The Summer of Tim: Days 1-3

Sixty-six days, folks. I have sixty-six days of what we in the education field refer to as summer break.

In order to keep myself from wasting away my summer and to help me make the most of some free time with my family, I've decided to document the next sixty-six days in a middle-school-esque FASTE summer feature I'll call "How I Spent My Summer Vacation" or "The Summer of Tim" (equal parts reference to Summer of Sam and rip-off of a friend's declaration that this is the "Decade of Chad").

I figure if I have to document what I do, the chances decrease that I will spend the summer napping. Feel free to follow along over the next two months as I play in the backyard with my kids, visit flea markets, and do things that truly will not be all that exciting to you as the reader.

DAY 1 - June 1 - Records, beer, and Teen Wolf

After a pretty hefty thunderstorm the night before, my neighborhood woke up early the next day for our annual garage sale day. With about 1,200 records in my garage that I had picked up in a sale a few weeks back, I decided at the last minute that they needed to go. I threw together a quick sign for my yard and pulled out the boxes of LPs -- 25 cents each or five for a dollar. A handful of people stopped in and a few even bought a handful of records. In the meantime, I had spent five bucks of my earnings at my neighbor's sale on a complete Fisher Price Magic Track Train set in its original box.


As I was about to shut down for the morning and was resigning myself to the fact that I was going to have to come up with an alternate plan for the leftover records, two gentlemen showed up eager to see what I had to offer. Without hesitating, I said "Fifteen bucks for everything."

Done. They gave me a twenty.

Hitting the road just before lunch time, we headed to St. Louis to celebrate my brother's recent 40th birthday. Despite a double-header going on at Busch Stadium, the traffic was sparse and we had no problem getting to the Schlafly Tap Room on time.

Two hours later, I had successfully accomplished several things:
  1. Caught up with some old friends I hadn't seen in a long time.
  2. Discussed important topics such as Teen Wolf, Public Enemy, and how much coffee it takes to create bowel issues.
  3. Eaten a meatloaf sandwich served on an English muffin with a fried egg while sitting across the table from my brother who had the "Plate of Swine."
  4. Sampled my share of Schlafly's fine beverage selection.
Alas, we headed back to my hometown where the kiddos were staying with my dad. Can't stay up late like I used to.

DAY 2 - June 2 - The comforts of home, old toys, and Double Cola

My kids got up at 5:45am. Seriously. I guess they were excited to be at my dad's house. Either that or they knew somehow that I wanted to sleep in a little bit.

Either way, we spent a cool damp day around my dad's doing what I always do when I'm there -- digging through boxes of my old stuff. My wife even said to me at one point, "Why don't you come down here sometime by yourself and get all of this out of your system so we don't have to do this every time we're here?" She was clearly in the minority as my kids were thrilled to play with my old Playskool McDonald's set while my dad and I (unsuccessfully) attempted to repair a couple of late-70s Speed Burners.


As dinner time drew closer, I made a quick run to the store for some groceries. On the way back, I stopped off at a gas station to pick up a bottle of God's gift to the world known as Ski. Little did I know that from a beverage perspective, my evening was only going to get better. You see, as I may have mentioned before, when I was a kid, my uncle used to own the Double Cola plant in Evansville, Indiana where they bottled Double Cola and Ski (among others). While Ski is readily available any time I head back to Southern Illinois, Double Cola is a little more difficult to come by. A recent trip to Evansville by my brother, however, turned up a twelve-pack of Double Cola for me.


Double Cola definitely tastes different than Coke and Pepsi, and it may be my imagination, but my first drink of Double Cola in over 20 years tasted exactly as I remember.

DAY 3 - June 3 - A greasy burger, the Muppet Show, and the library

A pretty uneventful day, really -- unless you count the fact that I ate an awesome hamburger.

Spending seven years in Charleston, IL going to college at Eastern Illinois University (undergraduate and graduate), I became quite fond the the greasy goodness known as McHugh's Double Drive-Thru. Over the past ten years, my wife has become a believer in the awesomeness that is McHugh's, as well. As we neared the Charleston exit, she suggested lunch at McHugh's but I was ready to get home and wanted to keep driving. Nonetheless, our car slowed at Exit 190A and I soon found myself with burger in hand.

And. It. Was. Awesome.

Once we were back home, we capped off the day with a trip to the library where I walked out with the first season of the Muppet Show and a super cool book about the early years of hip-hop.

The Summer of Tim is off to a solid start.


Derek Ash said...

Wow the Summer of Tim has truly opened with an epic train heist, a musical number, and monsters decimating Tokyo.

I can't imagine what else is in store... but I can't wait to find out.

TL said...

Yeah...I'm a bit concerned with the pace of these first three days. Either it's going to be a whirlwind of a summer or things are going to slow down in a hurry!

Jay said...

I do believe I had that McDonald's playset as a kid; for some reason, I also had a Kentucky Fried Chicken playset, too. Sadly, while my FB Little People were well fed, they had unusually high cholesterol levels.

TL said...

Uh oh. Didn't realize there was a KFC set! HELLLLO, EBAY!

Jay said...

My apologies to your wife. If she's anything like mine, she'll look over your shoulder while you're on eBay, roll her eyes & sigh.

There might be some shaking of the head, too.

Derek Ash said...

-GASP- There was a Colonel Sanders Little Person!!! Why must life be filled with so many expensive cool toys?

Jay said...

They weren't quite the same as the FP Little People; same size, but made of rubber as opposed to solid plastic. And they had little slits across the mid-section to hold their food trays (really!).

Rich said...

Awesome! I went back and see that you're in education as well! Nice. I too am in education but my summer doesn't start until June 21. I get right around the same amount of time tho. 60 some odd days. Being off in the summer, in my opinion, is a way to sort of reconnect w the younger version of yourself who played outside all summer. Visited comic stores, and be over all care free! I may need to borrow this idea and document my break when it finally starts! Enjoy, I'll be checking in as I'm definitely interested in seeing how yours goes!

TL said...

Rich -- I think you nailed it about summertime. I'm closer to 40 than I am 30 and I have never not had a summer break. I love my job but I also love the summertime! Feel free to borrow the idea. I don't figure my summer is going to include anything groundbreaking...just figured if I had to document what I was doing (regardless of whether or not anyone was actually reading), I'd be less likely to waste the time away!

Shawn Robare said...

Rad, as each year passes I get another chance to relive summer vacation through your site Tim!