Groms in L.A.

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So California has swings on the beach, which combines my daughter’s two favorite things: Making me push her on the swings and getting filthy dirty. Like “stumbling around Burning Man” dirty. We’ve only been in Los Angeles for three days and she’s already turned into the stereotypical beach hobo—seaweed in her hair, a strange collection of “treasure” (shells, empty cans, and the occasional discarded CD case) in a bag, and the uncontrollable need to yell at the seagulls.

The beach time has been epic. I’ve concentrated on building elaborate sand castles with real working draw bridges and my kids have concentrated on crushing those castles like a pissed off Godzilla. For my effort, I get to carry them both across the hot sand at the end of the day. Every day is Father’s Day.

But, the kids got called “groms” by real life So-Cal dudes and I got to pay $4 for an ice cream sandwich, so I feel like we got to see “the real L.A.”

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We also rode bikes to Santa Monica to check out the pier, where the kids rode their first roller coaster—my daughter said it tickled her tummy. My son said it tickled his penis. Not sure what to make of that.

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To continue an uncomfortable streak going, he also decided to poop in the most inconvenient place—the Santa Monica Pier free public restrooms, which my wife described as such: “They’re like, kind of nice prison bathrooms.” Imagine chain-link fence walls.

The 11-mile bike ride back from the pier to our borrowed apartment took 7.5 hours because the kids had to stop every 32 seconds to go to the potty. I guess that’s what we get for shoving Gatorade down their throats to keep them hydrated. But we got to stop in Venice Beach and see the guy that roller skates and plays electric guitar—classic Fletch! And Liz bought everyone “I Love LA” t-shirts. They only had a women’s tank in my size, but I wear it with pride.

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Also, a quick note to Californians.

Dear Californians,

I don’t think you should have a vanity plate if you drive a ’90s model convertible Sebring. Your car already says everything you could possibly need it to say. The vanity plate is overkill. That is all.

Sincerely,

Daddy-Drinks

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F#$K the Dentist

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So Rocky Mountain National Park was interesting. The kids learned a lot about bears, and I learned that fun size snickers can be used as currency. A half a snickers will get you about 45 minutes of good behavior in the wilderness. Fuck the dentist and childhood diabetes, I think that’s a bargain.
Oh, and my daughter pooped next to one of the prettiest high alpine lakes in the country. Yep. About 20 feet from a line of Japanese tourists, I found myself pushing a giant load of excrement into an icy crevasse while pretending not to notice the thousands of black flies swarming me. A couple of hours later, she pooped on the footbridge next to the visitor center. Looking up at me in a panic, she said, “daddy, I gotta go to the bathroom.” Then before I could respond, she relaxed and said, “never mind.” Two little Snickers bars fell from her zip-off hiking pants shortly after. I just kicked that poop into the stream below with my foot before anyone could call Leave No Trace. Note: if you’re backpacking downstream form Bear Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park, you might want to purify your water.
I blame the potty training setbacks on the high altitude.
Some pictures.
My better half contemplating jumping after a long car ride.
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If you’re gonna poop in the woods, may as well pick a spot like this.
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Pee on this side of the road, and it goes into the Atlantic. Pee on that side of the road…
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