5:00 am is about the time my brain starts working everyday no matter how much sleep I have gotten. I know that I am a day late and there is no excuse. So read and hopefully you will understand why Monday morning is why I finally was able to get some time to write. It has been one of those weekends where you leave on a trip Friday after a full day of work and wake up Monday morning and realize life is full of so many surprises and wonderfulness you are thankful that you are able to participate. Welcome to the world of reality through the eyes of someone slightly askew. So much to talk about and so little ability to make it concise and funny, but here it goes. Today boys and girls we will delving into the world of family, friends, food, and road trips again.
Reason # 4031 that I am fortunate to have my life is that we take our crew of 4 and crash with friends for a week. My wife and I made a deal before we got married that no matter how many kids we had we would always travel and see everything in the world if possible. Although Emily was 100% behind my optimism she laid down the voice of reason and told me realistically that we would be able to see the United States and life abroad may take some time. I was ok with this. From day one with both of our children my wife and I were always willing to pick up and travel any time, multiple times per year to visit friends all over this great county that we inhabit. That brings me back to the main point of topic sentence of the paragraph(English teachers all over the country just a small tingle down their spines as a student remembered something they said) and the absolutely fantastic, wonderful, and truly amazing people that we get to call “friends”. That term “friends” I have never taken lightly and never will take them for granted. Let me explain through our family why our friends are truly the best. If you have not noticed or heard before the name of the game with my crew is exploration. I have been blessed with a wife who is always up for the next adventure. The best part is she is also able to put up with 3 children(I am included in that count) on all these adventures. Our friends kick ass because we show up with Emily- wife, mother, planner, heart of an angel, and friend to all, Erik-(me) husband, father, kid, driver, and insomniac, Josiah- oldest son, do-gooder, Mr. Athlete, and one overall really sweet kid, and last Porter- youngest son, non-do-gooder, bull in a china shop, madman, and wild man galore. This is the cast and crew that you sign up for if you decide to be our friends. We have the philosophy that we travel staying with friends beats the emptiness of a hotel room and not to mention the price is so much better.
We follow the “traveler’s code”. So if you do not travel and want to start please follow these couple of rules: 1) Always be able to fit into one room(no matter the size of the room), this keeps your crazy contained in a new environment. 2) Always provide either a dinner to the host friends or some really nice booze(this is normally your payment and it says that they mean a lot to you). With the “traveler’s code” normally the host is not looking for monetary reward, but payment with experiences that years later you will be able to recount with fondness. 3) Never be rude(that one should explain itself) 4) Work around their schedule(if this is not followed you will not be asked to come back, I promise) 5) Last, Enjoy your time with friends(this one is the most important and no amount of money will ever be enough to pay for this). My fondest times of all my road trips has been once the kids have gone to bed and friends and I sit over normally a good beer or three and discuss life, religion, politics, food, and more life. It is always amazes me how much fun it is to sit and discuss anything with really cool people. For future reference, I am referring to my friends, I consider myself only entry-level cool and that distinction has only come since the meeting of my wife and having my kids. Being able to pick up and travel most of this country and have people to stay with almost every night of a trip is something that I will never take for granted and want to thank all the people past and future who are willing to have the Batson experience.
With this life comes decisions and the consequences of those decisions that make up your reality or reputation. Taking this lightly may work for some, but I know there is reaction to every action that I take as a mortal human being. Through years of experience and life it has become clear that taking a path of enjoyment through good deeds and thoughts is the path for me. I have people in this life that have taught me to be appreciative of all that I have been given. Through our family’s travels it has become clear that there is so much out there and being able to show my children all those things is my mission in life. I have been blessed with crew that is willing to put up with me for 12 hours in a car and come out the other side for good times. We are in Chicago for spring break and I will have many more experiences to convey next week. Right now I am going to try to sneak in a 2 mile run in below freezing temperatures. So please, please get in car, plane, bus, on a bike, or use your feet and go and explore this world. It is one of the best thing I have ever done and I promised myself to not stop till something stopped me from being able to do it myself. Thank you everyone who has ever taken this bunch into their homes, we thank you from the deepest most grateful parts of our hearts!