Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Home Sweet Home

Late last night we returned from our California adventure. We spend six days and seven nights by the ocean in San Diego. It was really great to get away from the winter, but even better to come home. We stayed less than a block from the ocean. We went to Sea World and Noah got to be part of the "Shamu Show" and ask Shamu to do tricks-( you don't tell a 6- ton animal to do anything). We went whale watching and saw three gray whales. We went to the San Diego Zoo, and saw a panda and koalas, and walked 28 miles uphill. We went to Lego Land and went on lots of rides, and also the Wild Animal Park. The Wild Animal Park is on 900 square acres of land. The animals are all African animals (and tigers) and aren't in cages. They are wandering out among each other- except the lions, tigers and cheetahs- they are in fences. We got to see the lions "playing leap-frog" aka- mating, and a cheetah walking on a leash like a dog. We also went to DisneyLand. We had Disney cash left over from two years ago when we went to Disney World, so we went to a fancy restaurant. It was a New Orleans restaurant. I had chicken gumbo and shrimp jambalaya. It was the spiciest food I have ever eaten. My mouth was on fire. I had a stomach ache and heart burn the rest of the night. I was not feeling good, and Disneyland is the happiest place on Earth, so that just seemed wrong. I am exhausted from my trip. Every moment was jammed pack full of activity. I like my down-time. However, when I look back at vacations, I don't remember the down-time, I remember the adventures. Anyway, I am sure I walked at least 25 miles each day because we were at every park from open til close. I only ate a small breakfast (to avoid side cramps) and skipped lunch and had supper. You'd think walking 25 miles each day, every day, for 6 days and skipping a meal would mean I'd lose weight. I lost a pound and a half. Really?? I remember in my twenties I could skip lunch two days in a row and drop three pounds. What's with this?
I'm not sure what to think of CA. It's a nice place to visit, but I'd hate to live there. Everyone is crabby. And rude. I'm thinking, "You have beautiful weather all year. What do you have to be crabby about?" They are also so... different. I felt like the black sheep- well the pasty white pale sheep who sticks out like a sore thumb. There are a lot of Asians there. I used to think "You're crazy" when people would tell me that Spanish will be the official language of USA in the year 2035, now I think, "based off CA, yes, it will." California seems to have only two classes- well maybe three. The super rich. The working poor, and the non-working poor. One lady was on the news crying because she 'misplaced' her eight-year-old. How in the world do you misplace your eight-year-old? It's not like he's your car keys or remote. He's a human for cripes sake. "I jus don't know what happened. I ain't 'member the las time I saw 'em". Really. Who says that? And I thought social services was overworked in our area. During the whole vacation I really wanted to sleep and relax. I figured I could do it on my two long plane rides home. Ethan sat by me from San Diego to Chicago. He decided to do his homework. I'd just get to the real relaxed, about to conk out feeling when he'd nudge me and ask, "How do you spell once?" Again, I'd be falling asleep and I'd feel him staring at me and he asks, "How do you spell taking?" The last time I tried I thought 'three times a charm...' and he said, "how do I spell Disney?" I wanted to say, "m-i-s-p-l-a-c-e-d". Sleeping on that flight was not in the cards. I tried during the last flight. I sat in row 23 C. It was a three seats across plane, A on one side and B and C were together across the aisle. I was in a row with strangers. Scott was in 24A, Noah was in 24B and Ethan in 24C. I thought, 'yay, I'm by myself. Now I'll sleep.' Well the man next to me thought he was Bill Gates and he thought it was his job to educate me on the process of computer programing. As the plane was taxiing down the runway he started telling me "if you put all of the super computers, all of the regular computers, as well as any device or machine with a computer chip together, it still would not be as smart or powerful as the human brain." I don't know about you, but my GPS is smarter than a lot of brains I know. I started pulling out my magazine, hoping he'd get the hint. He didn't. He went on and on. He told me this is his first trip this far north and said, "Far-go. Get it. I am going Far?" Yep. Never heard that one. "Are your from Far-go?" I said, "Nope, Moorhead, it's right across the river in Minnesota." "You mean More-ahead? ahhhhaaaa haaa" I turned off my light and closed my eyes. He started talking to the person across the aisle. She was a french major from Concordia, but the only reason she majored in French was because she had a lot of credits in french from High School that could transfer. He started explaining computer programing to her. Told her a dumb french joke, and kept rambling. All I kept thinking was "why don't they have a NO TALKING sign here? I could start flashing at any time now." I was about to fall asleep and Ethan poked me through the seat. "Can I have your I-Pod?" I give it to him. Five minutes later, Bill Gates ran out of people to listen to him and I was drifting off and Ethan pokes me again. "Noah needs help with his homework." Really? He is sitting across the aisle from his dad. He couldn't ask him? I talk to Noah through the seat, "Why did you wait until now to do your homework? You had 10 days to ask for my help. I can't help you now."- Because I am talking to him through the seat we only see half of the other person's face. Noah got teary and I turned around mad. I was mad because I made my kid cry, and because he waited until the last possible moment- 9:30 PM to do his homework. AND his dad was right by him!! All of a sudden Noah and Ethan jump up and Noah announces, "Can I go to the bathroom?" Turns out he threw up in the bathroom. When he got back he told me he's fine and I told him to drink ginger ale. I closed my eyes, only to hear the stewardess say, "ohh, honey, just breath deep and take sips." ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! I turn around and look at him between the seats. He's crying. I give him my barf bag. He immediately starts to use it. I look at Scott and he's staring out the window with head phones in his ears. Seriously? The only time I am that oblivious about what's going on is if I am unconscious. I glare at him and ask if he'll take care of his son. He says, "What? huh? Why?" As he's ushering Noah to the bathroom, Ethan pokes me between the seats again and says, "Noah threw up because he doesn't know how to do his math." I was torn between switching with Ethan so I can help, or staying put. Chatty Cathy had his eyes closed and I didn't want to start him up again, so I asked Scott to help him. He did and Noah was perfectly fine the rest of the way home. I didn't sleep at all on either plane.
Fargo might have only three months of decent weather, but it's home. I fit in here. I don't feel like someone is going to yell at, or shoot me for looking at them. We may be dangerously close to the frozen tundra, but it does keep out the rif-raft. I guess all I have to say is there's no place like home.

Today at school we were talking about nationalities.
"I'm part Norweigan and part German"
"I'm Irish, Bosnian and Canadian"
One girl said, "My mom is Norwegian and my dad is Catholic."

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