I had a great life growing up, I really have nothing to complain about. That is until I was 15 or so. As far back as I can remember my mother struggled with mental illness. Some days were better than others, other days were bad, and some days were just plain awful...Living in a strict Christian home left little room for outlets for my anger, frustration, and despair. So, I joined the Marines when I was 17.
I had a lot of adventures with my dad growing up. We went to Joshua Tree National Park almost every weekend when it was not too hot to climb. When I was eight I backpacked to the summit of Mount San Gorgonio. When I was twelve I climbed Tahqitz. There were quite a few backpacking trips scattered in there and road trips to fun places too. Then my mom got to be too much for my dad to handle and he checked out. He was still around - just sleeping around...Do I blame him? No... My mom was a handful but it did contribute to a lot of drama at home...
Riding the local rail trail close to our home
As my brother says: "Life sucks... and then you die" So, I decided to not delay and make my son's first summer vacation one for the record books (I was homeschooled - so the lines were blurred between summer vacation and well real life...), which is why I jumped at the opportunity to construct a great summer in a happy home with healthy parents before we fucked up our planet anymore or decided to get involved in WWIII or elect Trump as President again and descend into madness...
Rootbeer in Portland, Maine
Deep water soloing in Vermont
Riding gravel in Acadia National Park (where I also caught my first salmon)
Ice cream (lots of ice cream)
Helping dada with yard work
We got a membership to our local beach and went every week we were in town
Our hike around Jordan Pond in Acadia National Park
I got a fishing kayak for Father's Day/birthday
We took the Amtrak from Connecticut to Newport News, VA to visit my Aunt/Uncle/Cousins/and Grandma
Tadashi's first boat ride
Tadashi's first tubing experience!
Then we went on a Father Son fishing trip in Vermont with some good friends
Hiked to a beaver dam...
... and saw a bear (Tadashi's first one)!
Had numerous backyard cookouts/outdoor movie nights
Flew to California...
... to visit great-grandma...
... and swim in the pool
Learning to skateboard
Tadashi's first kiss
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!
After awhile dada got COVID and so the adventure's tapered off a bit and were closer to home...
Then he got better and we went to NY City. The End!