Category Archives: “Shout-outs” and “Boo-hiss”

Who peed in this guy’s milkshake?

We encountered hundreds of friendly people on our recent trip, but of course we have to tell about the exception!


The crazy ice cream guy…

The backstory:

On Wednesday (the one day my husband had to work) my inlaws and I decided to go to the Turtle Rescue Center, only to discover that it is open every weekday except Wednesday.  Oops.  But no worries, because (a) we’ll come back tomorrow and (b) the rescue center is right across the street from the Patio Playground, where there are 18 holes of miniature golf and a rockin’ ice cream stand.

After a questionable beginning, i.e.

–       S needing to go to the bathroom

–       which required the owner of the stand to un-lock the chained and padlocked porta-potty

–       which allowed S to peer into the blue poop lagoon at its base

–       which resulted in her request that I flush it

–       which prompted my explanation of porta-potties

–       which inspired S’ decision that she didn’t really need to go, because – as I’m sure you know – 3 year olds are known for their ability to hold it

but I digress…where was I?  Oh, yes…

After a questionable beginning… we turned our attention to the ice cream stand.

The conversation:

(Note: my mother-in-law heard the whole thing and can vouch for the accuracy of this account)

Me: The kids would like three cookies-n-cream ice cream cones, please.

Ice-cream guy: Are you sure you want the ice cream in cones?

Me: Yes, please.  Three cones.

Ice-cream Guy (looking at my children):  I’m sure you’d rather have their ice cream in cups.

Me: No.  They love the cones almost as much as the ice cream, so we’ll take the cones.  Thanks, though.

Ice-cream guy: Cones just mean a big mess for you to clean up and a big mess for me to clean up.  How about cups?

Me: No.  I told them they could pick whatever they wanted.  They can see that you have ice cream cones.  That’s what they asked for, so that is what I’m ordering for them.   Please.

Ice-cream guy:  If they asked for a pistol, I guess you’d buy it for them.

Me (in disbelief): No, I wouldn’t.  And that is the reason I brought them to an ice-cream stand instead of a gun shop.


I cannot type all my internal thoughts.  But the tamest among them are (1) Did he really just equate a sugar-cone with a firearm?  and (2) This guy might be in the wrong line of work.

I wish I had a picture of my mother-in-law’s face as I turned around after having this conversation.  She overheard everything, and her expression was priceless.

And, as a side-note, the owner’s wife was an angel.  After her husband left to run an errand, she let the girls play a free hole of miniature golf – “as long as you agree not to tell him when he returns”.  That placed me (and my three young children) simultaneously on hole one and in the middle of her marriage to the psycho.  Not exactly what you envision when you take the kids out for a treat…

Anyway, the kids loved their cones and their miniature golfing experience, and my mother-in-law and I bonded even further as we relayed the story to my father-in-law who missed the exchange when a phone call required him to spend an extra five minutes in the car.  Lucky man.

Or a wise man, taking the call.  Perhaps he smelled trouble from the beginning?

Then again, I guess that could have just been the stench from the chained and padlocked porta-potty…

Which in retrospect, should have been some sort of sign that this was not the best place to get ice cream for the kids!

Beach Vacation Recap!

We are back from our beach vacation!  It was fantastic!  And we are so grateful to some wonderful folks who made it possible.  They get the first shout-outs on this “beach vacation edition” of our traditional post-travel game.

That’s right.  It’s time for another edition of “shout-outs and boo-hiss”!


–       To our beloved “outlaws” (i.e. my sister’s inlaws) who loaned us their beach house.  Hello beautiful beach, wonderful pool, fantastic playground, amazing home, and a setting that inspires quantity and quality time with family.  Thank you, thank you, thank you outlaws.  Please take us up on our offer to host you anytime!

–       To my beloved inlaws, who joined us for the vacation and unexpectedly extended our trip several days by renting a nearby condo.  (How fantastic is that?!)  Thank you for that, and for everything else, including making the trip from NY, the wonderful meals, fun art supplies and such great time with the kids.  In case you are wondering whether they felt the love, while we were floating out in the ocean with E & S (while you were graciously listening out for the napping T in our house), S told me “I saved you and dad from that wave, mom.  But you know, if you and dad had floated away, I know Grammy and Grandpa would take care of us.”  That is a grandkid who feels secure with her extended family (although clearly not completely secure in the ocean).  And don’t worry, we would never float away (for more than 2 weeks… to a tropical island… with at least one pay phone… where you might be able to reach us… what was I talking about again?)

–       To the kids.  Have I mentioned recently how much I love this age?  They are up for anything.  On this trip: kites, sandcastles, swimming, a game of “Pretty Princess”, several card games (some high intensity “Ursala” – the Disney version of “old Maid” – from this crew) and Jenga.  We also carried our dramatic productions seaside, with many presentations of the little mermaid movie.  (Script includes covering legs with sand, having mom play the mean witch who traps the mermaids voice in a seashell during a mermaid song, and a dramatic moment where the legs emerge from the sand as Ariel becomes human).  Note to self: Beach is not the place for reproducing the Tinkerbelle movie, since although pixie dust in the face equals flying fairy, sand in the face equals crying sibling. 

–       To the local surfer who let our girls touch his surfboard.  They had just spent 10 minutes watching surfers ride the waves and then got to meet “a real surfer!” and feel a real board.  You’re cool with us, man.

–       To Kathryn Stockett, author of The Help, for reminding me that a book is the ultimate escape (well, right next to a beach vacation).

–       And finally, to the Turtle rescue center we visited with the kids.  Totally volunteer run.  Totally important.  Totally amazing.  What a great thing for the animals.  And what a great thing for the kids . . . I just love it when they get an opportunity to meet people who are actually working every day to make the world better in a way that they can – at their young ages – really understand.  We are now all about turtles, by the way.  (Well, turtles, surfers, mermaids, and of course still princesses and cowgirls.  What can I say…with 2 minute attention spans, we have time for a little bit of everything…but turtles are an important addition to the list.)


–       Boo-hiss to the fisherman who accidentally caught “Lennie” the Sea Turtle in his net and reacted by smacking Lennie in the head, permanently blinding him.  Lennie is now a lifetime resident of the rescue center and the favorite patient of E & S.  We’ll tell you what we told the girls: that the fisherman (who we did not meet, but heard about when listening to Lennie’s story) made a mistake and has hopefully learned a better way to react if it happens again.  Still… he earns a boo-hiss, and S delivered the ultimate punishment as we left the building.  “I am not inviting that fisherman to my birthday party.”  Sorry, man.  Her birthday is in February.  That gives you 6+ months to make some serious amends.

–       To the worst ice cream man in history.  This guy earns his own blog post.  Stay tuned.

–       To the end of summer vacation.  I just love long summer days with the kids, and I have especially enjoyed these special months knowing that E starts Kindergarten this week.  Can you believe she is big enough to go to Kindergarten?  Wasn’t she born, like, two weeks ago?!

But . . . we still have a few days of summer left to enjoy, so I’m off to enjoy them. More vacation details coming soon!