Man alive. Noah and I are 0 for 5 on vacations now. Every vacation we’ve taken since the girls split has been seriously rained out or ended with a sick kid.

A few months ago, a production company wrote me an email and asked if I’d come to Santa Monica for a filmed interview for a project they were working on. I told them I’d love to do it if they’d fly Noah out with me and put us by the beach for a few days. They wrote back and said “sure thing.” So, the tickets were booked, the hotel reserved, and Noah and I began counting down the days to when we’d get to play on the beach and hang out “just us boys” for “four days in a row!”

Friday was the big day. I woke Noah up at 4:15 AM and his little eyes popped open with almost no effort. Half an hour later we made the 45 minute drive to the airport. I swear he never even blinked for fear of missing part of the journey. We made it through security, boarded the plane, and Noah plopped down in his window seat. Still, fatigue didn’t show its heavy face. The plane took off, touched down, and we went out and met the driver who set out on the drive to our hotel some 45 minutes away.

“Dad, when are we gonna be in California?” Noah asked, looking around at the very “normal” buildings that we were passing. I told him we were already there. He asked about the beach, I told him we would see it later, after the “TV thing.” Finally unable to stay fascinated, he zonked out and slept the rest of the ride and clear until it was time to leave for the interviews.

I was in doing the interviews for a couple hours, and in the meantime Noah was playing in the makeup room with this awesome Mom named Aaliyah who was helping him do all sorts of things like build busses out of old soda can boxes. It was half-way through the interview that he started getting restless and tired of being there. I took him for a walk in the fresh air and by the time we got back he seemed content to keep playing while we finished.

At the end of the interviews, he came into the filming room and climbed up on my lap. “They wanna take some pictures of us,” I told him. “Will you put on a black shirt so that we can take some pictures and then we’ll go to the beach?” He was cranky and irritable. I noticed he was feeling a little bit hot. I never could convince him that the black shirt was a good idea.