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Travel, Trips and the Red Wallet

When Number 4 was 10 years old he had been dancing competitively for a couple of years. Our family was still new to the sport and spent the last 2 seasons getting our feet wet learning about expectations, competitions and costumes. His second full year went along pretty smoothly with only an occasional issue arising and usually it had to do with me not planning ahead.

Kori: Ok he brushes over those costume pieces that he forgot like they were no big deal. Believe me they were and several times I had to adapt because of his lack of planning.

At the end of his second season the studio decided to go to a national competition in Las Vegas. Our first end of the year competition was close to home but this would be a different story altogether.

With my wife’s job, she wasn’t able to go with us so that left me and a now 10 year old heading to Las Vegas on our own. Did I forget to mention that I had never been to Vegas before either? I had actually planned ahead for the trip and had everything that he and I would need for a week in Sin City. After getting all our things organized I started researching what a dad could do with a 10 year old during our free time in Vegas and I instantly began to rethink this whole trip. I started reading about all the street performers, the homeless people begging for money and the endless number of people handing out cards to the nearest gentleman’s club to anyone that would take the card, including kids. I found very few child friendly places in Vegas, thus the name Sin City.

Well we went on the trip and by about the 2nd day of being in our room by 9:00pm, I spoke with my wife on the phone and told her I was not sure I could do 4 more days held up in a hotel room with Number 4. That was the wrong thing to say to a great mom and spouse as she hopped on a plane and was here for parental relief by the weekend.

Kori: OK again he glosses over the important details. I had to drive 3 hours to catch a flight that made 2 stops before arriving in Vegas. Then I had to find my own ride to the hotel and wait patiently for the boys to return from dinner.

We did find some kid friendly things to do and we all enjoyed ourselves watching him dance and exploring a city that I wouldn’t have ventured into on my own with Number 4. We even broke down and had him take his picture with Wonder Woman and Super Girl!

Kori: I have to admit that was a great photo!

This past weekend, I had a similar opportunity to travel with Number 4 to New York City for, you guessed it, dance. This time, things were a lot different. This was our first time to both be in New York and the two cities have their similarities; bright lights, people everywhere, lots of activity always going on and lots of great food options. The difference this time around was my son is now 16 so our experience was a lot different. He didn’t have much free time but we took advantage of his downtime with a late night trip to Times Square. No longer was I telling him to keep his head down and hold my hand. Instead I told him to take it all in! Unlike Vegas this is an experience that neither of us will forget.

My wife was extremely bummed she couldn’t make this trip with us as she wanted to be there with him during this experience. I tried to give him the same kind of experience that she would have wanted to give him as well.

Kori: He is totally correct here! I am so jealous and really bummed I couldn’t go along. Although I know Mike took good care of him, I have to admit, I didn’t think Number 4 would have the same experience that he would if I were there.

We went to the Stardust Diner where all the staff took turns singing songs to the patrons. After that we walked to where the ball drops on New Years, shopped the numerous stores up and down the street and we finished off the night by buying a Supreme wallet from a street vender. Pretty sure the wallet was fake but to see the smile on my son’s face hold his new red Supreme wallet in his hands was totally worth the $15 I spent.

Kori: Ok I will give that one to Mike. I wouldn’t have bartered to get the wallet and probably would have paid twice as much for it.

As a stay at home dad, I have come to cherish the memories I have had with all my kids either as a family or individually. This will definitely be a trip to remember. During the planning of it there was a lot of apprehension and nervousness not knowing what to expect and how I would do flying solo for the weekend. Now I am just ready to travel again. Perhaps next time, I will make a memory or two with my wife instead of one of the kids.

Kori: He better. I have been waiting a long time to go on a trip with him. Let’s put the nervousness and apprehension aside and make some memories!

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