Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Dunk me a river

Road Trip Day 11: What is that smell?
Tom can be such a cute and content baby. Sometimes. What's unusual about this picture is that he's actually awake. I was taking the pictures, so it wasn't my cool ass that he was grinning at. It wasn't Mama, either, since his mouth was clearly not open in 'boob me' mode. Mmmm...what the hell else could be so intriguing for little Tommy?

Aaahh, now it all comes together. Tom obviously stamped, sealed and approved Peter's diabolical plan to choke David and send him down the river. Hey, Davey - you might want to stop sitting on Tommy's head, not to mention whatever the hell it was you did to piss off Peter.

At least the hotel was awesome. Aside from having a completely separate and almost soundproof room for the kids, they were also able to provide Angie with Internet for her Crackbook fix. After a quiet evening of booking faces and ordering beers from the 24 hour bar, we woke up to an exquisite French buffet and a lake full of crocodiles. Peter ate very little, but it provided him with enough energy to show us his new 'dunky' trick. Ah, brotherly hate.

Somehow, David managed to escape Peter's clutches and narrowly escape being thrown into the reptilian bath. Dirty Dave could have certainly used a bath, though, not to mention Stinky Pete, Toe-jam Tom and Mucky Mama. Papa smelled like roses, of course, depending on your smell buds.

At one point, the car's funk-o-meter was pinging so loudly, I had to stop at a French rest stop. When I opened the car door, a wave of Funky Frenchness hit me that made my nose question life. David didn't seem to mind, but then again, I wouldn't expect him to. He was quite content 'driving' as Angie went to 'freshen up'.

In the end, David drove as much as Mama freshened, only Angie managed to come back with a wet cell phone. A wet what?

Let me back track a few minutes prior when Angie was walking to the public toilets at a pit stop on the French highway. As she walked away, my maleness checked her out. The sun reflected on her back pockets, which had cute little gems sewn in them. Man, I wish my ass could sparkle like diamonds!

If you had looked closer, which you shouldn't have since she's MY wife, you would've seen a tiny chain with a charm on it hanging out of one pocket. This was Angie's 'phone jewellery', also known as the 'biggest freakin' waste of money since toe rings', if you would ask me. And I'm so sure you would.

So now I should pause and give you a little background on French public toilets at rest stops, in case you have never had the pleasure. The 'toilet' is basically a hole in the ground that tests your sense of balance and gag reflexes at the same time. Angie is complete shit at balance and I better just stop there. In short, she tipped over and involuntarily tested how crap-proof her cell phone was. Way to go, Vodafone! If you guys wanna steal my idea for a commercial on how your phones can take crap off of anyone, just pay me in Canadian dollars, please.

Angie's brain somehow convinced her that a little hand sanitizer and a sunbath on our dashboard would make all that other shit simply disappear. In the end, it actually worked and Angie made me swear to her that I would keep the whole thing on the 'down low'. I don't know what the hell she was talking about, but as is often the case, I just nodded. It was cool and it's not often that she does something that's not geeky, so we gave Mama a pass. Even Peter had no chance against Mama's cool 'dunky' trick.
Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When we go'ed home.
David: When we come now here to home.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When I missed kindergarten.
David: When I cried 'cause I wanted to kindergarten go, but the kindergarten closed is.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: To go to kindergarten with all the Gormitis.
David: Play with Peter by the kindergarten in the moon group.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I'm too sexy for my tower

Road Trip Day 10: The Eiffel Hike
I was just joking when I told Peter to 'strike a pose'. I didn't actually expect him to bust out his catwalk moves on the streets of Paris. But more on our incredibly fun and exciting trip to the Eiffel Tower later.

Before later, Zoolander was having a little trouble waking up.

Shortly after this initial love-shake, Tom and David gleefully came to the rescue by pouncing on Peter's head. Repeatedly. Tom, David and Papa began laughing hysterically, Peter began crying hysterically, and Mama started screaming hysterical things like 'stop sitting on his face' and 'brain hemorrhaging'. In the end, it was...uh...well,...hysterical! And, Peter woke up.

Kramer still had a crazy case of bed head going on when we jumped on the ferry, so I took Cosmo and the Face-sitter up to the top deck for a blow-dry.

David thought it was hilarious when he threw his Capri Sonne drink overboard. He didn't find it so amusing when I picked him up and told him he was going to go find it. The people walking by witnessing me about to throw my screaming kid overboard were also less than humorous. Yeah, but they didn't see his drink falling by the wayside.

After the whole 'please don't throw that little boy overboard' incident, I realized that maybe I needed a break. By break, I of course mean that I dumped the kids on Mama, who was inside enjoying the sweet sounds of Tommy Q screeching the blues.

After narrowly avoiding an extreme swimming lesson for any of our kids, we landed in France. In addition to stinky cheese, wine and fries, France also has the Eiffel Tower, a must see for anyone without impatient kids and a naggy wife.

As soon as we got out of the docks, Mama Negativa began. 'Do you know that we need to drive two hours out of the way to go to Paris?' Oh, really? Do you know that if I kicked you out of the car right now, that would be....mmm, I don't know - 60 hours of walking out of the way!

My logic and perhaps even my tone can occasionally chafe Angie's derrière, but in the end, who was driving? That's right, moi.

Moi began to get a little nervous when we arrived in Paris to a huge traffic jam. After adding an hour and a half to our already 'two hours out of the way' I began to get slightly annoyed at Angie constantly questioning my tiny little detour to see such a famous and memorable landmark.

'The kids will love it.'

'They'd rather play with their Gormitis.'

'Yeah, but I hate them - didn't you read my last blog?'

'I don't read that crap; I've told you that so many times.'

'It's not my fault you can't read. Now shut up and enjoy Paris - it's romantic.'

We finally made it downtown and parked. Not being one of those guys secure enough in one's self to speak French, I got a little lost trying to exit the underground parking garage. I later realized that we somehow managed to escape via a service exit through a door that should have been sealed. It's not my fault that the French staff are shit when it comes to locking these 'secret' staff doors. It was, apparently, my fault that we ended up in the middle of a parade field. It was also at this point that we began to realize why there was so much traffic.

July 14th is Bastille Day in France, a national holiday that blocks off most of the streets and a few of the parade fields, similar to the one that we somehow surfaced upon. This particular parade field had quite a few helicopters and special forces patrolling the ground to make sure that no crazy family-of-fives popped out of nowhere ready to attack whoever it was they were protecting. Let me just say, the French are quite skilled at protecting their own.

We exited the 'parking garage' into the middle of this heavily armed parade and were immediately surrounded by uniforms who were screaming a bunch of French shit at us. When confronted with screaming foreigners, I tend to scream back, although it is not always coherent. This time around, though, I thought I made perfect sense by screaming 'I love your mustard ' at the French S.W.A.T. team as they closed in on us. Angie smugly informed me later that French's mustard is actually manufactured in Rochester, N.Y. Thanks, oh-great-cranium-of-knowledge. Where the hell were you when the French ninjas were attacking me from the trees?

Somehow we managed to dodge the paratroopers who were seriously looking to put a cap in Angie's derrière. After being 'escorted' off of the parade field, we tried to make our way to the Eiffel Tower for our long-awaited photo-op.

I use the phrase 'tried' in the previous paragraph because the French and their inconsiderate 'national celebration' kept blocking off streets in our way. When we got closer, we realized after getting screamed at by the French National Guard that there was no way in hell that we would get closer than this photograph to the Eiffel Tower.

It's okay. though. You can see it, right? Please say 'yes'. In the end, it took us six and a half hours off course, so if you don't say 'yes', Angie wins and let me just say that her gloat is ugly. Really ugly.

After our extraordinary glimpse of the Tower, we returned to the secret car park.

Luckily, all of the helicopters and 'special' people had flown away, leaving my 'special' son and his odd ability to 'strike a pose'.
Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When we found this hotel.
David: When we need to sleep.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When David cried in the car and I need to close my ears.
David: 'Cause I make that with my shoe in the car door and then I cry.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: To go home.
David: When we going tomorrow home.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Chester's Jesters

Road Trip Day 9: Gormitis suck
Angie insisted that we go to Chester because she had once been there and saw a really cool clock. Ah, okay. After witnessing the Eastgate clock, though, Peter facially expressed what he thought of Mama's choice. Don't get me wrong, it's a really nice clock. But it's a freakin' clock and come on - even Peter can't tell time yet, so I wasn't completely shooting down comments like 'this is boring!' and 'you're stupid!' Okay, the last statement was not from the kids, nor was it said very loudly.

For entertainment, they locked themselves into a huge mail box.

The boys must get this odd little quirk from Angie. When she went to England for university, she spent the first month throwing mail into the round metal bins that were painted black with gold trim that 'looked really pretty'. In her defense, they are rather attractive and probably do look like mailboxes to anyone who is illiterate. Against her defense, she can actually read and probably should have paid closer attention to the 'pretty words' inscribed on the side of their lovely trashcans: LITTER. That's right, LITTER, not LETTER. At least she eventually figured out why none of her friends were answering her trash.

It took twenty minutes to convince Peter know-it-all that it was a telephone booth, not a mail box. The first ten minutes were wasted on pointing at the letters at the top of the booth and screaming 'what's a matter with you - can't you read?' I guess not. Mmm...can't tell time...can't read...what the hell is this boy learning at school?

Ah, I see. Gormitis, also known as 'The Invincible Lords of Nature'. That's just great. Should we really be encouraging Destructo Dave to unleash his fury under Mother Nature's name? It didn't matter; the shops in Chester carried these rubber hellions that the boys had heard so much about in school and we (Angie) made the mistake of buying them. At first, it smelled like a really good idea, but before we could leave the store, the boys were already fighting over them. WARNING: really, really dumb ideas actually smell good at first whiff.

Two minutes into our five hour drive today, the boys started screaming at each other. Crying, spitting, blubbering, and an all-out freak-a-thon followed. In a move that would have totally impressed my father, I stretched one arm back while driving full-gas on the motorway, snatched the Gormitis out of their tear-soaked hands and came damn close to throwing them out the window. Instead, I locked the evil toys up in the glove box and vocally explained a few things to the tearful that pushed the veins in my neck to the breaking point.

After what Angie described as a 'full-on conniption freak-out fit', I was relatively calm. I don't know if the boys were calm, but they did not speak a word for the remaining four and a half hours. Aaaahh, the sweet sound of silence. And fear.

Five hours in the car without talking, moving, or any other gerunds that might draw attention to themselves was great for the driver's mind of peace, but the aftermath of bottling up such pure kinder-energy proved to be...well, see for yourselves.

The boys started racing around the parking lot of the hotel. Their collective energy continued to build up until I was really worried about retaliation for the whole 'freakin' out' thing in the car earlier. At least Tom found the whole thing hilarious.

We managed to check into the hotel without any embarrassing stories involving me getting my ass kicked by my children, although I am quite certain that those will come sooner than I expect. It's okay - I normally swap Angie's name for mine if it's anything embarrassing and how funny would that be? Mama gets her ass beat by the PeDaTo Gang...

As we sat down in the hotel restaurant, I began to notice a certain theme to the place. There were pictures of airplanes hanging on the walls and replicas of old fighter jets lined the shelves. Before I could put my finger on it, David had disappeared. I ran to the next room, also known as The Bar, and found Tom Cruise, Jr. slinging cocktails with the barkeep.

I rescued David from what would have certainly ended up as a 'disorderly in public' charge and brought him back to his seat. Shortly after, the bartender came over to take our order.

'Beer. Lots of it. And throw in some chicken wings for the kids.'

'Uh, sir, we don't serve American food here.'

It was at that point that I remembered we were in England. Wrotham, to be specific.

'Okay, fine. Blood sausage and chips, then, mate.'

'Perhaps the gentleman would like to look at our menu?'

I looked around for who the hell this guy was talking about, and it was at that point that I noticed the white table cloths and very impressive set of cutlery at each setting. I reluctantly took the menu and suddenly I had a really upset wallet.

After ordering a paycheck or two, I asked the waiter about the whole 'fighter aircraft' motif they had going on.

'During WW II, this was a well-known pub for British fighter pilots. Whenever a pilot shot down a German plane, they would come here to celebrate. They would stamp the ceiling as a symbol of victory.'

I looked up to a ceiling that had more rubber stamps than congress. Before I could respond, Angie jumped in.

'My Dad was a pilot.'

'Oh, really. For which country?'


[Awkward pause]

'Uh...I'm Italian.'

With that, Mario disappeared before Angie could explain that her dad was actually a commercial pilot for Lufthansa until retiring last year. Judging by Angie's smirk, though, I seriously doubt that she would have ever offered this tidbit of information.

Seconds later, Luigi returned with two complimentary beers and mumbled something that sounded like 'prego, pasta ravioli i lasagne' to me, but he disappeared again before I could fully interpret. Angie continued to 'scowl' at the poor guy until he rounded the corner. Then, she smirked again, winked at me, and shouted 'PROST' in a voice that was slightly louder than one might expect in such a tiny pub.

Dinner was great, but I love any meal where we get free drinks. The boys loved it because we took their Gormitis out of time-out for dessert. Once again, though, these rubbery bastards drove a wedge between the brothers and before Mother Nature knew it, David was the one in time-out.

At least David was not 'in the cooler' for very long. As punishment, the boys got a lecture from Papa Coolest instead.

'Look, guys - you cannot keep fighting over these toys like this. If you keep it up, I'm just going to throw the damn things into the trash.'

'You mean the mailbox?'

'No! Why? What do you mean? Did Mama already give you this lecture?'
Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: The best part was when I play with Tom peeky-boo.
David: When I with Mommy play that I the baby Tapir and Peter the baby Jaguar is.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When I couldn't have dessert by the pub.
David: When I wanted Tom to McQueen hello say, but that we go to the toilet.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: To go on the ship.
David: When we go to Madagascar.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Red Dragon Tour

Road Trip Day 8: Cymru
Man, I wish our flag had a kick-ass dragon on it. David likes anything red and has this weird thing for animals that breathe fire, so we could so turn him into a Welsh patriot. The Welsh name for Wales is Cymru, which means 'friend', but more about Medwyn's friendly Welsh family after hosing down the animals.

David is a natural dirt magnet. I really don't know how he manages to completely cover every square inch of his body in dirt, mud and dust every time he is not sleeping, but by this point it no longer phases me. It did surprise me when Peter's funk-o-meter started pinging. He is normally such a neat freak; I would have thought that His Cleanliness would have complained long before my nose. Teaches me and my nose to think.

After clogging the hotel drains with Johnson gunk, we quickly checked out and got the hell out of Dodge.

I should point out that this is us before getting on the road. It was also when I started to regret that we let the boys have those 'Chocolate-covered Sugar Smacks' for breakfast. Luckily, it was a relatively short, albeit loud trip to the ferry.

As we waited for the ferry, we sent a message to Medwyn, Rob's brother, to tell him that we would be passing through Wales and see if we could meet up. If you know the Johnson's, you will certainly know how unorganized we are when it comes to organizing things. Our whole trip was unplanned and this was no exception. The ferry ride was only two hours, which is not a lot of prep time for a family you have never met to welcome you to their home. I prefer to call it 'spontaneity'.

Medwyn wrote back straight away and offered for the Zoo Crew to stop by and invade his home. We, of course, accepted this challenge.

Medwyn and Joyce were great! They took us strangers in as if we were family. Their kids were also incredible and most certainly left a lasting impression for all three boys.

Sioned loves babies and I love anything or anyone who can shut Tom up for more than two minutes. Talk about a win-win. Dafydd is the Welsh spelling of David and he was wearing a red shirt, so David was in complete awe.

David also bonded with Medwyn.

He is a younger version of Rob and even though Medwyn was not sporting a Viking cap, David proceeded with his aggressive hugs and head butts of love. Medwyn held his own.

Peter was on cloud nine - not only did he find a BIG KID; this one actually talked to him.

Dafydd racked up points for being tall and talkative, but he also collected MEGA cool points by playing video games with Peter. Papa, can I stay here...please!

At some point, Medwyn and I left to pick up Chinese take-away. I swear, it took all I could muster not to crack up at hearing a Chinese person speaking with a Welsh accent. My polite manners kicked in and somehow I managed to stiffle my politically incorrect giggles.

Dinner was excellent and just as quickly as we took over the Medwyn castle, we left in search of new hotels to storm. Thanks again, cool family!

After leaving Medwyn's, we were supposed to drive to the next city and find our hotel. What nobody knew was that there was an ocean on the way! Okay, Medwyn lives on the coast and we did actually land on a ferry that went across the ocean, so it should not have been a big shocker for any of us. Angie, though, has proven time and time again that she is not 'one of us'. Aside from missing the necessary masculine bits to be 'one of us', Angie is not so good at controlling herself when it comes to scoping out prime shell-collecting spots.

Two hours later, Angie returned to show me her stash. I had been stuck with Tom, so I was less than thrilled. Oddly enough, Angie was not so interested in seeing 'the stash' that I had changed while Angie was off smooching seashells.

This only looks like a cute photo. Actually, this was Peter and David teaming up against Mama to drag her shell-collecting ass off of the beach. Mama, please - can we go sleep now?

Today was such a perfect day. I didn't want it to end until I saw this beautiful sunset.

It was such a fitting close to such a lovely day. As the sun set on Angie's spastic shell frenzy, I could only think of one word - Cymru.
Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When Dafydd teach me the games and we laugh.
David: When we meet that Dafydd kid, 'cause he name like mine.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When we no find the hotel so soon.
David: When I not stay by the house from Rob.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: To go home and play with Gizma.
David: To eat and eat and eat - I hungry, can I a banana eat?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Dublin - so different with kids

Road Trip Day 7: The Freaks of Dublin
I remember when Angie and I went to Dublin in our B.C. (Before Children) years. Okay, bullshit; I actually don't remember most of it, which is exactly the point! I didn't know there was a park in Dublin! If you didn't need to cut through it to get to the Temple Bar District, it simply did not exist. Not in those days. Not that I remember.

Thanks to Angie adamantly insisting that we cannot bring the kids on a 'teeny, tiny, little pub crawl', I now know that Dublin has all sorts of other attractions that are not pubs, like museums and libraries and parks fitted with benches for freaks who would rather read than drink a pint or six of the glorious 'black stuff'. I also realized that you can essentially divide Dublin into two categories - fun places to go that serve Guinness and our trip today.

We have shelf after shelf of books at home, both in German and in English, but our multilingual conglomeration was apparently not sufficient for Angie. Yes, she is a book-aholic and today she must have really needed her fix. Sure, just ignore mine, bookworm!

We (ha-ha) spent hours in an Irish book shop while I took Peter and David to 'go get a healthy lunch'. At least those were my instructions. First of all, I don't do well with commands. Aside from that, 'healthy' is really up to the eye of the be-eater, isn't it? It doesn't matter, yours hungry saw Eddie Rockets diner, which not only featured a rocket; it was red, and since that's David's favorite color coupled with a mean hankering for onion rings, we went in. Onions are healthy, right?

After stuffing themselves with deep fried French fries, greasy burgers and onion necklaces, the kids and their clogged arteries were rewarded with plastic Frisbees (red) that they would later try out in the car. This would later cause a certain driver to freakin' crack up after a certain front-seat passenger got whacked in the back of the head with a red disc. Angie was not driving.

We got back to the bookstore to find Angie completely out of breath after filling the baby stroller with books.

'Can I ... have your ... credit card?'

'No, ... are you ... nuts? Can we go to a pub now?

'No, are you nuts? What did you feed the kids, anyway?'

'Uh, ... do they take Visa or MasterCard?'

Even though the stroller was pretty hard to push, I somehow got tasked with carrying Tom, who no longer fit in the book-mobile. After an hour or so, my back was looking for a liquid break. Angie chose the grassy knoll featured above instead. I was a little perturbed until I saw that Angie had finally bought little Tommy his first sensible non-fiction book.

Angie thought ugly Tom was just trying to tell us that he was hungry. Silly me just assumed that ug-boy was teething and didn't question it further, mainly because he was thankfully quiet for a change. I never ask Angie why she's not nagging. Never.

After Bench-readers Anonymous let out, we decided to stroll the streets of Dublin in search of weird people. Angie is a freak-magnet, so it didn't take long.

This guy was as still as could be. If you wanted him to move, you had to run up and throw some coinage in his money bag. Or, if you're as clever as David is, you can just run up and punch him in the groin. Man, that statue sure can move.

As it turns out, the streets of Dublin were packed with freaky weirdos.

As soon as the bear attacked us, Tom got nervous, but immediately looked at David for reassurance. Fearless Dave laughed, so all was okay. If David had so much as flinched, though, I am quite sure that Tom's lungs would have freaked out all over the oversized Yogi Bear reject.

As soon as I saw that the walking teddy monster had a vest on that advocated 'an abuse-free home for children', I couldn't resist. I had seen the cause; I had to be the rebel.

'David! Stop talking to that furry freak right now or you're going back in 'the hole' again, but this time it'll be for a whole week.'

Germans are not particularly well-known for their humor, but I can honestly say that Irish bears sporting vests are even worse. Whatever, where's your funny hat, anyway?
Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When we find this hotel.
David: When we danced.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When we every time need to be in the car.
David: When I cry 'cause no spring in the bed make.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: To go on the boat.
David: When we going on the ship.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Honeymooner's View

Road Trip Day 6: Party, revisited
The odd looking couple staring out the window are actually Lisa and Mick, the dayoldweds. Before any conclusions are jumped at, I was not camped out in the bushes waiting for them pass by in their robes. We were actually walking to the car when I turned to see Mick beating against the glass like a madman. Damn, Mick - you've only been married one day and you're already trying to escape?

As it turns out, Mick's little reenactment of The Graduate's final scene ('Elaine! Elaine!') was actually an attempt to get our attention. I think they just wanted to show off how big their honeymoon suite was for just the two of them, knowing damn well that our family of five was shacked up in the room with only a double bed. Thanks, Ben.

As we checked out of the hotel, the boys decided to help with the bags.

Okay, actually they just got in the way and were being complete ass-pains, but at least we were checking out, not in. We moved on to the next hotel for day two of partying with the Irishweds. Hey! WTF, Angie - how come I didn't get to party for two days?

After checking into the new hotel, Angie managed to really crack me up.

I don't think she meant to, but still. I know funny (look at who I married) and I say that cosmetic bags that explode because your inept fingers did not properly close the lid to your spray-on fake tan are pretty damn funny.

With no more tan juice, Angie looked like the next poster mama for Wite-Out.

I came to her rescue with a pale ale. Get it? Angie has many, many, many problems and here we see yet another one of them. It is virtually impossible to get Angie to keep her eyes open when a camera flash goes off.

She also sneezes when she looks at the sun, so perhaps she just had a really traumatic experience with light when she was growing up. Group therapy might help, but who else would attend? Maybe Gizmo with his fear of 'bright light', but Angie is horrible at not feeding after midnight and the last thing we need is more Gremlins running around the house.

Adults in Ireland are expected to drink. Kids are expected to dance. Angie and I are normally crap with rules, but that's because they are German rules.
  1. ACHTUNG! Zer' vill be no crossing za street if ze little mann ist rot!
  2. ACHTUNG! You vill sveep za stairvell vonce a veek!
  3. ACHTUNG! You must vear black socken ven you vear shorts!
Irish rules kick ass. Riverdance and Guinness - I love zis country.

At some point, David walked over to Peter, who was dancing with 'the tall one'. I picture the sequence of events going something like this.

'Hey Peter - can I cut in?'

'No. Go away.'


Peter must have felt really bad for making David cry, for he stopped smiling for almost three whole seconds before returning to 'the tall one'.

In the end, Caine and Able worked it out. Thankfully, it was without the use of any boulders and in the end, everyone still managed to have a ball.

'Rock on, Ireland!'
Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When I played with Annelies.
David: When I played with that lady, but they are already home, I think.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When Davey woke up and he was in a horrible noise.
David: When I play with Tom not.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: To get breakfast and play with the Annelies when she's there.
David: When I play with Tom.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Mick and Lisa's Excellent Adventure

Road Trip Day 5: The Wedding Crashers
This was the big moment everyone was waiting for. But why was everyone so happy? For Peter and David, it was mainly because they were one step closer to the BIG PARTY with the Irish 'wedding kids'. For me, I was just glad that we had finally reached the halfway point of our road trip without losing any of our kids. Angie was happy because she's a chick and weddings tend to turn their brains into giggly mush. For Tom, it was... actually Tom wasn't happy; he was outside screeching for most of the ceremony. For Mick and Lisa, it was this thing I read about years ago called love. Whatever, newlyweds.

The wedding did not start until 2:00, so we were quite confident that even we could actually make it on time. We had a nice breakfast and then released the animals to play with the locals for a while in the garden. They kept trying to speak German to them, though, because 'they no speak English, Papa'. I guess they had a little trouble with the Irish accent. So did I.

After getting completely filthy, we hosed the boys down and then put on their 'do not touch anything' clothes that stayed not-filthy for about thirty seconds. Knowing that resistance is futile when it comes to kids and anything white, we simply packed the slightly over-smudged kids into the car and got ready to go.

I punched the address into the navigation system and followed Victoria's sexy voice as she guided us through a scenic tour of beautiful meadows and antique cottages. At one point, though, Victoria started to go nuts.

'At the next roundabout, turn right.'

'Uh, we're on the highway, Victoria. There are no roundabouts on the...'

'At the next roundabout, turn right.'

'Look, lady - it's a freakin' highway! Closed barriers on both sides and no place to...'

'Turn right now.'

'All right, Vicky, put the crack pipe down and listen. You're really starting to...'

'Turn around when possible.'

'How about I turn you around and make your teeth rattle, you little piece of...'

'You are driving off road.'

We found out later that the 'highway' had only been built a few months ago, but that didn't stop me from beating the crap out of Victoria. She deserved it. Even Angie didn't intervene, although I have to admit that Angie's been a tad jealous of Vicky from the beginning. Rrrrr... cat fight.

After driving on the 'highway' for twenty minutes, we finally found an exit. I got off and had to rely on my inner compass to guide us back to this missing roundabout. My inner compass sucked, but my watch did not - it told me it was two o'clock in the PM and it was. Shit!

About five minutes later, Angie pointed out the window and screamed 'balloons!' in my ear. I was already more than mildly irritated, so I responded by asking if Angie remembered the bitch-slapping that Victoria had just received.

'No, you jackass...balloons. Look! The sign below them says:
This way to Lisa and Michael's wedding'.

In the end, the Johnson's held true to form and showed up 20 minutes late. A photographer was milling about outside like a vulture, capturing all of the late comers, complete with the digital time stamp as proof.

When we walked up, Angie turned beet red and began apologizing profusely to the camera guy for being late. 'You're never late' was his only response, as he cracked a smile. Then he laughed his ass off and continued taking pictures until we ran into the church crying. Thanks, insensitve camera guy.

Lisa was a smart bride and extremely thorough in her planning. She must have known that we would be attending and/or anticipated a few late arrivals and never had any intention of showing up at 2:00. At 2:30, mere minutes after we made it through the door, Lisa came walking down the isle with the proud 'father of the bride'.

The ceremony was the best I have ever attended. Other than ours, of course, and I am so totally not writing that only to avoid Angie denting my forehead with her high heels.

The priest was freakin' hilarious! I've been to plenty of church ceremonies where people laughed a lot, but it was never at anything the priest said. This guy had the crowd rolling for over two hours. He seemed to know every person in the church and somehow managed to poke fun and make jokes about everyone. Not us, though - Angie and I were too busy taking turns outside watching the boys who got bored when the priest started 'no speaking English'. It's Irish, you misfits, and if you're going to criticize others, you had better done learnt your grammar.

As Peter did his best Grace Kelly impersonation, David was busy angering the cows.

Yes, that's right. Mad cows. Next to the church was a grassy field, prompting David to torment the poor bovines by screaming his 'cow song' at them as they tried to graze in peace. The 'cow song' was made up by the voices in David's head and the text is fairly easy to remember. It basically consists of the word 'moo' sung over and over again to the beat of Beethoven's 9th - Ode to Joy. Thanks, Maestro.

In Ireland, I guess it is tradition to separate the attractive types from the other half before any official wedding photo can be snapped.

After two and a half hours of photos, Mick and Lisa tried to sneak past us on their way to the BIG PARTY with the Irish 'wedding kids'.
Ha, ha - nice try, silly Irishweds. We know exactly where you're going and if Victoria can actually manage to find the damn place, we'll be waiting by the bar to corner you again.

Damn, that didn't take long. Now what are we going to do? Oh, that's right - stuff our fat faces on an absolutely delicious six-course meal. Nine, if you count my beers. Angie sure was.

Mick is such a cool friend. He picked up on negative Angie's sober glare and immediately jumped up on stage with Terry to try and avert the inevitable post-wedding traumatic syndrome.

Mick's plan worked! Angie's focus turned to what was probably Streetwise's last gig, considering that the lead singer has now voluntarily chosen to wear a leash.

At midnight, our babysitter turned into a pumpkin so my princess had to dance off and tend to the three dwarves. Left to my own devices, I somehow managed, though.

By the end of the night, everyone was happy. But why was everyone so happy? For the woman sitting at the table next to us who sat down at our table demanding to know which one of us had stolen her shoes only to later realize she was sitting at the wrong table and then even later found her shoes exactly where she had left them under her own table, it was probably finding her shoes. For me, it was being able to have a face-to-face Guinness with the condemned. For Lisa and Mick, it was still this nagging concept of love. Whatever, newlyweds.
Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When we go to the wedding and we go in our hotel and there's a party.
David: When we go to the wedding from Mick and Lisa, 'cause she funny are.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When my belly hurt, 'cause I didn't go on the toilet.
David: When I cried, 'cause I wanted the Capri Sonne from there drink.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: To play in the water at the swimming pool by us.
David: Swimming go in the swimming pool.