I got to spend last week away from the rainy 40 degree weather that won’t leave well enough alone, down in Scottsdale, AZ on a work trip with Mike.
Holding Down the Fort:
My niece Ashley was coaxed into driving from Lovelock, NV up here – eight months pregnant, husbandless (she’s not really husbandless, he was just off doing summer sales), and with a toddler of her own – to handle life here for the week.
She must be Wonder Woman because, while she did admit to me (when I asked her if it had been way too hard) that it was (and she paused to think of the correct word) “constant,” she managed to see it through and see it through well. Not only did she do better things with the kids than I normally do (Goldie informed me that Ashley did her hair fancy almost every day for school, she made them pancakes one morning BEFORE SCHOOL for breakfast, and she had a movie night where they had to purchase tickets and treats with fake money), but she also had the house clean and even THE LAUNDRY DONE AND FOLDED when I came home. Do you remember that I said she was eight months pregnant and had her own two year old to throw into the mix with all my kids? Goodness.
And, for all my stressing and worrying beforehand, the kids really handled our absence fine. I didn’t know what Jesse would make of my failure to return day after day, but apparently he is quick to adapt as Ashley texted me on day two to ask if I was at all disturbed that my son had taken to calling her “mom”. And Goldie, who I worried the most about because of her tendency to get extremely miserable when I am away (for weeks before she kept pointing out to me how any brief absence of mine was sheer misery for her and that she couldn’t sleep at all when I carelessly ran off to the library after she was in bed one night and how it all meant that I probably couldn’t go on my trip after all), yes, even Goldie informed me happily when I returned: “Mom! I didn’t even miss you ONE BIT!” And we hugged and cheered that she didn’t miss her mother one bit.
Me on the Trip:
It wasn’t an adventure trip. It was a total relaxation/take-a-break from real life trip. Well, for me it was. Mike actually had to be in training meetings for much of the day, and while I certainly would have preferred to have had him with me at all times, I have discovered, once again, that I am truly not one to feel bored or restless very often. I am truly content as a person can be to just do whatever lazy thing suits my fancy. And that is exactly what I did – and the days still went by far too quickly.
I didn’t sleep in like I assumed I would. That seemed a crying shame, but I must just be too accustomed to my early wake up hour with kids because I was wide awake by 7:30 every morning. That was alright though. I’d see Mike out the door, then I’d lounge about on our comfy hotel bed and read and flip through TV channels because that is truly something I never do. Then I’d venture out and run or go to the hotel’s gym. I’d lie by the pool and read, or walk around doing shopping (though shopping is less fun when you are pregnant and can’t really tell for certain how anything might or might not fit in five months’ time). It was perfectly lovely.
With Mike on the Trip:
Mike’s training was just right at our hotel (in fact we never even had a car at all on this trip), so he’d meet me around noon every day and we’d wander somewhere for lunch together. He was usually done in the evenings between 4:00 and 5:00 and we’d venture out to walk around and go out to eat or to a movie.
Food on the Trip:
There weren’t many mainstream restaurants around. (Speaking of, Scottsdale must house some money – judging from the stores the mall was filled with and the kind of cars Mike kept pointing out to me.) Mike is always a little wary of unfamiliar food (because, as you all know, he doesn’t really like anything delicious – bless him), but we did eat at some crowded little Italian place one night. It was open totally to the sidewalks on one side and cramped and had the crowded loud feel of, “I am a cool place to be.” And Mike took me to PF Changs because I had never been there. We must never criticize Mike for not liking tasty food because he doesn’t like Chinese food, yet he took me there all the same because that’s the kind of husband he is. There I discovered that lettuce wraps are a lovely thing to eat.
We also went to Yogurtland – and by we, I mean sometimes Mike took me because, once again, he knows I love it, and sometimes I went by myself. It couldn’t be helped. It was less than a block from the hotel, and I think their tart flavors are the greatest thing to exist – especially plain old boring “plain tart” – which tastes like, well, plain yogurt – only a little sweeter and a little . . . ice-creamyer. Add some blueberries or strawberries and well, it was just something I figured I must have daily as long as I was having a selfish style vacation at all.
Oh, and Sprinkles cupcakes was right next to Yogurtland. We went there once only because I had heard about it so often that it seemed we had to know what this $3.50-a-cupcake place was all about. And, I’ll tell you, it was alright, but Mike and I both agreed that we prefer the cupcakes I make (even though yes, they are made from a Duncan Hines cake mix, but they are 3.50 for 24! Maybe even 29 if I didn’t fill the cupcake holders very full).
We shopped quite a bit. By that I don’t mean we bought quite a bit. I just mean there was a huge mall with eight billion stores and we did tend to wander around it looking at this and that in between dinners and movies. We also took a trolley into Old Town Scottsdale where we found our little Italian restaurant and where there were roughly 8 billion small Indian jewelry shops as well as more art galleries than I knew existed in our entire country. Someone must be keeping them all in business, and, once again it occurred to me that there must exist a little wealth in Scottsdale . . . particularly after Mike checked out the price tag on one painting of a bull that we thought looked cool – only to discover that it was $45,000. Naturally we slunk quietly away from that gallery.
Proof by way of Pictures?:
Well, I made a foolish mistake by thinking it would be fun to bring my fancy camera on the trip as opposed to our little pocket sized compact camera. From now on, little camera goes on trips because who wants to be wandering around town and what not with a big camera in tow? No me. So, other than this picture we tried to take in our hotel bathroom mirror: and a few pictures we took of each other down at the hotel “Zen Garden” hhhhhhh we only have a few blurry dark ones taken with my cell phone (which has no flash and a tendency to blur movement as miniscule as an eye blinking):
Despite being married these 11 years, I discovered some new things about Mike:
1. He likes black jelly beans. WHAT? What are the chances that someone who likes so little in the way of food items could happen to like one thing that I think is horribly horribly awful? I insisted that I had never seem him eating any licorice flavored items before, but he only shrugged and would offer no further explanation.
2. He thinks that the little Reeses Peanut Butter cups that I buy bags of all the time are gross. Yet again I say WHAT?
3. Oh no, I can’t think of any number three. I will tell you this though, and it is no new discovery. Mike is my favorite person in the world. I think all the time about how you get married not really knowing what on earth marriage is, and it amazes me every day that it could have turned out so absolutely perfectly happy. Truly, there is not anyone I would ever rather be with than Mike.
Oh, but I did make a discovery about me. You know how I am always feeling so pleased at my hearty nature. No sickness with pregnancy, rarely sickness at all, etc? Well, let me tell you; those puny little hour-plus flights in and out of Phoenix nearly did me in. Particularly the last twenty minutes or so as we came in for landing. Mike keeps assuring me that my overpowering nausea and dizziness in airplane travel is probably due to pregnancy. I’m not sure, but I certainly hope so because I had to keep my head anchored firmly against the chair or Mike’s shoulder at all times of the flight. There was no reading or looking out the window with out my head swimming and my stomach turning. I was pretty much the biggest pansy traveller you could imagine. I’d feel horrible for a good hour or so after the flights, and even now, simply thinking of the sights or smells of an airport makes me clutch my stomach in sickness.
That’s a poor way to end. Isn’t it. Oh well. End this post must. It was truly a perfect time. And, with a new baby soon to be in the picture (and our numbers up to six kids under the age of 11), I have a feeling it might be the last trip for me and Mike for some time – so I’m glad we got to have it!