Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

Halloween 2019 : Elli The Jelly

Elliott was a jellyfish this year for Halloween. I know that’s a bad photo, but I’m trying to show off that it lights up. Here’s another attempt, but it’s still not a good photo.

You have to trust me, the costume looked awesome in the dark. All the credit goes to Coral for this one. She made the whole thing and it was so impressive that a lot of the houses we trick-or-treated at gave Elliott extra candy because they thought his costume was so great. “Why not take another couple candies? I just LOVE your costume!” It was a fun night. One lady even told him to take an extra handful.

Here’s a photo in the daylight so you can get the full effect of Jelly-Elli.

Per tradition we went to downtown Paso Robles where they block off the streets around the park and the shops hand out candy. It gets pretty crazy, so if you can’t handle a lot of fast movement and big crowds you’ll probably want to avoid it, BUT it’s actually really fun to see so many costumes all in the same place. We even found another jellyfish, which Elliott was very excited about.

After a couple of hours of walking, arms tired from holding the heavy jellyfish, we were happy to be home to enjoy this pile of candy.

Hope you all had a Happy Halloween!

Oh yeah, here’s a bonus photo of some fun Halloween cut outs Elliott made earlier in the month.

And that’s that.

– Jeff

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Bonus Blog:
Yes, today is the last day of Blogtober. I posted one blog every day for the entire month. I never got to that point where I thought, “Ughhhh….why did I decide to do this?” It was fun for me and it was interesting having to come up with something to write about every day. I don’t like to talk about “inspiration” because I think it’s cheesy, but inspiration is everywhere. One day I wrote about a lady buying way too many boxes of Wheat Thins. Another day I wrote about a hole in my sock. Anyway, I hope it brought you some enjoyment. I have two minutes to hit the PUBLISH button before midnight strikes and there is no way I’m going to fail this dumb challenge on the last day.

Thanks again for reading and following along.
See you soon!

Thirteen Things I Did In The Last 48 Hours

Well damn…last minute blog posting again. Allow me to explain by writing a list for today’s post.

Things I’ve done in the last 48 hours.

– Woke up at 3am Thursday morning.
– Drove to San Diego.
– Met up with Corals’s mom in Mission Bay where she was staying on a boat, which was actually a pretty cool Air BnB.
– Went out for taco’s because when you’re in San Diego you have to eat Mexican.
– Surprised Elliott with a visit at the San Diego Zoo.
– Ditched Elliott so he could have a sleep over on the boat with grandma.
– Stayed at my friend Sam’s house. He and his lady made us delicious chicken burritos.
– Woke up earlier than I wanted to.
– Drove to a vendor’s warehouse to pick up new merch for Viva Paso.
– Picked up Elliott and grandma.
– Drove home. It took FOREVER. There is A LOT more to the drive home, but I will get to that tomorrow because it deserves A LOT more attention than one sentence.
– Literally, just got home 15 minutes ago.
– Typed up this post as fast as possible.

Ok, goal accomplished.

See you tomorrow!

– Jeff

Oh yeah, photo of Mission Bay was taken by Coral. She’s awesome.

Well That’ll Ruin Your Day

Besides car trouble and root canals is there really anything worse than having to deal with a hole in your sock? It’s one thing to put your socks on in the morning and notice the hole right away. You simply put on another sock. Tragedy averted. It’s a totally different thing when the hole only becomes apparent once you’ve left the house and will be gone all day. You’re stuck to deal with it. Sort of like when you realize you’ve drank too much and are all, “Great…now I’m going to have to deal with this situation for awhile.”

Anyway, I’ve become a sock snob in the last year or two. It started when I was gifted a pair of Stance socks. They were actually a perfect gift because they are at that price point where I don’t want to spend my own money on them, but I have no problem if somebody else wants to. You know what I mean? To me, those are the best gifts. And of course, since getting that first pair of Stance socks I’ve purchased several on my own. They probably aren’t even that expensive, but when you’ve purchased socks in bulk from Costco your whole life…well, you get the idea.

Needless to say, it was sad to say goodbye to another sock. On the plus side, buying a new pair or two is totally justified and what feels better than slipping your feet into a brand new fresh pair of socks? Nothing. Oh wait, putting socks on as soon as they come out of the dryer is pretty amazing.

And we’re just hitting these blogs out of the park. This was the twenty third day in a row and we have eight more to go. I wonder what lurks ahead. Will I be able to find something more exciting than socks to write about? Who knows? You’ll just have to wait and see.

Until next time.
– Jeff

Somebody Donated To Viva Paso…Kind Of

A lot of bizarre things happen when you work in retail. Take this cigarette I found on James And The Giant Peach. Is this an anonymous donation from a kind donor that thinks I look like a dude that needs a cigarette? I like to think so and I should probably leave it at that, but…

I say we dive deep into this because I close the shop in an hour and writing for the next 40 minutes feels far more productive than watching Part 3 of Shane Dawson’s “The Beautiful World Of Jeffree Star” series. How crazy is this? The episode was released 5 hours ago and is #1 trending on YouTube and has been trending on Twitter for 5 hours, but I digress. Let’s get back to cigarettes and children’s books because those two things really belong together.

So, the cigarette left behind was probably not an anonymous donation. One theory I’ve tossed around is that this person was either annoyed or offended or both that our copy of James And The Giant Peach is the peach scented edition. That’s right, this book literally smells like a peach. It’s amazing. Come in and give it a good sniff next time you’re in town. The theory is that this person was so disgusted with the idea of a peach scented book that they set out to sabotage it. Their plan was that the scent of the cigarette would overpower the delicious scent of the peach and who knows, maybe this person works for Big Tobacco as a recruiting scout and their whole objective is to get kids addicted to cigarettes. And what better way to do so than by having tobacco scented children’s books? This is actually starting to sound like a Shane Dawson conspiracy video. Anyway, like I said, this is just a theory. Unfortunately, the sad truth is this. You know those people you meet and as soon as they are out of sight you make a mad dash to the nearest hand sanitizer or sink to wash you hands? You didn’t even shake their hand, but the mere presence of them makes you fill covered in germs. Yeah, it was one of those people. This person was also talking to themself while meandering through my shop. I don’t like to throw around the word schizophrenia, but…

Anyway, based on what I could gather from this person they were probably extremely bummed out when they realized later that night that the last cigarette they thought they had actually did not exist. When you think about it, that’s just not a good state of mind for a person that suffers from schizophrenia. Then again, I suppose that’s exactly what schizophrenia is. Right? Now I can’t even keep up with what’s happening in this story. Good thing I now have this cigarette to smoke so it will calm my nerves.

The end.

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Alternate Ending:

Great…I can’t find the cigarette now. Did I ever have it? Did it actually exist? Of course it did, it’s in the photo. Maybe I already smoked it and it was more than a cigarette. You know, like it was laced with something. What’s happening? Am I the crazy one? I knew I should have just watched the Shane Dawson video instead of being “productive”.

The end.

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Ok, seriously. This post could have easily just been the photo and a simple caption like, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Or something like that.

This is where I would normally add some fun links to more of my stuff, but after this post I’m sure you’ve had enough of me.

Until tomorrow!
– Jeff

PS. I don’t smoke and if I did I certainly would not smoke a random cigarette that a complete stranger left behind.

S’mores French Toast Is My New Best Friend

Obviously, I am not a food photographer. No foodie in their right mind would photograph such a decadent dish in a to-go box. And when I say “decadent” I am not messing around. This S’mores French Toast is AMAZING. Granted, there is no way this is a healthy breakfast. I mean, look at it. It’s literally a giant s’more. I believe the marshmallow is the same size as the bread. That’s one big marshmallow. Yes, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to mention marshmallow’s in two consecutive posts. Anyway, back to the best french toast known to man. It should be no surprise that I have a major sweet tooth. I try to fight it (no, I don’t) and occasionally I find the strength to stay away from sweet things (no, I don’t), but sometimes you just have to allow yourself to indulge. Maybe you’re on vacation (I wasn’t). Maybe you made a killing selling old clothes on Poshmark (I didn’t). Maybe you won the championship game by scoring the winning point with your amazing jump shot from the half court line (I didn’t). Whatever it is (I got out of bed before 10am), you deserve to reward yourself with a delicious meal, even if that meal consists of a melting marshmallow sandwiched between one inch thick pieces of bread drizzled with chocolate syrup and crushed up graham crackers. You know what they say. You only live once. Live each day as if it might be your last. So get out there and drown yourself in something delicious.

Oh, and if your mouth is watering over this S’mores French Toast and you need to have it, and you do, it’s available at Brunch in downtown Paso Robles. And while you’re at, I’ll be just a couple doors down at my shop, Viva Paso. Come say hello. And bring my your leftovers. I’m hungry.

See you soon! And happy eating.
– Jeff

Eat The Marshmallow

There are a lot of days when there is something waiting for me when I get home and the other day this was it.

Yes, it’s a rope hanging from the balcony with a note taped to it. Could it be a ransom note? Has some villain taken my family hostage while I was out? The odds of that are pretty slim, but I will say this. Elliott loves leaving surprises around for me to discover. I think these surprises are hilarious and I love them. I never quite know what to expect. Of course, this note hanging from the balcony is the first thing I see as I approach the garage to put my bike away. What will the surprise be today? Does the note say, “Welcome home, Daddy!” Of course not, that’s too easy. Instead, there is a marshmallow skewered on a toothpick and the toothpick is taped to the paper with the following message.

“Pull the paper up and eat the marshmallow!”

Aww…he left me a tasty treat. What a sweetheart. The thing is, I have no idea how long this marshmallow has been hanging here collecting dust from a windy afternoon. I have no idea what critters might have crawled on it. It’s also unclear to me why I need to go up the balcony just to pull the marshmallow up to eat it when I could just as easily eat it right here on the spot. Elliott must have been spying from the window because before I even got the garage door open he was running down the stairs to see if I found the note.

This shouldn’t be much of a surprise, but he ended up eating the marshmallow before I had a chance. What will be waiting for me when I get home tonight, hmmm…

Perfection Is Not All It’s Cracked Up To Be

“Don’t let perfection get in the way of good enough.”

I have no idea who to credit for that quote, but it’s a good one and it’s something, I think, we all need to remind ourselves from time to time. Naturally, my mind leans towards other creative types, like painters, musicians, writers, you know who I’m talking about. I also want to help those types if I can because I’m in the same boat with them, so I can relate. This idea of perfection getting in the way of completing that painting, or finishing that novel, or releasing that song, or uploading that video, or whatever is something I know a lot of creative people struggle with. Last night I came across this video with Jack Conte and he breaks this concept down better than I’ve even seen it done before. Like I said, I think of creative types having this problem, but perfectionism getting in the way of completing a task goes far beyond creative types. Maybe you’re a realtor and are putting off promoting a listing because you really wanted a drone shot of the property and you haven’t had time to get a drone shot. Whatever it is you need to find a way to get over it. If this is something you struggle with I highly recommend you watch this video. Even if this is something you don’t struggle with I still suggest watching it because it’s inspiring.


Huge thanks to Jack Conte for being so awesome. If you don’t know who Jack is, he’s the creator and CEO of Patreon. If you don’t know what Patreon is then…I don’t know. Click on the link and find out.

Thanks for reading!
– Jeff

PS. I would totally have launched my own Patreon page by now, but I want it to be PERFECT before I do. I’m totally serious. I made an account on Patreon probably five years ago.

PPS. Here are a couple of more quotes I like that fit the theme of this post.
“You miss all the shots you don’t take.”
“Jump off the cliff and build your wings on the way down.”
“If you’re waiting for the perfect time to do something you’ll be waiting forever.”

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Still not bored to tears? This might get you there…
but it goes hand in hand with the topic.
Check out this video I made about how I accomplish my goals.
And of course, follow on Instagram: @jeffclaassen

Wishful Thinking

I call this photo “Wishful Thinking” for obvious reasons. What’s not obvious and is something I will never know, is what is that man thinking. It’s been years, probably 20 plus, since I squeezed myself into a wetsuit and I don’t remember it being fun or easy to do. Going through all that trouble just to paddle out onto a flat ocean hardly seems worth the effort. Of course, I’m going on the assumption that homeboy wanted to ride some sick waves. Then again, maybe he just appreciates a leisurely float on the flat water. I mean, he basically has the entire beach to himself, which is pretty cool.

Maybe there is something to learn here. Something like we need to teach ourselves to unplug from time to time and to consciously appreciate nature.

Or maybe we just need to accept things as they are and call this guy a dumbass. I mean, seriously, why didn’t he check the surf report?

The Cuesta Promise, Gone Wrong

This day was inevitable. It had been coming for months. I knew it was only a matter of time, but my Cuesta Promise sunglasses finally broke. The Cuesta Promise, if you are not in the know, is a scholarship program for SLO County high school grads. It’s a pretty sweet deal because Cuesta is giving these grads two years of free learning. It’s really quite amazing, but what’s even better is that I got a free pair of sunglasses out of the deal. It doesn’t quite show up in the photo, but the lenses are a reflective purple and the green lettering on the arm of the glasses says “The Cuesta Promise”. Sure, I might have “borrowed” them from Evelyn without asking, but they look (looked) better on me anyway. Also, if you saw the last post you are well aware of the bullshit I’ve put up with, so I think stealing her Cuesta Promise shades is totally justified.

Ok, here’s what happened. I won’t get into specific details, but here’s a quick breakdown.
– Evelyn visited Cuesta and they hooked her up with these sweet sunglasses.
– As cool as they are they were severely neglected. They sort of just floated around the house for a while. Months maybe?
– My $6 gas station sunglasses broke. Go figure.
– Running out the door one morning I saw the Cuesta Promise glasses and put them on because I had been going out without glasses on for about a week and my sensitive eyes couldn’t stand it any longer.
– I was now a 41 year old dude wearing glasses that were made to help promote 17 year olds attend college.

Honestly, I saw nothing wrong with it. If anything, it would embarrass Evy, which I saw as an extra bonus. Protect my eyes and embarrass my kid at the same time. Yes, please. Sign me up!

Sadly, I can’t recall if she ever was embarrassed, but I marched on. Also, I am not the type of guy to buy something I don’t need. Why waste money on new glasses when the Cuesta Promise glasses got the job done? Not to mention, they were very stylish to boot. Now that I think about it, Evelyn is smart enough to know that embarrassing her would bring me great joy, so if she ever was embarrassed she wouldn’t let me know about it. She probably ignored the fact that I was wearing them every day, but guess what? The joke’s on her. A week before they broke I was at a local waterslide park with Elliott and as I stepped onto “The Anaconda” the young lady lifeguard that held my tube and kept it from floating down the slide (Sidenote: I didn’t need help. I’m a grown ass man, but it’s her job. She’s required to hold tubes for people that are totally capable of holding their own tubes.) Anyway, she looked at me and asked, “Are those Cuesta Promise sunglasses?” I smiled. Said, “yes.” Then…down the slide I went. As I twisted and turned, water splashing my face, hair sparkling in the sun, I couldn’t help but be overjoyed that after months and months of wearing these damn things I finally got the recognition I had been looking for.

Let The Great Experiment Begin: October Challenges Are All The Rage

It’s true, I like to challenge myself. Sometimes. Here’s the thing with setting goals or participating in challenges like Vlogtober, Inktober, Blogtober, etc. They all have a deadline. You do one thing every single day for the entire month. Having that deadline is key because you will reach a point where you think, “Why did I decide to do this stupid challenge?” Knowing there is an end in sight makes it a lot easier. If you set a goal to make one new drawing or whatever a day without a deadline it’s just not sustainable. You’re going to burn out. Goals need to challenge you, but they also need to be attainable otherwise you set yourself up for failure before you even begin. These goals/challenges with deadlines are something I’ve been into for awhile. They’re fun. They help keep me productive. And they also put some things into perspective. Things like how much time I waste doing things that don’t matter. Do I really need to watch that scene in Wolf Of Wall Street again? The one where Donnie asks Jordan how much money he makes in a month? No, I don’t need to. It’s a great scene, but it’s not really helping me accomplish anything.

Yes, I just watched the scene now to get that screenshot. Luckily, this time I can use the excuse that I “needed” it for this blog post. It’s taking all my will power now to not watch the scene with Spike Jonze. I love that one. Anyway…

I’m definitely one of those “flying by the seat of my pants” types when it comes to projects I’m working on. (And life in general, when I think about it.) It’s sort of like I’m productive, but I rarely feel accomplished. This is why I love these challenges. There is a stated objective and a deadline to accomplish that objective. On the last day of the challenge I get to tell myself, “I fucking did it!” It might sound cheesy, but nobody can ever take that away from me.

Here are a few challenges I’ve done that were really hard to do, but I was really stoked to have actually pulled them off. I once wrote a 50,000 word novel in one month. I filled an 80 page 5″ x 7″ sketchbook in 24 hours. I made one video a week for 3 months. The past 2 Octobers I took on the Vlogotber challenge, which is making one video a day for the entire month. Here’s a little plug to get some views on Youtube (don’t forget to subscribe too):
Vlogtober 2017 – My idea here was parody videos on what it’s like to be a famous art vlogger.
Vlogtober 2018 – This time around I made art advice videos to help out other artists.

Now honestly, these are all goals that can be accomplished. I know they can because I did them all, but they all required a lot of sacrifice. Not just personally, but to my family. When I wrote the novel in one month it was when Elliott was about 4 months old. The two years I did Vlogtober were pretty tough because I have a retail shop that I’m in about 60 hours a week. I could usually only record after hours and then I’d have to edit the video too. My family was seriously neglected during Vlogtober. The deadline helped them as much as it helped me though because they knew I’d be back to normal at the end of the month. I would love to do Vlogtober for a third year in a row, but I would like to see my family this month. To be honest though, I would totally do if running my retail shop didn’t take up so many hours a day. I would say there is about an hour of editing for every one minute of completed video. All day long I’ve been thinking, “Well…maybe I can just do raw, unedited, one-take videos every day.” But, I don’t have it in me. I tried making one the other day and although I attempted to film it all in one take after about twelve takes I realized I would be better off filming clips and editing them all together and then I’m just back at what I did last Vlogtober, so no thank you.

Needless to say, I really want to take on one of the many October Challenges and I’ve been beating my brain all day deciding which one to do. I landed on Blogtober, writing a blog post every day for the month, because it’s something I can do during business hours and it won’t cut into my art making time, which is after business hours. I really need that art making time because that’s the bread and butter of this operation.

Just before writing this post I toyed around with the idea of having a goal this month to do just one of the challenge things a day. Make a video one day. The next day make a drawing. The next day write a blog, but now that I think about it that’s just too loosey goosey for me. The thing that attracts me to these challenges is the structure that I lack during the rest of the year. Also, I would like to write and document more things on this blog. I seriously think about posting on here every day and then I never do. My last post was back in March, which is pretty pathetic. And when you think about it, blogging is all encompassing. If I want to make a video sometime during this month I can write about it here and share it with you. If I want to draw one of the Inktober prompts I can do that and write about it on here.

So, for 2019, BLOGTOBER is my challenge of choice. I will be posting one blog a day for the entire month. I have no idea what those posts will be, but it’s a challenging goal and I am going to kick this goals ass.

See you tomorrow!
– Jeff

New Video: Making a Timelapse With Procreate And Why I Hate Digital Art

I’m calling him “Truth Seeker”. Anyway, I’ve been using the Procreate app very sporadically since I first downloaded it a few months ago….until now! The past couple of weeks I’ve been using it a lot more and am starting to see that I finally “get” it. Let me explain. Obviously, I get how a drawing app works, but you know when you use something for the first time there is a bit of a learning curve and the only way to understand the thing is to spend time with it? Well, I finally reached a point where I’ve spent enough time with Procreate that I feel a lot more comfortable with it now. I’ve seen and used a lot of the features it offers and there is no doubt why it’s become the industry standard for drawing apps. Even my 6 year old loves it.

He sort of gets it too. Admittedly, the app has so many features and ways to customize brushes and whatnot that I will never be an expert with it, but if a 6 year old can have fun and be creative with it you know you have something awesome on your hands. I sat with him and showed him a few things like how to pick/change colors, brushes, and brush size. He didn’t quite get the idea of using layers, which makes perfect sense because when you’re 6 and used to working with markers and paper there are no layers. You just draw your thing and you color it in. Done.

If you have a minute please check out this video.

If you know me, you should know how uncomfortable I am talking to the camera, but I’d like to go a little deeper about my hang-up with digital art. When you’ve done something one way for 30 years it can be a bit of a challenge to change your ways. At a very young age I stopped drawing with pencils and only used ballpoint pens. It probably has something to do with commitment issues because using a pencil means you can erase what you don’t like. In other words, there is no commitment with a pencil. With a pen I forced myself to deal with whatever I put down on paper. If I drew a face and one eye was bigger than the other eye I had to deal with that imperfection. If I accidentally smeared the ink I would have to turn that smudge into something and work it into the drawing somehow. I’ve always loved this type of inventing and letting chance play a role in the creative process. Digital drawing throws all of that out the window because it’s so easy to erase or undo your last step. Just in the past week I’ve started to get over this hang up of mine and am trying really hard to think of erasing as a tool instead of a hindrance. Using the “undo” option as a benefit as opposed to seeing it as a handicap.

This probably seems obvious, but painting with a brush on a wood panel is different than using an apple pencil on the glass surface of an iPad. Even though I know they are different my problem is that I’ve been thinking of drawing apps this whole time as synonymous with painting. Sort of like how driving one car is practically the same exact experience as driving a different car. You might have to adjust the seat and mirrors, but the steering wheel works the same. The reality is that making digital art on an iPad is wildly different than painting on a wood panel or a canvas. Instead of throwing the two in the same category and thinking of them as being synonymous I should have been thinking that the two are synonymous with creating, not painting. Now that I’ve come to this realization it’s getting easier for me to embrace and enjoy making digital art. It’s a totally different beast and needs to be treated as such. Why am I talking about this? Because making art, whether digital or physical should always be fun. It can and should be challenging at times because that means you’re making progress, but it’s not supposed to make you frustrated or mad and that’s what drawing on the iPad was doing to me. It was making me mad, which is crazy because I love creating and making things. What it comes down to is this. I was using a hacksaw to do the job of a hammer. I was putting a band aid on my elbow when I had a skinned knee. I was boiling an egg when…oh, I don’t know, but you get the picture.

I’m not sure if you’ve had this or a similar hang-up, but the lesson here is something I got from watching Big Hero 6 last night. “Look for a new angle.” If it worked for Hiro it can work for me. Thanks, Tadashi.

Thanks for reading!
– Jeff

P.S. – Spoiler alert, but Tadashi should totally not have been killed. Freaking Disney!

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I know that was a lot, but if you’re not sick of me yet…
Follow on IG: @jeffclaassen
Subscribe to my channel, or at least watch some of my videos.

Spring Break 2018: Ostriches, Tramps, And Other Exotic Creatures

Spring break has come and gone, but the memories will last forever.

Is that the cheesiest line to start a blog post with, or what? Ok, let me wipe the throw up off my face and brush my teeth. Yes, that sentence made me vomit. Anyway…

It’s a bit overdue to post about something that happened over a month ago, but that’s just my life. Before we dive into the Spring Break shenanigans I have to show you a couple of things. First:

Elliott wanted to draw a little boy so I made a very quick drawing of a little boy and Elliott colored it. That’s right, it’s a collab. Limited edition prints coming soon! Just kidding.

Second, Elliott drew the coolest freaking leprechaun I’ve ever seen.

Limited edition prints coming soon!
Again, just kidding.
But maybe…

And now, I’ll tell you all about the crazy Spring Break debauchery that went down. You’re not going to believe it, but Elliott and I went to Fort Lauderdale to party and pick up some beach betties. And we’ve got the photo to prove it!

After a couple of days in “The Fort”, as we call it, we couldn’t get out of there fast enough. If you’ve ever been there you know what I’m talking about. Two days is too many. So, we went where everybody else goes when they’ve partied too hard…SOLVANG!

We fed the ostriches and a couple emus. Nobody quite knows exactly what an emu is, but we didn’t discriminate. We made sure to feed the emu whatever we found on the bottom of our feeding dish. You know, just like you would any other second class citizen. Did you know you can now ride the ostriches at Ostrichland? Here’s Elliott taking Ozzie The Ostrich for a little joyride around the farm.

(Sidenote: It’s taken me 4 days to get to this point in the blog. I don’t even know what I’m talking about anymore, but let’s continue. Shall we?)

You can count on us to sniff out the coolest playground in town and I’ve got to tell you, Solvang did not disappoint.

This photo is literally just a fraction of what Pirate Park has to offer. It’s not actually called Pirate Park, but I don’t have the time to google “cool park in Solvang” to find out its real name.

Ok, we need to backtrack a little bit. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times. As parents, Coral and I never look forward to breaks. Thanksgiving breaks, Christmas breaks, Spring breaks, Summer breaks and all of those 3-4 day weekends that are scattered throughout the school year. For some people, particularly the kids, I’m sure they are great. For us, we twiddle our thumbs and wonder what the hell we’re supposed to do with these damn kids all day. Well, this past Spring break I actually thought of something. I decided to take Elliott on a little out of town adventure for a couple of days.

I love trampolines.

That sentence will seem less random in a minute. When I was a kid I had a trampoline. I’m not very good on them, but I have a few tricks up my sleeve that make me feel like a rockstar. A few years ago these trampoline parks started sprouting up. A trampoline park is basically a warehouse full of trampolines that are all lined up together and you can jump from one to another to another to another to another until your face smashes into someones knee while they’re going up and you’re falling down. Nose bleeding fun for the whole family! They are basically a dream come true to the 15 year old that still lingers somewhere within my psyche. I’ve been wanting to check out one of these parks since the second I heard about them a few years ago. My plan was to hunt one down and take Elliott there for our daddy-son getaway. It wasn’t totally selfish. Ok, sure, it was a little selfish, but he loves trampolines too. Did you not see the video? Like and subscribe? 😜

But really, like and subscribe. Or don’t. But you should. Well, wouldn’t you know it, some genius opened one in Santa Maria, which is only 1 hour away from where we live. Discovering the one hour away trampoline park was exactly the catalyst we needed to set the rest of our adventure in motion.

The plan went something like this. Leave Paso Robles, tramp park in Santa Maria, feed ostriches and stay the night in Buellton, wake up the next day and go to Santa Barbara zoo (which neither of us have ever been to).

All this trampoline talk and the only photo I have is of Elliott climbing a wall at the trampoline park without a single trampoline in sight. But here’s the thing. I did take some video and one of these days (if we’re lucky) I will edit it and upload it to my channel for your voyeuristic viewing pleasure. Stay tuned, but don’t hold your breath. Oh, here’s an idea. How about I post a screenshot from the video?

Great idea! Here it is.

I typed way too much about trampolines. The idea was to post photos with captions and I failed big time at that, so I’ll keep it minimal on the words from here on out. Don’t worry, it’s almost over. Look, I’m bored too. I can only sit at SLO Do Co surrounded by 19 year olds for so long. Also, it’s currently 10:50pm on a Wednesday night and I’m 35 minutes from home and still have real work to get done before the night is over. I’m doing this for you. That’s right, because you NEED to know all about my Spring break that happened 56 days ago. What was it I said about keeping the words at a minimum? Ok, here we go!

Elliott’s main goal at the zoo was to see the elephants.

Goal accomplished.

We also saw this amazingly impressive staghorn.

We waited so long to get this picture. This gorilla sat with its back to us for an insane amount of time. You’d think it would be more concerned with the humans getting good photo ops, but no, not this gorilla. It’s just going to act like it has nothing better to do all day while trapped in a zoo wishing it could be back in the Congo where it belongs.


You know what, that park in Solvang is called Sunny Fields Park. Turns out I do have the time. Ughhh…

Speaking of time, it is time to wrap this thing up because, let’s face it, this post has outstayed its welcome. Trust me though, I totally spared you. Things missing from this post:
– The Easter Egg Hunt and other Easter activities.
– I didn’t mention how Elloitt may have had just as much fun on the escalator in the Santa Maria mall as he did in the trampoline park.
– Hotel room tour photos.
– Continental breakfast photos at The Marriott.
– A plethora of other things that I can’t even remember.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. Even if you skipped all the words and just looked at the photos I still appreciate that you checked it out when you could have been watching trick shot videos on YouTube instead. Speaking of YouTube, I really did take a lot of video of our Spring Break adventure. I’m going to edit it and will try my best to upload before Spring Break 2019.

See ya!
– Jeff

* * * * * * * *

You can’t possibly still want more of me, but who knows…maybe you’re crazy. If so, check me out on:
– Instagram: @jeffclaassen
– Snapchat: kidding, I don’t snapchat.

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