In case anyone thinks the story of Bun’s illness is greatly exaggerated, I offer you:

I can say she is feeling much better today (that’s from yesterday), and we will be hitting the road in a few hours.

Wish us luck.

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?

What I Am: Reading This Week

Fodor’s Guide to Cape Cod, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard

You may or may not know this about me, but I’m a planner. When I travel, I like knowing where I am going, what there is to do, where I am living when I go there, and what I am eating. And when.

When I was 21 years old, I traveled to Paris with three of my college girlfriends. I went out and bought two guidebooks (Frommer’s and Let’s Go! if memory serves), read all about what to do in Paris and how, where to stay, etc., etc. I figured the other women I was traveling with were doing similar research.

I was wrong.

When we got there, two of the women I was with decided we were staying in a WAY expensive hotel in the 15th arrondissement. This would be like traveling to New York and staying in Philadelphia — no, someplace rustic. Like trying to see New York City from Connecticut.

After one night there — one night, in Paris, with nothing to do (I believe we stumbled onto a billiards room, so at least we got a drink. And billiards? Not the same as pool) — I said, “Look, I’m moving to the Latin Quarter, the 5th arrondissement. It’s on the Seine. The Pantheon is there. You’ve heard of these things, yes? Coming with?” They came with. We had to split up into two groups of two and stay in different — and much, much cheaper hotels — but we were in the real Paris.

We had a blast. We walked everywhere, including to Notre Dame, Champs-Elysees, and the Eiffel Tower. I had a mere smattering of high school French under my belt, but that hardly mattered. Four cute American girls in Paris? Language was not an issue, I assure you.

These girls had no idea how to travel. I’m not sure why I did, but I did.

So when DearDR decided he was going to register for and attend a week-long symposium in Cape Cod, I figured it would be a perfect opportunity for a family “vacation”. (I’ll explain the quotes in a mo’.) In the seven-plus years we have been married (excepting our honeymoon) we have never gone on a vacation alone; we’ve always been with his family or my family — which is not a bad thing (built-in baby sitting!).

I had been to Cape Cod as a child with my family, and I remember really enjoying it. I didn’t go when I was as young as my children are now, however, so I knew I had to find appropriate activities for the preschool set. The Internet is a fantastic resource, of course, and ClumberKim sent me many good links. Since I don’t have an iPhone, and I don’t want to walk around with a laptop, I also picked up the Fodor’s guide.

As I suspected, there are plenty of family-friendly activities to keep us busy while my husband is at the symposium. There’s a ZooQuarium (which Fodor’s refers to as “hokey”, but I’m going to guess that my children don’t know the difference between hokey and entertaining — yet), museums and nature centers galore, and even a Trampoline Center. I don’t know if we’ll go to Provincetown or Martha’s Vineyard; my kids may be a little too young to appreciate what those locales have to offer.

We are staying in a cottage not far from the hotel where the symposium is being held. It’s fully equipped with a kitchenette (with a coffee maker, I checked) and a TV; it’s two-bedroom, and has a deck off the kitchen, so there will be plenty of kid-free evening time for my husband and me. (Yay!)

All-in-all, I am pretty excited to be going. I’m not calling it a vacation; I’m referring to it as a “change of scene”. When you travel with young kids, it’s not necessarily a relaxing experience. But I’m okay with that (or so I think; ask me how I’m doing next Monday).

The Fodor’s guide makes me feel confident and prepared. It’s got maps, information, directions, and tips. It highlights the highlights, offers dining options for every budget, and points out family-friendly things-to-do. It will fit in my backpack/diaper bag.

All I need to do is pack a suitcase, some toys for the kids, and car-friendly snacks. We’re hitting the road Friday around 9 p.m. We’ll see how it goes.

The Annual Trip to the Woods: Part I

I don’t remember what year we started going up to Cook Forest State Park. It came about because JenZ’s family (her mother’s side) went every year, and one year she decided it would be fun to invite some of her college friends and roommates. When I started going, I was single, as were many of the rest of us. It was just a great excuse to hang out in the woods, sit around a camp fire, drink A LOT of beer, smoke a lot of cigarettes, and read trashy magazines. And eat junk food. The guys burned stuff and played poker.

From the original group of six or 10 of us, we have evolved into a force of about 25 (it varies year-to-year), including children and dogs. We’ve expanded from the biggest cabin they have (two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a loft) to three cabins. This year, the stalwart Misfit household is unable to join us because they relocated to Tennessee. (We miss you, Misfits!)

We have been there in many iterations, the lot of us: single, dating, married; pregnant, with infants, toddlers, kids (I think everyone is still under 10 years old, but we’re getting close) and dogs. I don’t recall going with the Ex while we were dating, although it’s possible; ironically, he will be there this year, newly divorced. He’s bringing his dog (they didn’t have children). DearDR and I have gone almost every year we’ve been together, starting in 1999; I think we missed one year “just because” (read: we were broke), and I know we didn’t go when Bun was still an infant.

We still drink beer, but not as much as we used to. Hangovers are hell with kids. A few of us may smoke a cigarette or two after the children are asleep (guilty). Trashy magazines, junk food, burning stuff, and poker are still the order of the days (and nights). As are hikes, bubbles, sidewalk chalk, canoeing (someone falls in the river every year — last year was DearDR’s turn), and all manner of catch up.

And although we have been there rain and shine, I don’t know that we’ve ever been there when the weather is predicted to be 80 degrees with no rain. The kids and dogs can run around outside; there’s a playground nearby; s’mores will be made; sunscreen and shorts will be worn. It isn’t the most relaxing of times when you’re a POD (parent on duty), but I can think of worse ways to spend the time. Besides, it kind of illustrates the “it takes a village” mentality in action — everyone, parent or not, keeps eyes on the kids (and dogs) and takes turns playing with and/or feeding them. It’s pretty awesome.

We’re leaving today around 2 p.m. Cannot wait to be there.

Random Thoughts: Short and Bittersweet

I had my crankypants on last night for no good reason — oh, I had reasons, primarily too much to do in too little time, the perpetual problem — and so I really struggled with something to post.

But I got a wake-up call at the news that someone I know knows parents whose two sons have Batten Disease. I didn’t fully succeed in getting uncranky, but I sure got a cold dash of perspective.

In lieu of the struggle to write anything relevant, I’ll send you over to Slate for two (funny, I promise) articles regarding a unique parenting perspective. The upshot of the first is that saying yes to your kids is a good thing because they will learn that they can depend on you, and as a result they will leave you alone to do your own thing. The upshot of the second is that staying home is okay — forced fun is no fun.


I haven’t gotten to the library in ages, which is why I haven’t had anything new for What I Am. I just reread Inkheart from my personal library, and I discovered I liked it far more this time around. I am rereading for the 150th time The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. And I’m currently enjoying the beats of M.I.A.’s Arular, but I don’t have a critic’s perspective on it.

I need some book ideas: send your favorite five my way, and I’ll put them on my library list!


Cook Forest Countdown: Two Days. So not ready.

What I Did Last Saturday

It was Monkey’s idea. Which is funny, because she doesn’t even like bugs.

I made the sign, even though — as Monkey repeatedly pointed out — “bugs can’t read”.

And then she picked me a little bouquet.

This Saturday, I am in New York state wine country for my sister’s graduation — and to tour some wineries. DearDR and I are footloose and child-free.