Sunday, July 17, 2005

Family Trips

I have been dating J for 3 and a half years now. We're perfectly happy with the "arrangement" we have going on (although the time apart can be hard to handle at times): we don’t live together: I have a condo and 3 cats, and he has a 2 story-house with a huge back yard and a beagle who loves to think that the 3 cats are snacks more so than playmates. So, we've been trying to "get the pets to like each other" as J likes to say, but in the meantime, we've been happily lingering in this sweet independent state of dating for a while now.
I must say, after a failed first marriage I am in no rush to marry again, and I believe weddings at the age of 60 are quite romantic! So, no rush there...
Once in a while we take weekend trips to his parents' house, who live in a 5600 sq feet mansion (to me, who is used to living in a 980 sq feet of space) on a beautiful lake. We swim, and throw the dogs in the lake, and grill out, and chat and catch up and chat some more. J and I love to travel, so, we sometimes “cheat” when we have no cash to take a trip but feel the urge to get away: we "go to the padres" as J says. They're nice, down-to-earth people, everybody's dream of in-laws! So, this weekend, with a +60% chance of rain showers, we took the plunge and "went to the padres" once more this month (our last trip there was only 2 weeks ago).
As any traveler will tell you, there is no trip without adventure: we got there on Friday night, and they had no power, courtesy to a minivan flipped over in a ditch that knocked down 2 power poles; we ate in the dark on the patio (how romantic, right?!), and chatted till 11 PM, waiting for the power to be turned on, in the dark living room, in candlelight. We finally gave up hope when we called Duke Power and they informed us that the power will not come on before 3 am that night. We all went to bed weary of waiting, and with our tails between our legs, moping muzzles to the ground, and we tried to go to sleep. Impossible though, since their entire house is wired with security systems and fire alarms, and they were all beeping to let us know that well, they had no power!!! After several hours of pretending we're having a good night sleep (the beeping was the kind they probably use in communist prisons for mental torture and brainwashing!), we finally got power at 3 AM, as promised.
The next day, we were hoping for blue skies to play in the lake with the 2 dogs and tan, and drive the boat around, and just relax: but the blue skies were hard to find: cloudy, gray skies and thunder was all we got. J’s dog, the beagle, and the parents’ dog, a golden lab-golden retriever mix, enjoyed the lake, the lazy laying around, the “people snacks” they got once in a while, and the more mature ones enjoyed the quiet time, the family talk and the rum a twisters and beers. At night, for dinner, we went for pizza to a Brooklyn-original pizzeria (easier and easier to find in the South!!) – and that concluded a perfectly quiet and happy family weekend – so the parents thought!
We had told them we’re going to stay just one night (Friday): but after a whole a night of non-sleep, waiting for the beep to stop, a day of swimming, waiting for the sun to show up, handling 2 temperamental dogs and 2 full-of-Brooklyn-pizza bellies, J and I decided we’re way too tired to drive back (about an hour and 15 minutes to our town): so we stuck around one more night, and left on Sunday morning.
It was a great trip: relaxation was great; we’re darker (it didn’t rain, but the clouds still tanned us, miraculously), heavier from all the grilling and pizza, happier, since we bonded with our parents, and re-charged our “wisdom”- batteries, and the beagle is happy he got away and saw his “cousin” and swam in the lake! “Mama bear” – as I call J’s mom- attended us hand and foot, as usual, and we had free lodging, and free food, AND we got away for the entire weekend: NO ONE can ever ask for more, right?! Thank God for families!
All went well, except for the eternal “A (= that’s me!), why won’t you wanna have kids” – talk, with which I am gracefully treated, on every single encounter with the mama bear! But that is a whole different topic all together… one which will hopefully make the subject of another day’s dairy altogether.

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