Since my husband has taken an eternity long business trip Down Under, Gen and I decided we’d get away for a bit. We took advantage of an amazing hotel promotion (perk of having a husband whose business keeps him on the road from time to time, I guess.), had a friend hang out with our dogs and away we went. I knew, from the very second that this plan was birthed and set in motion, that I was in for some trouble. You see, I’m not the world’s most confident winter driver and would just as soon stay home if anyone so much as speaks the word snow. With this being the upper mid-west, and January, I knew I was in trouble. Even so, we do what we must for the sake of fresh walls and sanity, so I packed a bag and off we went.
(I apologize now that the only photos I have are cruddy, bad-light, iPhone shots. It just so happened, everywhere we went had mood lighting.)
While our hotel was “super fancy”, (That’s a complete 14-year-old Genny quote, not me. She was enamored by the fanciness of it, to the point of spewing nauseating charm all over their lovely fabric covered walls.) they did not have free wi-fi nor did they serve a free breakfast. (to those of you out there with extra class, you will now see the types of places we are likely accustomed to staying.)
They were willing to charge us $20 for internet (no thanks. I was spending time with my kid, what do I need internet for anyway? Besides, we have a portable hotspot, which I brought, but it stayed packed.) and they offered room service breakfast though $9 for a muffin seemed a bit excessive. SO, Gen and I used our beloved Yelp ap and went in search of a high rated bakery which sold these:
Feeling ready to tackle just about anything, at this point, we explored the area a bit. We were feeling pretty good. We had a “super fancy” hotel room, (ok, this was more Gen then me, but whatever.) We had outsmarted the hotel and gotten some form of (adorable) breakfast to tide us over til checkout (for under $4!!! this was total me who was excited about this point, Gen could have cared less.) And I had made it to said hotel AND bakery, keeping us and my car in tact while snow flurried around us. (Also more so me, but I’m sure Genny’s gratitude is there, buried beneath teen angst.)
Eventually we wandered back to the hotel. I mean, it had likely been ten, or so, minutes since Gen had raved on and on about the “super fanciness” of it. Between their actual glass drink ware in the rooms, our mini Keurig, the embroidered hairdryer bag and the fresh, warm cookies they serve the guests- well, we needed to hear more about it all, so we went back. Eventually I talked her into sitting laying across her bed and watching a movie on tv while I sat in the living room and just sort of vegged for 90 min. On Commercials she would come out, (or shout out) about how laying in a fancy hotel bed watching tv was the best feeling ever.
It really wasn’t a fancy hotel… BUT, I was slowly falling in love with the sofa and chair. I wonder where they got them?
Anyway? Eventually we headed out to share this AMAZING brick oven BBQ chicken pizza…
And then we stayed up until early hours of the morning playing card games and talking…
But not by much, she’s a worthy opponent.
The next morning she slept until a reasonable teenage hour while I tossed, turned and then rose early to drink tea and read on my new favorite sofa. When we departed, Genny reluctantly said goodbye to her “super fancy” hotel suite, remarking how she hoped she never had to stay in those places where the cheep hair dryers hang on the walls again. (Sorry, Gen, you will.) She was also deeply saddened that they do not offer warm cookies to people checking out. I love her…
We had been able to chat with Chw the afternoon before, and he shared with us that he was heading to spend Saturday at the beach with his newfound friends from Japan, Thailand, Korea and of course Australia. What a little life of luxury he leads. Ironically, the man hates the beach while Gen and i LOVE it. So, when Saturday found us heading to a movie over near his very favorite restaurant, well, we had to go. It seemed the nicest thing to do… And then we checked in on Facebook. He laughed, it was all in good fun. He also got a little sunburnt and pelted in the face with windy sand. We got this…
I think it’s clear, despite his 75 degree weather, who got the better end of the deal. (please lie and tell me that it was us!)
After that, before trekking home, we went to see 12 Years a Slave. We don’t usually let Genny watch R rated movies, but on the very rare occasions that she has seen them, it has been with us and they were R for reasons that weren’t sexually explicit or graphic in unnecessary ways. I don’t regret taking her to see this film. It was emotional and moving. Difficult to watch, but such a beautiful story full of valuable life lessons. As we left the theater, still stunned from all we’d seen, I looked to her and said “wow, huh?” And her sweet 14 yo response?
“That movie was NOT entertaining. I hate that movie. That wasn’t fun at all.” Yes, she had seen the trailer. I don’t know where she expected it to turn into a fun movie, but we had a wonderful discussion about the film and Solomon’s story on the way home. If you haven’t seen it, I strongly recommend it… (Where kids are concerned though, obviously, read reviews and use your best judgement.)
Anyway, our Girl’s retreat was fun, and I think we’ll do it again. I think maybe we’ll do it with another mother/daughter someday… It was a lot of fun though, and we want to make it a semi-annual tradition. Considering we really were just winging it, it was pretty great…