When normal is not normal anymore

Thursday when I was in the Dallas area, we met up with Andrew. The plan was to go rock-wall climbing with him since Lance did not get to climb while he was at UNT for Sibling Day when we were there a couple of weekends ago. There was a big miscommunication about what was required for liability concerns. Unfortunately, Lance got caught in the cross-hairs of that.

Andrew promised that he would take him climbing when he was visiting in Houston. That did not happen. This was mostly because we decided that it would be cheaper for them to wait until I brought the boys up to Dallas for my visit. It was cheaper at UNT. He could just get them into the Pohl Recreation center on a day pass. I would pay for that as I would also have my niece with me and she would want to participate as well.

The catch? I would need to be present with Lance at all times while he was climbing. I could not just let Andrew come get the boys and take them for the day while I house hunted. Not a big deal. We just needed to plan for it. The Rec Center also did not open until 3:00PM for rock climbing either. Again, we would have to plan for that.

Wednesday was almost completely out of consideration since I would not be finishing school tours until about 2:30PM and it is roughly 1:00-1:30 drive from Rockwall, TX to Denton, TX. We might be moving to the Dallas area and UNT might be in the Dallas area, but the Dallas area is all completely relative when it comes down to it. It is much like the Greater Houston Metro area – HUGE. So we would have to really plan for doing rock climbing activities especially since we would have to meet back in the Dallas area for dinner with Katlynn’s mom. That was the plan for the trip so that Katlynn could see her mother on this trip.

Fortunately, we finished up house hunting on Thursday morning roughly about noon. I stopped get get the kids and myself some lunch and we started get Andrew out of stand-by mode. See I basically put him in stand-by mode for Thursday or Friday on the whole rock climbing. We would play it by ear and see what worked best based on my schedule as I did not know how long it would take us to look at all those houses. Keep in mind that he did have a little warning that we were planning on heading that way. We called him before we were going to lunch. We then had to drive from where we were in Dallas all the way to Denton. We were actually in Rowlett. So it would be at least an hour drive give or take based on traffic at the time.

We got to Denton and made it to Pohl. Things were going good. Until they were not. I went to purchase the day passes to the Rec Center for the kids only to be told that the kids would not be allowed to climb because it was not the weekend. Never mind that it is Spring Break. I have come to the conclusion that UNT is a horrid example of what good communication is. They have miscommunication all over the place. This is an ongoing problem from what I hear on a regular basis. So “underage” climbing is only allowed on Saturday and Sunday. It was Thursday. Needless to say I was unhappy because the communications should have stated that when Andrew was asking about the passes. It should be very clear on any information provided. If you are allowing under aged people to only climb on certain days, state that. CLEARLY! It is a policy. Make it clear.

I did get to speak with a manager of the Rec Center and the guy was nice enough but unfortunately, the policy is what it is. I understand that. I mostly wanted to make sure that they understood how upset I was about (1) Sibling Weekend and now (2) wasting my time a second time driving all the way to UNT for the kids to climb together and being told they could not. If the policy had been made clear about both aspects of their policy we could have skipped all confusion all the way around. Fortunately, the guy was understanding and was helpful. He offered me a suggestion to a new local rock climbing gym in Denton that was not too far away. I did not get the kids in to climb at Pohl Recreation Center at UNT, but I had a workable solution and that was what I needed. I had 2 “under aged” kids that were disappointed that they were not going to be able to climb with their brother and 1 “under aged” kid that was not going to get to climb with her cousin. We drove all the way from Houston to get there. I drove over an hour that day to get there.

What I needed was SOMETHING that I could sooth the disappointment with right then. He helped me find something that would allow him to continue to enforce the policy the UNT Rec Center has and sooth my irritation. That was all I needed. Sometimes customer service is NOT always about winning, sometimes it is just about getting a workable solution.

He referred us to The Summit Climbing Gym over on The Square in Denton. It was looking like it was going to cost us double of what it was going to cost us at UNT, but at that point I did not care. I just wanted to be able to get the kids into something fun. They were AMAZINGLY WELL BEHAVED for me while we were house shopping and touring schools and I was willing to spend more to reward them for their behavior. We got there and they had a St Patrick’s Day special going on. We got in for $2 more for each person than I would have paid at UNT. I also did not have to pay for my entry fee. I was not climbing. At UNT I was going to have to pay for me just to enter the facility on a day pass. So when all was said and done, I ended up spending $1 more than I would have paid at UNT. Unfortunately, Andrew and his future roommate ended up spending $12 more each, but I offered to pay for them and they said that I did not have to so I took them up on that.

The good news is that fun was had by all.

…I will update with pictures soon…

As we were driving back to the Dallas area afterward, we were driving into a storm of some sort. Do not get me wrong, I LOVE Texas Thunderstorms. This was no different. Or that was what I thought in the beginning.

Then it started to change.

I wish I had pictures of the clouds as we were driving. The changes were very unique. The “normal” Texas Thunderstorm clouds were no longer normal. It is amazing what 250-270 miles can do to your regional “normal.” The clouds were doing some really strange things. I was watching the skies constantly. I will definitely be studying up on the weather in the area.

I am sure before too long the storm patterns will become “normal” again, but for now they are just weird. Very weird.

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