Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Last Day

Dylan's Senior Grad Ad, which I had placed in this year's Cresta Azul Yearbook.
Grad Ads are a time-honored Blue Ridge tradition.

Tomorrow is the last day of school for the juniors, sophomores, and freshmen at Blue Ridge High School. It is the last day we teachers (most of us, anyway) will manage classrooms filled with students until the new school year starts in August. And it will be the last day of Dylan's senior trip to southern California.

Speaking for myself, I am so ready for this school year to end. It has been, without doubt, the most stressful year of my whole teaching career. But final exams have been administered; all student work has been graded and recorded (there's nothing like a tall stack of final essays to make your head explode); the classroom inventory is completed and submitted; progress reports are ready to be mailed with report cards; and now there's nothing left except the last-day-of-school class parties and the endless list of little tasks that you couldn't find time for all year but will now squeeze into the final two teacher work days.

And then, eight weeks of sweet freedom.

Dylan and friend on Huntington Beach Pier.
May 23, 2016

For Dylan, on the other hand, the past few days have been all fun and games. The school bus, loaded down with seniors and their baggage, left the high school about 8:00 on Sunday night. Early the next morning, the kids arrived in Huntington Beach in Orange County, California. They spent the day on the beach (one of my favorite beaches) and ate lunch at Ruby's cafe on the end of Huntington Beach Pier (one of my favorites places). I believe they went to dinner somewhere in Downtown Disney that evening after checking into their hotel.

Dylan on Huntington Beach with the Pacific Ocean behind.

I kept bugging Dylan to send me selfies of himself having fun. That way, I can kind of feel like I'm there, too, enjoying his good times vicariously. At one point he asked if I'd get him a Photo Pass so he could get all the official pictures on the rides at Disneyland. I texted back: "Uh, no." Photo Pass is a great deal for a whole family, but not so great to spend $70 for one person!

Dylan and his friend with Mickey Mouse.
May 24, 2016

So he did the next best thing and took pictures of the ride pictures, which Disneyland posts on their kiosks in the hopes that you'll buy one at about $15 per photo. Not the best quality, being secondhand and all, but at least I could see he was having a great time! And it brought back happy memories of our family vacation there in October 2014.

Dylan on Splash Mountain.
All the Blue Ridge kids wore matching shirts.

The kids had 2-day park-hopper tickets, and it looks like they mostly did Disneyland on Tuesday and California Adventure today. He said while they were up on the ferris wheel today, they could see the Anaheim police trying to manage the bumper-to-bumper traffic of the Donald Trump rally going on nearby. He commented that he felt "sorry for the cops" in all that mess.

I love that my kids often call or text me about the most mundane things happening in their lives. To me, it's not mundane; it's always something special just because they shared it. This morning, for instance, Dylan called to describe how long the lines for the Radiator Springs Racers' Fast Pass were, and how they decided not to wait. I warned him that the Fast Passes for that particular ride usually run out by 10 or 11 a.m. and we discussed other options. Nothing huge, but I love being part of the little things in my kids' lives.

Dylan on Tower of Terror (soon to be converted to a Guardians of the Galaxy ride).

There is one thing that won't be the last day when tomorrow comes. It will actually be the first day of a 4-day visit from Jacob and Danielle when they arrive from Utah to attend Dylan's graduation! We are really looking forward to that! 

Dylan will also be coming home tomorrow. The seniors will get on the bus when Disneyland closes tonight and they'll drive straight home from there. They should arrive just in time for the senior barbecue at noon tomorrow, followed by hours of graduation practice on the football field. Graduation will be on Friday night, and that will be the first day of the rest of Dylan's adult life!

Dylan on California Screamin'.
May 25, 2016

Dylan on Radiator Springs Racers.

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