Wednesday, September 15, 2021

The Rest Of The Vacation....

 When I left you last, we had turned a corner.  Cross country travel with adult children is now out, as are excessively over priced meals and tacky souvenir shops. But the Hubs and I still had vacation time left, and a tenth anniversary to celebrate.  

Not to be outdone by the ceremonial  (literal) fist bump on the actual day of our anniversary, once I was on the mend, we decided to head into Boston for another adventure. The Museum Of Fine Arts has been on my radar for a bit now, and knowing the exhibit would only be there until October, we decided to go. Oldest, by the way, has a free membership, and yet has never been.

Kids these days have no idea what they are missing. 

The thing about the MFA is that you can just be walking down a hallway and BAM....
Jackson Pollock.  I don't really get his art, but I can appreciate it.  I understand it better than....

Picasso.  I mean I can see the woman in this, but I can see where people get lost within his art.  Then of course, there's Van Gogh's Postman, which I mean come on... if anyone understands the expression of this man's face it's me...

And then of course, these beauties.  What we came to see.  Monet....

What amazes me is that he painted mostly in series.  Sometimes setting up 30 or more canvases, each one capturing that view, at that time of day.  A sequence of his paintings would be like a time lapsed photograph of the subject, be it hay stacks, the Rhine, or his waterlilies. 

Even the Husband could appreciate his works.

We also appreciated the café.  They have a full restaurant, with incredibly good, locally sourced food,  at a more local price.  Even in the city we spent less on that meal than we did at In and Out burger for two in San Francisco. And ate far better, with much better, and quieter company...
We have debated upgrading our tickets to a membership.  For a bit more you can get a yearly membership, which includes discounts at the café and gift shop, free admission, and free parking. Given it's proximity to Oldest's school, his free membership, and that there are other exhibits we'd like to see, it could be a very good option for us.  We could catch an exhibit and Oldest could join us for dinner there. 


The rest of the week was spent on my healing, a bit of therapy, and assuring the dog we would never leave her again. September is bringing a whole new schedule. New mind sets. Better weather. 

And new posts, still waiting to be written....

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

We've Turned A Corner....

 I should have just stayed home.

You could have.  Why did you come?

I knew it was important to you.

I wanted you to come because it was important to you, not because it was important to me.

I waited a long time to write this because I wanted to gain some prospective first. We've been home for roughly two weeks now.  Family trips have been harder and harder to plan, and with Oldest away potentially for the next two years, and Youngest, well, being Youngest, I knew it was now or never. Bonus son stopped doing family trips (with exception of one) when he was around 16 so I knew this could go either way. As you may have already guessed, it did not go the way of happy rekindled family togetherness.

We flew to San Francisco for the first leg of the trip.  Youngest had stayed up all night in the hopes of sleeping on the plane. He fell asleep while texting in the airport that he wasn't sure he'd be able to sleep on the plane. Traveling with teens is fun. He flew sans pot, as to not get caught up in security, and neglected to tell any of us that he had quit nicotine that morning as well.  Needless to say, upon arriving at our hotel, he promptly took off, angry, frustrated, and in withdrawal. Oldest, Hubs, and I went for dinner on Fisherman's Wharf, later to be joined by Oldest's girlfriend. She informed us that the smell was not in fact low tide, or the sea lions, but the smell of urine from the immense homeless population. Between that, the city wide vax card and mask mandate put in place the day we arrived, and the overcast cold weather, this was not looking so good. Youngest eventually found his way back to the hotel and once they got him settled, we headed to Ghirardelli Square, which thankfully did not smell like urine, but chocolate. 

The line for the sundaes was long, but they made quick work of it.  Hubs and I wandered while they were in line, purchasing some chocolate bars, and Knick Knacks from the other stores in the square.  After ice cream, we finished off the night at the arcade and played some SF themed mini golf. 

Youngest fell asleep there too.  We headed back to the hotel where Youngest again zonked out for the night, and Oldest headed out for some extra time with the girl. When we woke in the morning Youngest had yet another meltdown about her being there (despite him being asked ahead if it would bother him), so we headed out for an early morning walk on Pier 39. 

There is something so serene about walking a tourist area as the sun rises. While there were some people around, mostly workers, it allowed us to take it all in.

We talked.  We walked. He didn't want to be there. I wished he had stayed home. But he calmed down and headed to breakfast.  Hubs met us, but when the conversation turned political (insert mask AND card mandate for all indoor venues) Youngest headed back to the hotel on his own.  Once we got back we rallied everyone together and headed for our Redwoods tour.  There was a quick photo op at the Golden Gate, which Oldest, the structural engineer, loved. 

The redwood tour was very good.  Our guide was knowledgeable, and all the paths in the Muir Woods lead back into each other so there was no fear of getting lost.  Youngest, of course, went on his own.  Later, as we doubled back, Hubs looked to his right only to find him meditating in a red wood.  Pretty sure that's not allowed, but he was vibe-in'. It was his first smile of the entire trip. 

We were given specific instructions to return to the van at 11 am. And most of the people did, including us. It seems that a couple, old enough to know better, lost track of time, and was over 30 minutes late coming back.  With no cell service, we were stuck waiting, which of course, irritated everyone. This left us only 30 minutes to eat in Sausalito, which was fine for the couple that was late, but definitely not time for 5 of us to even get ice cream. 

Once back to the hotel, I made the heartbreaking decision to make an errand run for Youngest.  It was clear he was in significant withdrawal and I couldn't handle that he was going to ruin the rest of the trip for us. I was in significant pain as my diverticulitis was in full flare by this point, and knew the stress of him was not going to help. He zonked out shortly after, and Oldest, the girl, Hubs and I hit Pier 39 again for dinner and shopping. Oldest took off to see other parts of SF, where he watched a car get broken into, and a homeless guy steal food right off someone's plate and eat it in front of them. 

To say we are not fans of SF is an understatement. 

But the new day dawned and we headed to the Immersive Van Gogh exhibit I was looking so forward to...

For the forty dollars I felt it was well worth the money.  The show runs about an hour, and includes most of his works projected and harmonized onto the walls.  Youngest loved it in his new found happy state. Hubs thinks he wasn't a very good artist.

Then we were on to Santa Cruz.  We took the Pacific Coast Highway, on which the boys fell asleep, so Hubs and I were left to see the scenery.  It's amazing to see all of the farms literally along side the Pacific Ocean. The high cliffs and wind blown dunes are definitely different than what we have here on the East Coast. 

Santa Cruz, while still overcast and chilly, is the quintessential old school Cali....

Our hotel was fantastic and steps from the beach.  The board walk was like an old school carnival.  Sadly, Trip Advisor failed to mention that since the kids were now back at school, it was closed during the week. So yeah, the two things we would have loved, the beach and the boardwalk rides, were off the table. Oldest, of course, took off with the girl most of the time, and Youngest took up with one of the girls that worked at the hotel and went on adventures with her for most of the next two days. One of the adventures I later found out included a dusk hike into the woods behind the University of Santa Cruz.  Seriously, it's a wonder he's still alive. 

The boys are big on Gold's gym, and while we couldn't go to the Gold's gym which was 5 hours away, I did manage to find one in Monterey.  So, off we went, but not before seeing Cannery Row and The Monterey Aquarium. 

Honestly, I wish we could have spent more time at Cannery Row. It was really cool, but I was not getting any better, and the trip was definitely wearing on us all.  We decided to not do the 17 mile drive on the way back, as it would mean 3 more hours in the car, and so we returned to our hotel on the beach for a quiet dinner, just us two, as we had been promptly abandoned by the others. 

We had several travel hiccups at the airport, both for us and Oldest who was flying to Santa Barbara for the week instead of home with us. But we all survived. And Oldest made it home a week later just under the wire, while the remnants of Hurricane Ida rolled through the area. I found some antibiotics left over from my last flare and that subsided the pain until I could get to my doctor for a full prescription. The stress and travel crazy had blown into a pretty significant infection, which thankfully I was able to head off before needing a hospital stay.

And I am never planning another family trip again.

We've moved past family fun.  They've grown, and we all have different interests now. Youngest only wants to do day trips that he can pack what he wants and bail when he can.  Oldest and I will likely head to Iceland on our own, as the dog didn't eat for five days she was missing the Hubs so much. From here on out I will plan trips, tell them, and if the come they come, if not, fine. Nine months of research that no one looked at, in a place that they picked, not me, and 6 months of back breaking overtime to pay for it all. 

We've turned the corner.  

It may not have been the one I wanted or hoped for, but at least we all know which sides of the street we're on. 

The Rest Of The Vacation....

 When I left you last, we had turned a corner.  Cross country travel with adult children is now out, as are excessively over priced meals an...