I’m back. For better or for worse. I’m back. In some ways it felt like forever that we were gone – in a different house with different stairs, different beds, different showers, different coffee pot (you can see what was important to me)… just DIFFERENT. In some ways, the 10 days flew. I can’t believe I’m back in my “spot” on the couch already. Back to reality. It’s not like I really left reality on this trip since the same issues arose 2 hours north on the shore as they do here in the woods. Same whining. Same bickering. Same tantrums. Same sleepiness. But somehow, 2 hours north on the shore, I was able to go with it (kind of). Let it roll off of me (for the most part). Walk out of the house (since Tim was around). And that made it better. It made it vacation.
I have been trying to come up with the best way to rehash my time away in a way that would be interesting. Compelling maybe. So I decided to compile a list (surprise!). A superlative list if you will of the “bests” and “worsts” of the trip.
Best things I thought to bring on the trip (tie)
1. My own pillow. I am one of those who spent in the $100’s on her Tempurpedic Pillow and I CANNOT live (or sleep) without it. For the hours that I actually am sleeping (which aren’t that many) I need my head perfectly positioned on a perfectly cool pillow. Or watch out.
2. My slippers. No matter the temperature, I NEED my Ugg slippers. I like toasty feet, what can I say?
Worst thing I forgot to bring
– Luke’s booster seat. I purposely bought a portable strap on booster seat to fit on any chair. And I left it home. Meal times were seriously a disaster with him. We had no way to confine him so I’d either leave a plate on the coffee table in hopes that he’d enjoy the meal enough to stand there and feed himself, or I’d chase him around with a fork hoping he’d stop long enough to get it into his mouth, or I’d sit at the table and call for him every few minutes for him to return for another bite or (and this one didn’t score me points as mom of the year) I’d give HIM the fork to run around with to feed himself and return for a fork refill. None of these worked too well and I’m surprised he didn’t whither away from lack of food.
Today I removed the booster from its box and strapped it onto my kitchen chair at home because, dammit, I was getting my money’s worth from it! 5 minutes after being placed on the new seat , Luke pushed his feet against the table and toppled himself over backward. Booster seat was a big FAIL no matter how you slice it.
Best use of money on the trip
– Tickets to the aquarium. Luke literally was SCREAMING with excitement. It was so cute. Each new fish he saw, he screamed and jumped up and down. There was no doubt the boy was happy. I wish I could scream and jump up and down when I see something for the first time. Come to think of it, next time I go shopping and see a cool new pair of jeans, I WILL scream and jump up and down. Just you watch.
Worst use of money on the trip ( tie)
1. Tickets to the aquarium. We bought the tickets to also include a day at Mystic seaport which we never went to. To be honest, I never wanted to go to the seaport. Places where people pretend they are living in another era, dressed as if it’s the 1700’s with their wigs, aprons, white socks pulled up to their knees and bonnets, cooking bread over a fireplace, and washing their clothes with a grated board just Creep. Me. Out. I mean, turn the page! Can’t they just show a slide show or something to portray the day? Do they have to talk with a fake colonial accent (is there such thing?) and make us feel all overdressed and high maintenance with their simplistic ways? Sheesh.
2. River Boat Tour. This was a perfect example of expectations exceeding reality. What could be bad about a 40 minute boat ride on the river? I pictured a nice breeze, friendly chit chat amongst new friends, nice views. I pictured Hannah curious about all we saw, asking lots of questions and wanting more. I imagined Luke SCREAMING with excitement as I knew he could. It was None of That. It was a guy named Curly (yes Curly) talking non-stop about every boat we passed, every building along the riverbank and every fish in the water. Hannah asked me “why that man talks so much”. Luke did NOT want to sit on anyone’s lap and he can barely walk straight on land, let alone on a moving motor boat. We were “That” family and the “awww, aren’t they cute” looks we got at the beginning of the ride quickly turned to “can’t you control your children” glares at the end. Not that I cared.
– Mystic Pizza. You’ve all seen the movie right? Well, it’s just like in the movie. And they’re actually PLAYING the movie on a loop over and over and over in the restaurant. But the pizza – SUCKS! It’s just disgusting. Maybe I’m spoiled with my NYC taste in pizza but this was probably the worst pizza I’ve ever had. Total Let Down.
Best Placed Store/Restaurant
– Dunkin Donuts. Maybe 2 miles away. Saved me each morning. I actually graduated to ordering an Extra Large each morning. I never finished it, but knowing it was there, in case I needed it… good stuff.
Worst Placed Store/Restaurant (again a tie)
– Mystical Toy Store. It was right in the middle of everything. We couldn’t go ANYWHERE without walking by it. Going to the playground, “mommy, can I buy a new toy?”. Going to see the draw bridge, “mommy, I think Luke could use a new ball”. Going on the boat ride, “Mommy, can I just look at what baby dolls they might have in there?”. Going out to any meal, “Mommy, do you think they have a bathroom in the toystore?”.
– Cold Stone Creamery. Closer than the Dunkin and oh so delicious. This is relatively new to me. Customize your own ice cream flavor. Any time. Any day. The options are ENDLESS! Chocolate with chocolate brownie pieces and cookie dough pieces and marshmallows and graham crackers. Uh, YUM! I was happy bathing suit season is coming to an end.
Thing that made me roll my eyes most
– Tim wiping up spilled milk with a newspaper. I guess the paper towels were just too far away. Not-s0-surprisingly the milk got smeared around, not cleaned up.
Thing that made me realize what a GREAT husband Tim is
– He searched high and low for wine coolers for me. Yes, I’ll admit it, I wanted the old fashioned wine coolers. Not the hard lemonade, not the tequilla drinks or the mojito in a bottle. Good old Bartells and James. And he found them. And I drank them. And I enjoyed them. And he was embarrassed buying them for his lame-o wife but still did.
Most Unwelcomed Guests
– The rhinoceros sized mosquitos. They bit Luke so many times that he looked like he had a second and third nose, one less eye and a third and fourth nipple. And he’s at the age where he doesn’t know quite how to scratch so he instead was swatting himself which got some strange looks from fellow boat riders and restaurant goers and added bruises and scratch marks to his already bit up little body.
Most Welcomed Guest
– The babysitter we decided to hire at the last minute. At one point in the middle of the trip we thought, wouldn’t it be nice to get OUT for a quiet meal? So we called the owner of the house and got hooked up with a 15 year old sitter. It was the first time Tim had to actually pick a sitter up and drive her home which left him wondering what to talk to a 15 year old about without seeming creepy. Luckily the drive was about 90 seconds so she was out of the car before he crossed any line. I felt bad when I found out Hannah pulled one of her, “I think I’m going to throw up, do you know anything about stomachs? I need to put my head in the toilet, am I going to? Am I? Am I?” episodes. No vomiting occured though and we’ll never see the girl again so the night out was well worth it.
And now we’re home. Thousands of memories. The kiss you see above is one… A few bumps, bruises and burns (which I will not discuss, ever) and ready to count down to next summer’s trip. Reality has set in. We are ready for school. Ready for some sort of “normal”. If there is such a thing…
Note: I do want to add that the trip was AMAZING (since i know my post doesn’t portray it). I was totally able to relax (Hannah actually enabled me to nap!), I experienced the most serene, magical kayaking excursion I could have imagined, I gazed at the stars, sipped drinks on the dock, played Mad Libs for the first time with Hannah, took long, hot showers ALONE, read an entire book and was able to just BE. But none of this would have been fun to read… which is why you got what you got above.