Friday, April 3, 2009

Reflections on the Journey - Take One

We are back home in Denver safe and sound. Our trip from Las Vegas was easy and non-eventful. I was up very early this morning – around 5:00AM and it allowed for me to make sure we had everything packed and ready to go. We walked out of the Luxor around 7:00AM. A quick stop to put gas in the rental car and then we were off to the airport. Our flight was on time and the only issue we had was trying to get two seats together. It was kind of funny as Zack was in seat 8E and I was in seat 9E. The gentleman in seat 8D practically had a fit when he found out he was going to be sitting next to a 10 year-old. So he ended up trading seats with another man – who was very nice about the whole situation. Then the woman sitting next to me in seat 9D offered to change seats with Zack. That was so nice of those two people to change seats. It was especially nice of the woman who had an aisle seat and took a middle seat. Both Zack and I thanked them profusely. Our flight was on Frontier so we had to find out what “animal’ we were flying. It was the “snowy egret”. I am thinking of starting a spreadsheet to track the “animals” of Frontier that we fly. That would be something fun to track!

(Zack in the Canyon while the wind whipped around us.)

We landed early and our luggage came on the carousel pretty quickly. We were out in the parking lot finding the car within 20 minutes of landing. Getting to the car though was a bit of a fiasco. I pride myself on always remembering where I park at the airport. For the first time – I totally screwed up! I didn’t look at the aisle number when we were leaving last week as we were in a big hurry. And today I thought we were in one section further to the north then we were. WRONG. So we spent about 15 minutes walking around before I realized my mistake. All-in-all our trip was very good. It did leave me thinking about a ton of things. One of the first things I thought about was how unusual of a pair Zack and I are. When you travel on a vacation you notice all those around you. I noticed that Zack and I are pretty much the only father and son pair that you see.

(Zack and me at the Desert View Watch Tower. I am so glad I took my tripod and used the camera timer. We got lots of pictures of the two of us for a change.)

It is a very weird experience to travel as a single parent with your child. You just don’t seem to fit in. Most of the groups you see traveling are families or couples. You don’t too often see a parent and one child. This would always be especially apparent when we were eating. I had a good laugh Thursday night when we went to La Provenchal in the Paris Casino. We ended up with the nice “romantic table for two” in a very hidden little alcove of the restaurant. It just made me laugh my butt off as there I was sitting in this “romantic” environment with a ten year old kid who only wants to talk about Pokemon. I also find that you have to explain your story a lot. People will ask you if you are traveling alone or if we are meeting “mom” somewhere. It is always a difficult question to answer. I do what is easiest and just answer the question. The people always apologize for asking after that. However, I really try hard not to call attention to our situation, but it is often hard not to have the attention called upon you. Zack doesn’t make things any easier as he has no compunction about asking anything of anyone. Today he had been so wrapped up talking to the gate agent in the airport, that the gate agent put him on the loudspeaker at the gate. This got everyone waiting for the flight laughing. Regardless of the “weirdness” of the situation I am determined to provide Zack with every experience possible. It is not easy to travel by yourself with a child. There are no breaks and there is no time to go off and have any kind of “grown-up” fun. When we were in Las Vegas, I didn’t have one second to go off and do any gambling – as Zack was with me for the entire time. When you think about it Zack and I haven't been apart at all since last Friday night. (I got to start getting a baby sitter more and getting out on my own for a bit!) But it is worth it. It makes me so happy to see Zack experience these things and learn from the experience. I want Zack to experience the world and see many different cultures. This trip was so not much about experiencing a different culture (I guess Las Vegas has a culture of its own - LOL), but I think seeing and experiencing both Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon were great things for him. I think he really enjoyed both experiences and he will remember this trip for a long, long time. I am going to keep tonight’s post short as I am tired and I just feel like watching some TV and then heading to bed. We have a busy day tomorrow with the Arapahoe District Pinewood Derby and I am going to the Nuggets Game with a friend. So there will be plenty to write about tomorrow! Thanks and peace to all!

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