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18 May 2010 @ 04:27 pm
And we're back  
We had a great time in Yosemite (with about 1/2 of Christopher's class), apart from our moments of Epic Parental Failure. First, we let Christopher ride down with a classmate but left so late ourselves that we hit rush hour traffic and then got to the winding part of the route after dark. We arrived around 10:30 (!), spent 1/2 hour wandering through the dark trying to figure out the &%^$&#!! Curry Village geography, and located Christopher at 11:00, with everyone already in bed. He was freezing, though, so he came back to our tent. No, we didn't have the friend's Dad's cellphone number—we're just that awesome. *headdesk* Saturday featured a failed hike, wherein I went back to the tent to get sunblock and dump off Christopher's winter coat and 10 lb. backpack, and returned to find the group gone. HalfshellHusband had the basic destination, but we missed the crucial bridge over the Merced River and could only glimpse the group in an unreachable meadow along the way. HSH bailed due to his hip, I crossed the river over a mile farther up, and still didn't locate the group—even after waiting at Yosemite Falls for awhile and then taking their route back. Turns out they took a detour into the Spider Caves and disappeared. But meanwhile, both our children were parentless, with the group of other more responsible parents (and one family bought Christopher lunch). *sigh* Not our best work, you know?

The weather was gorgeous, the falls spectacular (and Mirror Lake actually had water!), and our tent cabin was heated. Oh, people. I've only ever backpacked and car-camped before, and camping in a cabin with beds and heat (near bathrooms with soap and showers) was undreamed-of luxury.

Now I'm behind on everything else, thanks to flailing around to get ready on Friday, being gone all weekend, and then trying to resettle everything. We're a week or two behind on several TV episodes (including Chuck, Fringe, and Glee), but I've gotten caught up with my f-list again. A number of you have been having big health issues, money issues, or lost friends and family recently, and I'm just so sorry. *hugs you all*

Probably not going to post much about the SPN finale (summary: No thanks). Can't get too spoilery about House, but I'll say that I really liked the last two episodes, and the return-casting in them. I still don't buy the whole House/Cuddy thing (from her side, yes, but not from his), but whatever. I also think Chuck woefully underused the comedic capacity of Fred Willard. God, will I be forced to re-watch Back To You episodes just for his snippets? So funny, with so little actual material.

Christopher appears to be writing fanfiction, based on the Star Wars books (those set after the Ewok movie). He spent most of yesterday's run talking my ear off about his plot and character motivations. o_O On the other hand, I gave plot suggestions, so what does that make me? Evil, sneaky fanfic enabler that I am.

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Chat Noirmaster_chatnoir on May 18th, 2010 11:47 pm (UTC)
Lol for your camping misadventures. I can just visualize you seeing the group from across the field. :) And yanno, you went on that trip in the first place! So your forgetting a little thing or two is nothing. Trust me, that's A-number-1 parenting!

Fanfic enabler - You Go! I recall my mom reading my first effort (Snoopy-Flash Gordon cross-over). There's nothing for it, it's in his blood.... :D
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Laugh SPNhalfshellvenus on May 19th, 2010 12:07 am (UTC)
I can just visualize you seeing the group from across the field. :)
It was so frustrating-- not to mention detouring through Housekeeping Camp and along the road looking for a second freaking bridge, which took forever to find. The group probably thought they gave directions to HSH, but those would only work if you knew the Yosemite trail system like the back of your hand and... weren't HSH. Who gets lost in the 3-square-mile area of town he's lived and worked in for over 20 years now. :0

Snoopy/Flash Gordon crossover! Now I want to see what that was all about!

HSH's version of fanfic enabling is to keep suggesting crossovers with "Someone should really write Chloe (from 24) and Sue Sylvester (Glee) running into each other," or "There needs to be more SPN/Reaper crossover stories." To which my response is always, "I agree. So let's see you write that." *is evil*
Princess Robot Bubblegum!astrothsknot on May 19th, 2010 08:05 am (UTC)
It makes you an awesome mum. A directionally challenged mum, but an awesome mum
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Happy Hedgiehalfshellvenus on May 19th, 2010 05:11 pm (UTC)
Hee! Actually, I'm good with directions, provided I have them.

I missed all of the info about the hike itself (got it all second-hand), the Spider Caves were an unplanned detour, and the bridges-over-the-Merced do not show up on the cheapo free map Yosemite gives you. There's a lot of road and parking lot before the first one, so it's easy to miss! That actually isn't the only part of Yosemite where there are multiple parallel paths that do not easily connect, and which can't be seen from afar. The valley is fairly wide, as well as long (24 miles from the entrance to the valley floor). :0

This was our first trip in the spring, so the dogwood trees and extra (seasonal) waterfalls were a surprise. We've usually gone in the fall before, because of the beautiful color.
The Huntress: Snoopy Happiness Is....huntress69 on May 20th, 2010 05:03 pm (UTC)
Chalk it up to normal parenthood LOL. That's a minor thing and as long as you guys had fun, everything else is secondary. I am catching up on Chuck little by little, and really do love that show.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Chuck/Caseyhalfshellvenus on May 20th, 2010 06:58 pm (UTC)
I just hope the other parents forgive us. The kids weren't too stressed at least-- they wondered where we were, but Christopher was having a great time with his friends and Lauren was taking a bazillion pictures.

I get a kick out of Chuck, though we're two weeks behind right now (may have to Torrent this week's ep-- my digital DVR is balky, and sometimes gets stuck during the "delete" phase for 10-20 minutes, so I missed the first ten freaking minutes of Monday's Chuck. Gah!)
The Huntresshuntress69 on May 20th, 2010 07:14 pm (UTC)
Regarding the DVR - may I ask if you have Comcast?
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Yikeshalfshellvenus on May 20th, 2010 11:28 pm (UTC)
Eek-- I can't take that Dean icon. Too painful. :(

We don't have cable (by choice).

So this is just a digital DVR machine, which takes seemingly 5 minutes to finish booting up, and the "delete" function (which you'd think would be simple!) often hangs.

Our older (pre-digital conversion) DVR takes about 3 minutes to boot up. I seriously wonder what all that lag time is about. :0
be: dirtybeascarpetta on May 21st, 2010 03:06 pm (UTC)
IMHO you are the most awesome mum I've ever come across.There is no doubt about that.
You're just far too hard on yourself.
You had me wiping tears off my old mug when I read all about the poor children [you still got home safe and sound].
Love to hear about your luxurious surroundings.

I got my 31 teens (aged 14 still,for crying out loud,colleague called in sick,was sent a rookie who was quite cute to look at) safely through a day trip which didn't involve any camping out but when all of us were supposed to meet up at 6pm sharp for the ride home we were short of one girl and one boy.

Do I need to go into the sordid details?
Congratulations once again on Christopher,who must be taking after you.

Is HalfshellHusband still in shock about his dismal failure as accompanying parent?
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on May 21st, 2010 09:04 pm (UTC)
Aw, you're very kind. I know so many more awesome mothers, who are more patient than I am or more "whatever," so it's hard to hope for more than "pretty good."

Love to hear about your luxurious surroundings.
You know, I find myself worrying a bit that my kids' idea of camping is limited to car-camping, because my husband hates to backpack (he's done it twice), and yet that's what _I_ grew up with for camping. Car-camping is much easier than backpacking, but it will also be the limit of my own kids' expectations. So I worry that I'm cutting them off from something more. At the same time, my daughter is kind of a weenie about physical effort, so carrying a loaded backpack would seriously peeve her.

But the heated tent cabin (OMG, the cold is so often miserable at night where we camp, due to the elevation) and just the fact of not having to wrangle with the tent and the air-mattresses (and the space they take up) was really nice. And soap and water! It was amazingly different.

Your school's adventures (field trips) always immediately make me think that the parents should be volunteering for them if they think those are so necessary and awesome. I'll bet THAT would be eye-opening. :0

Did you find your stragglers? And were they off making out somewhere, or some other sordid distraction?

HSH got over his part of things very quickly. Actually, I tried to dissuade him several times along the way because his slowness told me his hip was killing him, and I could tell that overall hike (at least 6 miles) was going to be excruciating. So I was relieved when he turned back, and all-in-all, I think the year of chemo and the many daily naps and such really lowered his expectations of what was necessary for him as a parent, so long as the kids were safe and the house wasn't burning down. Ah, perspective. ;)
bebeascarpetta on May 22nd, 2010 07:52 am (UTC)
Did you find your stragglers?

We..ll,we sure did.;-(
Right now we've got a formal complaint of her mother stating that she hadn't been looked after properly,because of course we did "catch them in the act".

Apparently,the adorable boy also forgot to put on one of the you-know-what-I'm-talking-about-thingies so....[I seem to remember I threatened each of my boys with tarring and feathering to be followed by the small affair of castration should they ever forget about using those thingamajigs]

The parents should be volunteering for field trips

My school is one of the most sought-out of the city because teachers tend to give it their all to please students and parents alike(which is not what I believe education should be about).
I should really let you have a look at our current staff photo - it would really creep you out the shape some of us are in right now.

Parents tend to dump their offspring at the school gates and then generally wash their hands off the whole matter.Which leaves you to do a lot more than just teach them English.

So, no way any parents would volunteer for school trips and IMHO they are awesome but not that awesome for me to consider taking my 4th- graders further than having a picnic(although we had a three-day-field trip early last autumn,which went down well and didn't have any major disasters thank you.)in the nearest park.

I can so relate to your worries that your kids' idea of camping will forever be limited to car-camping, because my husband hates to backpack as well (as he is always off on some gig with DWB and hates the idea of creepy crawlies all over him)
I also grew up spending summers backpacking with my parents that why I have come to regard almost everything else as some kind of luxury.
It always was "Ants!Aw,shucks,get used to them.They won't kill you. - A leaf floating in your tea - Look at it.Isn't it beautiful.Now,get it out.And don't forget to be thankful that we've taken you.We could have stayed home."

I really love HSH's sense of obligation,coming along for the hike although he must have dreaded it.

Did you find your stragglers?