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A Rockband B-Day Party

For weeks we have been trying to set a date when we could get together with Todd, Shelly, and Madi in order to celebrate Todd’s birthday. Well February came and went – no celebration. Sam’s birthday is in March and we typically pack up the van and head to Illinois to help Sam celebrate his birthday – but all that changed this year!!

The Bueskings were able to make a speed run to Cincinnati, and Todd, Shelly, and Madi were unexpectedly free the same weekend! So… It was party time!! Specifically it was Rock Band Party time. Todd owns the game and is a huge fan, but after checking out the rest of my family playing drums, guitar, and singing in the microphone, I dare say my whole family is a huge fan of that game!! The house was just a rock’n! And from the number of “Replay” buttons pushed “The Eye of the Tiger” was first in song requests.

Madi and Sam had a great time playing together, and there was food, cake, and naturally – presents! Todd and Sam had to hurry and blow out the candles on their cake though as Todd’s forest fire of a blasé was melting the cake fast! Sorry Todd – Forty’s tough, huh?

Sam was five this year. Hard to believe it has been 5 years since we were all on our knees praying for that young man’s life. He’s come a long way. He eats cheeseburgers, plays T-ball, and wears a ball cap!! Sure sounds like a regular 5 year old kid, doesn’t it?

Happy birthday!! It was sure great having all of you together this past weekend for a super birthday celebration.

Just so you know, Todd and Sam – We love you guys!!

A Mexican Spring Break!

Poncho's - Mazatlan 2009Linda and I had not been to Mexico for over 40 years, and that was just a day trip from San Diego to Tijuana back when I was in the Navy. And of course, as I was told many times this past week, Tijuana!! That’s not Mexico!! So when Gayle and Linda came up with a plan for a Mexican vacation to Mazatlan as sort of an early Spring break – Jim and I said, “Pacifico Beer”, Let’s Go!!

Well it was just a grand trip. Good food, good drink, and great company. Montezuma did present himself to almost everyone however. Jim, possibly do to his continuous Pacifico regimen, was able to escape the revenge though.

We ate. We played golf. We ate. We sat around the pool and the beach. We ate. We took a tour. We ate. Jim and Gayle played golf. Linda and I took another tour. We ate. I went parasailing. We ate.

Everything was perfect until I made a remark about how perfectly everything had gone during our vacation. Bad move!!!!

When it came time to leave, we learned that the airplane that was supposed to take us to Houston had a mishap with a bird. What happened was when our 737 was landing in Mazatlan, a very large bird sacrificed itself against the landing gear. Well there was a problem getting a mechanic in Mexico certified to sign-off that the airplane was ok.

So… we all boarded the plane. Then we all de-boarded the plane. Then we all re-boarded the plane to get our carry-on barrage. Then we all de-boarded again for a taxis ride back to town. We were going to spend yet one more night in Mazatlan courtesy of Continental Airlines, but not before standing inline for 2 hours waiting for our “free” vouchers.

We did have a great meal and the hotel was very nice, but the next morning there was that huge line again, 180 folks waiting to get re-booked for the next flight out of Mazatlan for Houston. Linda struggled with that line, but we were all able to re-board, the plane actually took off, the flight was uneventful, and the landing was successful. We were ushered through customs, and that’s when it happened…

As we were standing at the customs agent’s gate, he made some notes on our declaration, looked at Linda carefully, and called loudly over the wall for an officer to escort Linda to a holding room. My wife had been arrested!!

Well it seems they were not really looking for Linda. They were looking for someone with a similar name, but at the time all she could think of was – What had “I” done to get “her” into this situation? What had “I” put on that declaration form? Hmmm.

After Linda’s eventual release from custody (and my vindication), we learned there were no available seats on any airplanes going to Cincinnati, but naturally not until standing in some more lines, and checking our baggage through to Cincinnati.

So courtesy of Continental Airlines we extended our vacation yet one more day in Houston. Once again a nice hotel – and this one had “soft beds”. Every bed in each resort we stayed at in Mazatlan had a mattress that felt as though it was made out of concrete! A soft mattress was certainly a pleasant experience although with our bags checked, we had no clean clothes, and even though this was day-2 of our departure we were still not home.

Day-3 of departure was fairly uneventful. The hotel van got us to the airport on time, we boarded on time, the plane took off on time, and we landed in Cincinnati on time. Perfect right? Wrong. The bags we had previously checked in Houston had arrived in Cincinnati the day before and they were now locked up in the Continental baggage office, and there was no attendant. Urrr!! But some very nice ticketing folks took pity on two very weary travelers and rescued our luggage from the office after an hour or so. The drive home from the airport including a stop at the local IHOP – perfect. Go figure.

Would I recommend a Mexican vacation? Absolutely!! It was a great time. Just never ever ever say something as stupid as how perfectly this vacation has gone. EVER!!