Engaging Each Day with Action Words

Trail. — Yellow Cars+Bike Rides=A Pain in the Neck.

on June 17, 2013

Happy Father’s Day!

Ever since we started the Eat Well. Play More. Choose Happy. initiative, we have stopped giving gifts on special occasions and have started giving … adventures.

Last year, we rented a boat and spent an afternoon out on the lake, swimming and tubing and soaking up some much needed Vitamin D.

This year, not to be outdone, the kiddos and I planned a trip to celebrate Fix It Felix/Zen Daddy on his special day.

Since X and Y cannot keep a secret to save their lives, I knew once I told them the plan that they would spill the beans in a heartbeat.  So, as a preemptive strike, I also told them the backup story to tell Felix instead.  Of course, that didn’t work either, so I let Felix in on the bicycle trip. That also put him in charge of making sure tires were full of air and he could get the bikes loaded in the truck, etc. So. I call that a Win. Win.

We piled into the pickup, with four bikes and four helmets in the back, and headed about 2 hours south. On the way, we played a game called, Skittles.  I owe this little gem to a work colleague of mine. Sometimes I want to thank him because we have so much fun; other times I want to curse him because it causes such a ruckus in my car. The gist is this: Every time you see a yellow car, you yell out, “SKITTLES!” I don’t know why…you just do and when you do…you get a point. (Side note: It is absolutely amazing just how many people buy a yellow car! Seriously?!)

Alas, you continue to collect points until someone sees a police car and calls out, “BUSTED!” At that point, this same person collects all of the points from everyone else and the game continues.  Then you have a “Obi Wan Kenobe, You’re my Only Hope” moment…because the only thing that can help you know is to be the next one to yell, “Busted!”

I know it probably sounds lame to all of you folks who live exciting lives of theater and movies and travel and fun, fun social lives…don’t judge, we like our cheap car entertainment. It amuses us. But some of us take it extremely serious! There are rules. There are five year olds who try to make up their own rules. There are exceptions and judges and a little bit of healthy trash talking…to the point that I had to get a pen and paper to keep score.

All in all, all had fun, especially me, when I saw a “Busted” and collected all 18 points. Champion Dance, right here.

All of this to lead us to a little town whose big business is bike rentals and shuttle vans to the top of a mountain. We brought our own bikes, but caught a van for a 35 minute ride up a curvy mountain road.  Felix and the girl child have carsick prone tummies, so they sat up front, while X and I, with our abs of steel, aka, we don’t get carsick, sat in the back.  Aren’t genetics absolutely fascinating?!


Once at the top, we unloaded our bikes and immediately set off down the gravel path.  It is mostly a downhill trek with some flat road pedaling. The kiddos were flying down the path and the Momma in me was yelling to … “slow down!” “watch out for big rocks”, and “the loose gravel can be tricky” and other Momma-like warnings like that! I remember reading that it would take an average of 2 hours to ride down the 17 mile trail. I thought, “at this pace, we will be down in an hour.” I also had a few immediate regrets…I forgot how shaded this place is,  as Felix and I haven’t done this in over 12 years and I wished I had worn a long sleeve shirt. And while I packed water and some granola bars, watching X fly down the path on his Avengers bike, his feet pedaling as fast as they could go, I regretted not packing some band aids.

What an amazing ride.  I loved every minute of it. The scenery is beautiful and once we got out of the tree cover, we would hit patches of sunlight that were glorious and warm. As we rode lower in elevation, the air temperature increased to early summer pleasant. We took turns riding together, enjoying some conversation down the path. Felix and I had a few moments to chat. X and I discussed our plans for the week. Y and I shared a sweet Mother-Daughter moment together.

I had told the kiddos that there was an ice cream shop about halfway down the mountain and that we would stop for a treat. But once we were past the 6 mile mark, I started to question my memory. Needless to say, after a while…so did they. They started asking me when would we get to the ice cream shop; how much longer; I’m so hungry, … etc. Finally…we saw a multi-colored sign up ahead. Even the five year old, who cannot read yet, intuitively knew that this was it! This was the ice cream stop. As we got closer, I realized we were in big trouble.

It was closed. Yes. Closed. As in … out of business.

Oh my. That was more than the boy child could handle. His little legs had already pedaled more than he has ever pedaled in his life and he was promised ice cream. And now his dream was over. Over! Needless to say, he had a tiny little meltdown that was part exhaustion and part disappointment. And I have to say, completely justified.

Fortunately, this was short-lived and we were able to put him back together with some water and some peanuts and a promise, that no matter what, there would be some ice cream…somewhere!

Off we went, only stopping for a few trips under bridges, down to the stream for a little old fashioned lesson in skipping rocks. I call this magic…making memories.

skipping x   skipping y

A few more miles and we did stumble upon another cafe where we stopped for some lunch… and of course, some ice cream. Just in time to replenish the energy of a couple of kiddos.

Down the path a bit more, we talked and rode and let others pass us and looked around and enjoyed each other and laughed and kidded and lovingly teased and played and challenged and just… were. Us. A family. Together.

It was the perfect way to celebrate a man in our lives who is the most intentional, the most calm, the most playful and fun Dad I have ever known. We are so fortunate to have him in our lives. He is the best Dad and Partner E.V.E.R.!

Happy Father’s Day, Felix! We love you!

After a fun day and ride like this, there may or may not have been a second trip for ice cream, before we hit the road for the trek back. On that ride, there was a challenge issued about who could pretend to fall asleep the best…

sleepy x and y

This happened.


6 responses to “Trail. — Yellow Cars+Bike Rides=A Pain in the Neck.

  1. Lead Our Lives says:

    Love. What a wonderful story and memorable experience for all of you! Going to share this with my children. So very inspiring. 😉

  2. Jan says:

    I love your family. I love that you are blogging and keeping all these memories alive forever…with pictures too! Your children are blessed to have you and Felix as parents.
    I’m very thankful that Felix is such a wonderful father. It’s really quite amazing to see.
    All this for a memory. 🙂

  3. 43fitness says:

    Sweet – you all sure got your nature on and wore out the littles. Mission accomplished!

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