Throwback Thursday

Back in the late 70’s, my family went on a trip to Florida for vacation. Obviously, we did the whole “Disney thing”, but we also visited a place that wasn’t nearly as controversial then as it is today: SeaWorld Orlando. It’s weird…I thought that this photo was originally taken at Cypress Gardens because they were famous for their water-skiing shows, but thankfully YouTube and my friend Mike helped me find the error of my ways:

While I vaguely remember being there at all, I vaguely recall getting the photo taken below. The DC superheroes were on the beach of the lake taking photos with the kids. I was pretty stoked to get one taken with Batman and Wonder Woman. As noted on my personal Facebook page, Wonder Woman looked pretty conservative with the long sleeves and all. 

Shortly after the photos were taken with the kids, the heroes ran down the beach and waved to the fans in the audience, before hooking up to their water-skis and performing stunts in front of everybody.

Seriously. 

So this is my Throwback Thursday for today. Insane to think that this was considered fantastic entertainment at one point.

002

The Spark

I feel as though the “spark” is back.

Based upon a conversation we had a few weeks ago (well…an argument that turned into a conversation), we both realized where the other person’s mind was at…and that really opened our eyes to why we weren’t “clicking” like we used to.

We both decided to make a concerted effort to improve the areas that were lacking, and so far it has made a pretty big difference in how we interact with each other.

I feel like I’ve fallen in love with Sunshine all over again. Obviously, I’m still battling issues but the medication I’ve been taking has made a huge difference in how I interact with people on a day-to-day basis.

My biggest problem is that I don’t want to actually do anything. Not laziness, per se…but just being content to come home every day and do nothing. That’s how I was raised and that’s how I thought I wanted my life to be. Come home from work…relax…go to sleep. That’s it.

It’s so easy to fall into a rut like that, too. You work hard all day; you come home tired and just want to put on PJ’s and crash on the couch watching TV until it’s time to go to sleep. Sunshine wants more from us and I agree. Two weeks ago we went out on a quick post-work date and have decided to make the effort to go out on a date…whether it’s a meal or a coffee or a movie or a walk…at least once every two weeks. We’ve actually said that to each other before, but never seemed to follow-through. Now, though, we’ve budgeted money for date nights…and our marriage deserves us taking that time for ourselves.

Obviously, we’re still in a rebuilding stage, but I firmly believe that we’re on a very positive track and getting back to who we were as a couple. That was always one of the things that made our love stronger: being that fun, unique couple that everybody wanted to either love or hate, depending on how sick they got of us.

I’m really looking forward to a great 2015. So far, so good…and it’s only getting better.

033

The Treasure Hunt

Sunshine recently came up with the idea of having a week of fun with the girls. For no reason, really; just to show them how much we love them. We didn’t think the things we were planning were “awesome”, just fun…so we decided to call it “Super Duper Fun Week”.

Super Duper Fun WeekOne of her ideas was to create an indoor treasure hunt, leaving clues around the house for them to find and decipher before finding a treasure at the end. I decided that would be a fun idea for my son and I during our weekend together.

So that’s what I did. I printed off clues on coloured index cards and bought a little treasure chest at the Dollarama, along with a number of one dollar and two dollar chocolate coins from the Bulk Barn. As I went to pick up my son, I was totally ready!

Let me begin by saying I stay at my dad’s house during my weekends with my son. When I made the decision to move-in with Sunshine, he offered his finished basement as a place that the Ankle Biter and I could stay every two weeks. Plus, both my dad and my step-mother spend five months in Florida every winter, so the house would basically be ours half of the year.

So I was going to wait until Sunday to set the plan in motion. We were going to see the new Spongebob movie on Saturday afternoon and had nothing really planned for Sunday, so that seemed like the perfect time to do it.

Saturday morning was beginning to end and I was preparing to have a light lunch with the Ankle Biter. The matinee wasn’t going to start until 4pm, so we had lots of time to hang out and relax.

THEN THE POWER WENT OUT.

It was about 12:30pm and everything went out. I immediately went to the Nova Scotia Power website on my phone to see who was affected and saw that over 2,000 people in the immediate area had been hit, meaning that it was a pretty big outage and they’d work hard to get the power back as soon as possible.

At one o’clock the website said it would be 2:30pm before the power came back on. No worries, I said…we won’t freeze in two hours. And if it gets cold, maybe we can run out for a quick drive in the car to warm up.

Wait…uh oh…I had parked the car inside of my dad’s garage overnight so I wouldn’t have to drag in groceries and bags through the snow. The garage door is electronically run, meaning I couldn’t open the door and the car, and thus the two of us were pretty much trapped inside of the house with the power out.

We watched some 80’s wrestling on my laptop for about an hour (gotta love Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant in their prime!) before he went to play with his toys. I played music off the laptop to keep things going but soon realized the battery wasn’t going to last the whole afternoon.

As 3 o’clock hit, the NS Power website said it would now be 5:30pm before the power would come back on.

I sheepishly told Ankle Biter that we wouldn’t be seeing the movie and explained why. He said that he understood, though I could tell he was a little disappointed.

I then decided to launch the treasure hunt!

While he played downstairs, I went upstairs and began setting the plan into motion. I put out the clues in their proper locations and was careful to not give away what I was doing. Just as we were about to start, the power came back on. Thankfully, he wasn’t interested in doing anything else at this point.

What happened next was a LOT of fun…

I kicked things off with Clue #1
I kicked things off with Clue #1. He guessed pretty quickly that the next clue was in the fridge. Just as we were about to start, the power came back on! If nothing else, we were glad to know we’d be warming up soon.
Looking for Clue #2
Looking for Clue #2
Finding the next clue wasn't difficult. With my dad down in Florida, there's barely anything left in the fridge.
Finding the next clue wasn’t difficult. With my dad down in Florida, there’s barely anything left in the fridge. Ankle Biter knew right away that the next clue was at the washer & dryer.
Sure enough, on top of the washer & dryer was the third clue. Ankle Biter anxiously read it.
Sure enough, on top of the washer & dryer was the third clue. Ankle Biter anxiously read it.
Clue #3 said
Clue #3 was referring to a box of tissue. My dad has a box of tissue in practically every room of the house, but I did’t want to make it too difficult so I put it in a spare room that was just down the hall from the washer & dryer. Thankfully, it only took a second for Ankle Biter to find it.
Clue #4
The fourth clue was, of course, the bathtub!
Ankle Biter looking around the bathroom to find out where the next clue was hidden.
Ankle Biter looking around the bathroom to find out where the next clue was hidden.
Along with a "pirate's telescope", Clue #5
Along with a “pirate’s telescope”, Clue #5 was found inside the bathtub. Ankle Biter immediately knew that the answer was “bed”, but wasn’t sure which bed in the house he needed to look at. Thankfully, the first room he checked was the right one.
This one was a little tough. He wasn't sure what it was referring to. I helped him a little bit and it wasn't long before he guessed something in the kitchen.
This one was a little tough. He wasn’t sure what it was referring to. I helped him a little bit and it wasn’t long before he guessed something in the kitchen.
The answer was the microwave, which he found after looking inside the oven. This clue was one he picked up right away...a table!
The answer was the microwave, which he found after looking inside the oven. This clue was one he picked up right away…
...the answer was a table!
…the answer was a table!
On the kitchen table was the eighth clue and a pirate eye patch. Ankle Biter guessed this one right away...
On the kitchen table was the eighth clue and a pirate eye patch. Ankle Biter guessed this one right away…
...the front door! Wedged into the door was the ninth clue, which read: "What invention lets you look through a wall?" This was probably the toughest one for him, because he kept thinking it was a door with glass in it. Once he realized the answer was "a window", he then started making his way around the house trying to find the clue.
…the front door! Wedged into the door was the ninth clue, which read: “What invention lets you look through a wall?” This was probably the toughest one for him, because he kept thinking it was a door with glass in it. Once he realized the answer was “a window”, he then started making his way around the house trying to find the clue.
After a few minutes, he finally found the right window! This was the final clue.
After a few minutes, he finally found the right window! This was the final clue.
I had to ask him what he could look at that would let him see his own eyes. He guessed "mirror" and then got excited...
I had to ask him what he could look at that would let him see his own eyes. He guessed “mirror” and then got excited…
I don't normally go into my dad's room, but I thought that placing the treasure chest here would make the most sense.  This, obviously, is a picture I took before we started the treasure hunt.
I don’t normally go into my dad’s room, but I thought that placing the treasure chest here would make the most sense. This, obviously, is a picture I took before we started the treasure hunt.
Ankle Biter was SUPER excited to open up his treasure chest to see what was inside...
Ankle Biter was SUPER excited to open up his treasure chest to see what was inside…
You can't have a pirate-themed treasure hunt without a treasure chest filled with coins, right???
You can’t have a pirate-themed treasure hunt without a treasure chest filled with coins, right???

In the end, the power going out could have been a terrible thing that ruined the day for us. Instead, it gave us a chance to get a little closer without having to rely on technology to keep our interest. Ankle Biter had a BLAST and when Sunshine did the same thing with her girls, they loved it, too. 

Throwback Thursday

Sunshine and I were in our first year of dating and decided to take a stroll along the rocks at Peggy’s Cove.

For those who don’t know, Peggy’s Cove is is a small rural community located on the eastern shore of St. Margarets Bay in Nova Scotia’s Halifax Regional Municipality, which is famous for the Peggys Point Lighthouse (established 1868).

So anyway, we were just walking around taking selfies and being totally in love with each other. Out of nowhere, this woman walked up to us and asked if she could take our picture. She said that she was a photographer and was hoping to capture us for a project she was doing (or something along those lines…I don’t really remember).

We agreed and posed for a number of photos. We exchanged email addresses and didn’t really think about it again after that.

A couple of weeks later, I received an email that had a number of attachments. Each photo was better than the next!

So thus became something of a normal reaction of people to us: let us take your picture; let us enjoy your happiness!

This was one of those photos…

Throwback Thursday

The Princess Bride Valentines

I’ve always had a bit of a romantic side to me. I don’t always display it, but I certainly do try. Thankfully, my amazing wife is both romantic AND incredibly creative…so that makes special occasions like birthdays and holidays a lot of fun. 

We approached Valentines Day on a bit of a roll. After ending 2014 battling to save our relationship due to numerous issues, we went through a pretty rocky transition in January. I think, though, after a couple of intense conversations we were able to find some common ground and have been doing really well in the days since. That’s not to say everything’s perfect, but we’re certainly going in a positive direction and I think the thoughts of desperation and fear aren’t there anymore, with hope and excitement about our future creeping back into the forefront.

A movie that has always been “our” movie is The Princess Bride. If you have never seen this movie, then I don’t know if we can be friends anymore. This movie was so important to us that we ended up playing the love song as part of our wedding ceremony.

Needless to say, when I came home and was told that my “outfit for the evening” was laid out on the bed, I was pretty excited to see it included our Princess Bride matching t-shirts. 

Our t-shirtsTo kick things off, I got the most incredible card that just set the whole night into motion…

Mostly Dead - Princess BrideSunshine had gone and planned out a Princess Bride themed Valentines evening for us. This, to me, was one of the coolest ideas I had ever heard. I was grinning from ear to ear and couldn’t wait to see what she had in store.

She had quotes from the movie on index cards, and those quotes led directly into the next part of the evening. To kick things off, we needed to have a drink…

Let's drinkHow cool is that??? So I walk into the kitchen and find that she had her wine all set-up:

Now with more iocane!Yes…“Now with more iocane!”

Next up was a series of choices for me: three locally-brewed beers that I had never tried before. I was super impressed and couldn’t wait to try all three:

Inigo's Revenge BrewAfter talking and laughing (and me sending pics to Facebook right away because I was so impressed), we began the meal with the appetizer. So I opened up the card and read a quote about the Shrieking Eels. Then I went to the kitchen table and found this:

Shrieking Eel CrostiniI was absolutely blown away, but this was only the beginning. Next came the incredible appetizer, some pan-seared Rodents of Unusual Size!!

R.O.U.S.At this point, I don’t know if I could have loved my wife any more than I did in that moment. She had taken “our movie” and turned it into a full-on date! 

After the entree, it was time for dessert:

Twuu Wuv TrufflesI love my mom and her chocolate peanut butter balls were absolutely spectacular, but I have to say that I think I’ve found a new favourite. Unbelievable!!

Because it was still fairly early after dinner, I received the following message:

Skill against skill aloneWhat could this possibly mean? She wanted to play a board game with me!! So we set up one of our favourite “couples games”, Blokus, and played a round.

Skill against skill aloneWhen all was said and done, there was a victor and there was a person who didn’t end up winning. I don’t want to point out who that person was but…

Not the victorWe then sat down to watch the movie itself. We still laugh at the inside jokes and quote the memorable lines. I was smiling like crazy because I recognized the quotes in the movie that Sunshine had meticulously used and planned for the evening. About halfway through the movie, I received yet another envelope with the following messages…

Snack messagesI was really surprised, but not nearly as surprised when I came to find the following set-up as a “movie snack”.

SNACKSHOW AWESOME WAS THIS???

Needless to say, once the movie was done I was ready to do whatever I could to make my wonderful wife a very happy woman. Before that, though…she gave me one more quote to keep in mind:

HehHeh.

We actually exchanged a couple of gifts, but the night was really all about Sunshine and the incredible work she put into our Valentines night. It didn’t cost a ton of money…it was simply a matter of some creativity and a lot of love. 

I don’t think I’ve ever had a better Valentines.