December Diary

So I haven’t posted anything in over a month, but I have a really good excuse. Well, several of them. Here’s the short version: 2 birthdays, 4 cases of the flu, work insanity, the holidays, 1000 piece Lego sets, visitors, some quality meals, a nice weekend at the home of the Mouse, vinyl shopping, and one long road trip. Here’s the longer version in handy diary form (Fair warning, I haven’t cranked out a rambling, 2000 word post in a while, so this will probably be way too long).

At the beginning of the month we celebrated both of our sons’ birthdays (birthdays are Nov. 30 and December 3, so they are the same age for exactly 4 days, much to annoyance of my eldest son) by taking them to stay the weekend at the Yacht and Beach resort at Disney. My kids love staying at Disney hotels, so much so that they usually could care less about actually going to the parks themselves. They’d rather order room service breakfast and hang out at the pool all day. I’d like to think that speaks well of how we have well we have raised them, but maybe that just means that they are spoiled rotten. Definitely one of the two.

After checking in on Friday night we went on the “Pirates and Pals” cruise, which ended up being pretty fantastic and one of their favorite things we have done in Orlando (definitely recommend this for a birthday or special occasion if you are in town with little ones to entertain). Everyone dresses up like pirates, meets at the Contemporary Resort, gets their picture taken with Captain Hook and Mr. Smee, and then goes on a “cruise” of the Seven Seas Lagoon led by a Disney “pirate” to get a close up view of the light parade and a fantastic view of the fireworks at Magic Kingdom.

IMG_0747

The birthday boys with Captain Hook and Mr. Smee.

Since it was his birthday, my son was chosen to lead the group down to the boats carrying the Captain Hook fan. Big thrill for him.

Since it was his birthday, my son was chosen to lead the group down to the boats carrying the Captain Hook flag. Big thrill for him. His brother and the rest of the kids on our boat were totes jealous.

Big finale.

Magic Kingdom fireworks over the castle. The big finale.

The one downside to this evening was, right about the time the fireworks kicked in, that I started to feel like death warmed over – chills, fever, dizziness, all the things that you want to feel while on a boat. We didn’t know at the time but this was flu case number 1 of 4 for the Lo family during the month of December. So, while the rest of the family was enjoying the pool and the Yacht and Beach, I was in the bed shivering, sweating, moaning, and generally acting like a patient in an old movie right before the quack doctor applied the leeches to drain out the fever. Lots of fun.

The family enjoyed this pool (complete with sand) at the resort while I was stuck in the room.

The family enjoyed this pool (complete with sand) at the resort while I was stuck in the room.

One of the best reasons to stay at Yacht and Beach, the view of Epcot during Illuminations, especially handy when writhing in bed with flu.

One of the best reasons to stay at Yacht and Beach, the view of Epcot during Illuminations, especially handy when writhing in bed with flu. Love the shot with moon on the left.

Surprise dessert the hotel resto provided for the boys. One of the great little touches Disney has.

Surprise dessert the hotel resto provided for the boys. One of the great little touches Disney has.

The flu I picked up kept me in bed the rest of the weekend through Tuesday night. By the time I shook off the flu I was ready for a night out of the house (or really, just out of the bed would have been enough), so we met some friends out at one of my favorite haunts, Redlight Redlight, to say goodbye to my friend Rob before he moved back to the far north reaches of Michigan. After a couple of great Flemish Sours (and a couple of games of Embarrassing Family Photos: The Board Game that likely permanently shattered whatever hipster credibility that I had left), we moved on to Cask and Larder for late night eats (oysters and stout, one of the best combination humanity has come up with yet). The entire night out was worth it to get this photo of Rob.

This mac 'n cheese is gooood.

This mac ‘n cheese is gooood. You are welcome, Robert.

The next couple of weeks are a blur as the boys traded having the flu and I was scrambling to get a delivery out for work before the holidays and finish up getting ready for Christmas. We snuck in a couple of trips to Epcot during the month between the flu outbreaks to take in the Christmas decorations and festivities, my favorite time of year there outside of the Food and Wine Festival. Here are some decidedly higher quality photos of the holiday goodness.

The lads in front of holiday Pluto.

The lads in front of holiday Pluto.

Father Christmas ringing in the holiday.

The boys with my favorite Christmas witch, La Bafana.

The boys with my favorite Christmas witch, La Bafana.

The kiddos with the Monkey King in China.

The kiddos with the Monkey King in China.

Before you knew it Christmas was upon us and it was time for my yearly holiday tradition of putting together 1000+ piece Lego sets on Christmas morning while trying to keep my profanity at a reasonable level. Not to sound like an old man, but remember when Legos came in a tub with a few hundred pieces and you put stuff together that you came up with using your imagination? Those days are long gone, my friends.

1000+ pieces, 2 instructions booklets and many creative uses of words that my mom would rather I not have in vocabulary, the Lego Malevolence was complete, presented to you by Lo family flu victim #3.

I earned some major brownie points with the in-laws by staying with our sick patient Christmas day so that the rest of the family could go to Christmas brunch. So while the rest of you were enjoying something lovely and homemade that day, I was emptying buckets full of dirty tissues – if I was lucky – and scrounging up some to go sushi (If crispy duck is Chinese turkey, then I guess sushi is my Japanese turkey) from the only resto I could find close by not named Burger King that was open Christmas Day.

After a day delay to make sure everybody was feeling better, we packed up for our annual trip to visit my family in South Carolina for Christmas. Wouldn’t you know it, by the time we got to Georgia Mrs. Lo was starting to feel worse for the wear and was a full blown flu victim #4 by the time we made it to Carolina. That meant that she spent the rest of the week isolated in a hotel room bed while the rest of us chased my sons and their cousin around greater Columbia. I found time to browse the gloriously ramshackle vinyl stacks at one of my favorite shops in the southeast, Papa Jazz Records, and made it to brunch at a nice little place on the west side of Columbia called Cafe Strudel (both places are must visits if you find yourself in Columbia) where I had this lovely concoction below, a bacon infused Bloody Mary.

Bacon infused deliciousness, in handy, easily ingested  liquid form.

Bacon infused deliciousness, in handy, easily ingested liquid form.

Once Mrs. Lo recuperated enough to get into the car for a while we made a quick stop in my hometown, Greenville, SC, where we made a point of visiting some spots downtown, including the zoo and their much talked about new edition, Kiko the baby giraffe. He was a bit shy, but we caught a glimpse of him (is it a him? I don’t know to be honest). We also saw a potbellied pig. Seriously (don’t believe me? I have proof)

This is a very fleeting glimpse of Kiko the baby giraffe behind the hill. Apparently, when Kiko was born hundreds of thousands of people witnessed the birth. How many people not named can say that? (Until the Kardashian birth is live on pay per view for $49.99. You laugh now.)

This is a very fleeting glimpse of Kiko the baby giraffe behind the hill. Apparently, when Kiko was born hundreds of thousands of people witnessed the birth. How many people not named can say that? (Until the Kardashian birth is live on pay per view for $49.99. You laugh now.)

Pig!

Pig!

(Ok, this is getting way too long even by my standards. Let’s, as Simon Pegg once said, skip to the end, shall we? Hemingway-style)

We drove home. The drive was long. Nobody got sick. The house did not burn down. The Legos were not broken. I listened to some of the vinyl that Santa brought me. All was well. Happy 2013 to you all.

Cheers.

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Posted on January 11, 2013, in Food and Drink, Music, The Dad Life, Theme Parks and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I love how your son looks so happy, holding the Lego creation you slaved over. Glad you are all feeling better!

  2. I notice by the Barca shirt, that you are raising two upstanding citizens… đŸ™‚

    • I tried to get him in the Sky Blue, but no sale. It was Messi shirt or nothing. Was just thankful it wasn’t a Ronaldo one – disowning a 9 year old would be tough.

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