Tuesday, February 19, 2013

President's Day Weekend Recap

Another great President's Day weekend in the books! Like last year, it ended with a trip to Amish Country and booked 2014 already. But first, it started in a way not-too-common at all. Read on...and consider if you have young, impressionable children.

I don't recall a birds-and-the-bees conversation growing up nor much of a guide-map to girls, etc. I am pretty sure I just found out whatever I found out with no compass or direction whatsoever. Hardly ever missing a Sunday in the pew, I had good morals, knew right from wrong and ended up today as a pretty good guy, I think. Today, though, technology and "information" is lightning-fast accessible by nearly all ages and it's boys AND girls that are chasing each other and not just the boys. With two of those aforementioned, impressionable children, we are doing our best not to screw this one up. We came across some material dubbed "Passport 2 Purity." (P2P) The idea is simple and it only takes a little bit of planning. You (the parent) take a Friday afternoon, for example, and plan a getaway with your youngster. You plan on returning home the following evening. In that short timeframe, you escape to a hotel, camping, or whatever it is that he or she loves. It needs to be an adventure. Pick somewhere that's more than 5min down the road, too. Kids love this so be creative. From the point you hop in the car and start driving, the P2P kit has several CDs and a project kit. On the CDs (that also contain MP3 versions to put on your smartphone) you begin with session 1. From then until the return home, you will go on a journey with your son or daughter that'll touch on every topic leaving no stone unturned. It's done very professionally, too...not cheesy in the slightest. They'll work through an included journal, work on a few teaching projects with you, ask questions, and you'll be with them all along the way. It's not just bird and the bees...it's peer pressure, it's pornography, and it's dating. It goes all the way and educates them with a foundation which sadly, is counter-cultural today. Returning home on Saturday night, my wife and oldest daughter raved about the time together...both in their individual ways, of course, and no regrets from either. In fact, we're eager to share it with close friends. There's no cookie-cutter answer to age-appropriateness but we agree that boys in the 5th grade and girls in the 6th grade are pretty perfect ages. Later is possible but I'm sure you'll be doing some catch-up as our culture is hard at work at destroying purity as early as possible. Here's the link if you're interested in learning more.

While they were away, my youngest daughter and I spent it together. We spent Friday night just hanging out on the couch and watched two movies on NetFlix. We all have "love languages" and hers is most definitely "quality time." Just hanging out is her cup-o-tea. NetFlix has a plethora of family-rich movies and our favorite from the night was "Broken Hill." If you remember "Mr. Holland's Opus," I highly recommend it. It starts out a bit slow but ultimately is a fantastic movie and one with lots of great messages...especially if you love music. We played the final scene three times, I think...while gobbling popcorn. Saturday, we ran some errands, hit up her favorite "5 Below" store, shared some Starbucks, had some authentic Mexican for lunch and bowled for a few hours. I love bowling with her and laughing a ton. One lane for me and one bumpers-up one for her...side-by-side. FANTASTIC day and night prior. We all rejoined back up on Saturday night to debrief our times to each other and prepare for Phase 2 of President's Day weekend...Amish Country.

After Sunday morning services at our new church home, we packed up again and headed south into Amish Country. Like last year, we planned it with best friends and their kids. Tucked away among rolling hills about 90min south of us, the place is called Carlisle Inn in Sugarcreek (link). Some may call it a hotel, but it's a retreat...a beautiful one we love to go to. Whether alone in the middle of summer with our favorite wineries nearby or in the middle of winter as a family with the indoor heated pool and jacuzzi, we love it. The architecture reminds me of the Founder's Inn in Virginia Beach, which is located on the campus of my alma mater where I got my MBA 7 years ago...Regent University. Very "Williamsburg-ish" style and every room in the Inn feels custom-made, perfect, warm, quite, dark-rich colors, and a balcony overlooking the Amish hillside. Along with the pool, lots of lots of open spaces on the 2nd floor for reading by the fireplace, playing the grand piano, or playing board games. Fun times were had by all, including our traditional pizza from Park Place Pizza on Sunday night...probably the ONLY place open since nearly all businesses never open on Sundays. Wrapping up late Monday morning, reservations were already made for 2014.

My kind of poster on the wall at VR-Wooster!! :-)
On the way home, we took the scenic route and drove through Wooster. Wooster is home to a new Vertical Runner, based out of Hudson. Vertical Runner is my choice of specialty running store in the area and I had not yet made it to the new location in Wooster. I never thought of Wooster as being an ideal location for a running store but I was very wrong! With many schools (and no one else locally to serve them) and a running community itching for more "community," they are doing fantastic. Before they even opened, they had huge group runs. From my first step in the door, it "felt" in every way like the Vertical Runner I know. I wasn't really in need of anything so I left with only a photo and a little "run" sticker for my back window but I did enjoy the conversation with Tammy (co-owner) and seeing the new place. Thanks to her, we enjoyed a fabulous lunch in downtown Wooster at Broken Rocks, just around the corner. I had never been to Wooster and it was a great first trip. I especially loved all of the century-plus brick architecture downtown. I must return with my camera someday.

Awesome weekend. Not too much running but that's OK. I did squeeze in a great 10-miler early Sunday morning (see last blog post) and planned on running this morning...but, if there is one weather condition I draw the line at, it's happening outside my windows right now. Upper 30s, 20+ mph winds, and pouring rain. That's called a "piercing needles" run, by the way. I'm no fair-weather runner but there is nothing good about running in this. It's misery. So, I will take the unplanned rest day and live to run another day....tomorrow. After all, my mind is set on my Father's Day Weekend 40-miler in the mountains. CAN...NOT...WAIT!

Have a great week, everyone!

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