Posts Tagged ‘vacation’

Five for Friday.

July 21, 2017

Morning, all! I have a LOT going on in my brain right now, so let’s see what I can do to shake some of it out this colander so I can maybe be productive. And because there are just SEVEN MORE SLEEPS until vacation, guess what this week’s theme is? Ready? GO!

1 Like I said – only SEVEN MORE SLEEPS until vacation! Gah! I am wicked broke, but I swear my excited goes up the more my bank account balance goes down. I am ready to just cut loose and have fun with my family and visit with everyone! I have no idea how I’m going to fit it all in, but I will. We have our family cookout on the second Saturday, but there’s no way I can wait until then to see everyone. I’ve been talking quite a bit, particularly, with one of my “baby” cousins (who is a grown-up, but I’m – what? 14 years? – older, so you get where I’m coming from) these past few months, and I CANNOT wait an entire week to see her face. So. There are possibly kidnapping plans afoot. And then I want to see my besties from high school – maybe I can twist their arms and get them to come to Connecticut for dinner a night? Because we can’t stay at my parents until after dinner – we would go insane, and they all go to bed in the living rooms, so. No place. And then I have another group of friends from high school who don’t really hang out with the first group…. And then there are all the cousins I’d like to see apart from the family cookout where I’ll be spread a bit thin…. And then there are my Connecticut friends that I “borrow” from my sister from time-to-time. Maybe we can do a game night one night? With fancy drinks and bar snacks? Yeah, I need more time and more of me! HALP! Heh.

2 While my brain is spinning around faster than a fidget spinner trying to figure out my visitation schedule with the fam and friends, the rest of me is spinning around trying to organize everything else. Gracie cried a little when she looked at the whiteboard on the fridge, filled to the fuzzy edges with everything I we needed to get done this weekend. I knew it was coming. I knew. The whining! The travesty! OH MY GAWD, MAKING THEM CLEAN! I’ve been very lax this summer once my precious tweeny teens were shuttled back to their dad’s house. When I get to see them, the last thing I want to do is clean house together. So it’s…a little primitive just now. Nothing that CPS would think twice about, but nothing I’d want to show to company, either. And there’s nothing I love more than coming home to a shiny, clean house after vacation. Bottom line: there’s gonna be some heavy cleaning this weekend, and not a single one of us is gonna like it.

3 I actually started in with the cleaning last night after the girls and I pigged out on pasta that we said we weren’t hungry for, but then tucked in like it was our last meal. But – I digress. I cleaned. I ran three loads of laundry (and that was just a dent). I still need to do towels and beach stuff and blankets, blankets, blankets. But at least knocking out all of our clothes means that we have a closet full of clean clothes from which to pick our outfits for vacation. And that’s what’s on the docket for tonight – outfit-palooza! We know how to party down on a Friday night at Casa de Katie, you guys. Don’t let anyone tell ya different!

4 Once we get our outfits picked out – which, all teasing aside, is actually kind of fun – we get to sit down and figure out our Mix Tape sich. I have one all planned out already, but I’m not as super psyched about it as I usually am. I mean, is it just me, or are there not really a bunch of good summer songs out this year? The few good ones have been out so long that I’m over them already, then there’s the group of songs made specifically for the tween set (thank you Chainsmokers), and then there’s…what’s left. On my CD.  So there’s that, and then there’s a Best of Vacationland mix I’m making. And then there’s a surprise theme that I’ve been thinking about off and on for a few trips, but never seem to have the time to pull together. That might happen. Again – all depends on how much I get done this weekend.

5 One outfit we usually pack every year is a dress for a tea party. It started back when my mom could still participate and was practically the same Mum we grew up with. [Sidenote: I can hear everyone protesting, and I know Mum is still Mum. But one of my coping mechanisms is thinking of Mum as Old Mum and Now Mum; making her two different people allows me to love and respect both while respectfully allowing each to have their own limitations and rules. It’s a functionality-type thing.] Mum loved having tea parties with us when we were little, and with Gracie and Bee when they were little. So we packed a dress. The past few years, we haven’t needed the dress. It takes up space. And at some point, you start wondering why you’re taking up space with something you’re not going to wear, especially if it comes with another pair of shoes. But this year, this year we’re vacationing at Lake Winnipesaukee in the middle of the week, and Rhi suggested packing a “gawdy” dress and jewelry like Gram would have worn, so we can go down the boardwalk and find a dance or bingo or some sort of Gram-approved activity. It’s perfect. I have to pack a dress.

So there you have it! Five things that have taken over my brain and won’t let up – not even with them pinned down on paper. Here’s hoping the rest of the day is kind to me because it looks like I’ll need it this weekend!

 

It’s going to be a very long month.

July 11, 2017

It’s only been three days. Wait, no – scratch that. Two days. I saw the girls the day before yesterday. But two days feels like three days; it feels a long longer than even “just” three! The girls are spending their month of summer visitation with their dad, and it feels like an eternity.

When the girls were little – those late toddler years and early school years – July was a much needed respite from broken nights of sleep and exhausted late evening hours filled with whining and bickering. I could sleep in sometimes as much as 45 whole minutes on work mornings if I didn’t need to drop the girls off at daycare, or, later, twenty minutes if I didn’t need to drop them off at Stepmom’s. I could spend evenings hanging at Crisanna’s pool, or on my own patio in a lounge chair reading a book. I could cook grown-up meals with herb-crusted chicken and asparagus or mac&cheese that didn’t involve shapes. It was a delirious month-long staycation, even though there was still work and responsibility. I still got to see Bee and Gracie for dinner two nights a week, and I still got to keep my weekends, and that was just enough time to enjoy fun summer activities, but take a break from each other so we could leap into each others’ arms and finish off the summer with gusto and renewed appreciation for one another’s company. And that’s just how it worked out.

But then this thing happened when my daughters morphed from little kids with all the trappings of early childhood (tantrums, stubbornness, grouchies, minds of their own, the Up And Down Bedtime Brigade, , vivid imaginations in the middle of the night, picky appetites…) into imaginative and delightful kids in the thick of middle childhood, and then Young Adults and burgeoning Actual People who I would be honored to call my friends. Now, don’t get me wrong – I’m their mama, not their friend. I am not afraid to pull rank or put my foot down. I set the rules, and I expect them to be followed. Without fail. There are consequences for rule-breakage. And there are rewards when toes stay on the right side of the line. And for the most part, that’s how it goes, generally. I have good kids. Kids I enjoy spending time with. Kids I like watching – and discussing – movies with, or participating in readathons with, or going adventuring with. It’s fun! It’s not fun all the time, but enough of the times.

Enough of the time for me to feel it keenly this year. More this year than other years. Because my house is really empty this year. This year there is no boyfriend or boyfriend’s extremely willful kindergardner-who-acts-like-a-toddler. This year there is no puppy-dog to hang out with, or cuddle with, or talk to, or go on runs with. It was more than two years ago when I picked out the boyfriend, and more than three years ago when I adopted the puppy-dog, and that long ago the girls were still in the blossoming stages of middle childhood. Young enough that I still needed the break. Long enough ago that things were different.

And so July is passing by turtle slow. There are 90 minutes left before I’ll see the girls again and enjoy my mid-week sleepover. A week-and-a-half before my next weekend with them. Seventeen more sleeps before vacation. And after vacation, July will be over and I will have survived it for one more year! And, if my memory serves, almost immediately after that, there will some sort of incident that comes with an inevitable rock re-entry that will make me wish we were still back in July.

But that, like July, will pass. My girls will be home and all will be well.

All will be well, all will be well, and all manner of things will be well.

Or, so I’ve been told.

Five for Friday.

July 7, 2017

It’s been a weird, tough week. But not too tough for Five for Friday! I love my little mental colander that lets me sort out the things I can throw overboard before the weekend. We don’t need no clutter ’round here, mental or otherwise!

Let’s see what we’ve got…

1 Poor Bee is home with a fever. I got the girls for dinner last night, and Bee mentioned a headache, but that’s not necessarily out of the ordinary (though I hate the near-constant pattern, poor thing). As soon as we got home, Bee went to lie down instead of towards the kitchen for food, so I knew it was serious. I checked on her a little bit later, and as I brushed back her hair, I noticed she was approximately 390°. Okay, or maybe just 101.3°, once I checked with the thermometer. Stepmom graciously allowed Bee to stay the night with me so I could take care of my sweet baby. Her temp did go down a little with some Tylenol, and it’s gone this morning, but the headache lingered. Here’s hoping it’s not an ear infection from her swim lessons!

2 I was glad for the company because I was a little afraid of sleeping alone in the house last night. Know why? The night before, my house alarm went off in the middle of the night! Scared the pants off me! I called 911 and the cops took their sweet time – more than 10 minutes to get to the house. They didn’t see anything amiss, and all the doors and windows that I could see (I wasn’t going into rooms where the doors were closed until the cops got there) were secure, but I was still scared out of my mind. That happened at 2:30 a.m. and I never went back to bed. Every time I shut off the lights and tried to close my eyes, I broke out in a sweat and started to freak out. So nope. I didn’t necessarily want Bee to be scared like that if it happened again, but I like having another person around to help me make sense of everything. I hate being alone. I can do it, I’m tough – but I hate it.

3 Which is just one reason why I hate July so much. It’s the month the girlies go to their Dad and Stepmom’s, and I have to stay home by myself. The custody arrangement flip flops. I used to love it when the girls were toddlers and I needed a break. But now the girls are older and (usually) fun to be around and I enjoy my time off with them. The arrangement has stayed the same, regardless. I just have very different feelings about it. (And so does Bee – she begged me not to make her go, but I think that might have had everything to with the fact that she got in trouble and didn’t want to face up. She knows better though – Dad, Stepmom, and I have worked hard to be a united front, so she was marched straight back over to her dad’s. No mercy! Heh.)

4 There’s a nice big reward at the end of the month for those of us who make it through. I purchased our tickets to go home! It’s the same week we’ve gone since time out of mind – nothing ever changes in our family routine – so we’ll be vacationing the first week of August, like always, including the weekends on either sides, like always. I’m so excited, I have perpetual Kermit-arms over here!!! I can’t wait for our family cookout and to catch up with cousins and see family and friends and hear everyone talk with the right accent and have a break from this insipid heat and eat some real fish & chips… oh my god, the list is my happy place! Kim asked me what the girls were the most excited about, and I didn’t have an answer, although honest-to-god, it might be packing. HA! Prepping for and anticipating the vacation is at least half the fun!

5 I think besides catching up with my favorite people, what I am most looking forward to is our vacation-within-our-vacation. My sister Kim graciously sprang for a cabin in New Hampshire at Weirs Beach. It’s the same property (if not the same house) that my family has vacationed in since I was a little girl, and we’ve stayed there with the girls before. We have all the fun! It’s a 2-minute walk from the boardwalk, there’s a beach, arcades, mini golf, bumper cars, tiny little tourist shops, boat rides… I fell asleep last night daydreaming that we were there and having fun doing all of the things we’ll get to do in a little less than a month. And having our vacation-within-a-vacation smack dab in the middle of our trip home is so well-planned because I’m sure by then we’ll be ready to get away from my parents’ house for awhile. I love my parents, but seeing how sick my mom is…it’s harder than words could ever describe. And my dad is…well. He’s the same as he’s ever been. I sacrifice my children as buffers. (Sorry childrens.) So the vacation will break all of that up, and still give us enough time on the back side of the trip to get back in good graces with the parents and aunts after leaving for a few days. Oh! And my brother was able to take that entire week off from work, so the girls will have fun hanging out with their crazy uncle! I am really, really, really looking forward to going home!

And that is a very happy place to leave our 5 For Friday! Hopefully the fun and excitement carries me through today and spits me out the other side ready for some fun this weekend! What do YOU have planned? Anything fun?

Exhaustion.

May 2, 2017

That thing when you get back from vacation and you know that reality is going to smack you in the face and (other than seeing your oldest girl-child again), it’s going to suck. But then it really happens and not only are you dealing with sucky reality, but you’re sick?

Yeah. That.

Double sucky.

I’ve gone through approximately two boxes of tissues in two days and I’m about to commandeer the nice ones, with lotion in the them. Anything to make my nose stop hurting.

This all started the day before I left San Antonio, and I thought it might have been a reaction to the new allergens in a new city, but now everything’s the same, except for my rather unique stopped-up-ed-ness, and I’m ready for that to leave me now. Although It could have been worse and I could have been sick (or allergic to the air or whatever it is) the entire time I was there. Infecting everyone – or exposing them to germapalooza – would have been worse, definitely.

So I’ll take my mountain of tissues and emails and laundry and play poor pitiful mama for a few days and see how far that gets me. And when that’s not very far, at least I know there’s a weekend right around the corner for me to sleep through.

Huzzah? Huzzah.

 

In which all the shenanigans are afoot.

April 25, 2017

It would be a good, good week if it wasn’t so unnaturally quiet. The girls are off on a mini-vacation. Their stepmom had plans to visit her sister this past weekend in Houston, and since they were going to be in the area, Stepmom and the Ex asked if they could hold the girls out of school a few days so they could spend a few days in Galveston. They rented a condo and have gone on dolphin tours, held sandcastle competitions, and scored sunburns so bad I’m not even excited anymore that they’re going to peel. (Because: ouch!)

I miss my girls terribly, but that means I’ve had time to do some planning of my own. Because the girls will be home for one day tomorrow – a teeny, tiny day in which Gracie turns thirteen (!), and I become a mom to a teenager (!!) – and then we snag Auntie Kim from the airport and she and Bee-girl and I zoom down to San Antonio for another mini-vacation! See? SHENANIGANS!

Kim is delivering a presentation at a conference, and so the plan was for me to make the five-hour drive, steal one of the extra beds, goof off with Kim, and drive back, all refreshed. Corrie was going to come with, which would be handy when dealing with all of the driving directions (I still haven’t gotten my glasses fixed), and also the tedium of a five-hour drive, but she’s out of town on two separate week-long work trips this month, and she’d rather not get kicked out of her house. So rather last minute, Kim and I arrived at – what if the girls came?

It’s terrible timing. Missing almost a week of school? Unheard of! We don’t do that! But, as my Ex put it: it’s not every day your daughter turns 13! And I’m not going to have many opportunities for a “free” vacation. Bee could bunk with me in my bed, and we could grab a cot for Gracie. It’d work out great! Also, Gracie’s an excellent navigator! So I took a deep breath and checked with their dad to see if he’d wig out if I pulled them from school and got the green light. Only one problem: Gracie didn’t wanna go.

See, she’s a regional finalist for the Big Idea competition. She proposed a health-based community center/retail shop for diabetics – one stop shopping where they could buy groceries, get recipes, get a check-up, work out with the supervision of health professionals, and find a “village” of other people with the same health issues. Because Gracie’s the oldest, and because she was only 4 years old when her dad and I separated, she’s known for a long time about what living with diabetes means. I used to drill her about what to do if she and Bee were alone with their dad and he had a hypoglycemic seizure or he wouldn’t wake up or was acting confused. She’s channeled all of that into an interesting health center – she even thought about adding “halfway housing” for people who were recently diagnosed with Type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes and needed help adjusting to a drastically new lifestyle. We won’t know whose idea wins the grand prize until the awards ceremony – which is early afternoon on Saturday. And even if I could convince the district to tell me if I shouldn’t move heaven and earth to get her there, Gracie said she wanted to go either way. “It’d be a great experience!” she said. I hate when my daughter is more responsible than me.

So Gracie is staying with her dad, and Bee and I will be adventuring to San Antonio. I’ll get some one-on-one time with Bee-girl, and still have a navigator for the ride home. (This will be a big test for Bee-girl. She’s a little flighty; I hope it works out with us home safe and sound and not by way of Louisiana.) Bee is wicked excited! Kim’s colleague told us about a wicked candy shop that’s near our hotel, and Kim discovered our hotel has a heated pool on the roof. And somewhere in my texting all of that to Bee, she thought the pool was on the roof of the candy store and possibly that Kim’s conferences were in Hogsmeade?

It shall be a grand adventure, even without the literal magic. And who knows – with Bee helping me find my way back home, we might end up in the magical back alleys of England. Who knows what shenanigans we’ll fall into with that one in charge!

In which Bee is part (or, um, entirely) lemur.

August 9, 2016

One of my favorite things I got to do with my family while on vacation was visiting the ropes course at Storrs Adventure Park. We tried to let Bee, our resident billy goat, go climbing while we were at Lake Winnipesaukee, but we didn’t quite have enough time for it. She took it well, but you could clearly see how crushed she was. And so Auntie Kim happened to mention that there was a similar course near where she lived…

By similar, Kim clearly meant “more awesome.” The staff at the adventure park were shockingly young, yes, but they all enthusiastically loved their jobs, engaged with the kiddos without once speaking down to them (it helps that the minimum age requirement is seven years old, perhaps), and explained all of the safety gear over and over for the few of us who weren’t repeat climbers. (Though we obviously will be – I would buy a season pass if I lived even two states away.)

Added to the awesomeness of being one with nature again was the fact that it was randomly Lemur Day at the park. There was free pizza, and – even better – a stuffed lemur was hidden one on of the seven courses each hour. Any child 11 years old or younger was welcome to pick one up and then redeem the lemur for a free pass – oh, and you get to keep your new buddy.

Bee and Gracie maybe grumbled when I insisted on starting on one of the basic courses, but I wanted to make sure everyone understood the mechanics. There were two combiners, or whatever you call them – giant clippy things – that attached to the safety wires. Once you locked one onto the heavy gauge wire, you used the red “tweazle” (no, I’m not kidding) to unlock the other clippy thing. Then you attached it, too. If the tweazle was blue, you knew to grab your giant slidey thing so you could race down to the next platform. It took us all a minute is what I’m saying. And then we whipped our way through the 20 or so events.

We had a blast! And I’m only the slightest bit bruised (although I could barely walk that afternoon – I miss running and regular exercise!). Bee was convinced she was going to find a lemur since only one other little girl in our group qualified. I reminded her that we might not run into one. We only had two hours before we had to go to back to Grandma’s house. And then, at the end of a zip line, you ran face first into this furry friend:

Storrs5

Bee was so tickled! It was her special activity, the one that make her feel like she was a priority, so I’m glad she felt even more singled out. Lemmy the Lemur hung out with that kid the entire rest of the trip. Bee even scoffed when I went all rogue and, you know, packed the thing so he wouldn’t get lost.

Yes, I imagine the ropes course will be a mandatory stop every time we go back. I’d like to go do a night course to see all the twinkly lights some time. It’d have to be in the middle of the summer – I hear it gets quite busy once the students come back from summer vacation – but someone I don’t think anyone will mind.

Especially not this kiddo.

Storrs3

Five for Friday.

July 22, 2016

I was scared to check the news this morning. But aside from a work catastrophe and some fallout from other events (god, how callous does that sound), we seem to be in the clear for a few minutes. QUICK. BEFORE SOME IDIOT RUINS IT…

1. I am in full-on vacation prep mode. As such, and because we’re in Phase: Packing, no one gets to wear any clean clothes this weekend, unless you feel like wearing underwear that’s two sizes two small, a formal dress, or one of your 80,000 pairs of pajamas.

2. It’s also school supply weekend because stores are ridiculous and would burst into flame if they were caught stocking supplies needed for that season we’re in right now and not the one that’s two months down the road. If I wait and buy school supplies after we’re back, there won’t be any left. I tried that one year. So instead we’ll have bags of goodies sitting in the periphery from now until school. Yay.

3. I keep waiting for Chase to call asking if my card’s been stolen what with all the “suspicious” iTunes purchases. Last year I was so busy prepping and stressing for vacation that I didn’t have time to make a mix-tape. This year, I’m on disc 4. And I maybe have another one or two to go.

4. I have no comment on whether one of those discs is in my car at this moment. Ahem.

5. Off topic of vacation prep, but the construction project that’s been going on along half my route home for the past year is finally nearing completion. Okay, that might be overstating it a bit, but at least they’ve moved onto paving the other side of the road so I get my righthand turn lane back. The back up was so great that I was taking the long way to work even when I didn’t have to drop off the kiddos. Now I can zip right down the road. Maybe by the time I can move home, the project will be done and entire streets will be open again. I know, I know – but it’s Friday, I can’t help dreaming.

Look at us! Five happy things without much of a struggle. C’mon weekend! Let’s do this!

Convert for life.

August 12, 2015

Everyone knows I’m crazy for Dunkin’. It’s one of my favorite things about going back home – New Englanders are never really at ease if they can’t see at least two Dunkin’ Donuts (and one CVS) from where they’re standing. So naturally, we stop at Dunkin’ every morning before starting the hour-long commute to Grandma’s house. Mostly it’s about the coffee – large, three creamers, one sugar; occasionally it’s about the munchkins or the lemon doughnut. Certainly it’s about the partaking of a ritual. It’s part of coming home.

The girls have always enjoyed this particular ritual. I mean, of course they do – they get doughnuts! But my Bee girl was even more insistent than I was this year.

“Are we going to Dunkin’ Donuts?” “Mom, can we stop at Dunkin’ Donuts?” “Oooh! Are we getting doughnuts?!” It didn’t matter if we were running out for an errand or asking what the girls wanted for lunch. This year, Bee lived and breathed Dunkin’ Donuts. One chocolate covered, one glazed. Every time. Oh – and lots of napkins. Because sometimes 9-years-old is a lot closer to 2-years-old than it is to anything else. Heh.

I didn’t mind. We were on vacation and enjoying ourselves and we all know how much I love saying “yes” when we’re relaxing. And that Bee-girl, she was such a trooper about all the other places where we ate out during the week, given that she loathes eating out.

If I can fix that with a chocolate covered one week of the year? Easy answer. Now I just have to help my baby girl through her withdrawal symptoms. Or maybe surprise her with a visit to the metroplex’s only Dunkin’ the next Saturday I have her. Mwa ha ha…

Donuts

Back from one vacation, on to a new one (of sorts).

June 15, 2015

I’m doing pretty well so far this morning. I’ve gotten out of bed, made it out the door, and have hit every goalpost of responsibility…so far. We’ll see if I can wait until my appointed lunchtime before I nap, and maybe we should hold off on celebrating until I make it home at the end of the day.

Still, I feel like I’m sort of standing at a distance, poking at this day with a long stick. It feels weird, this life filled with formerly usual routines and responsibilities. Who knew it would only take a week brimming with luxury and absent of schedules to throw me off?

It was lovely to come back to the girls and the X-man this weekend. I got the biggest (and nicest) hugs of my life last night. It’s good to know that I’m not just the snack-maker around here; seems the girls missed me nearly as much as I missed them.

(I wish I could say the same about the pile of emails and tasks and deadlines I’m sure are waiting for me, but that’s a very different bucket of peanuts.)

But as much as I like settling back into routines, they won’t be exactly the same. It’s not exactly sleeping til noon, drinking all day, napping all afternoon, eating at crazy restaurants on the strip, and catching a Vegas show every night – but it’s not all sharpened pencils, and grab-your-backpacks, and is-your-homework-done-yet? either. The girls’ stepmom offered to be the “emergency grown-up on the premises” for the month so that we don’t have to bother enrolling the girls in the daycare that was barely meeting standards. The girls are almost old enough to watch themselves, but still sort of need someone on hand just cases. And also so the girls don’t argue themselves to death. So a hyooooge thank you to Stepmom for volunteering as tribute! Let’s keep our fingers crossed that the girls keep their word to get along, play nicely with others, and not bother any grown-ups who are working. Because even though we need to pack lunches and whatever clothes the girls are going to change into later, letting Bee and Gracie roll out of bed five minutes before we have to leave is a lot nicer than our getting ready for school routine!

So let’s do this! Let’s wade into whatever “real life” holds for us this week. Let’s organize the chaos and then we can talk later this week about how much fun I rolled around in while I was vacationing. So much fun, in fact, that I’ve come back without any voice at all. This is going to be a fun, fun week.

Right?

Vegas1

Counting down until all of the fun.

June 4, 2015

Three more days of school.

Two more days until my oldest daughter leaves elementary school behind (for the first time; the school district she’s transferring to uses a K-6 system so she’ll get to do this again next year).

One more day until 5th grade graduation.

Two more days until the weekend.

Four more days until summer vacation.

Oh – and four more days until my vacation, too. Because I’m going to Vegas, baby!

Yes, you read that right! I’ve maybe forgotten to mention it here on the blog, but there is a serious countdown going on at my house! All I have to do is survive the last week of school and then the girls will be spending the week with their dad and stepmom while I fly off into the sunset with my guy for a well-deserved vacation. A vacation in Las Vegas, you guys!

I’m so excited, I’ve been trying not to think about how few days are left or I will not be able to concentrate on anything. I have a major deadline I need to meet before I can let my brain completely turn to screaming mush, but really all I want to do is try on clothes, sample reading material, and make playlists for poolside napping.

I’ve allowed myself a little bit of prep work. I bought a new bathing suit and some clothes. I made a first pass at my closet this weekend and pulled out about a dozen shirts for going out. I haven’t even looked at lounging-about clothes. Or shoes. Or jewelry. I have work to do this weekend.

My reading choices are all but settled though! (Because: priorities.) My mentor’s book (Twisted: My Dreadlock Chronicles) was published this month, so I have that and Robin Wasserman’s The Waking Dark for the plane. Or, at least, that was what I was planning at first, but then King’s Finders Keepers was delivered and so was Judy Blume’s In the Unlikely Event, both of which I’d forgotten about. The trouble is, King and Blume are hardcovers. Giant, bulky hardcovers. I put a lot of time and effort into carefully selecting Twisted and Waking Dark. But even given the fact that it’s VEGAS, BABY!, are two books really going to cover me for two plane rides and three days of vacationing? Do I want to risk it? Best to take all four, I think.

And then there are the shows. We’re staying right on the strip at the Cosmopolitan, so we have all the access to all the things. I plan to hit as many as we possibly can. There’s a zombie burlesque show (!!!). Cirque du Soleil. We miss Eddie Izzard by one flippin’ night. (Yes, I’m rather ticked.) And there will be so much relaxing, drinking, fancypants massages, and I can’t even think about all of the delicious food I’m going to roll around in.

A real-life, grown-up vacation. A going-away-with-the-boyfriend vacation. I’ve dated during the seven years I’ve been divorced, but this hasn’t happened before. I haven’t ever gone on vacation together with someone – with or without the kids. This makes everything seem a little more real. Another giant step forward. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little nervous. But I’d also be lying if I said it didn’t feel really right, too. Vegas is happening. We are happening. Even if I made him sign documents promising there would be zero drunken elopements. Heh.

It’s almost summer, you guys. And this year, we’re starting with allllll the dazzling lights, adventures, and magic!