Parker Hotel Memorial Day

May 26th, 2015 Travel

Let’s be honest here.  Anywhere there’s a pool, a few other kids to play with – and corresponding adults to splash – and my boys will be happy.  The fancy hotel aspect is purely for the parents.  And the Parker Hotel in Palm Springs looked after us in fine style this weekend.  It sort of has this hidden English garden quality to it.  Narrow dusty paths, lined with rich vegetation and intermittent rose bushes either side, that twist and turn as you navigate your way from room to pool to restaurant.  Occasionally along the hidden path, an arched opening, that leads to what feels like another discovered space: a crochet lawn, fire pit, or secret garden.  All very Alice in Wonderland.

I was delighted to see Jaxon finally have the confidence to put his swimming lessons to the test.  I’m not sure that the other pool users were quite so excited.  Easily the loudest and splashiest (if that’s even a word?) kid in the place.  The entire weekend.  I had to traverse that difficult line between allowing my kid to have fun and delight in his new found abilities while keeping him mindful of everyone else in the pool and not becoming dictatorial dad in the process.  I tended towards the more laissez faire approach and I think we just got away with it.  It’s quite remarkable though to see in a few weeks the additional confidence and delight that he now takes in being able to swim – or should I really say – stay afloat – in the pool.  Skyer, interestingly enough,  seemed a little overwhelmed by the the pool and the other kids and while he has been fearless in the past he was reluctant to let go of me when in the pool which made for some awkward dunking moments and frequent instances of lost sunglasses at the bottom of the pool.

Parker Hotel Pool

A great weekend.  Our decision to take the children with us was a last minute one as this was originally just a weekend for Rachel and myself.  But after some last minute scrambling we were set up for the four of us.  The room was a little small if truth be told, but that was on us as much as them, and not quite as luxurious as I might have hoped but we made it work.  There is clearly two worlds operating within the hotel which hardly ever meet.  The adult world of pool side drinks and lazy mornings – the world I thought I was going to inhabit for three days – and the kids world – full of dunking, splashing and frequent apologies to strangers.  the world that we ended up inhabiting.

The Parker Hotel can take it – and allows each world to co-exist independently of each other very well.  I should point out that there is an adults only pool at the opposite end of the property which greatly assists in this regard.  While chic, and full of eclectic touches and sophisticated decor, it never feels too precious or rarified that your kids have to be on best behavior.

With that being said we did have a rather lucky escape with a number of the glass ornaments and coffee table nick nacks as we were checking out.  But, if truth be told, I wouldn’t want it any other way.  And in the spirit of honesty, I’m just glad they’re around to divert attention from my own behavioral misdemeanors.

Parker Hotel Kids Pool

 

 

On The Road Again

May 16th, 2015 Crossfit, Fatherhood, Fitness

It’s important to me to stay in shape and maintain my fitness levels while I’m away.  I do Crossfit. A great combination of variety, functionality, intensity and community.  So when I’m on the road I tend to fashion workouts around the Crossfit philosophy and approach to fitness.  If for nothing else the workouts ensure maximum benefit and results in minimal time and mean that I can avoid any serious negotiation with Rachel about having to slip off to the gym during the middle of a family vacation.

I can’t always guarantee that I’ll have easy access to a gym but I’m certainly not going to drag a bunch of excess gear with me.  Traveling with kids means that you have to travel light and I never go anywhere without my three trusty essentials:

Crossfit Nanos: perfectly versatile shoe – stable enough for weightlifting yet flexible and robust enough for any kind of workout. Also great for hiking and running over shorter distances.

RX Jump Rope: hands down the best jump rope I’ve ever tried – and I’ve tried a few.  Ball bearings in the handles for ultra smooth turnover, rope lengths are customized according to your height as well as the weight of the jump cable itself.  For beginners a heavier cable is preferred as it helps considerably with timing.  As you improve so you can use a lighter weight cable. Less taxing – and of course faster turnover. I had struggled with double unders for months.  Once I got my RX jump rope I was stringing together 30 unbroken very quickly.

Lacrosse Ball: This little ball changed my life.  The ultimate massage companion helps ease out all the knots and tension.  Simple but wonderfully effective. My boys LOVE this ball and I have to fight with them constantly to keep hold of it!