Tag Archives: trampoline

The First Trip to the Beach, 2014

Good morning, Everyone!

We went to Panama City Beach for the weekend using a Groupon for the Edgewater Beach Condominiums.  While we were hoping for good beach weather, and were led on by the various forecasts we observed until we passed the cancellation date, we ended up with cloudy skies, a brisk wind and a high of 69.

However, it was the beach, so we managed to have fun anyhow.  We had invited a friend of Kayla’s to go with us, so Kayla was happy from the beginning.  She loves having a buddy with her!

We got a late start on Saturday.  For some strange reason, the two girls, ages 11 and 12, weren’t exactly eager to get up in the morning – I think it had something to do with the talking and giggling that occurred once we finally made it to the condo Friday night and after Mark and I went to bed.  Once the two girls had showered and done their hair (here you can add another hour!), we went to Another Broken Egg Cafe which has fabulous brunch dishes.  After that, we decided to go shopping at Pier Park.  I gave each of the girls a little spending money, and had the best time watching them shop.  They would enter a store and just start wandering through the racks.  They would then find something they liked, check the price and then decide whether they could afford it, and, the more difficult decision, whether the item was something they wanted enough to spend their money on.  Kayla’s comments on the prices of things were pretty funny, as were her comments on the multitude of T-shirts whose messages she found offensive in a few stores.  Miss Priss announced that there was no point in buying a T-shirt that you couldn’t wear to school!  I agree with her, but would get embarrassed when she would point to a T-shirt and talk at the top of her voice about how inappropriate it was.

Kayla was also afraid to buy anything because there might be something else farther down the line that she would want more.  She agonized over the Vera Bradley purses (until she found out what they cost!), over these hair twister plastic thingies that would have cost her $30 for 4 (essentially all of her money), and several other items.  She finally decided on a souvenir cup from the retail shop at Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Restaurant, and it took all of the sales person’s helpful comments about the lifetime warranty on the cup to for her to keep her resolve.

On the way into the shopping center, we had gone by a kiosk where a man was selling children the opportunity to jump up and down on a trampoline-like thing with harnesses and bungee cords that would let them reach much higher heights than normal.  With the unerring eyes that children have for such things, Kayla saw it on our way in and kept commenting on how much she wanted to “bungee jump.”  Mark hadn’t seen the trampoline outfit, and thought that Kayla was talking about bungee jumping for real, so he was getting very aggravated because he knew that there was no way that she would climb up a high tower and then jump so she could be bounced up and down on an elastic cord.  The situation was not improved by Kayla’s mentioning bungee jumping every 5 minutes or so.  However, as her friend observed, at least it had taken her mind off going to the beach, which had been mentioned every five minutes or so until Kayla saw the trampoline.

Once Mark and Kayla  finally got the resulting word tangle smoothed out, Kayla and her friend got to jump on the trampoline – $10 a child for four minutes of jumping.  I think the kiosk person should have given us a discount – he had no-one waiting to do the jumping until my two girls started, after which he had a line about three families deep.

We returned to the hotel room, where both girls insisted on at least going to the pool.  The pool immediately behind our unit was large, beautifully landscaped and not heated.  They both said that was the one they wanted to try first.  I told them to go on to the pool and try dabbling their feet or their arms in the water until I got back with the towels from the car and let me know when I got back if they still wanted to stay in that pool, or instead find a heated one.

It took much less time than I expected.  They greeted me at the door leading to the unheated lagoon pool expressing a decided preference for the heated pool.  It was only behind the next tower, so it wasn’t far.

The heated pool was a big success with them! I sat pool-side and read while they played.  Late, late in the afternoon, the sun burst through the clouds for just a little while, and they both begged to go to the beach.  We only had about a half hour left anyhow before we had to return to the room, so I took them on down.  My child’s friend tried the water at various depths, announced it was too cold, and returned to play on the beach but not in the water.  Kayla kept insisting the water wasn’t that cold and spent about 20 minutes in it, after which she too finally came out.  She said you got used to the water after a while; I’m convinced that her legs just went numb from the cold.

We finished our night with a wonderful dinner at Captain Anderson’s, a fabulous restaurant, and mini-golf, which was a  lot of fun.

We had to get up early the next morning in order to return home, so we sent the girls to bed about nine.  I’m fairly certain they didn’t sleep until a long time after that, but at least we tried.  They spent a fair amount of time sacked out in the car as we drove home.

The forecast for Sunday, when we had to leave by 7,was, of course, sunny and 75.  It looked like Panama City Beach was going to reach that and more when we left.

I hope all of you had a Happy Easter!  Have a great day!


The Olympic Learning Experience

Good morning Everyone!

Olympics, Olympic Torch

Olympic Torch, from Print Shop Professional 2.0

For those of you who perhaps have been spelunking or exploring untamed wilderness with no internet, TV or radio access, the 2012 Summer Olympics are being held in London right now.  Every night at seven, millions of Americans are tuning in to their local NBC channel to watch a “greatest hits” version of the Olympics, while as many as can possibly do so are also watching the events live during the day.

TV Remote

From Print Shop Professional 2.0

My family is no exception.  At 7 on weeknights, Kayla and I invariably ask Mark (as the male in the family, he apparently acquires by divine right sole access to the TV remote – well, divine right and the fact that the *&*&$*^#$#@&%$%&* thing refuses to work correctly for me or Kayla) to switch the television over to NBC, and the three of us watch whatever events might be on.

Swan dive, Diving

From Print Shop Professional 2.0

We turned on the other night to discover an event we weren’t even aware existed – synchronized (or, as the British would write, synchronised) diving.   FN1.   This was an event the three of us never dreamed existed.  Basically, instead of just one diver performing extraordinarily difficult and athletic dives, two divers are required to perform the same extraordinarily difficult and athletic dives as nearly as possible at the same time, with points given or deducted on top of the normal diving points for how temporally coordinated the performances are.  I have to wonder at what post-Summer Olympic meeting the diving committee came up with that idea.  I can just hear them now, at the after-dinner aperitif stage:

Hey guys, since the divers are beginning to get so good at the dives we thought were impossible to do, how ’bout we up the difficulty factor by making two of them dive at the same time!  That’ll show them!


From Print Shop Professional 2.0

Other Olympic events just seem vaguely incomprehensible to us.  For example, cycling.  I understand the concept of a bicycle race – you throw anywhere from 2 to 100 bicycles together at one place, called a starting line, and require them to travel to a second place, called a finish line, and the one that gets there first, wins.  But we saw an event one evening that I am still trying to figure out (not too hard, or I would have googled it by now) – teams of three bicyclists each on bikes without spokes in their wheels travel around an indoor track together.  I’m not sure how the winner was determined or what rules applied, except for the rule that each team of three bicyclists had to follow each other in a straight line.   FN2.

I pulled a list of the sports that are included in the summer Olympics.  Many of the Olympic events are fairly familiar to me, such as swimming, diving, racing and gymnastics, but others are not, although nothing in the summer Olympics is as foreign to me as the winter Olympic event of curling.  For example, rhythmic gymnastics, which appears to require the gymnasts to do routines with swirly ribbon things besides them, appears a bit odd at first blush, and who would have thought that “trampoline” was an Olympic sport, while neither baseball nor golf is?  (Actually, I believe baseball used to be an Olympic sport, but I am not sure about it.)  Badminton and ping-pong – excuse me, I mean table tennis – are fun to play, but I am not exactly sure how they rose to Olympic status.  I would love to see more of the Olympic events involving shooting, archery and fencing on TV, but at least so far I have managed to miss them.

TV Announcer

TV Announcer, from Print Shop Professional 2.0

Whether the sport is familiar, ie., soccer, or foreign, ie. rhythmic gymnastics, to me, one of the best things about watching them on TV is the commentary given by the announcers.  Somehow, NBC has managed to acquire individuals who are familiar with the sports they are showing, and the commentators help explain both the sport and how the contestants are judged.  That way, even if the sport is something completely new to me, I manage to learn a little bit while I am watching.

So kudos to the announcers, and to NBC who has managed to find commentators that can explain the events and scoring in sports like synchroniz[s]ed diving and rhythmic gymnastics, and here’s to another few days of the Olympics Learning Experience!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll try to find a televis[z?]ed trampoline medal event….

Have a great day!


FN1.  One key spelling difference between British English and American English is the use of “ise” and various forms thereof (British) versus “ize” and various forms thereof (American) in certain words such as “synchronis[z]e.”  With the wonderful consistency that characterizes the English language, we Americans have graciously refused to “ize” some words, such as “televised” and “supervise.”   Either that, or someone just made a typo that stuck, since “s” and “z” are suspiciously close to each other on the keyboard!

FN2.  Regardless of how unfamiliar I am with a sport, I want to emphasize (or is it emphasise?) how much I respect the athletes who compete in ANY Olympic event – the training and prowess and effort each athlete brings to the games honors their country regardless of the final medal count.