On Monday and Tuesday, we spent a 1.125-day vacation in St. James, Mo. where we visited my brother Justin and his family. His youngest son Keaton was celebrating birthday Numero Uno.
Of course everytime we get together now, it’s a party, whether there’s a birthday involved or not. After all, there’s four adults and four little perpetual-motion machines … I mean kids. But this time things were a little personal, as all the adults began talking about how when they were teenagers, birthdays were all about visiting escape rooms and arcades with friends. We were cherishing the past.
As we drove down I-44 we passed through scattered rain showers. Eventually we came to a point where we were facing a distant line of very dark clouds. And from those clouds came constant lightning strikes. It was really something to see. Eventually the rain began to pour, which is my least favorite condition in which to drive. But we made it through with no problems.
We arrived around lunchtime so that Yoli could decorate a cake for Keaton. She had come with the pieces of the cake already baked ahead of time. She had prepared a flat chocolate cake and a round carrot cake, which she was going to fashion into a baseball.
The kids had their fun, and Justin and I had ours. He now has a Nintendo Wii. This was my third chance to play with one. The first time had been at my friend Matt’s house two Christmases ago. The second time was with my cousin Alan when we went to San Antonio for Jonathan’s wedding this spring.
I’m not half-bad at the bowling game, and I did fairly well with the baseball. The golf is just flat-out insane.
Yoli was really intrigued by the idea of making a “Mii,” the little character that represents you as a player. Justin made one for me that was actually a decent resemblance. Before the trip was finished, we had also made Miis for Ludi and Yoli.
Yoli’s cake turned out beautifully. And the party was pretty fun. They invited a ton of kids from their church small group, and Justin’s house became a madhouse with all the little tykes running around. He busted out a ball pit, which is essentially an inflatable pool that you fill with plastic balls instead of water. The kids jumped in, including Keaton and Ludi, the one-year-olds. Jadzia got into the mix eventually, but it took her a few minutes before she was sure she could join the fray. Balls were being thrown everywhere fast and furious, and it didn’t really stop, not even once all the guests and gone home.
We stayed overnight at Justin’s house, and Yoli and I snuck in a little more Wii that night and the next morning. We ate at “Diana’s Diner” for breakfast and before too long, it was time to return home. All in all, it was a good way to spend my “weekend” (I’m always off on Tuesdays and Wednesdays).