Monday, March 24, 2014

Spring Break Staycation

I don't know if people still do Staycations anymore.  I know they were the big thing a few years ago when the economy tanked and nobody had any money to pay their mortgages, much less leave town for even a short time.  I'm always a little bit late on trends.  I just joined Instagram, and I still don't understand the point of Twitter, or why the President and Pope each have a "feed." 

But that doesn't matter.  What does matter is that we can pay our mortgage and we can leave town . . . if we wanted to leave town.  The thing is, I've left town so often since my dad died in August, that I don't want to leave town for a very long time.  If I don't get on a plane for another year, I'll be pleased as punch.  So, Spring Break started this weekend, and I decided that we are going to do fun things at (and around) home.

The weekend was amazing -- blue skies, and temperatures in the mid to upper sixties.  We decided it was the perfect time to work on the garden.  Our condominium complex has a community garden.  P & I do most of the work, and because most of our neighbors are cool and don't take much, we reap most of the benefit.  This year, we created a condo-friendly greenhouse to start a bunch of seeds, and they've really taken off.  Our three dozen cucumber plants are already flowering.  We started hardening them off this week, and hopefully (fingers crossed that spring really has sprung) we'll be able to put them in the ground next weekend.

We cleared some space to plant beans, peas, carrots, radish and cabbage from seed.  E loved helping drag the stick through the dirt to make a line for planting.  It wasn't always perfectly straight, but it won't matter once the beans are weighing down the plant.  L, in stereotypical boy fashion, played in the dirt, threw rocks, and nearly broke a window.  He makes me such a proud mother.

We drove to one of our favorite burger joints for lunch and ate on the patio.  Aside from spending six months hiking a very long trail, professing forever love in front of family and friends, or meeting your child for the very first time, lunch on the patio of a restaurant is one of the greatest feelings ever.  There's just something about the warm rays on your skin, iced tea in hand, and hot food made to order.  It's magical.

The magic didn't end there.  4:10 was tip-off time for the game between the University of Dayton (my alma mater) and Syracuse University.  I wasn't expecting the game to be so intense.  Or close.  Or for Dayton to win, but all of those things happened.  I don't have cable, so I was stuck listening to the game on the Westwood 1 Radio network.  It's very hard to listen to a fast paced basketball game and figure out who has the ball when you haven't paid attention to the sports team in, like, ever.  But there I was, standing in front of my laptop, listening to the streaming radio, jumping up and down like a fool, as Dayton stuck their foot into the glass slipper and danced their way into the Sweet 16.

Sunday began with a 5 mile run and more time in the garden.  I met up with an old friend to watch the Veronica Mars movie at the Living Room theater.  I had my first glass of wine in I don't know how long, and ended up with a stomach- and head-ache by bedtime.  I'm thinking my body isn't a fan of alcohol, but boy did that wine taste amazing.

Today, E insisted that we go to the zoo, so after getting some cabbage seeds into the ground, I packed up the kids for the insanity that is the Oregon Zoo on the one nice day of Spring Break.  We saw two animals -- the elephants and the lions, and then we headed home.  I don't like crowds, and neither do my kids.  But they will be damned if they don't get to see the baby elephant or lion cubs.  We have a membership, so it's no big thing to swing by for a 45 minute visit. 

E suggested we eat dinner al fresco tonight.  It was a bit chilly, since the sun was hiding in the trees, but it's supposed to rain for the rest of the week, so what the hell?  As it turns out, I love eating outside.  Even when I have to cook and serve the food myself.  Maybe it's all the time I spent backpacking, eating, sleeping, living outside.  Maybe it's the fact that I know I don't have to sweep after dinner.  Whatever the reason, I always feel happier and calmer after sharing a meal with anyone outdoors.

It didn't even bother me that my neighbor's son barfed all over the hallway when I informed him that it was almost time for my kids to get ready for bed, so it was time for him to say goodbye.  As if on cue, he projectiled at me.  Juice?  Tomatoes?  Eggs?  I don't know exactly, but I found myself holding a towel under his chin and asking (begging) if he was all done yet, thinking that if I had sent him packing when I decided to set the timer for a one minute warning, his own mother would be doing this, and I would be continuing on my staycation, not realizing the ticking time bomb that was set in our house tonight.

Tomorrow is a new day, and if my children don't wake me up in the middle of the night with vomit all over their beds, we'll probably do something fun, and vomit all over that instead.


  1. Yay for staycations! So much more restful than having to travel :) FYI, if you want to watch the actual games, the NCAA website has been broadcasting them all live over the internet. If you go to, there's a big "Watch Live" button at the top. If you click that, then you can choose the game you want to watch. It's about 30 seconds behind the live broadcast, but that's good enough for me. (Signed, another non-cable-haver who is cheering a Sweet Sixteen team that hasn't been that far in the tournament in almost 20 years)

  2. I tried that, and it kept kicking me out, saying I needed to sign in with a cable provider, even though the NCAA says you can watch three hours free without signing in. It's OK, I got to hear the game at least, and Thursday's game will be on CBS. My antenna works. :)

    Good luck to you team (unless, of course, it's Stanford). :)

  3. How weird - yes, we've watched 2 whole games that way so far. No, my team is not Stanford - it's Virginia, which is not my alma mater, but I live in Charlottesville where the school is located and have many dear friends who went to school there. I think we'd both have to progress to the Final Four before we ever encountered each other... Here's to us being sports enemies in a couple of weeks! ;)

  4. Yes, let's hope that happens. I sewed my daughter a Cinderella costume for Halloween. I think I'll have her wear that on Thursday when we watch the game.