What My Kids Got to Do On Summer Break

by | Jul 10, 2014 | 0 comments

We all remember that question on the  first day of the new school year:

“What did you do this summer, Billy?”

Inevitably, the cool answers were things like Disneyland, summer camp and rich grandparents’ estates. We even had two separate friends that took their kids to Italy this year! Our kids, Molly (11) and Jackson (almost 14), will have a decent list of cool things they did. While we are actually taking four days off and RV’ing to Lake Siskiyou after the county fair this year, most of our activities are day trips. This is one of the pitfalls of running your own small business: it can be very hard to really get away. But if you remember the blog post, they did get a day at Six Flags including VIP seating in the “Splash Zone” (that’s called foreshadowing, folks). There will be a few other surprises for the Parks kids, but nothing will top Granite World!

You see, a few months ago we took out half the wall between the kitchen and living room and are installing a breakfast bar. The guy helping me complete the more technical aspects of this minor home improvement project has a good relationship with a specific granite store in lovely downtown Vallejo. In his other life he might be something called a contractor, but in that capacity there is all kinds of paperwork that becomes necessary, so for my purposes he is known as “the guy helping me complete the more technical aspects of this minor home improvement project”. Anyway, we needed to go to Vallejo to pick out our slab for the breakfast bar. Get in the car kids, we are off to Granite World!

The ride over was fairly uneventful as both kids had earbuds jammed in the sides of their heads. Passing Six Flags did not help quell the annoyance over having to sit in the car for two hours to go pick out a rock. It was when we got off the freeway that Jackson started to grouse about how his friends get to go to cool places like Disneyland and yet here he was on his way to Granite World. Now, at this point many teenagers can get sullen, grumpy, “my life sucks”… you know the type. Jackson has a slightly different approach. He can make fun out of just about anything when he chooses too.

“Hey look, Moll, not everyone gets to go to Granite World. We must be special!” he said as we parked behind a dingy building aside a giant yard full of granite slabs. When we finally walked around the front and got to the main entrance, after trying three locked doors, he commented how cool it was that it took way less time than the tram ride to get into Six Flags. Once inside, the hits just kept on coming.

I think they spent a full five minutes discussing the miracle that was the free cold water dispenser. Particularly fascinating was the notion that the speed at which the water came out was directly proportional to the force applied to the  button you pushed to release the flow. They just attended Science Camp! Upon completing the two ounces of free water his free cup held he naturally started flicking water droplets at his sister. “Look, Mom & Dad, Molly is in the Splash Zone!”

It took longer to get assistance than to actually choose our slab from the twenty or so options, but we were only there for about 15 minutes. It’s more like Granite Small Town than Granite World, but we were happy with our selection. As we got back in the car Jack checked his phone and found he had missed a call from his buddy Ethan.

“Awww, I feel bad for Ethan,” he said.

“Why, what happened?” Laura asked.

“He didn’t get to talk to me.” Jack answered and went on to comment, “Everyone deserves a little dose of Jackson in their day. I like to give them about 10 cc’s of Awesome!”

We were almost to Mare Island before we stopped laughing. You didn’t hear much from Molly on this trip. It is not because she didn’t contribute, but because she didn’t stop laughing at her brother for pretty much the entire trip.

Both kids slept the entire way home, pretty much a perfect ending to any family outing. Not a single “Are we home yet?” was uttered. We have had and will have very cool family outings. But the trip to Granite World will be good for laughs and fond memories for years to come. We really should have taken a family pic in front of our chosen slab. . .