I’m coming off of another long vacation from social media. I don’t know how people stay connected without any down time. I know it’s time for me to take a break when I think I see my blog header in cereal boxes or I see the white Twitter bird expanding before my closed eyes when I’m trying to get to sleep.

I was recently made to feel bad about my complacent cyber connection by an unlikely source.

Other Peoples’ Vacations Are Awesome

My wife’s dad recently visited us from Canada. A couple of days before he arrived, my kids both went on separate vacations for a week. That sentence isn’t really important. I just wanted to gloat that I WAS RECENTLY ALONE IN THE HOUSE FOR TWO WHOLE DAYS.

I mostly cleaned house during that time though, so the bragging is a bit exaggerated. I had to fumigate my son’s room so my wife’s dad could sleep there. On a related note, the store near my home is temporarily out of Pine-Sol and Febreze.

Dad is Connected

One of the first sentences her dad uttered was,”Does your house have WiFi?” He is more connected and probably more internet saavy than either of us. He had electronics hanging from his person that I didn’t even recognize.

I don’t think he was overly impressed with our cathode ray tube television set in the living room.

What Roller Coaster?

It’s amazing the things you do when people come to visit.

The second thing he asked was whether we could ride “the” roller coaster. The specific roller coaster he was referring to no longer exists because it was at the top of a monstrous tower and was shutdown years ago. I imagine the words “death trap” were used in the board room conversation when the decision was made.

Three other rides remain at the top of that thing, however, two of which hang you off the sides of the tower. The first one we rode had great views of the city and the street below, convenient for guessing the approximate location of your chalk outline on the sidewalk a gazillion feet below. You had to squint real hard.

View of the Las Vegas strip before we were flung out over the edge.

My wife and her dad bravely sat in the front row with an unobstructed view of their fate, although my wife had to remove her glasses for the ride, so all she saw was a big blur. That was still more than I saw since I kept my eyes closed.

It jerked us downward at a tilt over the edge then yanked us back to the moderate safety of the tower a few hundred times. Somewhere around tilt number fifty, my wife thoughtfully shouted at me from the front seat, “How you doin’, honey?” I yelled at the back of her head between screams, “If I could curse at you both in Cantonese, I would!”

I’m now learning Chinese curse words for future family visits and holidays.

Still Spry

Her dad managed to out eat us, out walk us, and out last us in almost every activity. (I bowed out of the shooting and archery ranges, but I heard he had a great time.) After a long hiking excursion on a trail to Hoover Dam, we came home and went directly to our room to rest. He stayed up and asked if we had a NetFlix subscription.

A few hours later, he was still glued to his tablet and sipping wine. “Your WiFi is really fast. I can do everything! Say… how expensive is that zip line downtown?”

Needless to say, I was shamed into ending my vacation from the internet by my father in law who will turn seventy this year. Plus, I was beginning to miss you.

P.S. I’m also thinking of learning about sky diving, strictly on principal.