Monday, February 04, 2008

SNOWMASS, CO.— I am on a father-son vacation with my six-year old.

My family usually travels in a pack of four. This trip, prior commitments kept my wife and daughter at home and placed the two men, on their own, in a ski resort. It is the first time that he and I have ever spent any quality time away from home— just the boys. I am a happy daddy.

I love and adore my wife and daughter, but there is something special about two guys traveling alone. Things are different. Even though we are staying in a ski-in ski-out Colorado condo, it has taken on the feel of a Mississippi backwoods deer camp. Certain rules don’t apply when the girls aren’t around.

The clothes we wore yesterday, even the clothes we wore four days ago, are doing just fine piled up in the corner of the den. We both know that later in the week, if we run out of clean clothes, we might have to dig into the dirty pile to find something to wear. The kitchen island serves as a perfect luggage rack to keep the duffle bag that holds all of our ski clothes and jeans so we don’t have to bend down while digging for something clean.

There seems to be an unusual amount of empty space around the bathroom sink, and the toilet paper never seems to run out. There are always plenty of towels and washcloths available, and for some strange reason we are on time everywhere we go— early even.

The condo’s refrigerator is stocked with all of the father-son essentials: Milk, orange juice, bottled water, and Coke Zero. In the pantry are two boxes of Cheerios, a wide variety of protein bars, bananas, and a box of Pop Tarts.

My son had never eaten a Pop Tart. If my wife had a clue that I was letting him eat a Pop Tart for breakfast she would fly out here and fill the pantry with yogurt, turkey sausage, and fiber-laden cereals with strange European and vegetarian-sounding names.

When two guys are on their own, eating ends up in a lower place on the activity pecking order. That is a strange sentence for me to type, because, when traveling, eating usually ends up at, or near, the top of the list.

We eat breakfast in the condo every morning, selecting from the aforementioned items. We eat lunch on the slopes, usually burgers, soups, or salads. We have eaten dinner, three nights out of six, at the restaurant located at our condominium.

This is new territory for me. Restaurants and food are usually a top priority when traveling. This trip it’s all about my son. He learned how to snow ski and on the final day and a half, we skied together. Who needs food when a father and son are bonding?

Actually, we are both starting to miss the girls, all of the Pop Tarts were eaten two days ago, the Cheerios are running low, and we are out of clean clothes.

My father died when I was six-years old. I had never been on a father-son vacation in my life, that is, until now.

I am skiing with my son. I am a happy daddy.

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