Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Road Trip

Last weekend we headed up north for a friends wedding. Initially, Mike wasn't going to be able to join us, so Isabel and I (aka Thelma & Louise) got all packed and excited for a road trip adventure. In true girly-form, Isabel went a little overboard. 7 pairs of underwear and 5 pairs of shoes, 3 dresses, 4 leggings, 2 hoodies, 1 nightgown and a pink tutu for an overnight stay. All set! As it turned out, Mike's plans changed and the three of us headed out on a beautiful day. So beautiful in fact, I was happily reminded how amazingly breath-taking California can be. In New York, extracting yourself from the city to get upstate or elsewhere can be a harrowing experience that can takes time and energy. In California, you just roll out and onto the highway and before you know it you are in the big-sky desert, or the rolling quilted hills and mountains or along the rocky coastline. It's all very accessible, and often cheap too. The wedding was at a lovely vineyard and every "country chic" detail was impeccable. Big swings and picnic blankets, mint juleps and hay rides, friendly people and farm animals, good wine and music too. Oh, and a photo booth that Isabel totally took advantage of. She kept bringing me strips of images of her in pictures with total strangers. As far as I could tell, people thought it was cute.
That night we crashed at the Melody Ranch Motel- an awesome little old classic. Bibles, and styrofoam cups and clean sheets, all for only $76. Isabel unpacked her things and made sure she utilized every single drawer in the place. She LOVED her roll away bed and that we all slept within a few feet of each other. I slept like a rock. Always do in hotels.
The next morning, was Mothers day! We found a diner called Wilsons for a plate of eggs & bacon and, to reference a Mike Viola lyric, "coffee the color of tea". After a few cups, you get used to it. Into it, even. At least on the road. After breakfast, a little tour around the town, stopping at the park and at the Boot Barn, as well as the grocery store for some very Special Gifts for Mom- including a balloon and my favorite hot sauce. Then, we hit the road again. Taking our sweet time, we first drove north to have a look at Hearst Castle and then south along the coast. We found some amazing views and beaches with caves and tide pools and heart-shape rocks. Isabel and Mike collected a few good ones for me to take home. This mother felt the love, and it felt really good. It was nice to be away from home, all together- seeing new stuff. Makes me want to explore more, something we haven't done much since we moved from the East Coast. A old California motel tour comes to mind. I am heading to NYC solo tomorrow. I am going to miss my traveling companions. I kind of wish I could sneak the little one in my bag.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Little Fish

Summertime fun is in the air. The pools are open, the sun is shining and the kids are ready to dive in. It's amazing how different it is when your kid can actually swim- a revelation! I used to slightly dread a big pool, because it meant hours in the water making sure our fearless daughter wouldn't completely sink. And Isabel loved the game "jump one more time into the pool", which somehow always turned into 197 jumps into the pool, crashing straight into my fatigued arms. Mike and I would take turns begrudgingly. Now, we can just sit back and watch the little fish splash with joy, while we sip something deliciously cold and take in the awesome smell of the coals heating up on the Weber. Bring on the corn and the watermelon, tomatoes and basil and anything and everything grilled!