Signs of Vacation.

A flock of Emus in a Wastewater treatment plant…

The Church of Holy Water/Wrestling Federation…

A Labelmakered all-caps toilet instruction – “DO NOT FLUSH ANYTHING BUT TISSUE” – to which we almost left a post-it note underneath it saying, “But where do we put the poo?”…

These are the things I didn’t manage to get photos of on our family vacation.

I hope that the things I did manage to capture will help you forgive me.

Sign 1

So many questions.

1. What were adults using it for?
2. If my son gets stuck at the top, panics, and requires a rescue from his mother, will I be tackled by the Playground Police?
3. Are there other equal provisions for adult play in your city? Or is there an issue of play inequality?
4. What about teenagers? I feel like there is a definite age bracket that is left undefined as to their play legality.

This sign was facing an automatic toilet. A toilet that flushed two times while I was sitting on it.

Sign 2

So….the sign was for me, or the commode?

I appreciated that they acknowledged that at one time they were okay with this. But NO MORE.

Sign 3

And finally…I just…what to say…except God Bless America.

Wrestling Midget Match

In case you wanted to see where this Battle Royal took place, I captured that for you as well. Not at all creepy or suspect. Not. At. All.


We did not, however, visit that establishment during family vacation. I know you’re disappointed. So am I. It would have made an AMAZING blog post.

Instead, we took our children to Noccalula Falls Park, albeit slightly less educational.

Kids at Noccalula Falls

Ali was intensely more nervous than she looks. She adored the train ride, the petting zoo, the rock stairs, the playground, and every other part of the park – but not having a giant rock ledge hanging over her head.

And no, the logic of “It’s been here for thousands of years” did not help her at all. Nor did “if we die it will be so quick you won’t even know it.”

Escape was sweet.

Train Noccalula Falls b

And she was then able to appreciate the view from the top much more effectively.

Noccalula Falls from the top

Then we moved onward to Guntersville, where we met up with the rest of my family.

To refresh your memory, my family exchanges no gifts during the year (except for the children of course) and instead, we go on a trip together once a year.


We failed miserably and didn’t get a formal group shot this year, but the above picture sums it up pretty well, except for missing Chris-the-picture-taker. Yes, Noah is still shirtless even on vacation, and yes, Eli is still fantastic at photo facial expressions.

This year, we stayed in a house on Lake Guntersville in beautiful North Alabama, and really didn’t do too much else aside from relaxing on the lake, including “fishing” with Gramamma,


Paddle boating, for which I discovered I was extremely fond of and maybe even a little obsessed,

Paddle Boating

(and it was made all the more rewarding by my mapping and logging it like a dweeb,)

Map My Run Paddleboating

And playing an intricate mermaid game in the water – one that was too secretive to be photographed.


Inside the house, there were games of Rummikub and Uno, which are, at the age of the children involved, only games that grandparents have enough patience to carry out.


And of course, the kids did plenty of what kids these days do best.

Kids on Devices

Thanks to my Dad who unofficially volunteered to be my evening chauffeur (most likely because he wanted a moment of silence), I was able to catch the sunset every night.

First Sunset

Second Sunset Later

Second Sunset

Third Sunset

I even broke my most important rule and…got a sunrise picture.


While running with Chris earlier than I even like to acknowledge exists.

Sunrise Run

Because I’m that obsessed with running. It’s like sleep doesn’t even matter anymore. But more about that in a later post.

Sunrise Third Picture

When you’re in a place as beautiful as Guntersville, it’s best to break a few rules to get to appreciate it at its finest.

Wayne Feeds

………….especially since vacation ended with health death for half the family.

Bored at Doctor Visit

Noah and I were the first to crumble, to what the doctor told us was “just viral” but turned out to be quite bacterial and in need of antibiotics. Why do doctors hate me so?

Doctor Visit

Others have since fallen, Ali included, and Noah and I are on our fifth day of impending fatality. Family vacation has its price.

While Noah and I were at the doctor, we ran across a couple more fantastic signs – such as, the most depressed looking stick figure ever created. I want to be the kind of person that can convey such depth of emotion with so little detail.

Can't Go

And yet more puzzling flush instructions.


I don’t even know what a toliet is, but I’m assuming it’s French.

But nothing…NOTHING I SAY…will ever compare with this.

Wrestling Midget Match

God Bless America.