Monday, February 18, 2013

Field trip! {Quinn’s Weekend Adventures}

I loved field trips when I was a kid. Even the boring ones to some dull museum offered a welcome change of scenery. The only exception to that would be the mind-numbing community theater production of Don Quixote I sat through with my Spanish class. One of the actors tripped and fell right as I was about to lapse into a coma, and the whole audience laughed. I felt bad for the poor guy. Nothing is worse than falling on your face in front of a theater full of seventh graders, no matter how old you are.

Anyhoot, I vote that we bring back the field trip. Adults need them too! No permission slips. No stinky, un-air-conditioned buses. No soggy, warm packed lunches. Just an occasional change of venue and something to look forward to, preferably including at least a little sunshine.

Q and "Toli," which is Quinn-ese for "Coli," which
is short for "Nicole." They were instant BFFs.
And nothing sparks a field trip like out-of-town guests.

My dear friend and roommate from college back in Michigan, Nicole, came to visit last weekend. With Hubs traveling for a few weeks, we thought it would be nice for me to have another adult in the house, lest I turn into the lady who holds up the checkout line at Target while spewing forth her entire life story to the cashier in a desperate and pathetic attempt at adult interaction.

Maybe it’s a good thing that toddlers don’t just wait quietly and let the grown-ups talk. Q’s demands to leave have saved many cashiers from my incessant rambling... You, however, have not been spared. Sorry… where was I going with this?...

Yes. Right. Field trips.

My friend, Nicole, who is an experienced mom of two, was not even remotely fazed by Quinn’s toddler antics, nor was she annoyed by the logistical gymnastics involved in taking a toddler anywhere. Twice during her short visit, we packed Q up and set off, throwing our usual schedule out the window. And it felt great.

A good friend from back home always brings you
gifts of chocolate that you can only get back home!

The weather this holiday weekend has been uncharacteristically warm, so we headed to the beach on Friday. We didn’t stay long – just long enough to roll up our pant legs and let the freezing cold ocean wash over our naked toes. Then we buried our icy feet in the sun-warmed sand to thaw and dry. Then we went out to lunch at one of my and Hubs’ favorite breweries.

Santa Cruz in February? Yes, please!

Q and "Toli" explore driftwood together.

In the wise words of Ziggy Marley, we "set our piggies free."

On Saturday, we made the short trek up to San Francisco. We crossed the Golden Gate for the photo opp, and Q had fun playing with his new truck on the steps of the old military battery there.

We went back over the bridge into The City and enjoyed a picnic lunch at Chrissy Field, overlooking the Bay with a great view of the bridge. Q was more intrigued by the soccer game going on nearby, and he talked about it for the rest of the day.

Alcatraz looks less daunting with brightly colored sail
boats flitting in front of it

After lunch, we loaded weary Q into the stroller and walked to Ghirardelli Square – the home of the infamous ice cream and soda shop. Q had his first hot fudge sundae, and it made him very, very happy. 

Unfortunately, all that sugar thwarted our attempts at a car-nap on the way home, and my little toddler was amped. He finally fell asleep as we approached our freeway exit. Q went to bed a bit early that night, which worked out well anyway since Nicole and I were exhausted, too.

After two days in a row of field trips, we laid low on Sunday, taking Quinn to the park, cooking at home, and allowing Q to get a proper nap in his own bed. It was so nice having another adult around – not  only to help with the cooking and clean-up, but also to chat with throughout the day. After Q went to bed at night, our evenings were spent talking, sipping adult beverages (try mixing vodka with Dole’s Orange Mango Peach juice – YUM!), and watching movies. Yes, that’s right. I got to watch four movies in three days. Unheard of!

The best part was being able to just sit and talk with my dear friend. Nicole and I talk on the phone as often as we can, but we both agree it’s not often enough. And it doesn’t replace the face time, when you can share knowing looks, or sit in silence for a while and then vocalize some random thought. Talking on the phone with someone, you have to try. But in person, you can just be. I liked just being.

Nicole is heading back home this morning, and it will be a melancholy ride to the airport. But my mom arrives this afternoon, so well head back to the airport a few hours later to pick her up. Q is about to get a whole week of Grandma Time. But more on that in the next QWA.

Hope you're enjoying the long weekend!