chickenfoot, which we’ve enjoyed for years. I actually won, which is rare. Yay! We ended Monday by playing video games. Grandpa and Grandma received a knock-off Wii for Christmas (“My Sports Challenge”) which has bowling, tennis, hockey, golf, baseball and boxing. First, Mom and Sandy paired up against Dad and I.

Mom boogied after each strike or spare. Dad was frustrated by the differences between video bowling and real bowling. Mom’s dancing just seemed to rub it in. (Days later, Mom would play using our bowling avatars, and the result wasn’t as favorable. “I think it’s this girl,” Mom complained. “She’s just not good!” I told her we should tell Dad that. It wasn’t us that lost, it was that we chose bad avatars.)

After Mom and Sandy won, we cajoled Grandpa joining grandma to play against them. Grandpa was up and about for the first time since our arrival in Arizona. (He’s not in good health.) He and Grandma were in fine bowling form. Grandpa also developed a victory dance that had us all in stitches. We had so much fun that Mom decided to go out and buy herself the game to take home with us.

While she was out, Dad and I tried tennis (he had better results than I did, but worked up quite a sweat), and I tried boxing. Despite having no instruction manual, I managed to win an around-the-world boxing tournament through random button-punching and flailing wildly.

That night we packed our bags. We were hard-pressed to get all our belongings, presents and purchases into our luggage, even with the extra suitcase grandma gave us.

Tuesday, we had to hit the road again. I hid some notes around the house. It’s something I first did years ago because Grandma gets sad whenever we leave. She teared up as we piled into the van. Sometimes Grandma is so no-nonsense, but whenever we go, she gets sentimental. She was apologizing. I don’t know why. It’s just because she loves us! That's nothing to be embarassed about.

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