Posts Tagged ‘fun’


Beach Day!

July 20, 2011

Today, it was time.  Time to stop whining that this summer isn’t fun, that I don’t have a vacation*, that I haven’t been to the beach.

My running-buddy and I started talking about our need for the beach a week or so ago.  We both had plans for the weekends in the foreseeable future, and we were bumming.

But then, I got smart.

“Let’s take a day off. Mid-week.  And go to the beach.  Without our kids.”

The lightbulb above both our heads glowed brightly, and we started to think about what would work best.

Today.  Today worked best.

I let everyone at work know that I’d have to be “off-site” today.  She told her employer that she needed to take a personal day.

We went for our usual 5:30 a.m. run.  Discreetly didn’t mention to our newly acquired 3rd runner that sunscreen and trashy novels were on our agenda for the day.

Lobster rolls, too.  Lobster rolls were added to the agenda as of yesterday.

She came and picked me up at 9 a.m.  I took a minute to make us both some iced coffee in my Keurig.  We loaded the car.

We had to make a couple stops:  As of last year, I cannot go to the beach without Sunchips.  She needed water.

We were at the beach by 10:30.
Landscape around Singing Beach in Manchester, MA.

[this was our beach of the day]

It was a little more crowded than that, but not by much.  Although the crowds grew as the day went on.

She had her Kindle, I had my brick of a paper-and-glue Gabaldon novel. [the iPad’s failing — I cannot bring it into the sand.]

We swam in the ocean. It wasn’t horribly cold, and it was nice and deep, and we chatted and tread water and swam in the depths where our feet couldn’t touch the ground.

I love being further into the ocean and facing away from the beach.  Watching the dark New England water rolling along – it’s bliss.

We left around 2.  I’d started to get a little nervous about sunburn, even though I was ridiculously vigilant about applying sunscreen.  [note foreshadowing.]

Then we went for our lobster rolls.

$19.95, and worth every penny.  The lobster was so yummy, and the flavor was perfect.  not too bland, not too fishy.  The roll was so buttery and perfectly toasted.  The fries were fresh and delicious.

On the drive home my knees turned a little red.

By the time I got home, my calves and shins were red.

I did not put sunblock from my knees down because they NEVER burn.  NEVER.

Oh – wait.  I did put sunscreen on my left shin, just below the knee.  I must have had extra on my hand and wiped it off.  Because there’s a perfectly-defined white hand print in the midst of all the red.  Nice going, Suz.

Oh, and there are two little spots, one on the top of each thigh.  Must be where the book rubbed the sunscreen off, and then shifted to let the sun in and burn, baby, burn.

So I’m in relative pain tonight. But at least it’s just my legs, and not my face.

Because then I’d get looks upon my return to work tomorrow.

“Off site, hmmm???”

[Not that I’m not entitled to a vacation/beach day.  for crying out loud.  I have 4 weeks per year, and this was my third DAY in 2011.]


*I think we actually ARE going to take a vacation.  Last week of August.  North Carolina Outer Banks.  It’s going to be awesome.


Wait, was there a weekend in there somewhere?

June 28, 2011

The weekend is over, but I am not feeling rested – at all!

First of all, I ahve acknowledged in the past handful of years that I am no longer a kid.  I know that so many young people look to the end of the school/work week ready to GO!  To Play!  To Party!  I end the work week salivating for lounge wear, a glass of wine, and my couch.  If we have Friday night plans, I’m a wreck.  How will I stay awake?  How will I have energy?  I can barely stay awake through a movie, let alone through a party!

But this past Friday, I found myself removing the lounge wear and putting on a pair of jeans – at 7 p.m.  A friend (who, like 90% of my friends, is the mom of one of my kids’ friends) was coming by to drop off sleep over materials, and said, “what if we have a glass of wine? do you have time?”  I groaned a bit inside, but the truth is – I like my friend. I would like a glass of wine.  And so I put on jeans …

While I was waiting for her to come by, another friend texted, “what are you doing? you should drop off those things I need, and stay for a glass of wine!”

[and no — this story does not end with, “and then I was drunk.”

So I hung out at home with friend #1 until she had to go, then mosied over to the home of friend #2 and had a glass of wine and a nice chat there, and then – only then (10:30ish) – did I get home and put back on the lounge wear.

And it was very nice.  WD hung out with my friend & I for a bit at home, so I got to be with him, too, and Mouse came with me to my other friend’s house (and sat in the other room watching Diary of a Wimpy Kid with a handful of kids MUCH younger than her …) and it was all mellow and social, all at once.

Is there a way to purposefully create such a mellow, social time?  I should start a “lounge wear happy hour” at my house on Friday evenings.  No dressing up allowed …

Then Saturday and Sunday happened.  And I had no more happy Suzie social time.  It was all about carting kids, supervising kids, watching kids do sports, fighting with kids, and more.

Saturday, I took Lemon and a friend to the Taylor Swift concert.  It was held in a football stadium, 30 minutes from our house.  Or, rather, 30 miles.  Which is NOT 30 minutes when 50,000 people from various parts of New England are doing their very best to cram into the same football stadium.

We did this last year.  A friend and I took 4 girls – my 2 and a friend for each.  My friend and I had tickets that time, and we had a great, great time.  We were a little unprepared for the post-show chaos, though.  We got back to our car after the concert and got the kids buckled in and …. sat.  For over 2 hours.  We had gotten to the venue pretty much right at the start time, and so were pretty deep into fields-gone-parking-lots.  We didn’t know why we were sitting very, very still for hours on end, but we knew it was hard.  A car full of hyper girls, bouncing, jumping, yelling, singing, and us 1000% exhausted after a long day.

We got home at 2:30 a.m.

This time, I knew better.  Lemon’s friend’s mother and I actually were supposed to go together (we did NOT have tickets this time), and we even looked into getting a room in the hotel on the grounds.  That was silly – thinking we’d be able to get a room without a year’s notice.  It was booked.  So we were going to go and have dinner while the girls were in the concert.  But then she had a work-thing to do.  So I was on my own to figure it out.

And this is what I did:  We left the house at 2:30 for a 6 p.m. concert.  We chose a private lot 1 mile away from the venue.  I offered the girls to drop them off closer, and then go back and park, but they chose to walk with me (“a mile’s not that far!”).  I also offered to pick them up closer, in the parent pick-up lot.  My wise and mature 15 yo charges said, “that makes no sense, then we’re driving right back into the thick of the traffic.  Let’s just all walk back to the car, and that’s 1 mile of traffic we don’t have to deal with.”

We got to our parking spot at 3:30.  We were at the stadium (and its adjoining mall) by 4 p.m.  We shopped a little, and then got in line for a restaurant.  The wait was long, but we thought a sit-down meal would be a good way to kill time.  We had our burgers, nachos and salad, and then I took them to the gate of the concert.  Lemon texted me at one point, having trouble figuring out how to get to their seats, after they were in, and I was a little nervous.  A football stadium!  50,000 people!  2 little girls, all alone!  By the time I could draft my response, she was in her seat, sending me texts of her view.  “These are the best! seats! ever!”

And so I hopped across the mall and sat down for my 6:45 showing of Midnight in Paris!  Hooray!  And when I got out?

Taylor Swift had yet to take the stage.  Aw, geez.

We had selected our post-concert meeting place already – a cute little patch of grass we had rested on while waiting for our name to be called at the restaurant – and I settled there with my book.  But then I was cold.  So I wandered back to the mall, and found a fleece on a crazy “it’s summer, you doofus!” sale.  Then back to the grass, with the book.  Listening to Taylor Swift, remembering the year before, I was kind of wishing I had a ticket, after all.  Then I thought I was tired.  So I went to get myself some coffee.  Coming out of the Dunkin Donuts, the sky lit up.  Concert fireworks? Concert lighting?

No.  Lightning.

Then thunder.

Then nothing for a long time.

Then more thunder – louder than the concert (which is saying something).  Then a little more lightning.

Then WD texted to say “it’s pouring here, but looks like it’s not going to hit you” – then a drop of water hit my iPad (what, you think I meant a real book?  Pfft.)

I put the Precious away, and just sat to listen to Taylor, with an occasional drop of water.  Then it was more than occasional.

I went back to the mall, and sat under the awning of the Express.

For an hour and ten minutes.

People were streaming out of the concert with the first big thunder.  Lemon actually texted to say, “Mom, people are leaving and I don’t know why ….”  I responded that it could be to avoid traffic, or could be because of the thunder.  I didn’t have the patience to text and say, “all the people who are leaving are mothers with their five year olds, and I think they’re leaving because they realized they are insane to be dragging preschool aged children to a stadium concert!”  I mean, seriously?

I encouraged her to put on her hood and stay for as long as Taylor would play.

Which was a long time.  When the rain turned to monsoon-proportions, she apparently embraced it, resulting in thunderous applause and whoops and hollars.  She didn’t stop playing for another hour – and didn’t skimp on the encores.

The rain stopped as we walked our mile back to the car.  We walked not only past stopped cars, but we also passed several hundreds of slow-walking people.  A traffic jam of foot traffic? Who would have thought?

Concert ended at 11; I had the girls with me by 11:10; we were at our car (thanks to the slow-walkers) by 11:40.  We did, in fact, walk past the worse of the traffic snarls, and got onto the road with little to no delay.  When traffic did get backed up, I saw a sign that said, “use of breakdown lane is permitted!” but no one was using the breakdown lane.  Perhaps because, like me a year ago, they thought it was always illegal and bad and sneaky to drive in the breakdown lane.  But Massachusetts disagrees.  Why waste perfectly good pavement in the face of a traffic jam? So I drove in the breakdown lane … past the rest of the traffic!

I had dropped off Lemon’s friend, gotten Lemon home and in her bed (as if that takes much for a 15 yo), and was in my own bed by 12:30.  Take that, 2:30 a.m.!!

And it’s a good thing.

Because on Sunday at 5:30, my alarm was going off so I could wake Lemon and drag her out of bed for a regatta.

Ahh, the joys of summer crew.

WD and I picked up the rest of our carpool, dropped them off at their trailer (in a town 30 miles in the opposite direction of where we’d been the night before) so they could build their boats, and found ourselves a quiet secluded place in the parking lot, where we set our iPhones, reclined our seats, and went back to sleep! Only for an hour.  We had to get up, get coffee, and go watch the race.

Eventually, we found ourselves at home, getting the kids ready for this week’s first week of summer day camp (a creative arts camp).  I got into the bed at a reasonable time on Sunday, which is always hard because I usually sleep in.  Not this time.  Which meant I was able to get up at 5:30 on Monday and go for a run.

And with that, I knew the weekend was over, despite my lack of rest.