And so, we have returned from points north and east (barely). The huge, steaming pile of soiled clothes are washed and put away. The huge, steaming cat box has been de-toxed. (Necessary as it is in the laundry room. I really regretted not having on hand one of those WWI gas masks for a while there.) The refridgerator has been restocked and we have slept a night in our own beds, so I am now somewhat restored to normal. Somewhat.
It was a good trip. Good for the soul and good for us to get away for a week of enforced family time together. As the beds, except for the hotel we slept in the last night on the road, were truly horrible, I won't say that is was entirely restful, but I feel actually rejuvenated and, for the first time in a few months, looking forward to work, again. Guess I was feeling a bit burned out.
We took the drive up to the resort in two days, which was rather pleasant due to the purchase of a car DVD player which kept the kids in a zombie trance for the entire trip. Yes, it's probably going to lead to some lack of character building that they didn't have to drive like we did, with nothing to do for hundreds, nay a couple of thousand miles if driving coast-to-coast, but stare at the Nebraska scenery and play 'The License Plate Game' or 'The Alphabet Game' or the 'Alphabet License Plate Game'. As a kid, I was blessed with being able to read for a few hours at a time before becoming a bit carsick. Charles can barely read a road sign without becoming queasy. So, yes. We drugged our kids with technology and reveled in it. We also drugged them with Benadryl after having Sara puke her guts out twice. You'd think we'd learn after the first time, but noooooo. Had to have her demonstrate her inner ear intolerance to long drives twice. This also lead to the emergency purchase of laundry stink-remover as well as detergent and a stop at the Laundromat before we even checked into the resort. Sigh.
The room, itself, had seen better decades. It was actually a condo, seemingly last re-done in the '70s or so, with the carpet so stained you really didn't feel comfortable walking on it, and a shower that was physically painful to use; one of those ones that the water comes at you as small needles. We got to sleep on one of those pull-down wall beds that reminded me of a 1950's batchelor pad space saver. We gave the kids the bedroom as we really didn't want to leave them loose in the living room. We also had ourselves a mini X-Files festival going after getting them to bed, and the TV in the bedroom was smaller than the one in the living room. Priorities. The grounds were nice, though. Lots of golf course views and such. We got a giggle out of the condo unit being up for sale. We didn't know what it's actual asking price was, but they 'start at $160,000'. I'm not sure if the pleasure of the ants' company comes with it. I'm thinking the peeling wallpaper does, though.
The mornings were spent for me in a room with about 100 other providers, about 1/2 docs, 1/2 physician assistants and nurse practitioners. We learned about things like 'updates in antibiotic resistant organisms' and 'evaluation and treatment of unstable angina'. Not exactly gripping but necessary. Charles read the assigned stuff for his course work and the kids hung out, eating sugar cereal that they don't get at home and playing with stuff. Then we went out and saw the sights, like Lake Michigan. And Torch Lake. And Grand Traverse Bay, both East and West arms. We also took in the tiny zoo in Traverse City, where Sara had a complete meltdown (Whoo hoo! Baby still needs a nap, yes she does!) and went fishing (Sara caught 4 tiny rock bass and Colin caught 3, but one was the size of my arm. This guy across the dam caught a walleye the size of his upper and lower leg, though, so hey! Guess the fishing there is good.)
On the drive home, we had the chance to inflict our grimy selves on poor Gerah, who certainly wasn't thinking clearly in her New Baby sleep-deprived state and asked us to dinner. I truly am in awe of her. Her house was immaculate. (Make that her very beautiful, lovingly restored, amazing house was immaculate.) She was not only dressed but had on makeup and her toenails were polished. She didn't even have any spit-up on her. She didn't smell funny, which means she had recently showered. She spoke in complete sentences. And was funny. How the hell does she do it?!?!?!?
And her husband and daughter were perfect. Baby Nico was completely adorable and only fussed a scootch. You'd hate her if she weren't so fabulous. Truly, truly fabulous. Plus, the beer they had the very good taste to serve completely rocked. She even served dessert. Now, all I have to do is somehow convince them that SW Wisconsin is actually where they really, really want to live, or at least visit on a regular basis, and my nefarious plot will be complete.
But then, we had to leave.
We got home Saturday afternoon, to Molly peeing her name in the driveway in her delight. Really. At least the "M" and the "O". I'm not making it up. Should have taken a picture, but the camera was burried and the urine evaporated quickly in the heat of the concrete. Under our bed, we found other evidence of her feelings of us leaving her for a week: a shredded magazine and the mangled remains of some Polly Pockets that I'd gotten to amuse Sara but they somehow (???) migrated from the tote I'd put them in for the trip. (Yes. I put them in. I'm sure of it.) Sigh. Again.
Upon our return, she also managed to extract one of Sara's sandals, my hairbrush, and, somehow a 1 lb tub of Eucerin, that I use to battle the dry skin flakies, from my duffel to the under-the-bed oasis. She had started to lovingly gnaw the brush when I discovered her and expressed my displeasure. Kitty raced around the bedroom for hours in an acrobatic display, leaping out of bags, until I started tackling the mountain of filthy laundry, where she followed, diving out of the piles of smelly clothes and trying to sneak into the washer when my back was turned.
The joy of pet ownership.
A couple of hours after our return, the neighbor boy, A, who sometimes plays with Colin, knocked on our door. He urgently wanted us to go over 'for a few minutes or the evening'. It was rather confusing, but as Sara was in the throes of a monster nap, Charles and Colin went over to investigate. Turns out, they walked in on their daughter's 9th birthday party, complete with oodles of kids, relatives, neighbors, soccer coaches, and all. Not what we'd expected. Turns out that their dad, S, had been keeping a lookout the past week to invite us to the shindig, but hadn't seen us until we pulled into the drive that afternoon. Gah. Terribly sweet and nice, but to be honest, the last thing any of us felt like doing was going to a party with a cast of thousands. We didn't even have any clean clothes, as they were still being shoved through the appliances. Charles left Colin to eat hotdogs and beat a retreat on the excuse that he needed to check on Sara's nappage progress. Thankfully, she slept for hours and hours, thus we didn't have to even lie by saying that the rest of us couldn't come. Such a wonderful girl she is!
So there we are. The trip, in brief.
And how are all of you? Missed you terribly, darlings. Kiss, kiss. I've got a load of blog reading to catch up on.
Labels: Friends in the Computer