Kevin and I toyed with the idea of taking a long weekend away this summer. Maybe somewhere in the mountains. We looked at a few Air B&B cabins and ultimately decided that getting away was more trouble than it was worth. So instead we chose a weekend to tack a Friday and Monday onto and indulged in a little staycation. Our goal was for it to be a nice combination of productive and relaxing, and it delivered.
We knew it was important to get the productive part out of the way first. We arranged for Craig and Sue to split the day caring for Ava and Kevin and I tackled the garage – after fueling up on Oscar’s breakfast burritos (aka: the best breakfast burritos). The garage had become a catch all for all and while our vehicles fit inside, nothing was organized and it was driving us bonkers. We hit it hard early in the morning and made a few piles: dump, keep, and donate. It gets messier before it gets better, but we started to see progress as we filled the trash bin and recycle bin. Kevin built some shelves and I killed some spiders and it was a good time all around. Except maybe for the spiders. I didn’t think to take before pictures of the mess, but here are a few in progress photos.
Perhaps the highlight for me was organizing the tools I’d gotten from my dad’s stuff when he passed away a few years ago and learning how to neatly store an extension cord. I pulled up this YouTube video on the spot and had the extension cord neatly roped within five minutes. Ahh, technology and education. It’s a great time to be alive.
We took a load of stuff to the dump and a load of stuff to recycle and a load of stuff to the hazardous household waste drop off place. And the garage looked amazing by the end of the day! Weeks later, we still smile every time we walk out there.
Kevin was multi-tasking this entire time. He had seasoned a brisket (that my mom gave him last year – thanks, mom!) and put it on the grill with a smoke box full of mesquite chips.
It smoked low and slow for around 8 hours and we had a delicious dinner that night. Seriously – so good. It had this amazing crust on it where the seasoning had charred and the brisket itself was so tender. He was pretty critical of his first meat smoking experience (he’d overfilled the smoke box so the chips couldn’t smoke as much as they should, etc.), but I thought it was the best brisket I’d ever tasted! Ava liked it too. That day and the following when she had it in a brisket quesadilla.
Whew. That was Friday. We were tired by the end of the day, but really happy about the progress we’d made on the garage!
When Ava went down for her morning nap, I decided to make an impromptu trip to my favorite pedicure place where I relaxed, read my book, and had my toes painted purple. As I was driving home I noticed a sign for a lemonade stand in the neighborhood so I insisted that Kevin and Ava and I trek down to support the young entrepreneurs. They were really cute and their start up business had all the markings for success. Lemonade was “10 cents. Or more.” They complimented the baby. And they were selling apples which they made a point of saying were “freshly picked and washed.” It was really a sweet little group. And the lemonade was delicious.
We took it pretty easy for the rest of the morning and the early afternoon. I do believe I napped with Rue.
Late in the afternoon we went to my cousin’s “I Do BBQ” to celebrate she and her fiancé’s upcoming wedding. It was fun to see some family members and Ava impressed them with her talent for eating a lot of strawberries.
That evening I went to a friend’s going away party. It was the first time I’d missed putting Ava to bed for the night and I was a little sad about that. And nervous for Kevin as he isn’t equipped to nurse her right before bedtime like I always do. She was like, “nbd, guys,” and went to bed like a champ at her regular bedtime. When Kevin texted me to let me know she was asleep I was simultaneously relieved and sad that my baby DOESN’T NEED ME. (Dramatic much?) The going away party was really fun and a terrific tribute to my sweet, beautiful, kind friend. Five of us continued the party at a local western bar, which was LOUD. The people watching was great though. I was home by 11:30 I think.
We started out the day by picking up breakfast from a local place and eating it at home. It was a relaxing day altogether! More reading, napping, playing….
That afternoon we dropped Ava at Craig and Sue’s and took ourselves to a nice dinner out at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. We may have had a 4:45 reservation time, but we partied like rockstars once there. Kevin had wine and I had a Diet Coke (heeeey, party people…). He had a Caesar salad and I had lobster bisque. We each had steak (mine came with shrimp on top) and got sweet potato casserole and mashed potatoes to share as sides. That steak. It was amazing. Melt in your mouth amazing. It comes out to the table from the kitchen on 500 degree plates. A dollop of butter sizzles on top of the steak. My mouth waters just thinking about the taste. Yum. They had a chocolate lava dessert on the menu but I was toooooo full. Next time I have a game plan – I’ll only eat one piece of bread, get the steak without shrimp, and just eat some of whatever side Kevin orders (probably the sweet potato casserole because he loves that stuff). Then hopefully I’ll have room for dessert.
It was a really lovely dinner out with my man. I love the addition of Ava to our little family, and it makes the couple time that Kevin and I share when it’s just the two of us even more special.
It was a very busy week at work with a big event planned for Thursday, so I had to go into the office for a bit on Monday morning. Kevin and Ava stayed home and played, and I was home to them by noon. We enjoyed the rest of our staycation with more relaxing. It really was a wonderful long weekend!
Did you vacation or staycation this summer? What’s your preference when you take time off work – to get away or to stay in?