Posts Tagged 'travel'

travel strategy

dear world,

i am travelling for work at the moment. i realized i haven’t flown in a while when i had the option to use my phone as my boarding pass. it was amazing. i didn’t have to go to kiosk to print anything. i just scanned my phone. i feel so out of touch for not knowing this is how we do things now.

yesterday, i got up at 4:45am to get ready and make it to the airport for my flight to chicago. since i’m only here for one overnight, i packed light. my strategy involved choosing (comfortable) pants with pockets, one pair of shoes that match both outfits i brought and remembering to bring my inside sweater. total success.

now, i must find a special treat for each person in my family. V expressed quite specifically her excitement about having 1 present for her, 1 for N and 1 for M. you mean we don’t have to share? to be fair, i wanted her to go to sleep so i committed. but, my meeting starts at 10:30am this morning so i’ll be bringing treats from o’hare. no time to stop at the toy store downtown. she’ll never know.


red lentil cake

i took myself out to dinner last night. it felt a little awkward as i was the only person there dining alone, but i had an excellent meal. i went to sable which is all small plates. i started with truffled deviled eggs which it turns out i don’t actually like. then, i had 2 spicy scallops and i thought i would have risotto to finish, but they couldn’t take out the dairy. the server suggested a red lentil cake. i took 2 bites, but it had too much cinnamon in it and the server offered to take it back. i ended up having house-made honeydew-lime sorbet. so good.

i wore a dress. i took a cab. i made my own little night of it. and none of my clothes were any worse for wear after having spent the day in my bag. travel strategy success!

best of all, i woke up early to be able to talk to the girls on facetime this morning. i’m going to get back after bedtime tonight so i won’t get to see them until tomorrow morning.

missing my girls,



why i don’t go to the grocery when i’m hungry

dear world,

tonight, i’m in huntington, wv for work. it’s the first overnight i’ve had by myself in ages. usually, i’m thrilled and looking forward to a night by myself and a shower as long as i want. this trip, the kids were a disaster this morning and i nearly left without my phones because i felt so flustered.

after a 3 hour drive, i worked all day and finally knocked off around 7pm. rather than go sit at a restaurant by myself or swing through a drive through, i thought, i’ll go to the grocery. how economical of me.

you’ll never guess what i came away with:

after staring at the wall of salad greens and remembering i don’t have a knife, i grabbed a bag of pita chips, a small log of goat cheese, hummus, salami, potato salad and a bottle of wine.

seriously? i have no refrigerator in my room and enough food to fill 4 people. what a ridiculous hodge-podge of dinner.



first night away

dear world,

tonight is the first night i’ve spent away from the baby. i’m out of practice. i used to be good at spending time by myself in a hotel, but tonight i just feel tired, lonely and want to go to sleep.

on a brighter note, baby N slept through the night the last 2 nights so MHM shouldn’t have too much trouble once their both asleep. the bigger challenge is getting them both to sleep. last night, baby N woke up and needed settling just as V was getting ready for bed. it extended bedtime by hours.

wishing him a good bedtime,


ps- i am however looking forward to a really nice shower in the morning. all by myself with no one to interrupt. no one to hurry up for. i’m going to wash my hair, dry my hair and i’m going to take my time. i’ll be up with hours to go before it’s time to work anyway. may as well give myself a good scrub.


UPDATE: it turns out i had a stomach bug. that’s why i felt so crappy. so much for enjoying an evening to myself. i spent the night with a cold washcloth on my forehead wishing i was asleep. doh.

2 kids = bigger vehicle?

dear world,

as we get closer to actually having two children, my car seems to get smaller and smaller. to be fair, i drive a toyota corolla (one of the last made at the NUMMI plant) which is indeed a compact car. and i love it. it get great gas mileage, it hasn’t broken down on me. the biggest problem i had was the mice which is technically not the car’s fault.

but, i remember when V was first born travelling anywhere literally filled up my car. the seat wells were full. the trunk was full. the front seat was full. the backseat was full. how on earth am i going to manage every day with a 3 year old and an infant?

i’ve been watching the other cars on the road and investigating online and it seems that the chevy equinox is going to be the right answer. it’s roomier inside and the trunk space is significantly larger. but, as these two babies grow, will we need a third row? what if they have friends? with any 5 seat vehicle, that means only 5 people can go someplace together and if it’s small children, then the limit is three at a time. which means one kid can take a friend and the other kid can suck it up. yeah, i can see that conversation going really well.

i just don’t think i can justify a minivan. i really don’t. they’re more expensive. they get terrible mileage and they’re really aesthetically awful. the SUV’s with a third row are all way beyond my price range so that’s out, too. MHM drives an accord, but i have a really hard time driving a non-union made car to work everyday. every once in a while isn’t a problem, but i can’t take over his car for my own even though it’s a mid-size.

the question comes down to whether i can make it in my corolla for another couple years and deal with the tight space or do we move to the in between and go for the compact SUV?  has anyone else run into this conflict? what did you do?

looking for some direction,


3 going on 13

dear world,

the terrible 2’s are truly a piece of cake when compared to age 3. why isn’t there a catching name for this business?

when V was 2, obviously she pushed my limits as i’ve written about many times. today, 8:45pm found me nearly in tears. let me elaborate:

we left for buffalo, ny this morning to attend a wedding reception tomorrow night. some friends were hosting a cookout this evening. V really did great in the car. for a 5 hour ride, we read books most of the morning and only after stopping for lunch did we bust out the ipad and dvd player. i should mention the lack of nap here.

after we arrived at the hotel, she asked to take a nap and i thought she must really understand how tired she is, but that was just a clever ruse to lay in the bed and fuss and ask for things and kick her legs and not take a nap. so what did we do, we took her to a cookout with a bunch of adults and only a couple people she actually knew.

after 5 minutes, i had already chased her (in the mud) across two lawns. we sat to have lemonade together and spilled it all over her dress, the porch, you know. then, while i was cleaning up the mud, she took off down the sidewalk with pop. that honestly seemed like a good idea to me until i went with her the next time and she proceeded to run out into the street! seriously, right out into the street where she could have been hit by a car. being pregnant has significantly slowed me down and i actually couldn’t move fast enough to catch her. she did it 3 times. words cannot accurately express that feeling of fear and helplessness and anger.

i know she wants to do things herself and assert her opinions. she begins every sentence with “hey!” and then tells you whatever the most important thing is (which is usually the opposite of what you just explained to her). for example, hey mommy! we’ll eat my brownie, then watch diego, then do settle down and i don’t need any jams. this after i just explained that she could eat her brownie, then we’ll wash hands and face and brush teeth, then put on jams and we’re only doing books for settle down.

the last straw for me is the fact that i’m currently sitting in a mostly dark hotel room with my (finally) sleeping child one bed over who just wouldn’t go to sleep. i couldn’t leave the room to let her be. i couldn’t go downstairs. i ended up sitting outside the little bathroom in front of the sink on one of those fancy decorative pillows until she eventually sacked out.

at once, i am so proud that she understands enough to express what she wants and at the same time so frustrated that she can’t just do what i ask her to without trying to adapt it once in a while.




dear world,

i am travelling again this week. this is the last time for work for the foreseeable future, but here i am anyway in gainesville, florida. hello, florida. nice to see you again. ironically, the least expensive and most convenient place to stay is this killer bed and breakfast 3 blocks from downtown. hooray for frugality!

the nice woman who picked me up at the airport (hooray for no rental car!) gave me a list of restaurants within walking distance and the one she recommended is closed on mondays. so i wandered towards the lights and the people and found a tapas bar with a half off bottles and cork and carry. not bad, gainesville.

enter the contrast. as i sit outside at my table, a woman walking on the sidewalk asks a server for a big glass of ice water in a to go cup because she doesn’t have any money. she says, i’ll wait. my table is the last table by the fence and she begins to talk with me. as she’s chatting, my side salad arrives with lots of colors.  i have to say, it wasn’t the most spectacular salad i’ve ever had, but it was fresh and good and what i was looking for. the server comes back out with her water and tells her not to bother the customers. that’s me.

she’s quiet for a while silently sipping her water. in this time, my taste of wine comes and i like it. my server brings me a bottle which i taste again and still like. then my tapas of terribly tasty crab cakes with a cold salad of (possibly pickled) yellow squash and dark leafy greens arrives and i devour it.

as i pour my second glass of wine, she engages me again. asking about trains to tennessee- the conversation spurred by if i like my wine and how much a shot of tennessee whiskey costs. how maybe if she takes a train west she’ll get a job. there’s no jobs in florida. maybe if she wears a disguise she can get out of florida. or maybe oklahoma city, that’s near tennessee, right?

at this point i feel terrible. i just finished an excellent meal with fresh greens and crab of all things. i felt frugal because i ordered tapas and cork and carry and here’s a 59 year old woman who can’t get out of her state without a disguise and really doesn’t know where she’s going anyway.

appreciating what i have,


toddlers love ikea

dear world,

this morning, V and i packed ourselves into my little compact car and drove down to west chester, ohio. the primary purpose was to shop at ikea. the secondary purpose was to visit with my very good friend’s mother who i haven’t seen in years. mission accomplished.

V woke up early, ate a good breakfast and read books until snack. i could tell that the need for a nap was fast approaching so i hurried up and made her a peanut butter and jelly sandwich before we left. she literally ate 3/4 of the sandwich and then just started crying. tired baby! i didn’t even clean up the kitchen. i just put our gear in the car, strapped her into her car seat and she was asleep before we hit the outer-belt. whew!

fortunately, i drove the whole way without a stop and V woke up as i pulled onto the exit ramp. nice timing. we met grandma (technically, not V’s grandma, but whatever) in the entry way and off we went. i’ve been to ikea a couple times before and the store is massive. they funnel you through each department with arrows on the floor just in case you see something you simply didn’t realize you wanted before that moment. i had a list and limited time because V’s schedule will not be delayed for something as trivial as shopping. i actually managed to get just about everything i planned on, but as we got to the rug section V’s time limit started to expire. we found the short cut to home organization, the self service bins and the check out.

next up, lunch and a nice visit. in college, i used to sit at the dining room table with grandma and we would smoke cigarettes together. she would listen to all my woes and help me think through them. she was my mom away from home, but slightly better because she wasn’t really my mom so we could have a different kind of conversation. it felt nice to just be around each other again. family is always family, even when you don’t see each other for a while.

as an aside, V ate mac and cheese for her lunch and i think at least 1/2 ended up on the floor. i felt bad enough about the mess that we actually picked up after ourselves. our server said i was the first mom to ever do that. i felt a little proud and a little embarrassed. then back in the car. she napped the whole way home. seriously, what an awesome kid.

in awe,