Saturday, February 18, 2012

flying solo for a week

Recently, I headed out with 2,000 collegues to Hollywood, FL for an annual work conference. Four thirty in the morning came much too quickly when it came time to leave for the airport that Sunday morning. However, I have to admit that once I got settled into my seat with my Chai Tea and new book, I smiled a little. I do not remember the last time I flew without my two little fellas. Flying with kids is quite the adventure that I do not mind; however, it is nice to spoil yourself by flying solo on occasion. :)

My roommate and co-worker, Nancy, had quite the laugh as I admitedly took a bit to get adjusted to this new way of travel. I am so used to having everything thought through ten times over prior to heading out our front door when I am traveling with the little ones, that I thought by going solo I could relax a little and not worry so much about every little detail. Ha! This girl learned that I had better stick to my routine from here on out. While Nancy was texting me to see where I was and to let me know they were about to close the doors, I took the esteemed honor of being the last person to run on board the plane before the doors closed. I had been dropped off by the taxi at the wrong terminal. Has anyone ever walked from the Lindberg to Humphrey terminal? Well, let me tell ya...I have. More times than I wish to count. And it is not a quick commute.

After sliding into my seat breathless from the run, it wasn't too long after that that my full glass of water slid right into my lap drenching me from crotch to toe. Nice Carrie. Thankfully, by the second flight, my pants were totally dry...and my clumsy airport mishaps were no more.

We arrived in humid Florida mid-afternoon and were greeted at our hotel with Voss water and a very long check-in line. Two hours later we were headed to our first meeting and had not even seen our room yet. It was well past dark when we caught a glimpse of our pillows that evening; however, I could not help but first take a glance at our view from the 22nd floor of the Westin. Not too bad. If I had not been nodding off for the last couple of hours from the long day, I could have stayed on that balcony for hours.

Good morning Hollywood, Florida! Each morning we were out the door by 7am to make a quick breakfast and our first meeting, but that didn't stop us from taking a quick peek at this view.

This was about as close as I came to the ocean most days; however, late Tuesday afternoon just before the sun was starting to go down, we got a break...a break that was longer than 15-20 minutes. During the short intervals throughout the days, I would happily hit the balcony to catch a breath of fresh air and listen to the strong waves. What torture! Monday afternoon, I truly contemplated taking off in my suit (that would be business suit..not swimsuit) and diving head first into the ocean blue. Hmmm, I really do wonder if they would have ever missed me at that meeting. Sometimes I wish I wasn't so much of a good girl. ;)

Aaahhh. But then there was that brief hour or so on Tuesday. Just me, my Voss water, Good Girl book, and old school cd player with some favorite cds. Don't laugh. Well, go ahead. It is ok if you do. Who am I kidding? Truly, I would not care. Before leaving on this trip, as I was packing my bag, my husband roared as he watched me load my trusty cd player with my AA batteries and 7 cds into my carry-on. He guaranteed I would be the only individual on that airplane or at that conference with an "ancient" music player. I did not argue, because I did not care nor did I disagree. I was silly giddy that I was going to be able to listen to my tunes (versus Wee Sing Sing Alongs and, don't get me wrong; I love those kids tunes, but it's nice to pull out some of my own style every so often.)

On that Tuesday afternoon, I dug my toes as deep in the sand as I possibly could, closed my eyes and listened to my music and the waves. And then I took the headphones off to stare up at the breathtaking view above and listen soley to the waves. And then I read my book. And then I drank more Voss water. hehe! I made that hour last as long as I possibly could.

Though I never made it into the pool or into the ocean, they both looked quite inviting. I can honestly say that this was first for me. I have never in my entire 28 years gone to the beach and not gone for a swim in the ocean. Hmmm...ok. So, this trip totally does not count in my books as a trip to the beach. Period. Moving on...

I have to say that the two things I was most excited about with this trip was sleeping in a big, luscious bed with no sounds of crying or thirsty kiddos in the middle of the night (though the nights were way too short by the time we got out of our meetings and headed up to bed, I was very much excited for the guaranteed solid sleep!) and the fact that for one week, I only had one person to tend to: myself. It was grand. I ate meals and actually visited with adults during those meals with no interruptions. No little hands reached for my food. (I actually did catch myself moving my silverware and dishes around at one point to be out of the reach of my collegue. She laughed and asked if I was afraid she would steal my food. Old habits die hard.) The break from routine was nice. Every mama needs a chance every once in a while to actually apply each piece of her makeup in the mornings without the 5 minutes hassle of fearfully avoiding little hands in the Brown eyeliner or the Storm eyeshadow. I felt like each morning I was getting ready for some grand event as I actually took the time to piece together matching and coordinating jewelry, makeup, clothes and shoes. Everything went together! It was fabulous. Dare I admit that I felt like a capritious 19 year old each morning as I donned my very best business attire without a smidgen of food, dirt or boogies lingering on my sleeves. I felt sharp and very well put together.

Here's the other side to this story --you had to know it was coming-- I was TERRIBLY missing my family. There were several times the moms teared up as we saw cute little kids with their parents (although there weren't too many families vacationing at this particular place). I had not even made it off the plane in Atlanta when I discovered a Hot Wheels Car and teething thingy (is that a word?) in my purse. And when I opened up my sunglass case after arriving in Ft. Lauderdale, instead of my Fendi's, I found a surprise from my four year old...a  rescue pad for his helicopter. Hearing my boys' sweet voices over the phone each day made me yearn to hold and hug them. I wanted us all there together playing on the beach each day. As nice as the break was, that was truly all I needed - a break. I was ready to jump right into the swing of things when I returned.

I snapped this picture of our hotel before leaving...we were in the busy, business section of town but where city was on one side, the beachside view was on the other.

The flights home offered quite the scenic view.

Late Wednesday night we flew in to Minne, where I got home just in time to fall into my bed and snooze before a busy two days of work.

Where were the boys you might ask? The Great state of Texas...having a blast. I wish I could say that they missed me terribly but I don't know that they did. :) There were so many fun things to do with their daddy during the day and their Nana, Poppie, Ashee and KK at night that I am not sure they even knew I was gone!

Saturday, I had some catching up to do around the house, but still found time to indulge in some homemade chocolate covered strawberries before snoozing one last time before my boys made it home. It really was a nice and relaxing day.

Fast forward a couple of weeks later and we are back to our "busy as usual" routine. Work, Dinner, Play, Sleep...laundry, dishes, etc. etc. etc. Though I might not be donning my best jewels or leaving the house without a little milk, juice or food smudge on my outfit these days, this mama would not change it for the world. I love every little smudge and each drool-y grin that I get!!

1 comment:

valerie said...

Loved reading about your week (as usual)! I have to admit, I LOLed about the CD player!!!!! Carrie, I think it's time you GET AN IPOD!!!!! Or better yet -- an iPhone! I have over 1000 songs on mine : )