Posts Filed Under Traveling

Chick Magnet

posted by Momo Fali on January 26, 2014

If you’ve ever been to Key West, you know there are certain things you can find there; great Cuban food, the favorite haunts of Hemingway and Buffet, the Southernmost Point, a deliciously strong Goombay Smash, and a t-shirt shop on every corner.

When my family and I were there last year we passed one such store and my daughter stopped in her tracks. “Mom, look! This is crazy!”

On the other side of the glass we saw a t-shirt with my son’s face staring back at us.

chick magnetIndeed, it was crazy. We all just kind of stared at it wondering if some t-shirt manufacturer had stolen his likeness from this site, but I couldn’t think of any similar photo that I had posted online. We chalked it up to extreme coincidence and, because my kid is a chick magnet we bought the shirt. Granted, the chicks are usually middle-aged women, but they tend to have more money than 5th grade girls so I’m fine with that.

Regardless, I forgot about the shirt until I snapped this picture of him at the hospital week before last.

chick magnet 2Someday, someone will be lucky enough to have this real, live chick magnet. Someone will appreciate his strength, sense of humor, quirkiness, OCD, and blatant honesty, and they won’t even have to fly to Key West and pay $5.00 for it.

But, I sure as heck hope they have a low deductible.

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My Extrovert’s Dream Vacation

posted by Momo Fali on September 18, 2013

I am an extrovert. I know, I know, try to control your shock.

This morning I was thinking about how much I want to fulfill my dream of driving cross-country in an RV with seven other people. Why seven others? You need eight so you can stop at campgrounds and have euchre tournaments. Also, if you have a big group it means you are less likely to be the one attacked by a bear.

I want to pack board games, coolers full of beer and delicious food, good music, lawn chairs and sleeping bags. I want to canoe down the Colorado River, drive up the coast of California, and stop – I don’t know where – to get one of those Wall Drug bumper stickers, because I think that’s mandatory for cross-country roadtrippers.

wall drug

And, I want to drag a group of people along with me.

I find comfort and safety in numbers. I like having someone to talk to, and if you want to talk and I don’t there are plenty of other people around who can listen to you. This is not me being rude, this is me being sensible.

Also, I will inevitably get injured and the group would be able to take turns caring for me so that the trip isn’t ruined for everyone all at once You’re welcome. Laughs! Memories! Concussions!

I want this trip so bad that I told my 14 year old daughter to fulfill the dream for me if something happens and I can’t do it. She’s an introvert, so it’s pretty much her dream too. Anyway, I think introversion can be remedied with a lot of chocolate, so I’m doing her a favor. I’m not saying that introverts need to be “remedied” though, because that would be rude.

Some people may think I’m crazy and other than the three people in my family who would be forced to join me, I may be hard-pressed to find four other people who would enjoy singing camp songs somewhere on the back roads of Oklahoma. Actually, we’d probably do musical theater, because Oklahoma. Duh.

So, if someday you see me traveling down the highway with eight people and a dog in a crowded RV, give me a thumbs up, because it’s exactly where I want to be. In the meantime, I’ll be sitting here all alone planning the trip.

Older and Wiser

posted by Momo Fali on February 4, 2013

As I sat on the plane waiting to leave Houston and Dad 2.0 Summit, after a weekend of listening to men speak freely and without judgement about what it’s like to be a father (in a space where I thought I might feel like an interloper, but instead was welcomed freely and without judgement) I noticed a young man who was probably a little older than my daughter. He entered the plane and tossed his scruffy, One-Directionesque, side-swept hair, all brown and wavy in the style that makes teen girls swoon. I eyed his bright smile which was likely just freed from braces and wires.

A few feet from him was a man shoving his heavy, black bag into the overhead bin. He was bald, wearing wire-rimmed, round glasses that matched his belly. I guessed he was 60. He looked tired.

There were such obvious physical differences between them that I couldn’t help but wonder, despite the fact they were males, with whom I had more in common.

Want to guess where this is going?

I’m nearing my 42nd birthday so if the boy was 18 and the man was 60, I’m squarely in the older group and despite what you may think, that actually isn’t all bad. Sure, he has that belly to contend with and he probably has his fair share of aches and pains, but I’m going to go ahead and state that the elder fellow has better taste in music. Zeppelin wins. Every time. Plus, he doesn’t have to worry about doing his hair.

It was also legal for me to order a vodka and cranberry on the flight and I apparently looked just haggard enough that the flight attendant gave me a drink, plus another one, and both of them were free. She said, “I always pick someone to be nice to and you look like you need it.” Another good thing about being older is that you know insults are easier to bear when there is free alcohol involved.

Although I don’t doubt the young, wavy-haired boy has a lot to offer, he can’t possibly be sure of himself yet. He thinks he’s sure of himself, but that’s just his body trying to trick his mind. If he’s a typical teen, he doesn’t know the challenges he will face. And, there will be many.

School is hard, girls are harder, but throw in kids and a mortgage and then we’ll see if that kid doesn’t look like he could use some free liquor. Also, another benefit of age is knowing when to STOP drinking free booze. There are many times that I wouldn’t have quit at two. Go ahead and ask all the friends who’ve held my hair back.

Just because you look like you’re strong and capable it doesn’t mean you are. And, I don’t think I was even confident enough to make that statement at the age of 18. Sure, I’m capable! Do you think I’m, like, capable? What about that guy in my English class? Does he think so? Where’s my Aqua Net? I CAN’T BE CAPABLE WITHOUT BIG BANGS!

Me and that 60 year old, we may have issues, but we have the history to show we can make it through them. Either that, or we’ll die trying.

Pass the vodka.

Dance with My Father

posted by Momo Fali on January 29, 2013

Sometimes, when we are just sitting around, my mom will burst into tears and tell me what a good father my kids have. I nod. “I know, Mom. I know.” And, I do.

I think part of the reason she cries is because she had a good relationship with her father and she misses him. He’s been gone since I was a child, but she still talks about him a lot. I think there is also something to be said for the fact that my mom is 78 years old and has known a lot of people who didn’t have close relationships with their dads. My grandparent’s generation wasn’t exactly known for wearing their emotions on their sleeves.

Actually, some members of my generation aren’t known for it either. There is no denying that my husband is a curmudgeon (seriously, he won’t even deny it), but he loves his kids, does all kinds of activities with them that I probably never would, instills in them a sense of responsibility, shares his faith and his dreams with them, and even though he is one of the biggest sports fans I’ve ever known, he doesn’t blink an eye at the fact that our special needs son will never be a star athlete.

Of course, my husband gets all of his parenting skills naturally because he has a great dad. As do I. Our fathers are both funny, kind, generous and loving.

Way back in 1997 I spent an amazing August afternoon dancing with all of these men. I happened to be wearing a wedding dress and at one point or another was twirled around the dance floor by my brand-new husband, my dad, and my father-in-law.

The other night my daughter’s dance club threw an event for the parents. It was held in the same hall where my husband and I had our wedding reception, and when my groom and our daughter took to the dance floor – the same dance floor where I had danced with my dad – I was the one doing the crying.

I have been so lucky to have these dads in my life and I wish the same thing for my girl.

So far, so good.

Speaking of dads, I’ll be on a panel at the Dad 2.0 Summit in Houston this weekend where some of the best parents in social media will be gathering to declare, “Parenting isn’t just for moms, and neither is blogging!” I just made that quote up, but I’m pretty sure they’ll want to to put it on a bumper sticker.