North Miami Beach Every year, my son and I pick one weekend to go on a “Man-cation” with the added benefit of leaving my wife alone for a weekend that she doesn’t have to cook and clean and do all of the other wonderful things that she does for us. For my son and I, we look forward to this weekend every year as it a great opportunity to bond, eat garbage, fart and make a few memories without repercussion. This year, we decided to be tourists in the St. Louis Area, see the Arch, walk around and just goof around.

Santo Amaro da Imperatriz Now, anyone who knows me, knows that I am constantly tapping away on my phone and vacations are no different. This “quiet time” allows me to get caught up on articles, podcasts and just mindless Internet reading. I can catch up on a little work and still spend some great time with the kid.

But something odd happened this weekend – something shocking, really. My phone died. My lifeline to the outside world. The battery died around Saturday morning, my charger wouldn’t work. My backup charger didn’t work. It just wouldn’t turn on.

After initial panic, I decided not to spend the rest of the weekend in the fetal position and we went on with our agenda of going to the St. Louis Science Center and seeing the Gateway Arch.

537972_10151421520681925_472912947_nInitially, my surroundings were strange. I managed to make it to the Science Center without the aid of a GPS. We made it downtown by taking the subway without so much as a Foursquare Check-In.

When it was time to eat, we managed to find a nice restaurant – not by checking reviews on Yelp, but by walking around Lacledes Landing and checking out the menus outside the entrance.

And then… the most shocking thing on our vacation… the boy and I began to talk. And it wasn’t just “Did you see this video on YouTube?” It was real talking. We talked about our dreams, our challenges and our lives. He asked questions about what he was like as a baby, and what he would be like when he grew up. And I told him stories about my successes and failures in life. We talked for hours – uninterrupted.

We have gone on a number of vacations like this in the past, and we will hopefully have dozens more before he reaches whatever age that he doesn’t go on vacations with his Father any longer. But one feature that will remain will be that they will be technology-free. You cannot appreciate the silence, until that silence is filled with the right type of noise.

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