Friday, May 30, 2014

Hi. I [Was] in Delaware. And I Loved It.

We hadn't planned on doing anything for Memorial Day.  For no real reason, except for we didn't get our act together to plan something.  But then at the beginning of May, during a particularly stir crazy weekend, I felt the urge to go away.  I asked my husband if he was up for it, and he said yes, as long as we went somewhere within driving distance.

So started the internet research.  

What's within a 3ish hour drive of DC?  I started looking west.  Surely there is some mountain get away with a pristine clear lake and a cute little cabin?  I looked at Deep Creek Lake, Nemacolin, Wintergreen, and a bunch of other lake/mountain areas I had never heard of.  I ended up feeling eh about all of them.  Eh?

Then I turned east.  Do we dare brave beach traffic on Memorial Day?  And where to go?  New Jersey?  Delaware?  Virginia?  More internet research.  Questions posed to Facebook.  And ultimately, we decided on Delaware.  Bethany Beach, Delaware, specifically.  

I have always known that Delaware is a common beach destination for DCers.  After all, it's only a 2-3 hour drive.  It seems like nearly everyone I talk to rents a house there, has a house there, have friends who have a house there, etc.  But my lack of knowledge has kept us from exploring the Delaware beaches for the eight years we have lived in the DC area.  

It's time, I told my husband.  We're going to Delaware.

We did.  And now I have fallen in love.  With Delaware.  

Prior to moving to DC, all I really knew of Delaware was that Wayne's World clip.  And corporate law.  It certainly isn't universally known across the country as a tropical beach destination.  It's just Delaware.  

But ahhhhhhhhhh, Delaware is beautiful, people!  

We booked a two bedroom condo at a place called Sea Colony.  From the pictures, it didn't look that enticing.  It is a community of poo brown condo towers.  

Photo taken from Wyndham Vacation Rentals.
Not normally my cup of tea.  It's a bit on the cheesy side, for sure.  But it was right on the ocean, there were multiple pools, and the price was reasonable.  

Poo brown and cheesy aside, our condo was awesome.  Just look at our view!!!!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Packing, Then and Now

There was a time in my life when I packed a single backpack for a two month trip.  

There's something so freeing about that.  

Sure, it was strategic, and difficult to do.  For our Asia/Australia trip back in 2005, my husband and I had to pack for warm and cold weather.  For hiking and swimming.  For fancy nights on the town and casual beach barbeques.  IN A SINGLE BACKPACK.  Given those constraints, one has to learn to be minimalist. Flexible.  Go with the flow.  There simply is no way to pack for every contingency.  So you don't worry about every contingency.  You just enjoy.  

Australia, 2005- My backpacking days
Nine years later, packing for a family of five is an entirely different beast.  It really doesn't matter the length of the trip - 3 days, or two weeks.  It takes me generally two days to pack my family for a trip. There are more contingencies than I can count, and as a result, sometimes, it looks like this: 

This won't all fit in a backpack.
The first day I start laundering and thinking.  The laundering, which I do in preparation for the hardcore pack day to follow, takes a couple of hours all in.  But the thinking - this takes all day.  I am constantly thinking of things we may need - making mental notes (which will likely be forgotten), making lists (trying to remember all of my mental notes and knowing full well I'm forgetting something I thought of earlier), and calling my husband with a list of things for him to pick up at CVS on the way home.  

The second day is when it's on.  It's hard core packing day.  And that's the day I'm in today.  We leave for Bethany Beach, DE tomorrow for the long weekend.  Oh yay, we're going on vacation! Oh shit, I have to pack.

When I tell someone without children that it takes me a full day, all day, to pack for my family, they probably think I am exaggerating.  Because honestly, when I try to explain what exactly I am spending 10+ hours on all day, I can't.  I don't know what I am doing for all of those minutes, or why it takes so long.  But given that I am doing this today, I'm going to attempt to break it down: 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014


I had a great Mother's Day.  The best I've ever had, in fact.  The morning started off like this.

Doesn't get any better!
We spent the rest of the day doing activities of my choosing.  A trip to the outlet mall (where I got to shop solo), a stop at a nearby winery (beautiful - Fabbioli Cellars), and dinner at one of my favorite restaurants (Jaleo).  

It was an excellent, excellent day.  

With one small shadow...

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