Taking a 12 year old on a special vacation is a most informative event. For one thing, you get to learn all the special snack food you never knew existed. I had no idea there was such a thing as Combos–small bits of pretzels with something stuffed in the middle (ours had cheese). Judy is sure they have been out for awhile; who knew?
This 12 year old likes to eat. Lunch at Arby’s–French dip with curly fries and a shake. Dinner at a Grill and Pub in Marietta–Wings (10), fries, and a Coke. To be fair, he did not eat all the fries. We are traveling with a twelve year old who can eat us under the table. We had not finished lunch 30 minutes until he asked, “Where are we going for dinner?”
We left Huntsville this morning around 10:30 am and stopped by to see my mom. She loves these great-grands like they are her own children, and would like nothing better than to be able to get down in the floor and play with them, or take a trip like we are taking with this one. I suppose we should say, we do this for you as well as for us, Mom. Nick, our delightful twelve year old, was so good to her, sitting right beside her, helping her FaceTime with Jason and Amy, and giving her a big bear hug. She loved every minute!
I suppose I should back up a little. Judy promised to take each one of the grands on a special trip around their twelfth birthday. The program is simple–they pick a place (one we can afford), we plan the trip, and then off we go! Six years ago, we took Bradley to the Grand Canyon, Zion, and Bryce Canyon on his twelfth birthday. Considering what happened a few weeks ago, the memories of that trip have become precious treasures to us. Judy, with my sister Kathie, took Haisey to New York last Christmas. She wanted to go to Paris, HA!, so New York was Plan B. Regretfully, I was not well enough at that time to go with them. It became a girl trip that they probably enjoyed more not having me tagging along.
Jason Nicholas Gattis, Jr. (Nick) has just turned 12, so here we go with him. He wanted to see the Redwoods in California. Judy has always wanted to see Crater Lake—sooo, we will spend a couple of days at Crater Lake and then another three days touring the Redwoods and swimming in the Pacific. Tonight, we are in Marietta, flying out tomorrow morning for Portland where we will spend the night again before heading to Crater Lake. Thursday is the hike down to the lake, and unless a helicopter comes into the picture for me, the gruesome hike back out of the crater. Prayers for this venture are appreciated. Of course, I’ll do my best to describe the trip and include pictures. So, stay tuned if you are interested in seeing how a couple of 70 year olds travel through these adventures with a 12 year old.