My skate blog editor went to Florida…

All my stuff

I brought all my stuff, but in-laws, illness and weather conspired against me. I had five days of vacation. I packed all my stuff. All the public parks in Florida seem to require a helmet and pads. I think elbow pads were required at the last one I hit. Enterprising locals had cut off tube socks over their elbows. Point is, I was meeting my kids out there, and if I skated, my oldest would want to go to. So I had boards and a full set of helmets and pads for two packed. I was staying near Sarasota, which has a Team Pain park that is nice, but I’ve ridden it a bunch before and I wanted to hit soemthing new like the Bro Bowl or Dunedin, which is about an hour and a half away.

Warning: Boring story for adults ahead.

Friday. I flew out to Florida from Oregon on the red eye, arrived at 9 in the morning, three hour time difference. Spend the rest of the day semi-catatonic due to not sleeping on the plane.

Saturday was a bust. Morning by the pool with kids, had to be back for dinner at 5:00 (Florida old people time schedule) with mother in-laws “special friend.” It takes an hour to get the kids (and wife) ready to go anywhere. It would have been rude to blow it off.

Sunday was a bust. Not much sleep last night. Baby sure is getting fussy at night. Everyone is crabby. Pool time with kids in the AM. Naps. We had an afternoon BBQ scheduled with more friends of the mother in-law. I was going to bail early and hit the local Sarasota park but then it started raining. No problem, I looked up the Dunedin park on the web. They had an “old school” session on Monday nights. I don’t like to pigeonhole myself, but I figured I could surely enjoy that. I could do the family thing in the day and skate at night.

Monday was a bust. My increasingly crabby 7 month old lost his shit on Sunday night. All his fussiness bubbled over into a volcano. He only slept for an hour at a time (no exaggeration) and would wake up crying loudly and inconsolable. There were four of us in one bedroom. At about 6:00 am the baby finally passed out for a couple hours. After he woke up and we got moving we spent the afternoon a jam packed walk-in facility trying to get the kid to see a doctor. He had a nasty throat infection that had spread to his ears. He was in pain, so that explains all the screaming. By the time evening rolled around I was too drained to make the hour and a half drive out to Dunedin. Even if I had, I would have been useless, or worse, been sloppy and gotten hurt.

Tuesday. The meds had a miraculous effect on the infant. He had one stretch where he slept three and a half hours. Everyone was in a good mood on the last day of vacation, so a session was eminent right? Yes!

Florida Tourist Session!

I spent the day giving my oldest a quality Florida tourist experience. It was our only day without external forces scheduling things for us, so we did vacation stuff. The skateparks aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, and there are parks in Oregon I still haven’t checked out. So maybe next year.


My skate blog editor went to Florida and all I got was one lousy entry.

I use this joke a lot and it occurred to me a lot of people won’t get the reference. A popular florida souvenir used to be shirts for kids that said “My Grandma (or Grandpa, or Mom, etc..) went to Florida and all I got was this lousy T-shirt.” I don’t think they make them anymore. In any case, they aren’t en vogue anymore.

Today is the last day. I have to stop typing, finish packing and go to the airport. That picture of my kid holding an alligator is worth the whole hassle. Wheee! Vacaction! See you in Oregon, hope it isn’t raining.


  1. Ah the family vacation. Yes, it’s near impossible to get skate time. I reccomend coming to Washington D.C. Lots of family stuff to do during the day and about 5 concerete parks in a 45 minute drive. Also, 3 of those are about 15 min apart. Bowie, MD, Greenbelt MD and GSL in DC.

  2. enemy combatant on April 9, 2008 - Reply

    Traveling with an infant is no vacation. It really works out better if the grandparents visit the kids rather than the other way around. Better yet, have the grandparents look after the kids and you and your wife take the vacation.

  3. That’s not a baby, it’s an alligator. That’s probably why it’s so crabby.

  4. t-roy on April 9, 2008 - Reply

    Sounds a lot like my life lately. The best approach is to not plan for any skating (except bringing your stuff), then ANY skating is a bonus. Just planning skating can cause conflict with the family and the rest of the non-understanding population. People roll their eyes when a 40+ year old says “Hurry up, gotta go! Need to skate! I know I haven’t seen you in years but there’s a great new skate park in your town”

  5. Peter on April 9, 2008 - Reply

    “Holiday ro-o-o-o-o-oad”
    “Sorry folks parks closed, the moose out front should’ve told you.”

  6. You got your kid one of those SCS mini slasher completes? That’s a luckly little bugger…

  7. orezona on April 9, 2008 - Reply

    Ugh, reminds me of our last visit to Oregon last December.

    My daughter (11 months old at the time) got some wicked virus and the final night in Portland was a nightmare. Nothing like sucking the snot out of a screaming baby in a 10′ x 10′ hotel room… I caught what she had too and it every so conveniently hit me on the plane. Pressurized cabins + clogged sinus cavities = F-U-N!

    For future trips I left a complete behind at my ‘rent’s house so I don’t have to lug a board with the carseat, pak-n-play and the most bags you can check (along with carry on stuff).

  8. john e on April 9, 2008 - Reply

    my latest vacation was on the Outer Banks of NC, a skate mecca. Wanchese, Currituck, Nags Head YMCA, and several permission pools. Did I make it to a single one? No. But the family comes first and they’re worth it. I’m goin’ back though…

  9. Jaymeericle on April 9, 2008 - Reply

    I have not taken my board before on vacation (big mistake). And I have and gotten yelled at bringing the board, when I was a kid by the old man.. ex. “WHAT DO YOU WANT TO RUIN OUR VACATION IF YOU GET HURT,, ARRRHHHHH” Best option sneak the board, if you get a chance take it and skate. of course do all your research ahead of time so you know travel distances, maps, view photos etc.. Looking all that stuff up on a hotel computer so you can print directions might suck! I ve really skated some certified pieces of suck, but any local around is sure glad someone took the time to travel and skate it. Yeah.

  10. Sorry you didn’t get to sk8, but being a good dad is pretty rad imo!

  11. That’s not a baby, it’s an alligator. That’s probably why it’s so crabby.


  12. Hah,

    Just read this after booking a family trip with wife and son (who’ll be 18 months old by then)…including a few days in Whitefish. This tale reminds me of our last family holiday where my board did not even get out of my bag.

    Seems to me that you make some opportunities, check all your expectations at the door, from having a skate to actually getting out of the motel before lunch time and enjoy what you get. Having no expectations makes everything a bonus – I first leart that on road-trips round Oregon.

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