My wife and I got home a few hours ago after the 150-mile drive from Folsom, California, after a quick two-day visit with my parents and youngest sister. While we enjoyed one another's company, saw their new house, swam in their pool, visited with my grandmother, played cards and went out to dinner, among other things, there was a clear winner for attention - our Nintendo Wii.
With four controllers, the entire family moved furniture aside, and we battled against one another in tennis, bowling, golf and baseball, without leaving our living room. With Kristine and me acting at first playing the part of the more experienced pair, we quickly saw our mediocre skills matched and trumped - especially by my mother, who somehow managed to average more than 200 a game in bowling when I could barely break the 125 mark. As I battled to pick up splits for spares, she would methodically knock all the pins down - at one point, scoring five straight strikes, much to our joint delight, disillusionment and annoyance.
All told, our Wii was happy to report it was (ab)used to the point of 5 1/2 hours on Saturday, and almost 3 hours Sunday, before we had to turn it off, pack it up and drive home. And while it definitely sounds silly that we racked over eight hours together in front of the video game console, it brought us all together doing a shared activity that was at least mildly physical, and certainly competitive. Also, I'd be lying if I said my right shoulder wasn't a bit sore after the weekend workout.
We enjoyed our trip and seeing the family, finally getting time on our busy schedules, and we were lucky enough to, this time, have brought the entertainment with us. I, for one, know I need to practice some more before we have a rematch.