Best of 2009: Best Trip

(based on Gwen Bell’s Best of 2009)

I’m not 100% sure of the guidelines to this Best of 2009 Blogging (I was unable to access her website when I posted this — will update later), but the one site I saw said the Question for Dec. 1 (that would be today) was: What was your best trip of 2009?

As much as I enjoyed our trip to New York wine country for Dr. Sis’ graduation, the best trip we took this year was our week-long sojourn as a family in Cape Cod. It was not without its challenges (conclusion: next time we’re flying), but it was a great, great time.

The girls’ favorite spot was undoubtedly the Trampoline Center. And, really, can you blame them?

I suspect Dan’s favorite spot (aside from his daily symposium) was Arnolds.

My favorite thing? I can’t decide.

That the girls were not sick.
Exploring. Finding fun stuff to do. (Even if I got us lost a little bit.)
Having our own little cottage to ourselves.

Actually, I think the best thing about the trip was that we were on vacation as a family of four (instead of an extended family of 10 or 50). Don’t get me wrong: I have vacationed with Dan’s family, and with my own family, extended and otherwise, and I have NO complaints about doing so. It was just a change of pace to be on our own. A good change of pace.

I had my guidebook, and I wasn’t afraid to use it. We weren’t waiting for anyone, and we didn’t have anyone waiting for us. Aside from picking Dan up each day (usually after lunchtime), there was no co-ordinating, no synching of watches. That was nice.

Really nice. It was, definitely, the best trip of 2009 for me.

(Updated to add: The guidelines of the Best of 2009 are here. I am wavering about doing them all, although I think a “Best of” or “Year in Review” would be fun for me to do in December. I just don’t feel like committing to anything. I’m overcommitted as it is!)

Whoops II

Oh, hey, that wasn’t another pony ride. That was the third most fun my children had on vacation (especially Bun).

Having spent the weekend in a whirlwind of grocery shopping, house cleaning, party hopping, parent hosting, and zoo going, blogging has taken a back seat. I hope I can get this video thing worked out, but if not, rest assured: Bun, too, rode the pony.

Honestly, though, I think she had more fun chasing those chickens.

Cape Cod 2009: Last Day

DearDR got his fried clams, and I don’t think he was disappointed at all.

In case you couldn’t tell, that’s a cemetery across the street. DearDR laughed every time he saw this sign at Arnold’s:

They also had this massive, 100-year-old lobster.

We headed down for a little walk on the ocean shore.

The water was freezing, but I wish I had brought a change of clothes for the girls (or the their bathing suits), because they got drenched. I have some wet sandy clothes to deal with upon our return to Pittsburgh.

We are getting on the road today. I hope we get the majority of the driving done today, but I’m going to try not to fuss too much about it. We are going to stop someplace, maybe catch some fireworks before crashing at a hotel.

It’s been a good trip.

Cape Cod 2009: Wednesday and Thursday

The rain and mist blew back in Wednesday afternoon.

We spent a little bit of time at a playground, which had the weirdest swing I have ever seen.

As well as the usual:

Thursday morning we went to the Red Barn Game Room, where the three of us collected 375 tickets. And Monkey ate a piece of pizza as big as her head.

This is Bun telling me off for taking pictures. Doesn’t she know she has to get used to the paparazzi?

Although she’s probably quite peeved that I took a picture of her in these.

The rest of the afternoon and evening consisted of an indoor pool, temper tantrums, meals of leftovers, and laundry.

Oh, and our second trip to, as Monkey calls it, Ben & Murray’s. You know, those nice Jewish fellows from Vermont who make ice cream.

Cape Cod 2009: Sunday and Monday

After discovering this place, I probably didn’t really need to go anywhere else the rest of the vacation.

Trampoline Center:

Video to be posted soon.

After Bun woke from her nap, we went down to Nauset Light:

And two sisters at the Three Sisters:

Do not ask me why Bun couldn’t smile as nicely as Monkey.

And then, apparently, on Monday, I lost control of the camera:

Update from Vacation

We made it. As I texted my father on Sunday: “We all survived. Now we have 7 days to recover before we do it all over again. Backwards.”

I have some super pictures that I am getting uploaded, and even more super video. And it’s only Tuesday!

DearDR seems psyched about his symposium (get it?). The best part: It’s over by 12:30, so we can actually spend the bulk of the day as a family.

We love our cute little cottage. It has a couple of strikes against it, but comfort is not one of them. Bathing the children in the stand-up shower, however… yeah, not so fun.

Monkey has been a delight; Bun has been challenging — but fun. And funny.

I miss writing every day. I miss my blog/Twitter/plurk peeps. It’s weird to not be plugged in, or at a computer for 8 to 10 hours of every day.

That said, I’ll take my kids’ amazement at every thing we are doing. The pay off is unbelievable.

Random Thoughts: The Anxious Tourist

Something I neglected to mention yesterday is that I am an anxious traveler. I sound all confident & shit in yesterday’s post, but I am, rather, hyper organized to the point of panic attacks. I should get a prescription for Xanax just for traveling purposes.

And the length of the trip doesn’t matter. Even running to Erie for the weekend can cause palpitations. (It probably contributed to this fun.) It’s definitely one of my least attractive traits. Just ask DearDR.


In case you were wondering, yes, we are going to (attempt to) drive all night. DearDR says he’s up for it, and I believe him. And I trust him.

And, you know, they have these things called hotels if we decide we have to stop. It’ll be cool. What may suck? I don’t sleep so well in cars (also have a strong dislike of driving — driving, not riding — at night). Saturday is going to find DearDR and me very tired with (we hope) two children who have slept all night in the car. Hmm. Challenging.


Since we are staying someplace with a kitchen, I am planning on cooking the majority of our dinners. Aside from mac’n’cheese for the kids (at least once!), I am not sure what I want to throw together. I figure I’ll make a point of getting DearDR plenty of fresh seafood (duh). But I don’t know what to plan for the week. You would think I would have some ideas, but… coming up short.

The manager at the place we are staying mentioned a grocery store with “lots of organic”. Maybe I’ll just wait to see what’s available, and go from there.


It’s Thursday. Both kids still fever-free (knocks very hard on wood). I had a scare yesterday morning when Bun woke up crying at 6 a.m. But her temp was normal. When I asked if she had a bad dream, she said yes. And she fell right back to sleep in bed with me.

Some days, there is nothing sweeter than a few morning minutes next to a sleeping toddler.

I called my insurance company just in case the girls get sick on our “change of scene”. We’re covered in case of emergency, of course. Turns out, even if one of the girls just has a fever, finding a doctor shouldn’t be too difficult. I feel good about that, and I’m glad I called. And their customer service person was awesome. So that’s taken care of.

Edited to add: I wrote this last night. Bun woke up with a fever this morning. CRAP! I hope the doctor fits us in. I’m ready to argue my case. Bloody hell.

I guess it’s better it happened today, rather than Saturday morning. But it’s still a pain!


I haven’t exactly decided what to do with this here ‘blog while I’m away. My original thought was to just post a daily picture of the trip. According to the manager, though, the cottage we are in has spotty wi-fi. She mentioned there were plenty of hot spots around town, though.

I could schedule some things ahead of time, but they would probably have to be re-posts. I don’t have a week’s worth of material stored up.

I may just say, “See ya until next week.” That would blow Blog365 out of the window. C’est la vie.

The last thing I need is more anxiety.

What do you think I should do?