Dear Jack: You Won Your Sister and Yourself Prizes from the Crane Machine at Chuck E. Cheese’s

8 years, 7 months.

Dear Jack,

During our 45 minute “all you can play” spree at Chuck E. Cheese’s last week in Sacramento, we were down to the last 10 minutes when you decided to take a stab at the crane machine filled with inflatable balls.

After just a couple of tries, you were able to successfully win a purple ball for yourself!

Naturally, you drew a crowd: your own family.

Your sister immediately expressed that she wanted one too.

And after another couple of tries, you seemingly effortlessly won her a purple ball just like yours.

I have a feeling that had you spent the entire 45 minutes at the crane machine, you would have emptied it!

Love,

Daddy

Family Summer Vacation in Sacramento: Going to Chuck E. Cheese’s Instead of Disneyland

After spending the first half of our vacation at Lake Tahoe, our family spent the rest of the time closer to Sacramento; staying with my mother-in-law and her husband.

Selfishly, I didn’t mind at all because it gave me several consecutive days to sleep in; since there was never really any planned event or agenda happening before noon the rest of the week.

And after the long, early flight to California (we left Nashville at 2:00 AM), I was pretty much the equivalent of Weekend at Bernie’s for the first few days anyway.

Staying there in the Sacramento area provided more opportunities to visit with more family members, as well as long-time friends of my wife.

But of course, eventually our kids wanted to do something special; since after all, we were on vacation. I suggested putt-putt golf, which was something I kept seeing in Lake Tahoe.

But the kids wanted Chuck E. Cheese’s. It hadn’t crossed my mind since there’s already one just about 20 minutes from our house in Tennessee.

However, I realized how little it would cost us: Just about $13 total for unlimited games for 45 minutes for our whole family.

So I immediately agreed!

We were given what was essentially an infinitely loaded debit card only good for the currency of Chuck E. Cheese tokens.

So for 45 minutes, we frantically passed the card to each other; as ultimately, all four members of our family were constantly earning tickets to buy prizes the entire time.

The time limit actually made it even more fun and challenging for all of us, as we individually learned and decided which games we were best at winning tickets from.

By the end of our California family vacation, my wife suggested that maybe next year the kids will be old enough to visit Disneyland.

Maybe.

But I definitely wouldn’t mind Chuck E. Cheese again either.

Photos Of The Cool Springs Chuck E. Cheese’s After An SUV Crashed Through It Today

Today, right as I was leaving for my lunch break, a coworker informed me that a car had just driven through the front wall of the Chuck E. Cheese a few blocks away from our office in Cool Springs; the business borough of Franklin, TN- about 20 miles south of Nashville.

Photos Of The Cool Springs Chuck E. Cheese After The Car Crashed Through It Today

Photos Of The Cool Springs Chuck E. Cheese After The Car Crashed Through It Today

As a blogger, I make a point to carry my camera with me wherever I go. By the time I got to the seen just a few minutes later, the vehicle had already been removed from the building.

Photos Of The Cool Springs Chuck E. Cheese After The Car Crashed Through It Today

News crew was wrapping up some stock footage for the story. In fact, the cameraman handed me his phone with the story pulled up:

Grandmother crashes SUV into Cool Springs Chuck E. Cheese’s

To my surprise no one asked me to leave as I took pictures of the aftermath and wreckage of the Chuck E. Cheese building.

Photos Of The Cool Springs Chuck E. Cheese After The Car Crashed Through It Today

As you can see, that’s a pretty big hole.

I don’t understand how the vehicle gained enough speed to run over the curb, drive through the hedges, then crush right through the brick wall and windows.

Photos Of The Cool Springs Chuck E. Cheese After The Car Crashed Through It Today

It was right there in the parking lot, and that part of it was very small.

Fortunately, the driver only had minor injuries.

Grandmother crashes SUV into Cool Springs Chuck E. Cheese’s

Red Foxes are Majestic, Magical, Medieval Creatures; Especially When It Snows in the South

When people from outside of the South think of the weather down here, my guess is they probably assume we hardly ever get snow. And while our precipitation amount doesn’t compare to New England or the Midwest, every year I’ve been alive it’s snowed at least once during the winter season. (It even snowed once in April of 1988; I got out of school early that day).

And yes, it only takes an inch or two to shut down the whole town because most cities only own one snow plow, if that. Plus we’re not used to driving in it. There’s no shame in that.

Yesterday as I walked through Aspen Grove Park to Border’s as I do every day during my lunch break, I noticed that my footprints were the only ones in the snow. This mental image popped in my head of a Red Fox. Evidently I associate Red Foxes with snow and woods.

A little while later as I walked back through the park to my office, I saw animal footprints I wasn’t familiar with. I was used to seeing people walk their dogs there, surrounded by all the squirrels on their apparent cocaine highs. So I assumed these were raccoon prints.

About 45 minutes later back at my desk, one of my co-workers who was on the phone at the time, started pointing out the floor-to-ceiling windows we have as walls in our office. It was a big Red Fox. Less than a 100 feet away. Coming from the park I just got back from, journeying all the way around the building with its glass walls.

There is just something truly mesmerizing about a Red Fox. It’s so rare to see one in real life, especially right around the corner from a Starbucks. Watching that fox make his way around our office made me feel like I was in a magical medieval movie like The Princess Bride or something. Watching a fox trot through the snow in a business development is enchanting.

I can’t stop thinking about that beautiful, rare, red creature. I want to tame it. Make it my loyal pet. Man’s best friend. The Red Fox.

In fact, I’m having trouble thinking of a more beautiful animal in this whole world. Magnificent and majestic. It’s no coincidence that Red Foxes have been a part of folklore for centuries.

And in more modern culture like the recent movie, Fantastic Mr. Fox. And the 1973 Walt Disney Robin Hood cartoon (where Red Foxes took the place of people). And Star Fox for N64. And in the ‘80’s cartoon show, David the Gnome, he rode on Swift the Fox, who was always getting a splinter in his paw.

Looking at a Red Fox in real life can be confusing. Am I actually looking at a real fox or is it an anthropomorphic clone that escaped from Chuck E. Cheese’s? Yes, foxes are that awesome.