Vacationing like it's our last (for a very long time)
There are parents who jet across the country (by choice or be necessity) with their infants and toddlers in tow.
There are even braver parents who do it in a car. For, like, days.
We barely leave the subdivision. We're blessed enough to have most of our immediate family close at hand and, truth be told, we're so neurotic and in love with Lilly that the thought of being away from her for more than part of a day made us queasy.
In fact, when I went to Washington D.C. last year, the two things that salved the wound were that Lilly wasn't yet old enough to be fully aware that I was gone the whole time and that we weren't both leaving her at the same time.
We wanted to see Jersey Boys. We're insane about Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons (something I've probably never mentioned) and Rebecca wanted to shop her favorite NYC stores and score a Rich Lady Purse (at a consignment shop). We both wanted to eat the crap out of the city, munching on bagels, pizza, cheesecake and whatever other stray carbs weren't nailed down to the pavement.
We wanted to see our friends and stay at a very nice hotel where we weren't going to be stressed about noise and rats and douchey hoteliers. You never know. Basil Fawlty might have moved overseas at some point.
I'm happy to report that we succeeded on all counts. Jersey Boys was a rimjob for the ears (auditorily speaking). We ate tons of bagels. Unlike our previous trips, we actually did bagel research and consulted with New York bagel experts; we weren't going to eat just regular old shitty New York bagels (we get enough shitty bagels in Texas). We had very greasy NYC pizza. No cheesecake, but insane burgers, gourmet Mac 'n' Cheese, giant Dolsas the size of your arm at a lovely Indian restaurant/cafe and other treats I can barely remember. (A cupcake. I know there was a cupcake in there somewhere.)
We visited Television Without Pity headquarters in the 30 Rock building for the first time and met Dan, Angel and Zach. Our TWOP friends gave us gifts and greeted us warmly. We talked about how crappy Smallville is/was.
We stayed at the W. in midtown Manhattan. We went to a giant crazy candy store, Glark serving as our tour guide for much of the trip.
I took a bunch of pictures, trying to absorb some of that man's recent photo training.
Most of all, as I told Rebecca before we pulled the trigger on even taking the trip, I wanted it to be as stress-free as possible. No landmarks (we'd seen most of them already), no all-day museum trips. This was a trip to unwind for a few days and indulge in all the travel bliss we could, because it will likely be our last trip for a very long time.
In December, this guest is arriving to take over our home and will be staying permanently:
We're thrilled, but we also know what's coming, so we're treading lightly, trying not to exhaust ourselves before the second tsunami floods our lives.
We're ready -- I mean, as ready as you can be for this. With Lilly, we documented every single bit of the pregnancy and obsessed over every detail. Now, with a toddler in the house, there's no time for that. We're just doing the day-to-day, trying to keep things sane and preparing mentally.
We flew JetBlue both ways, direct flights, an amazing experience in itself. We were pampered with tons of legroom and watched episodes of The Wire each way. We drove home, more relaxed than you could expect to be from a flight and came home to Lilly.
It's hard to miss someone that much and know that they missed you back, probably much worse and with nary the ability to verbalize it or do anything about it. We did a Web chat with Lilly (my parents watched her while we were gone) and talked to her every night on the phone, but there was always that nagging sense that we were somehow hurting her by being away. She hugged us and we've been showering her with affection ever since.
I think she'll be all right, and after this trip, I think we will be, too. Bring on the birth.
Trailers Without Pity: A Christmas Carol (plus Facebook activism)
We take on Jim Carrey's virtual mugging, Robert Zemeckis' recent penchant for waxy digital faces and the Ghost of Movie Trailers Past in our latest Trailers Without Pity video, this one for November's A Christmas Carol.
It concludes with a bit about Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana quitting Twitter, but her (abominable) rap kiss-off is played in the piece, polluting our national airwaves like swine flu if it traveled in audiowaves.
The rest of the segment was fine, but boy did my soul hurt. I'm sorry, America.
(Here's the audio of the segment, parts one and two.)
I had a story on Saturday, a Masters of Their Domains feature, about KingdomCalling.com, a kind of financial advising with a Christian bent. Very interesting concept.