Sometimes I know that I could succumb to the insidiousness of self-pity. So far I've been lucky because as it lurks in the background and works to wiggle its way into who I am, I catch it and say "no way." I know that such is the road to dissatisfaction and waste of life--things for which I have no time. I prefer sunshine and green valleys.
But, I must admit to a real sense of anticipation over an upcoming weekend. For Ken and I it will be the equivalent of the cruises and trips abroad our friends are taking--those elders who have normal retirements. You know, the kind that enjoy grandkids when they visit and relish the quiet when they return home. I think that's called "the way things are supposed to be."
Anyway, in a couple weeks, Casey goes to Washington D.C to participate in a week-long People to People World Leadership Forum. At the end of last year, his fifth grade teacher nominated him for the program. She saw in him the qualities looked for in a leader--kind of a nice compliment. In this day and age of early planning, it even has college resumé potential.
A couple of weeks ago, it occurred to us that this gives us a childless week--well, 6 days--to do something fun together. We thought of flying to NYC which is always a treat-haven't been there for several years now. But decided that translated to too much money and besides there are places right here in SoCal that we haven't visited in a very long time. After considering possibilities, we decided on Santa Monica. It's been so long since being there that I can't even conjure up a mental image but I do remember a boardwalk, interesting shops and good restaurants. Sounds good.
So we are going for three nights. Staying at the Huntley Hotel, which I hope is a as nice and well-situated as it looks to be. I hope that we can stroll and enjoy leisurely days doing whatever we want to do--which will include a little bit of shopping.
Then we have three nights to just enjoy fine dining without child. The first night we are meeting several friends from Slow Travel for dinner and talk at La Vecchia. This will be a fun evening as these get-togethers with friends always are--either here in the states or in Italy.
The last two nights will be just Ken and I, trying to remember how to converse over a table without incorporating eleven year old talk. I hope never to be like the couples you see sometimes, each looking in different directions with nothing to say to each other. It always is so sad to see.
We had thought we would go to Crustacean in Beverly Hills--we have eaten at their restaurant in San Francisco and love the roasted garlic crab and noodles but, after thinking it through, have decided to just stay in Santa Monica.
A friend suggested two restaurants, Valentino and Monsoon. They both look quite wonderful and I trust her judgment (she likes Crustacean, too) so that is what we will do the last two nights. Reservations are made and we're all set. Reading the menus is enough to make my mouth water all ready.
So--while child has evenings at embassies and dinner-dances on the Potomac, we'll be having our time too. A win-win.
God sometimes gives us unexpected gifts. Our gift has been a grandson who enlivens our lives and makes retirement very different than the one we anticipated. He is a special joy. And that's "Casey." In 2006 we fulfilled our dream of living in Italy for a year. It was every bit as wonderful as anticipated. This blog begins in 2005 as we prepared for that experience. Since then we have explored many places together. That's the "Travel." And finally, I am a person of opinions--spiritually, politically, on just about anything and that's the "Other Stuff." Welcome to my blog.