Holiday Stories

You are currently browsing the archive for the Holiday Stories category.

There’s a song by Kenny Loggins called, ‘Celebrate me Home’. It’s about a man (Kenny, I suppose) who returns home for the Holidays to be among his friends. They play music and sing. For the man, the music recalls memories of home when he’s away. Kenny sings,


Please, celebrate me home
Play me one more song,
That I’ll always remember,
And I can recall,
Whenever I find myself too all alone,
I can sing me home.

So, what’s the point? I originally heard this song in 1977 and had a copy of Kenny’s album of the same name. At the time, ‘Celebrate’ didn’t have much impact on me (my favorite song from the album was ‘Lady Luck’). However, I would rediscover this song almost 10-years later. In 1986, I was living in Colorado Springs and on my first Air Force assignment. Until this time I was never more than 2-3-hours from home, so it was easy to return for special occasions like Thanksgiving and Christmas. Now, I was 1,500-miles from home, which is no easy drive. In December 1986, I was spending my second Christmas away. Although I had a family of my own (my son was less than a month old), nostalgia was tugging at me, then I heard ‘Celebrate’ on the radio and the song took on a whole new meaning.

This year we’re spending Christmas with my folks and extended family. And although I can ‘count on being gone’, for the next few days you can ‘Celebrate me Home’…

Celebrate me Home

Tags: , , , ,

Last night, we took Alex and Adam to their first LIVE concert! Trans-Siberian Orchestra was in town for their 2016 Winter Tour; Cindy and I have gone to see them several times, so it was a time for the boys’ introduction…

TSO Tour

I wish I could say the evening went smoothly, but alas, I can’t. Sure, we left in plenty of time to get to the arena, but we didn’t consider the Main Street bridge construction, which detoured traffic through town, causing a HUGE back-up and inchworm-like progress. Anyway, after cutting through a few side streets we were within a stone’s throw of the venue when everything came to a grinding halt! Traffic was merging onto a 1-lane road from three different directions. WOW! So, naturally, Dad took one for the team, while Mom and the boys exited the van and headed for the entrance. Thankfully, they made it for the start of the show and I wasn’t too far behind. And Cindy had a beer waiting for me, which made it all good. I actually think TSO delayed the start due to the traffic issues, which worked-out great for us (and many others).

As expected, TSO didn’t disappoint! It was a great show and the boys had a BLAST! When it was over and we were walking out, Adam asked me to upload this music to his iPod (he also said he couldn’t hear, which means we got our $$$ worth ;-)) So, there you have it…TSO has two more fans-for-life! Here’s a clip from last night’s show…the song is called, “Christmas Jam”…

Tags: , , ,

Like the song goes,

♬ ♬ It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas ♬ ♬

and the lights and decorations are up, both outside…

Christmas Lights

Christmas Lights Christmas Lights

Christmas Lights

and inside…

Christmas Stockings

We even have a special Elf tree…

Christmas Stockings

Remember when I said, our house always has a theme? Well, here’s why…at least this explains the Christmas season 😉

Christmas Lights

Tags: , , ,

Today, we slept-in a little later because we didn’t get home from Disney until after midnight. And the boys wanted to go to the pool for a bit, so we waited until late afternoon to head-out to Disney Hollywood Studios. My favorite Disney park. Here we go!

Sven

On our way into the park, Cindy was the lucky random winner of a special ride through the metal detector…

Security

Although there were still a lot of people in the park, it wasn’t near as crowded as the Magic Kingdom was yesterday. Which made it much easier to get to our first destination: Front row seats for Star Tours! And look! Everything is 3-D!!

Star Tours

The last time we were hear, the boys didn’t get a chance to visit Chewbacca. We tried, but he was called away for some reason…maybe something broke on the Millennium Falcon or maybe he was sick…anyway, he was “home” this time around and the boys, especially Alex, were thrilled…

Chewy Hug Chewy and the Boys

Our favorite Wookie…

Chewy and the Family

And I guess you just can’t get enough Star Wars…

Stormtrooper

Before long it was time for the Christmas show at the center stage, “Jingle Bell, Jungle BAM!” featuring the “Prep and Landing” elves, Wayne and Lanny…

Jingle Bam!

The light and firework was presented against the park’s full-scale replica of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, home of The Great Movie Ride. The show was a lot of fun and we had a great spot right at the front of the stage.

Jingle Bam!

What an AWESOME night!

Tags: , , , , , , ,

This year we decided to forego the traditional Thanksgiving holiday at home and instead, over the river and through the woods, to Orlando we will go! So, piling in the family truckster, our Disney World Thanksgiving Extravaganza begins! Yesterday afternoon, we arrived at Hilton’s Tuscany Village Resort, one of our favorite hotels…an oasis in the middle of the city.

Tuscany

and today, “HAPPY THANKSGIVING”, we were up early and off to the Magic Kingdom…

To Orlando!

posing for selfies on the tram…

Mom and Alex Mom and Alex

and, of course stopping for even more pictures before Mom would let us enter Main Street USA! Fearlessly, Adam inquired, “Why do we have to take so many pictures?” That’s a rhetorical question, right? Cause I ain’t touching it with a 10-foot pole! 😛

Magic Kingdom Entrance

Anyway, once we crossed the threshold we headed to Tomorrowland so the boys could race the Grand Prix. This is a “must ride” every time we visit…and Adam, like Ricky Bobby, knows if you’re not first, you’re last!

The park was pretty crowded today, but we got around pretty well by timing our Fast Passes to take advantage of shows, like the “Hall of Presidents”, and fast moving lines, like Alex’s favorite ride, “The People Mover.”

We did endure one long line for “Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin”…not exactly sure why, but it did give Adam and I a chance to ride it, as we normally split the Fast Passes for this ride, which Alex likes, and “Space Mountain”, which Adam likes…

Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin

By late afternoon, we had been moving non-stop and it was time to take a break for Thanksgiving Dinner. So, we headed back to Tuscany Village for a GREAT Thanksgiving spread! The food was great and there was A LOT of it! After dinner, we went back to the room and rested-up for our return to the Magic Kingdom to see the lights and fireworks!

Naturally, and to Adam’s chagrin, we had to take more pictures…

Magic Kingdom Christmas Tree

but it was worth it!

Christmas Castle Christmas Castle

and once more before we leave!

Magic Kingdom Christmas Tree

Tomorrow, we’re off to my favorite park: Disney Hollywood Studios!

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

This year we took to the boat for our annual family Christmas pictures. We docked on Julington Creek, set-up the camera, then set the timer…again and again. As always there’s one or two good ones in the bunch. Don’t know if these will make the final cut (that’s Cindy’s job), but you get the picture (pun intended)…

Family Boat

…and outside the boat…

Family Boat

Getting a good picture of the boys and Charlie is a lot like herding cats…

Family Boat

We spent about 30-minutes taking pictures. In between Cindy’s arranging the boys, the dog, and the boat, I snapped the scenery…

Deck

When the pictures were done, we headed back to the marina. The sun was getting low in the sky, so we took our time. The boys napped under the watchful eyes of their best friend…

Sunset

Tags: , , ,

Once again, the boys’ school held a Veteran’s Day celebration. This is always a fun experience. The kids are asked to invite family members that are veterans to participate. I retired from the Air Force before the boys’ first birthday and they’ve never seen me in my uniform (other than pictures, of course). So, I shaved my beard and pulled the old BDUs out of the box in the garage. To my surprise, it still fit (albeit a bit tighter)…I’m certainly a lot greyer, though!

The Old Airman

This year there was a presentation in the cafeteria by the older kids, then the vets went to the various “houses” (first grade area, section grade area, etc.) to participate their kid’s, grandkid’s activity. The boys took part in the group event with other members of their cub scout pack, lining-up on stage for the pledge of allegiance and the national anthem. Adam and Alex looked great!

There were several vets connected to first graders in the “Fire House”. All the kids classes lined up and sand several verses of “Yankee Doodle Dandy” for us, then there was a Q&A, which was a lot of fun!

Alex Adam

It was a very special day for this old Chief…

The Old Chief

Tags: , , ,

It’s finally here: All Hallows Eve or Halloween, for short. The one night we tell our kids it’s okay to take candy from strangers. Anyway, this year the boys presented a couple of unique challenges with regard to their costumes. Alex wanted to be Ant Man, which seems simple enough. After all, the movie just came out last year, right? WRONG! We couldn’t find an Ant Man costume anywhere! We’ll that’s not entirely true because obviously we DID find one, but it wasn’t easy! And Adam wanted to be a Zombie, which required makeup. You’re thinking, “that’s not so bad,” except Adam had to go look in the mirror every two minutes to inspect my progress. So, finally, after all our efforts, Ant Man meets The Zombie…

Ant Man meets the Zombie

And they we’re having fun…although Adam doesn’t look like he’s having fun, he explains that “Zombies never look happy”.

Adam Zombie Alex Antman Adam Zombie Alex Antman

Meanwhile…

Our grandkids are ready for a great night of “Tricks or Treats,” too. We’ve always talked about how Oliver looks like Spot from the movie, The Good Dinosaur, well, Jess outdid herself with this one! Meet Spot and Arlo (a.k.a Carter John). Oliver even has leaves in his hair!

Spot and Arlo

And Kameran was “Deadpool Chick” from the movie Deadpool. Now, I haven’t seen the movie, so I don’t know if she’s “a” Deadpool Chick or “the” Deadpool Chick, all I know is that she’s too cute! From all the pictures of Deadpool I’ve seen online, a/the Deadpool Chick would need to have a couple of swords on her back, but not this one! Instead of breaking heads, it looks like Kam is going to be breaking hearts…

Deadpool Chick

Happy Halloween

Tags: , , , , , ,

You can always tell what holiday is approaching by looking at the front of our house! Cindy pulled the boxes off the shelves in the garage this weekend and there you go! BTW…the inside of the house doesn’t look much different than the outside 😉

Halloween House

Yeah, our house always has a theme.

Halloween windows Halloween windows

Tags: , , ,

No work today! Just lounging by the pool, nibbling on cheese and fruit, and enjoying some liquid refreshment…

Labor Day Fun

Tags: ,

« Older entries § Newer entries »