In my previous article, I discussed the first half of my experience; now, I will detail the second.
Day 4: That Star Wars Movie
I occupied my morning by exercising in the fitness room and drenching myself in sweat once again. By then it had started snowing, so Mom had the brilliant idea to force me to stand in the courtyard so she could take my picture in the snow. It was cold outside, but not nearly as cold as her heart at that moment.
After lunch, Dad drove me to a local AMC theater to watch Star Wars: The Last Jedi. To leave room for a possible article and abbreviate this one, I’ll say that it was alright – maybe about as good as The Force Awakens, perhaps a bit better. I learned from this venture that Star Wars now has WaCkY comic relief characters (Porgs) for the kiddies in the audience; that AMC has recliners instead of chairs (you’re welcome for the free advertising, AMC); and that Gnomeo and Juliet (cheap, cynical kid’s film that’s a very loose rendition of Romeo and Juliet with CGI garden gnomes; if you don’t recognize it, you are a good person and should congratulate yourself) somehow made enough money to warrant a sequel named Sherlock Gnomes.
We then returned to the hotel, rejoining Mom and Tyler. For dinner, we walked to a nearby café. That night I received 30 winks of sleep.
Day 5: Preparations
Once again, I started my day by exercising, but this time I was careful not to exercise as vigorously as I did before so that I wouldn’t get my clothes as dirty. Feeling pleased with my own cleverness, I returned to the room, stayed in there alone for thirty minutes, then abruptly realized that I was supposed to join my family downstairs instead of returning to the room. I then had to apologize to the family friend that was visiting us in the lobby, though she didn’t seem to mind that much. We talked for a bit about my future; she suggested that I go into engineering, which does seem like a viable option. Eventually the visitor and Mom began talking to each other exclusively, though, and I lost interest.
Dad decided then that it would be a good idea to take me and Tyler to a local trampoline park. Its name eludes me now, but it had a great deal of variety. There was a typical square grid of trampolines in the front; a “gymnastics court” of long, skinny trampolines that allowed for cartwheels, backflips, and other acrobatic maneuvers I cannot perform; a designated dodgeball court; a basketball area with the least bouncy trampolines I’ve ever trampolined on; a kids’ playroom for birthdays; and even some kind of “cageball” game. I spent most of my time on the normal grid, having fun, getting exhausted and repeating. Although I enjoyed the park considerably, I decided to leave ten minutes early for health reasons, but not before Dad recorded some of my acrobatics with a slow-motion camera.
We then revisited my grandparents’ house. Today, they had a surprise for us: they had compiled several different home movies from Dad’s childhood into a single 30-minute video. While my parents took a stroll down memory lane, I noted the metal slide on one of the playgrounds and the large malamute that my dad had as a pet. Those seemed like interesting times.
Then we returned to the hotel and began packing our things. As the title of the article indicates, the main event of the trip was a Christmas feast; we would hold this feast in a rented conference room in another hotel. Now, we were relocating to this hotel.
After a couple hours in the car, we arrived at the hotel and unpacked our belongings. I spent some time in the hotel’s indoor pool and then went to bed. I got 32 winks.
Day 6: The Feast
The most important day of my vacation began the same way as all the others: with exercise. I spent the morning watching Comedy Central on the elliptical. After two hours of such, I returned to the hotel room, emerging with my laptop in tow. I then sat by the pool and worked unsuccessfully on a tricky programming problem from school for about three or four hours.
Pretty soon it was almost time for the feast. First, we put some recreational items, including trivia cards, a sticker book, and some board games, in the conference room. Then, some of my uncles and aunts arrived, so we took their food and items to the room by hotel cart. Once that was over, I worked on the sticker book until the rest of the guests arrived.
Once the party hit its stride, I decided to make some ham-fisted attempts at socialization. I used the trivia cards as a point of conversation, letting my relatives quiz me, answering the questions and then quizzing them. When they moved on, I began a series of scattered mini-conversations with my cousins C. and A., interspersing them with aimless wandering and food consumption. Clearly, I was the social butterfly of the party.
But enough about my amazing charisma – I should talk about the feast. Most of the food, including Swedish meatballs and macaroni and cheese, was prepared and kept sanitary via crockpot. The desserts, including sugar cookies and chocolate upside-down cake, were laid on a side table to the left of the door to the room.
A few miscellaneous details. Grandma and Grandpa played their home video in the background, attracting the attention of several family members. Near the end of the party, we found an abandoned water bottle outside the conference room, lying in the snow; the water inside seemed normal at first, but the instant someone opened the bottle it began to freeze solid from the top down. Apparently it was “supercooled”, meaning that all it needed was an impact to crystallize. I never knew about that, and it was a sobering reminder that even the things I think I understand may hold secrets I don’t know about. So that was pretty great.
Anyway. After the party, many of the attendees left, but some of them, including Grandma, Grandpa, Uncle J. and Aunt M., stayed at the hotel. My family stayed with the latter two and talked at the swimming pool while Tyler and I swam. A half hour later, we finally returned to bed. I got 39 winks.
Days 7 – 8: Denouement
In the morning, Uncle J, Aunt M, Grandma, Grandpa and the family visited the pool again and talked. One hour and thirty minutes later, it was time for us to go.
The trip back home was relatively uneventful, except that the intermediary hotel had a really uncomfortable couch-bed and that I only received 10 winks that night. We also got stuck in traffic for a while and it was snowing in the mountains.
That’s about all I have to say on the trip. I had a really good time and socialized decently. Thanks for reading, Internet, and I’ll be seeing ya’!