Editor's note: Ace is blogging about being a dad trying to rebound from the coronaivrus pandemic at My Rebound by FOX 17. He desired for his son to feel both pride in and connection to his Filipino heritage, so he founded the Grand Rapids Asian-Pacific Festival in 2016. Also a banker, he recently resigned from his position – now staying full-time with his 6-year-old son. He and his wife, son and dog live in Plainfield Township.
When the stay-at-home order was lifted, Jackie and I decided to take Redd for a day at the beach, one of his favorite activities. We all needed a break and could definitely use some fun family time together. A road trip with the family would give us time to sit, tell stories, and listen to music. Jackie likes music that reminds me of Dawson's Creek, and I usually listen to a mixture of 90's rock, so we take turns choosing.
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The beach is only a 40-minute drive from our house. Redd is super-excited to swim and play in the lake. I, on the other hand, know the water will be too cold for my liking. As soon as we got to the parking lot, we started applying sunscreen and bug spray.
After a very short hike from the parking lot comes the “stairway to heaven”. It's a staircase up the hill, about four stories high. I am definitely not in shape, and we made frequent stops to catch our breath. Perhaps this is good as we try to get back into our health kick.
When you reach the top, you think you have made it. However, a few more steps and then there is one more set of stairs before leading up to the beach. Redd was enjoying the outdoors. There were a few people we passed by on the steps. Most were not wearing any masks, perhaps too relaxed with the social distancing rules. I felt like my thigh muscles were on fire.
Then, gorgeous vistas, breathtaking nature and inner tranquility. Jackie and I always tell each other how lucky we are to live in Michigan. Redd could care less as he immediately rushed to the water. Cold lake water cannot stop this six-year-old.
I was excited to spend time with my family at the beach, and so glad to see life moving and places that we love reopening. After the beach, we drove to Grand Haven to indulge in our favorite corn dogs. There was a massive line of people and little social distancing when we got there. It was hot, and few people were wearing masks. We decided to just drive away.
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Redd was confused about why we were not stopping. We had to explain to him that we were not ready to be that close to others and wanted to avoid anything that might put all of our sacrifices in jeopardy. We needed to be careful and as we ventured off as a family. So no corn dogs today.
As a consolation to Redd, we listened to his music choice for the entire drive home. Redd listens to music from what he calls “Undertale Megalovania”. I had never heard any of Redd's music before, and Jackie and I complained that it all sounded the same. On the way home from the beach, Redd told us, this was the most excellent day of his life. That’s the music that Jackie and I both love to hear.