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well, K and I finally made it for a weekend trip to visit the fabulous Clare and her hubs at Big Table Farm. AND we went without kids.
as in: sleeping all night, without interruption. sleeping in past 6:30 in the morning. lounging about, reading. having long conversations. staring into the fire. basically, sitting on my ass for extended periods of time doing nothing, and other similar activities which are impossible with children in the house.
it was lovely. cold. actually, freezing-ass cold, but wonderfully restorative to body and soul.
one huge bonus feature was that there were FOUR puppies in residence. 7-week-old puppies. the level of cuteness was truly breathtaking.
here are some shots:
the whole motley crew went to Tahoe to celebrate Jack’s 6th birthday.
In just a few hours I’ll be taking off for a romantic weekend away in Mendocino, a tiny little village on the Northern Coast of California with very little activity.
No kids. No computers. No work. 48 hours with no plans.
I’m excited about our fabulous cozy accommodations in a B&B with an attached spa. And sleeping for hours without interruption by children. I’m excited about checking out the renowned Cafe Beaujolais, walking distance from our B&B. And then sleeping in the next day. And wine, probably lots of it (including one top-secret bottle that K keeps gloating about having procured for this weekend… she swears it’s going to knock my socks off, which is kind of hard to do with wine, so I’m really curious what she has up her sleeve).
I’m excited about the chance to sit and read in front of a fire. And a picnic and a walk on the beach.
I’m excited about, have I mentioned?, sleeping in…
It all just sounds like pure heaven.
I got back last night. I feel about a frillion times better than I did last week at this time.
I had rest, I ate good food, I drank more than I normally do but not so much as to regret it, I managed to avoid getting sunburned by slathering on sunscreen and shamelessly wearing a rashguard and shorts and a hat. I spent hours at a time doing not much at all. I wore sundresses and said to hell with what other people think about my flabby upper arms. I saw spinner dolphins and sea turtles.
It was – by almost any measure – a very successful vacation.
And I was happy to come home to Elsa, who appears to have barely noticed my absence, or at least is much less bothered by it than the last time I went away. We spent all day together today, just the two of us, and she was easy peasy (well, as easy peasy as this child gets… it’s all relative). No hard feelings, it appears. So that feels good.
But, boy I would have liked another day or two in Maui – had just kind of adjusted to the time change and finally unwound from my tight coil when it was time to return. Three full days was terrific – and I’m very grateful for the break – but next time I think I might try to squeeze in just one more day.)
Anyway, I’m back. Nice to have the weekend to adjust before getting back into the swing.
Here’s a photo or two…
Maui is three hours behind California time. Which means that – even with a bit of a sleep-in – I was up before most folks around here.
I wandered downstairs, got myself a latte and a Maui muffin (carrots, pineapple, coconut – yum) and hung out savoring the balmy still morning. Soon the resort grounds would be crowded, but the early morning was blessedly quiet.
I sat by the pool for a while then wandered down to the beach and sat in the deep shade of the hotel building – warmth and shade and the sights and smells of the ocean is such a lovely combination…
I feel myself just starting to unwind a bit.
Wow – such a different experience from the standard online check-in.
This screen where one indicates how many bags are being checked, for example – important to indicate exactly how many surfboards one is bringing… on what other airline is this ever relevant?
OK, now that I’m checked in, I’m really going to get the hell offline and pack my bags (which will not include more than 2 boards per surfboard bag, of course…)
I’ve leaving for vaca tomorrow morning.
It’s a bit after nine, and I am so tired I can barely keep my eyes open. So I think I’ll write a long boring post about my day, m’kay?
Today was my last full day with Elsa before I leave, and boy did we have fun. Up at the regular butt-crack of dawn (6:01 to be precise), we had a mini-breakfast (whole grain cheerios and milk eaten with a regular spoon – a new skill for her, and she still gets more milk on the table than into her mouth) then headed off to the farmer’s market, where we grazed our way though – basically extending the breakfast experience for at least another hour. Elsa ate a plum, half a blueberry muffin, and what had to be a half a pound of samples of peaches, nectarines, and pluots. The girl likes her stone fruit. I had some stone fruit samples too, but held out for my favorite – the dim sum booth. Got myself some crab crispy thingies, some chicken potstickers, and some scallion cakes. (I know that’s weird for breakfast but it is so freaking good.) Also got some yummy sesame balls for later in the day. We scored a big bag of cherries, some oatmeal-peanut butter-choc chip cookies, and a gorgeous focaccia covered in garlic, chard, tomatoes and cheese.
We stopped off at home to throw some stuff in the fridge and grab some supplies, then back in the car (along with the cherries and the focaccia) and we were off to the beach to visit Helga and her family. It was great to see her – I love her dearly and it’s been too long – and her kiddos, along with her brother’s family and her mom. And – ta da! – her new FIANCE! She’s been with him for a while, and they are so great together. I’m thrilled they are getting hitched, and so happy to see her so happy.
Elsa, as usual, was upset at the idea of the ocean, but eventually we coaxed her down onto the sand and she forgot to be scared. We had a great time. She built her first sand castle. Back up to the beach house for a quick shower then lunch for everyone then we headed home. Elsa conked out in the car but (thank goodness) didn’t protest at all when I transferred her into her bed, where she slept for another 2 hours! Woot!
After nap we went to hang out in my friend Erin’s backyard. Very lovely Sunday afternoon-ish time of doing nothing, really, but watching Elsa cruise around and chase the dog (and vice versa), nibble on cheese and olives and guacamole and chips, and grilled corn on the cob (yum!) and chat. Erin and her sig other John are great with Elsa and she really likes them. Of course, I do too.
Then we came home and Elsa “fixed” my hair – this is comprised of her pretending to braid it, and mostly just yanking on it, and occasionally congratulating me on not crying, and then at the end, pronouncing me “so beautiful”. We folded laundry (she chants “corner to corner” whenever folding – so cute) and I let her put away her own things (God knows where I will find them). Then a very tired and yet happy little kiddo went down without a fight and is now sleeping soundly.
I need to do laundry, and pack, and check in for my flight online (which is the whole reason why I picked up my laptop and somehow got distracted by my blog), and organize the schedule for the babysitter and write checks for the cleaning lady and the gardener, and download books to my iPad and God knows what else before I go to sleep.
Tomorrow we will have the regular morning routine, then I’ll have about an hour after Elsa goes to school before I take off for the airport. And by this time tomorrow, I’ll be (I hope) sitting outside enjoying the balmy evening and looking forward to sleeping in for the first time in months…
You probably wouldn’t think, given the recent tone of this here blog, that I had a vacation looming.
When I’m stressed out, I tend to get into a myopic mode where I can only see the present moment. And thus, this week, while feeling like I was not keeping my head above water, I haven’t even had the capacity to look to next week.
Here’s what’s happening next Monday: I am going on a little trip to a warm place. For vacation. Which is good news – well, mostly.
I’m “mostly” on vacation, but not completely, because this deal I’m working on still needs to move forward and I’ll need to do some shepherding and directing while I’m away. I have one conference call scheduled for Tuesday, and will probably have one or two later in the week. That’s still a hell of a lot better than coming into work. But still annoying. Comes with the territory though – no one is really OK with their lawyer being totally out of touch for more than a day or two, unfortunately.
And it’s “mostly” good news, but not completely, because I’m not going with Elsa. I planned this trip ages ago, before the trip to Sweden was on the radar. I would normally never leave Elsa again so soon. In fact, I normally don’t leave her without spending about 6 months home between trips. But this trip is bought and paid for and I’m going. It’s 4 nights – not a terribly long time – but still, it’s too soon after I was away. So, many mixed feelings about that.
But. The thing is, I really need the break. And since it’s during the school week, Elsa will be in her regular routine the whole time and it won’t be so disruptive that I’m gone (or at least that’s what I’m telling myself). I’m a much better mom when I’m not an exhausted frazzled beeyotch. Right? Right.
So, I’m close to being able to focus on vacation.
I’m close to being OK with leaving Elsa again.
And, now that it’s four o’clock on Friday afternoon, I’m close to shutting down the machine that has been my work life lately – or at least turning the heat down to a low simmer.
I’m even close to thinking about books to read while I’m lazing by the pool in the shade and ordering drinks from cute poolboys.
[p.s. for a variety of reasons - all boring - I'm not mentioning my vacation on facebook - would appreciate it if you wouldn't either, if you are connected to me there.]