Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Florida Vacation - Alligators!

We had breakfast with Mama Dell and Papa Earl and then went on our way.

We made our way down to the Everglades where we took a ride on an airboat.

These crafts are able to glide over grasses and go where other boats cannot.

When the boat was speeding along, the ride was fun, but the main thing I wanted to see was alligators. We didn't have to wait long.

We saw a mama gator and several of her young.

Our guide lured the mama gator close to the boat.

And enabled us to see her really close up.

My wife and I especially enjoyed seeing the big gator. I think Kai did, too, but it's hard to tell with him sometimes. When we got off the boat, he asked the guide why he drove over the plants. The guide seemed a bit perturbed as if he was disappointed that Kai didn't seem thrilled.

Later, we drove to Miami Beach and went to beach.

The water was calm, and perfect for a swim race.

And for dinner, we went to a hole-in-the-wall Cuban restaurant. My wife's grilled fish was super delicious. Kai had shredded beef and onions that were also very good. And the plantains and beans and rice that came with the dinners were great as well.

So it was another good day. Though if you ask Kai, he probably won't talk about the gator or the airboat. He'll probably just talk about the games he played on his iPad.

Well, hopefully he will remember some of this other stuff, too.

On to more adventures tomorrow.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Florida Vacation - A Day on the Water

We had another great day with Mama Dell and Papa Earl.

First order of business was to clean up the shells we collected yesterday so that we could pack them up to take home. I estimate that we had over three hundred shells.

And then we got a ride on Papa Earl's boat. A few years ago, when we went for a ride on Papa Earl's boat on Lake Erie, Kai was scared when it went over the choppy waves. But he enjoyed this rid.

We saw many birds including this osprey who was feeding her young.

We rode over to a seafood restaurant over at the next town. Kai enjoyed oysters on the half shell, clam chowder, and here with fried shrimp.

The meal and breeze got everyone very relaxed, Kai and Mom especially.

On the way back, we had a big thrill when we saw a dolphin swim right toward us before diving under our boat. Though it happened so fast that I couldn't snap a picture.

Later in the afternoon, we returned to the beach. This time Kai wanted to go in the water. It was a bit breezy so it was actually warmer in the water than out. Kai has become so comfortable in the water that the bigger waves of the Gulf of Mexico did not faze him at all.

It was another good day and Kai is having a great time.

Tomorrow we say goodbye to Mama Dell and Papa Earl an move on to the next part of our adventure - the Everglades.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Spring Break - We're in Florida!

It's spring break, and this year we have gone to Florida. Our first stop is to see Mama Dell and Papa Earl, who we are staying with for a couple days.

Today Mama Dell took us to the Sarasota Jungle Gardens.

There, we saw many colorful tropical birds.

And flamingos...

The other big attraction there are the reptiles. During the reptile encounter show, the zoologist asked Kai if he would watch over the orange box that she said contained a very dangerous animal. She is holding a snake, which Kai reached out to touch.

We found out that the box contained a baby alligator, and the zoologist thanked Kai for making sure that it didn't escape from the box.

After the show, he helped her carry the box back to the area where kids could hold the animals.

And as a reward, he got to be the first one to hold the baby alligator and a couple snakes:

Later in the afternoon, we went to the beach. Kai loved looking for shells, and there were tons to choose from washed ashore.

The day before we left home, it snowed. Now we are enjoying sunshine and good times.

Gotta love it!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

My Son’s Reaction to Sex Ed

Kai brought home a letter from school a few weeks ago informing parents that they would be starting a health education class. Among the topics to be covered would be sex education.

Kai wrote all over the envelope the letter came in.

Among his comments are “The 5th grade apocalypse!” and “It’s my worst nightmare!” (Spelling errors have been corrected.)

His attitude toward the class has not changed over time.

Twice a week, he has had his health class. And every time he loudly complains about how awful it is.

The class started out with more benign topics such as hygiene. But recently they progressed toward more sensitive topics.

When they covered puberty, Kai said, “There’s pregnancies breaking out all over 5th grade!”

This week they finally got to learning about how babies are conceived. I asked Kai how it all happened.

He said, “You put your private parts together. It’s really gross!!!!!”

I gave my wife a glance but she wasn’t even paying attention as she was caught up in watching a video on the iPad.

Which was probably just as well as she had the perfect excuse for not being able to answer Kai’s follow-up question.

“Mom, how was it when you made me?”

I tried to get him to repeat the question so that my wife could address this very important question, but, alas, his mind wandered off to something else so that question went unanswered.

The last class on the topic is tomorrow.

I’ll be relieved.

Why can’t kids learn about these things from other kids like when I was a child?

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Video: Kai's 2015 Piano Recital

We often wonder if we should continue with the piano lessons, but Kai performed nicely at his piano recital earlier this week.

Sunday, March 15, 2015


Hope you enjoyed the once-in-a-century Pi Day: 3.14.15 9:26:53 AM

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Shared Art Project with Grandfather

Kai loves to draw, and he loves apps that feature monsters or dragons. Recently, he has combined those interests.

He has tried to draw some of his favorite monsters. But when some of the monsters became too hard for him to draw on his own, he enlisted the help of another artist – his grandfather in Japan.

Kai took screen shots of the monsters and emailed them to Jiji. His grandfather then sketched them on paper and mailed them to Kai.

When Kai receives the sketches, he colors them in.

Here’s one of his recent ones:

And of course, he shares it with his grandfather via Skype.

Today, Jiji surprised Kai by telling him that he has been coloring the sketches as well, and showing his most recent creation:

Grandfather and grandson bonding over their shared love of art. Gotta love it.

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