I Can’t Write About Spain

I want to write about how amazing last week’s trip to Spain was. Because truly, it was wonderful. I needed that change of scenery. I needed to get away from the stress of day-to-day life. David and I badly needed that time together to be a couple and not caregivers. We got that in Spain and it was lovely. It was so very worth it!

Some day, we’ll go back.

We had a whole week abroad free of worry (for the most part). And I wish I could say that I feel refreshed after that change of scenery, but I don’t. I know I should feel happy – my soul renewed and inspired – and I should be ready to tackle everything all over again. I feel conflicted instead of happy. Less than a day back and the blanket of depression I’d tried to leave behind me when I got on the plane to Madrid enveloped me all over again. Every time I’m asked how Spain was, I say, “it was…good.”

Spain was awesome.

On the other hand, I was not awesome; therefore Spain was…a mixed bag.

I just want to forget the less wonderful things, but I can’t. I’m stuck.

I spent a lot of the week battling a nasty cold that seems to have turned into a sinus infection. I dealt with insomnia (which hit at different times than my husband’s insomnia). Half the time I longed for the comfort of my own bed and an ability to recover from my cold without missing out on a whole world outside the hotel. I was so overwhelmed by many of the wondrous things we saw and yet I lacked interest in other things that I usually would enjoy. I had very little appetite to take full advantage of the foods and wines I had been looking forward to trying. I was so out of it by the end of the trip that I accidentally forgot a painting we had bought in Seville in the hotel lobby before we left on a train back to Madrid. Then on our last night in Spain, David and I argued, my debit card was eaten by an ATM, and I woke up in the middle of the night with a debilitating migraine that had David looking up the cost of medical care for tourists.

There was a lot of bad. It wasn’t all bad and in fact I felt mostly relaxed while in Spain, but there was enough bad to reinforce the feeling that the universe continues to punish me for something that I’m not even aware of doing.

That’s ridiculous, I know. This is life and there are good things and bad things and if I could just remember to think more about those good things than the bad things, I could be a much happier person.

I want to focus on the good. I want to write pages and pages about the magical town of Sevilla and the sheer awesomeness of the architectural details we saw everywhere in Spain. I want to offer recommendations for places to try for tapas and let you know that Spanish in Spain is different than Mexican Spanish. I have lists to share – of American things we’d miss if we ever moved to Spain and things that Spain does better than America. I have nearly four hundred pictures to show off, many of which only offer hints of how mind-blowing everything was and really need some narration!

But I’m depressed. I’m still sick and I had another migraine last night. And it’s December, which has traditionally been a terribly hard month for me anyway.

So instead of writing about Spain, I wrote this.

I’m sorry.

Hasta Luego

In less than three weeks, David and I are taking Jack to school, boarding our dog, and jumping onto a plane headed for Madrid, Spain.

No, we can’t afford it. It will increase the already sizable amount of credit card debt we carry. But we are going anyway.

Jack will spend Thanksgiving week with his dad (who gets holidays on odd years) and my employer has issued an office-wide mandatory vacation for that week. So I have a week where I can’t work if I wanted to and I won’t have my kid. A whole week!

And lord knows we need a vacation! David and I haven’t had a true vacation together since our honeymoon three years ago. We are lucky if we get to spend an hour together each night, and usually that time is spent talking about Jack’s health. We are tired and depressed and even though we see each other daily, we miss one another.

So yeah, we’re leaving the country and getting as far away from our day-to-day troubles as we can. We are going to dedicate that week to taking care of ourselves and renewing our relationship. It’s all about us! We can wake up when we want to and go wherever our mood dictates.

I am excited and so very hopeful. I hope that the radical change in location will help us set aside our daily stresses and replace it with awe over a different country and culture. I hope we can stop talking about Jack’s health for a while and instead talk more about how fortunate we are to have this wonderful family. I hope we can reconnect and enjoy our love. Maybe we can even plan for the future.

Mostly, I hope we will come back feeling refreshed and energized and better able to handle the challenges that come at us constantly.Jack has a year and a half of treatment left. Hopefully this break will fortify us enough to make it through.

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Hey, look! I’m participating in NaBloPoMo! You can, too!

Time Out For Me

Recently my mom suggested we plan a trip together.  We’ve never gone on a trip together, so  I was surprised by the suggestion.  I was also delighted, of course, and much in need of a break, so I agreed without delay.

My mom has this whole week off work and Friday is a holiday at my place of employment, so this seemed like the perfect time for a mini vacation.  We thought about flying somewhere at first, but I was finally able to figure out that if we stay close to home (mine being in SF and hers in Sacramento) we can get more for our money and actually be relaxed afterward.  It didn’t take us long to pick Napa as our destination, which will also help me achieve my goal to go wine tasting this year.  The hotel where we are staying offers in-room massages, so I booked that for the night we arrive.  (Getting a professional massage also satisfies one of my goals this year!  Woot!)

I haven’t spent much time in Napa before, so I’m open to suggestions from you fine folks.  So far the only things we have scheduled are massages, a dinner at Celadon, a dinner at Cuvee, and a brunch at Angele.  Wine tasting is on the list – including the free one offered by the hotel – and we have a few wineries within walking distance to check out (Gustavo Thrace and Stonegate).  There may be some shopping and we’re planning on checking out the scenery on our way out.

It’s taking every bit of reserve I have to get through this insane week.  Napa is my reward for slogging through.  I will make it to tomorrow afternoon!

A Piece of Quiet

We are in Tahoe this weekend.  We so need this weekend away from the city and our responsibilities.  It’s beautiful up here blanketed in snow, icicles hanging from the eaves.  It’s crisp but sunny outside and the panoramic views in the cabin make for a wonderfully relaxing environment.

Despite going to bed after midnight (Jack was bizarrely hyper) and the back and forth coughing between Jack and me, we all slept fairly well.  Jack laid quietly on top of his Cars sleeping bag until I awoke this morning.  Can’t ask for better than that!  I got up and our gracious host had a latte waiting for me.  Ahhh, bliss.  Jack and I spent a good hour and a half building robots with legos.  Whenever we go on vacation I’m reminded how fabulous it is to sit and play with my son without the billions of chores that would be calling my name at home.  Not only do I get to focus more on Jack, but my lego building prowess is steadily improving.

It's a roboty day.

We don’t have a lot of plans for the weekend but sledding is among them.  I bought some ultra cute polar bear snow boots on mega sale at Land’s End and I can’t wait to see Jack all bundled up.  He was so excited about our trip last night that he couldn’t stop giggling, which of course had me cracking up.  We need more vacation in our lives, methinks.

Maryland Highlights

I’ll have to post some pictures when I am not bogged down with catch-up work and the intracacies of adjusting to the new daycare drop-off/pick-up routine (since Joe started his new job today), but here are some highlights of our trip to Maryland:

  • The plane rides were decent (considering that we had a 2 year old on our laps) thanks to sitting by the same folks to and from DC.  After the mom who I sat next to loaned Jack her daughter’s Magnedoodle, I promptly bought one when we arrived at our destination.  Jack is obsessed with it and drew constantly on the way home (his drawings actually look like things!).
  • He is now obsessed with airplanes, as well.
  • Jack was sick with a nasty fever the first two days of the trip.  It was pretty sad to watch the little guy stare dull-eyed at animals in the aquarium in Baltimore.  I wish he could have enjoyed it more.  On the plus side, he is a total sweetheart while sick (no tantrums!).
  • Jack learned how to say “Dad’s coffee” and “Jack’s milk” and “Aunt Holly’s computer” and “Cayenne’s toy” – he is quite impressed with pronouns.
  • Every night at bed time, we were treated to several performances of what we think is the Portuguese version of “Ring around the roses” wherein he sang what sounded to me like “ba ti ba,” then switched the verse, then purposely fell on the bed.  (I must remember to ask about this when I pick him up from daycare today.)
  • The boy decided to refer to his uncle as “Miken” – we can only guess that this is a clever contraction of Mike + Cayenne (the dog).
  • We all ate more junk food and watched more tv than we would normally.  Vacation rules are different, though, right??
  • Jack may have a little cousin arriving in 2009!
  • We saw the Washington Monument & the Smithsonian Natural History Museum on Memorial Day.  It was disgustingly hot and Jack was a tyrant but we did manage to have fun.
  • Jack rode his first carousel!  After shrieking with delight when the carousel started moving, he nervously rode the horse for about 5 minutes before deciding he felt safer in my arms.  I spent the rest of the ride precariously hanging on to him and the moving pole.  Upon exiting the carousel, Jack cried for more.  Of course.