my son got a few shots of me at Glen Echo today...

Glen Echo...

it is Monday morning... the kids have been dropped off at school and the dog has been walked
before I start my day I think I will reflect back on my weekend

it was a pretty standard weekend... boys' basketball and kids' birthday parties... WOO HOO!
okay... two kid's birthday parties and only one kid's basketball game... DOUBLE WOO HOO!

Lisa took Grant to his basketball game while I hung back with Dean whose team had the day off
Lisa came home frustrated with the coaching... we are currently having issues with the kids' basketball coaches not being so well rounded or fair about playing time
both the kids are "riding the pine" which is unacceptable for rec league sports... especially at this age
a number of kids are "riding the pine" as a few key kids play the full game
too much stress on the effort to win
not enough stress on basketball skills and basketball fun

the coaches are beyond flawed

then came the afternoon and its agenda
the afternoon was met with the challenge of CHUCK-E-CHEESE
up until this point I had never been to CHUCK-E-CHEESE
I had no desire to go to CHUCK-E-CHEESE

the hosts of the party were good enough to understand my lack of attraction to the CHUCK-E-CHEESE Experience
they were good enough to drive my boys out to Rockville for the electronic madness... to my dismay I would head out to Rockville to pick the boys up so I could drop them off at my mother's for a sleep over where my younger son could celebrate his 6th Birthday with his Grandmother

CHUCK-E-CHEESE was all I feared and more!

CHUCK-E-CHEESE was chaos... CHUCK-E-CHEESE was loud... CHUCK-E-CHEESE was obnoxious
luckily the host had a spare set of ear plugs
sadly he lacked dark glasses to protect my eyes
sure... if I were a kid I would have loved it... sadly... I am an adult... CHUCK-E-CHEESE did not appeal to me
I was tripping over people... the games worth playing were mobbed
skeet ball was not an option

my fears have been validated... CHUCK-E-CHEESE was not my idea birthday party experience...

for years my boys would ask to go to CHUCK-E-CHEESE... to which I always responded... CHUCK-E-CHEESE is for birthday parties... if you get invited to a party there... you will get to go
Lisa had been the victim each time before... that was my first and hopefully my last CHUCK-E-CHEESE EXPERIENCE

on the drive home I acted like an adult and spoke the boys about why I thought that CHUCK-E-CHEESE was not time or money well spent... ending that statement by admitting that if I were a kid I would have begged to stay longer

on the way back from Rockville to DC I stopped by my mom's place in Bethesda and dropped the boys off for a sleep over

the next day came and Lisa and I were refreshed from an evening without children
it is my belief that there is only one thing better than spending time with your children... and that is spending time away from your children
Lisa and I enjoyed a night away from the younger members of our brood

to entertain ourselves Lisa and I had walked up to Columbia Heights for dinner and drinks and then took the Metro to Chinatown to catch a movie... UP IN THE AIR
time well spent... we need to have more evenings like that in our lives

UP IN THE AIR was a fine film with a timely topic... it was enjoyed... it boggled my mind that the theater was filled to such capacity... I could not help but wonder what percentage of the crowd in this theater was experiencing joblessness at that particular moment... who had been laid off... who was at risk of being laid off... who would soon be laid off
having recently been laid off I could really empathize with the scenes where people were being laid off

that is an intense moment
that is a scary moment
it is a moment filled with a wide range of emotions

Sunday had a loose plan not entirely dissimilar to Saturday
I picked the boys up from my mothers with enough time to drop my mom off at church before taking Grant to a birthday party at Glen Echo

a birthday party at Glen Echo is a tad different than the CHUCK-E-CHEESE experience

even after dropping my mom off at church we arrived early... the timing was perfect such that I handed off Grant to the father of the birthday boy so that Dean and I could do our own thing... the invitation for the Adventure Theater showing of FLAT STANLEY was not for parents and siblings

Dean and I went to Glen Echo Subs and pizza... as the 12 dollar roast beef sub with everything plus thousand island dressing and cole slaw was being prepared we stepped into Glen Echo Hardware so that I could give a shout out to John Stabb... John was busy working so all he got was a quick hello and a wave of the hand

John Stabb was the singer of Government Issue
Government Issue was a powerful band in the DC Punk Scene in the 80's on into today
JOY RIDE STILL RANKS HIGH in my musical rotation

memories of this little mall flooded in as I walked around with my son
the Glen Echo Sub Shop that was once called Good Guys and the 7-11 that used to be a High's
stories of meeting Brooke Shields and Patrick Ewing one different occasions at this mini mall came to surface
those stories were not vocalized as they would fall on deaf ears
my 8 year old son does not know who those people are

Dean and I got in the car before returning to Glen Echo
with our large but expensive sub... chips... and drink we headed to Carderock and took a short hike where we found a warm spot in the sun to enjoy our lunch
after eating we returned to Glen Echo and milled about the grounds
to me it was a walk down memory lane as well as trip back in time... a time that predated my youth at Glen Echo

my youth

Dean gave the classic complaints of being "bored"
but really... he was pretty well entertained with the various galleries and studios
Dean was a good sport and snapped a few shots of me and I shot a few shots of him
finally the theater performance was over and we were able to join the party for cake

after the party we evacuated Glen Echo and took advantage of our proximity to outdoor adventures
we drove over to Carderock where we could hike the dog and then the boys could climb some rocks

there was snow around... some of the rocks we wet from melting snow... and the boys had on their snow boots... but other than that it was perfect
I spotted the boys closely as I had them do some low level bouldering
not being a climber I tried to instruct them the best I could
more than instructing them I worked to keep them safe by spotting them closely

a good weekend... there was no time on the bike... not a second... not a spin to the corner
it pained me to see the bikes on MacArthur Blvd
I was jealous of all the people out on their bikes
they looked so fit... while I feel so out of shape

MacArthur Blvd... the War on MacArthur