Thursday, July 24, 2008

Remember me?

Now that I have cemented my place as a rather inconsistent and sometimes reluctant blogger, let me at least say that I am still here, if not here very often.

We have made it back from our multi-generational, multi-family, multi-location trip fairly unscathed. We traveled a total of 3900km round trip and when I imagine it now I need to lay down for awhile.

Planning the trip was a long process and in the end I am glad I put in the effort. Packing both for a family wedding and a week at the beach was overwhelming, but worth it. We all looked smashing at the wedding and had a blast at the beach. Hubby has all the photos on his laptop, but I promise I will try to get some up soon.

The wedding was a large (300 people) affair in Long Island, NY. It was the swankiest wedding I have ever been too, valet parking, appetizers that consisted of, but were not limited too: a carving station with prime rib, turkey and pork - and all the trimmings, a sushi station, a custom pasta station, a cold salad and deli station, a seafood station, Chinese food station, um I might be missing something...it was a blur of food. Then we sat down to dinner! Which was so much more food I barely touched it, having stuffed myself with appetizers. We had an attendant at our table and each and every time you took your napkin off your lap and placed it on the table it was immediately refolded into a little hat on the table. Each. and. every. time.

The bathrooms had attendants, which prompted Papoosie Girl to finally ask, if that was the lady's job, to which I replied, yes. She seemed to think it was a fine job to hand out paper towels in the bathroom all day and was amazed that someone gets to do that.

Dessert was more crazy than the appetizers. We were served dessert, cheesecake I think, I never took a bite I was so far gone. Out in the adjoining hall was a Haagen-Dazs ice cream bar, someone making pretzels, cotton candy and candy apples and a popcorn machine. In addition, to a wall of sweets and cakes. At this point everyone is in a food-induced stupor and we are all just kind of staring at it all. Both my girls fell asleep and missed it all, for shame.

And did I mention my Hubby had the great idea of touring New York City the day before the wedding? The day immediately following our 9 hour drive to Long Island, the day wedged between the long drive and the wedding seemed like the perfect opportunity to tour NYC. So we did. The Statue of Liberty (holy security, um yeah that is my under wire, not really asked, but you get the idea), Time's Square, neighbourhoods, Central Park from the bus...all of it on a day so hot we felt like we might melt. It was intense and fun and looking back I cannot imagine how I agreed to go along with it.

So back to the wedding is over and we are so full, which is amazingly gone by the next morning...how does that happen? You swear you won't eat again for days, then the very next morning you are chowing down.

We packed up and picked up my in-laws from the relatives they were staying at and started to drive to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. We did the drive in two days since I wasn't up for a 12 hour drive, plus stops. We stayed at a lovely hotel right on the ocean and our mini-suite had an awesome view of the beach and ocean. My in-laws were in my room and my sister-in-law and her family had an identical unit a floor below us. My girls had a blast and everyday was spent at the beach and pool. We had a full kitchen so we ate nearly all our breakfasts - we had to go to IHOP once! in our room and lunches too. Dinners were out except for a night or two where we just too beat to go anywhere. Getting a suite with a full kitchen actually cost less that staying in some of the nicer (Hilton & Marriott) hotels. It was definitely a kid-friendly option.

Everyone had an amazing time and this was really all about Hubby, this was his moment. He has wanted all of us to go away together for awhile, feeling time slipping by too fast. Our one niece and nephew are both in university, his parents are getting older (hell, we are all) and he felt like there just would not be very many more opportunities like this. The wedding was the catalyst, we new we would all be there so why not make it a holiday was his feeling. Up until now we have always preferred to travel alone, just our family of four. We don't get a lot of time together really, so vacations have always remained pretty special - a time for us to reconnect.

These memories we created on this road trip will last a lifetime for my girls and for that I am thankful. I want them to know that their grandparents not only love them, but that they are a huge part of their lives. Life is short and in these moments I feel the loss of my Dad like my stomach has dropped out of my body. He should be having these moments too with my girls. Life doesn't work like that though and my girls are loved and cared for my many, many people. I'm not complaining, we are blessed in many other ways. Even more than I can share right now. There will always be a place though, in the back of my mind, that feels cheated for them, for not knowing him. The memories and emotions are like a tangled web of feelings, try as I might, I am forced to wonder and ponder how life can bring such sweetness and sadness and how in the eyes of my girls I see both.

9 comments:

NotSoSage said...

Oh, what a beautiful and bittersweet post.

It's funny, my little one is obsessed both with death and with the meaning of generations right now and is blessed with six grandparents, all of whom she knows and loves. She clearly feels sorry for me that I never met either of my grandfathers (they both died before I was born) and didn't really ever know either of my grandmothers whose real selves were lost to Alzheimer's and dementia before I was old enough to know them. I am suddenly feeling those losses more acutely now - because of her concern - than I ever have before in my life.

Omaha Mama said...

Bittersweet was the word that came to mind for me also.

I'm so glad that you had a great trip and will be bugging you about pictures if you don't keep that promise to share a few!

I'm so glad you posted this, I've missed your blog - but at least enjoy your comments. :0)

Mimi said...

What a wonderful story. I think many of us are feeling similar things about the passage of time and Figuring Out What's Important (I wrote a real weeper today, for example.)

Does summer make us introspective? Weird.

So nice to hear news from you again!

Beck said...

I don't know if I would have enjoyed being at that wedding or if I'd have felt inferior to the sushi bar or something.
I am always so happy to see posts from you, however often you can post.

Alpha DogMa said...

Well, this is what I get for erasing my over burdened google reader account yesterday without a second glance -- missing your post!

Welcome back! WOW. What a wedding. We only go to weddings where the bride and groom make and bottle there own wine. BLERGH. Awful awful soured grape juice is NOT how people should toast a new marriage.

My brother in law is always pressing for one-last-family Christmas before the eldest grandchildren get too old and move away. But silly me doesn't want to drive 6000 kilometers across three provinces in December. If only we could compromise and go the beach!

Welcome back, Jen!

Denguy said...

Welcome back--nice post to return with.

Haley-O said...

Yay! A post! And a wonderful post at that. The last paragraph made my heart sink. He's with you and with your girls in spirit....

Thanks for sharing! That's quite a wedding!!!

(^oo^) bad girl (^oo^) said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mad said...

I just saw your comment over and B&Ps. You're not...you know? Tell me. I must know.

Sorry I missed this post. I came up while I was on vacation.