No sleep till Scottsdale | March 22, 2023

My boys and I recently returned from a vacation in Scottsdale, Arizona.  We were gone the exact amount of time it takes a human body to decide, “Hear ye hear ye, pull out yer flip flops and lawn chairs because it will now be warm for the next several months and it’s lemonade season, ring-a-ding-ding,” which means our transition back into North Dakota Springtime (it’s 24 degrees outside as I write this) has been a bit of a seeeeeeprise.

We planned this trip several months ago – by “we” I mean that Kyle did all the work and I sent messages like “Sounds good” and “Okay” – and a major factor in this planning was our outbound schedule.  Spring Break started on a Friday, our eleven-year-old had his Hunter Safety test the following day in Grand Forks, our seven-year-old was signed up for a weekend-long hockey tournament in Marshall, Minnesota, and airfare prices ranged from approximately $1 million to $1 billion per ticket depending on when and where a person wanted to go.  Somewhere in the “Sounds goods” and “Okays” it was determined that Kyle and Seven would depart for Marshall on Friday, Eleven and I would follow post-test on Saturday, and then together we’d drive from Marshall to Minneapolis after Seven’s final Sunday game and leave for Phoenix on the 9:40 PM Central Time flight.  We chose the flight (scheduled to arrive at 10:30 Mountain) because it was the cheapest one available in the entirety of March; and we justified it by saying, “We’ll be on vacation, so the kids can just sleep in on Monday.”

Wellllll, it turned out the United States got itself into a bit of a blizzard that weekend. Eleven and I never did make it to Marshall, Kyle and Seven had a 30-MPH-white-knuckle drive to Minneapolis, and Delta sent us a series of notifications that ultimately pushed our departure back by two hours. We got on the plane at 11:45 PM Central, sat on the runway until almost 1:00 AM Central, and walked into our Airbnb at 3:30 AM Mountain (5:30 AM Central). I spent the entire flight repeating to myself, “It’s a vacation, we can sleep in; it’s a vacation, we can sleep in.”

We didn’t sleep in. We were on vacation! It was warm and lovely and sunshiney and we were all up and raring to go at 7:30 AM (Mountain). No one in the history of awakeness has ever been as AWAKE and energized as the Kosiors were that morning. Prior to the trip, the boys had selected one must-do activity each: for Seven, it was to eat breakfast at his favorite restaurant. Hear ye, hear ye, we were AWAKE! On VACATION! We Would Eat Breakfast!

There was a short wait at the restaurant so, naturally, Kyle made a friend.  We were standing on the patio hopping back and forth due to our massive amounts of AWAKENESS when Kyle realized the gentleman standing nearby was wearing an Edmonton Oilers t-shirt.  As there are very few people in this world who like the Oilers enough to advertise it on a piece of clothing, Kyle felt compelled to talk to him.  The man was Canadian (Kyle, as a reminder, has both American and Canadian citizenship), and was in town for the U.S.-Canada game as a part of the World Baseball Classic.

When was said game, Kyle asked?  TONIGHT, the (not-Kyle) Canadian told him.

What luck!  Here we were, WIDE AWAKE, on vacation, American AND Canadian, and Kyle’s chosen activity was to see a baseball game.  “The last time they played each other was six years ago,” Kyle said as he punched in the series on his phone.  “I want Canada to win!”  Seven announced.  We had our tickets before we had our pancakes.

Eleven’s selected activity was to swim, and we had rented an Airbnb with a pool and a hot tub.  Should we take a nap after breakfast, we asked one another?  NO, we should SWIM.  Besides, we weren’t tired, WE WERE AWAKE.  Awake People do not nap.  They swim.

We swam.  We soaked.  We had lunch.  We swam and soaked some more.  We showered.  We ate dinner at one of our other favorite restaurants.  We drove from Scottsdale to Phoenix, parked the car, walked to the stadium, found our seats, and sat down.  And then we all got very, very, very, very, very tired.

Here is what happens when the Kosiors get tired: Kyle develops big, dark circles under his eyes.  I get angry.  Eleven leaves reality, and Seven turns silly and irrational.  All of this happened in the first inning of the U.S.-Canada World Baseball Classic game, surrounded by 50,000 of our closest strangers.

Here’s something else that happened in the first inning: the U.S. scored nine runs.  If you’ve ever been to a baseball game, you’ll know that it takes a long time to score nine runs.

“I want to be on the big screen!”  Seven shrieked.

“I want you to stop wiggling in your seat,” I grumbled.

“They aren’t showing any fans on the big screen,” Kyle said.

“But I’m not even a fan!” Seven wailed, bursting into tears as Mike Trout hit a home run.  Two men sitting in front of us turned around and high-fived Kyle and Eleven, snapping Eleven back into this plane of existence.  He looked around, confused.

“Why did they do that?”  Eleven asked his dad.

“The U.S. scored again,” Kyle said.

“Again?”  Eleven asked in a tone that made it unclear if he knew they had scored previously.

We made it to the fifth inning only because we got ice cream in the third.  The game itself only made it to the sixth because it turns out the World Baseball Classics has a Mercy Rule.  Both boys – and maybe Kyle, who was driving – fell asleep on the way back to the house.  I powered us forward on fury alone.

I’d like to say we caught up on sleep that night or any night in Scottsdale, but we were ON VACATION.  We returned to my parents’ house five days later, and everyone celebrated with a deep sleep in…a much-needed vacation from our vacation.

The photo above was taken at the baseball game about four seconds before we left. As you can see, Eleven was 1000% checked out. You can’t see him but Seven is also in the photo, leaning against Kyle, possibly asleep.

If you’re reading this on the newsletter, I stuck a few more photos from our trip below the news (for those of you reading it on the website, I’m sorry, but my website company makes me pay for photos and my newsletter company does not).

The New York Jets’ (and Fargo’s) Connor McGovern came to Grand Forks to teach middle schoolers some ABLE games. (Grand Forks Herald)

This year’s Limitless Fashion Show in Minot – designed to empower people with disabilities and foster friendships – has grown so large it has to be moved to a new venue, and will also now include male models. (Minot Daily News)

Fargo’s LaVerne Aventi helped save a Canadian (as in, it originated in Saskatchewan, Canada) great horned owl with a broken wing. (Fargo Forum)

It took a whole group of six dads and sons from Colfax to reel in a great white shark – which they named the Colfax Crusher before releasing it – on a fishing trip in Florida. (KFYR TV)

According to Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary, North Dakota is a worthwhile investment opportunity. (Fargo Forum)

The largest public art project in North Dakota will be turning an unused grain silo in Minot into a work of art. (KX Net)

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