Saturday, December 4, 2010

Family time, Sea world, Thanksgiving, and cutting down an X-mas tree

My blog will be back to barefoot running very soon.  (I'll have a review of the barefoot Ted running clinic up in a few days.In the meantime check out the 3 new complementing blogs to bourbon feet.  And you thought this this page was full of BS. there are also links on the side .  For the most part this post is all about my family

My life is not all runinng, drinking and spending time  with exotic beautiful women.  The most important part of life is the time I get to spend with my family. My family is very small  I am the last of the Sweeney bloodline going back 3 generations with me and my sister (the only two people left alive, as well as my step mother).  On my moms side she has one sister who has a son and daughter and who's daughter has two kids. I have one sister who has 2 kids as well. That is my family and I am very fortunate that they all live within about 50 miles of me. Over the Thanksgiving Holiday I had a lot to be thankful for and really appreciated the time I got enjoy with people I love.

When I last posted my Nephew Lucas was imprisioned at the Knott's Berry farm Jail the weekend before Thangsgiving.  Well thanks to the millions os dollars in support donted by my generous blog readers and the fact that Snoopy forgot to read him his miranda rights we were able to get him out just in time, to go to Sea World.

Sunday morning we headed out of the South Bay towards Orange County to pick my two awesome nieces (actually my cousins daughters but I call them nieces and I'm sticking to it).   In my family I am not known as Pat,  Patrick or Bourbon Feet  I am "Uncle Pat." and I like that.  We ended up getting down to Sea World by about 1p.m. the weather was cold with the occasional shower.  We fooled around in the hotel for awhile and checked out the pool.  Our original plan was not got to Sea world till the next day but we bought season passes $59 through Auto Club so it didn't cost any extra to go another day.

I got get this off my throat before I go on.  I am not an advocate of Sea world.  I do not condone the practice of  having  animals in captivity especially if they are need to be antidepressants. I understand that Sea World rescues and rehabilitates a lot of animals, and does provide a sanctuary for some.  Personally it saddens me to see the whales in dolphins in a tank.  Somehow going to Sea World has become a Thanksgiving tradition in my family and my desire to be with them far outways my conviction about the park,  at least until my nephews get a few years older.

We got to Sea world at about 4:30 P.M and the Park was closing closing at 8:00 P.M. It was freezing out and the Park was empty.  I'd never been on the their water Roller Coaster ride "Atlantis" and I convinced my niece Emily to join me.  It's one of those rides where you can either a little wet or totally soaked.  I think there were 2 people in line in front of us (most people arn't stupid enough to go on a water ride in cold weather just before Dark)

 We ended up getting seats in the back which meant we didn't get totally soaked.  The ride was fun the pretentious BS story line  narrated to us made me laugh. 
The rest of the group were all smiles due to the fact that they were dry and Emily and I were wet.

A good portion of Sea world has an artic theme. I think they do this so that in the summer time you don't feel so damn hot.  On this particular evening the snow felt real.

I wonder How much  a pair of Luna Sandal's size 82 would cost the abominable snowman 
The full moon was out and we decided to catch the nighttime Shamu show
The show was called "Shamu Rocks" It consisted of a bunch of overweight Sea World trainers Dancing in their bright florescent (very unflattering wet suits) while who I think must have been the owner of Sea World's  son did a 10 minute electric guitar solo as Shamu jumps in and out of the water splashing the audience.
The kids all sat in the splash zone. They got Soaked as as soon as the show was over be booked to the car and B lined to the hotel
View from out hotel deck Monday morning you can see the Sea World Tower off in the Distance
Usually we stay in some cheap chain hotel on the side of the freeway.  This time we decided to pay a few bucks more (still pretty cheap) and stay in an old resort near Mission Beach called the Bahia.

Sea World day 2 first stop Ice skating
Grandma (my mom) came down and joined us on our second day.  Here we are posing for the obligatory possible X-mas card pic
Since I was wearing a beanie I did not need the aid of these helpful Flamingo's to eat the bugs out of my hair.

As tasty as that fish looked I am no longer a meat eater.  The seagull made a good effort but was a bit too slow.
Sea world's Tea cups let you spin as fast you our strong unlike the crappy ones at Disneyland
Once again It was pretty cold outside which meant no lines for the water rides.  Me being wiser than my neices and nephews (not really) only stayed on the ride twice in row, they stayed on it 4 times.

We thawed out in the giant people dryer
View from the Tower just as the sun was setting and our day was complete.

Tuesday started off with a swim
A little bit of tennis
Barefoot of course.
a bit of frisbee

Sadly my sister is lacking in the frisbee skill department, but I still love her.
We got cleaned up in the hotel and checked out

We took a quick stroll on the beach on out way out. we also hit up the Mission Beach roller Coaster while were there.
We had to drive past Sea world on our way home so we figured we might as well stop by for a few hours
Once again it was pretty cold. Mom (my sister) Vetoed any plans for water rides.  To make up for this rational decision  the kid's made up for with some dip n dots.

Can you spot the Sea Horse?

Rockin the Moeben's
Kids are funny one second they are full of energy and 15 minutes later on the car ride home they are toast.

The Sea world trip was a real fun time we did a lot of things in short period of time.  I got home late Tuesday night.  Wednesday I had no plans I think I ended up spending the entire day at gym. 

Thanksgiving morning My sister and two nephews were entered in a 3 mile Turkey trot run in Torrance. I had really wanted to compete in it but my body was not ready. I was stoked to be able to cheer on my family as they have done for me so many times before.  Neither one of my nephews (Lucas age 6,and Thomas 8) had ever entered a race over a mile.  They are both members of the 100 mile club  (a really cool non profit organisation please click the link) and have been running every week in their jogging club before school. 
My nephew Thomas ran way out ahead of my sister and his brother.  I had expected him to finish around 37 minutes.  He blew expectation away when he came in in just over 30 minutes.  He gave it his and didn't walk a single step.  (the jogging club is playing dividends).  He gave it his all and I was very proud of him but more importantly he was proud of himself.

Check out the calves on my big sis (she loves it when I point them out lol)

My sister stayed with my other nephew Lucas.  She told me he would sprint 100 yards and then walk the next 500.  They came in in around 38 minutes.  Lucas is only six years old and that's way better than I would have done at that age.  Good Job Lucas
Some how my sister and her friend were able to shopping during the race endding up with free t-shirts.  (come on ladies can't you wait 24 hours till black Friday)
Proud Uncle
After the Race it was off to My Cousin Mike's house for a thanksgiving meal.  This would be my first year celebrating the day as a Vegan.  I din't mind not having any Turkey as I gorged myself on Yams and other Vegis.  The biggest change for me came from not eating any of the home made cookies.  In past years I would probally consume an additional 3,000 calories in sweets alone. 
Uncle Mike (my cousin) Carving up his first Turkey
Playing Blokus with my Cousin Jill and the old Ladies.  I have a very competitive family when it comes to board games.  Blokus is one of my favorites and I ended up winning most of the matches I played that day

Having fun in the back yard

We had all had a good time at Uncle Mike's house and I got home at reasonable hour to a pleasant surprise

That night a friend of mine stopped by. She didn't want this to be my first year without Turkey. ( The key to my heart is no through my belly it's through my kidneys. ) The wild turkey sure hit the spot. Little did I know that when this pic was taken my shirt was trying to snag a swig.  My friend could only stay over for a little while but it was long enough to put a smile on my face and finish off a great Thanksgiving. 

For the last four years on Black Friday I have gotten up at 4:30 and headed to Sports Authority for their 5a.m. opening.  They give gift cards to the first 85 people ranging from 10 to 500 dollars.  The plan was if I got the 500 dollar one I would get my sister a treadmill for X-mas.  It was 40 degrees when I left my house.  I ended up with a $10 card, picked up a soccer ball that was on sale that I plan on giving to charity.
Barefoot Ted came over to my house at about 7:30 a.m. we shot the shit for a bit (hey that rhymes) and then headed to the beach for a Barefoot running clinic.  (I forgot this post is supposed to be about family)
Full review of the running clinic coming in my next post.

After the running Clinic Ted dropped me off at my mom's house I grabbed my bike went for a nice leisurely 20 mile ride eventually ending up at my house.  
Saturday was the last phase of my Week long family fun fest (I sound like a commercial)  

It was off to Fillmore to go cut down a X-mas tree
not this one
This will be our 3rd year in row cutting down a tree.  We start out in Fillmore and jump on an old train (the one in the movie Sea Biscuit) for about 40 mins to a X-mas tree farm

almost there

After a 15 minute search we found our tree

Using a small saw we put Grandma to work
Next up was my Sister
Thomas thought maybe he had the strength to cut it down

Could Lucas do it?
Eventually they all gave up and put me to work.  (see I am good for something)
Although the tree was gone it still provided for the boy (very Giving Tree esque one of my favorite books)
Dragging the tree to the tractor to be hauled onto the train

We don't need the train were driving home

Getting shot by my sis
I even got to spend some quality time with my mom enjoying the beautiful scenery
my sister yelling at me "Hey dumb ass get on the train it's time to go and I got you a present." (she really didn't swear in front of her kids)
Thanks for the beer sis. The pumpkin ale was much appreciated.
Lounging around waiting fo the tree to unloaded off the train.  Life is Good.
As we were sitting around this small child came wandering over, she was infatuated with my nephew Thomas and had an overwhelming desire to pet him.  She stuck around for about 5 minutes.  My nephew had no clue how to react to this random affection at first he shunned the attention but eventually he gave in and let this sweet girl pet his head.  
One of the Back street boys was also on the train ride and I think that baby was either his daughter of part of the entourage.   2 days later I was riding my bike on the strand and I could of sworn I saw the same Dude jogging by.  I think I may be being stalked by an ex teenage heart throb.

Once we got our try we tied it to the top of the mini van using about 80 feet of the weakest twine you have ever seen.  It was about a 40 mile drive back home at the tree made it in one piece.
The tree is probably the biggest one we ever got.  It stands about 10 feet tall and is way to big for my moms house.  This is i feel is a beautiful thing.  I absolutely despise X-mas trees that look like they came out of catalog (you know the type that you can't tell are real or fake.)  My favorite tree's are the ones their own unique character.  White lights and breakable bulbs are for old ladies! give me colored lights, pics of the family, and home made macaroni ornaments.  Our tree may not be pretty but it sure makes me smile. 

It was almost Dark by the time we got home.  I set to work putting up the X-mas lights on the house about 12 strands and got them up about 15 minutes before it began to rain.

In stark contrast to the giant tree at my Moms house. Here is the one I just planted for myself

It was a great week that I got to spend with my family.  
Thank you guys. You mean the world to me.

Happy Holidays everyone.

Bonus photo
This is my niece Emily as a baby I kept this photo in my wallet for years.  Check out the middle finger

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