Monday, March 27, 2006

Mr. Bossy

We bought a Tom-Tom for our spring break trip to Houston. Tom-Tom is the Tivo of GPS units, really--easy to use and very intuitive--and it was great.

You can get verbal instructions from the GPS program, and I chose an Australian voice that was named "Aussie Ken." When I told Gloria about Aussie Ken, though, Eli heard something slightly different.

"After...fifty yards...turn left," Aussie Ken would say.

"All right, MR. BOSSY!" Eli 4.7 would say. And so, Aussie Ken became the Bossy Aussie.

The Tom-Tom also provided me with an opportunity.

"We're 17.2 miles from the next turn," I'd say. "Now we're 16.7 miles from the next turn. Did you know we can make a wrong turn and this will re-route us in real-time?"

"Aren't you putting The Dorkā„¢ on?" asked Gloria. That's short for the Daylight Obscuring Recreational C(K)loak (which first made an appearance in the "Home for the Hellidays" post on December 5th of last year). It's basically me hanging my coat over my head so that I can play on the DS or PSP underneath it when we're on a car trip.

That was a golden moment--Gloria almost begging me to play games while she drove. Gloria used to get annoyed when I would read or play games while she drove. She wanted us to talk. So I would, but I did it so badly that now she just wants me to shut up and put a coat over my head.

That's what I like to call strategy.

We've never "done" spring break before because Eli 4.7 wasn't in school. So we figured we could go to the Houston Museum of Natural Science with no problem. Which is exactly what a couple of other million people thought as well.

Holy crap. I had two choices on Tuesday afternoon: become a member of the Houston Museum of Natural Science or wait in a forty-five minute line for regular tickets. So congratulate the newest member of the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

Eli ran into the dinosaur exhibit at full speed, like he always does. In front of him, for the first time in his life, was a full Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton, and he was--also for the first time in his life--speechless.

So was I. A T-Rex skeleton is so fierce and imposing in person that it's hard to even describe. It will make your imagination dizzy. Eli's heard and seen so much about dinosaurs that it's hard to surprise him, but even he couldn't believe his eyes.

There was one nice thing about the massive line: ninety percent of the people inside the museum were still outside the exhibits. And on Wednesday, it was even worse. It was easily an hour and a half line, but once you got inside the exhibits, it wasn't crowded at all. And Gloria and I took turns going to see the Body Worlds exhibit, which is almost impossible to describe but absolutely riveting to see. Here's a link:

Our hotel had a pool on the ninth floor, and even though it was only twenty yards long, it felt totally luxurious to do a swimming workout on vacation. The only thing better than that was The House of Pies, which served exactly what you thought it would.

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