We are on of our very first vacation as a family of four. For the most part, it feels like a weekend at home in San Jose with the four of us hanging out together and yet, maybe as a result of it being framed as a vacation, the experience really does feel out of the ordinary, which it is.
So why is a picture of Colin Firth adorning my post space? Keep reading…
We are on a family vacation at a picturesque sleepy beach town where we are renting a house for a few days. This is just the kind of place some author would go hole herself in till she emerged out to the world having written her next big novel which as fortune (and talent) would have it, would one day be turned into a major motion picture.
Me, personally, would much rather prefer the kind of place Colin Firth’s character, Jamie Bennett, picks in Love Actually – one of my all time favorite movies (also, I will watch pretty much EVERYTHING that stars Colin Firth. I have been in love with him, like I presume hundreds of thousands of other women and some men, since he starred as Mr. Darcy in the BBC production of Pride and Prejudice) – a neat little countryside home with a gazebo like set up overlooking a lake where one can type (on a typewriter no less!) away to perfection and finding true love.
Ummm so what do I have in common with Dreamy Darcy oops Colin Firth? Our love for picturesque locations from where to write. Mine, real. His, fiction.
The place we’re renting is gorgeous. With its high ceilings and skylights, it is a vacationer’s dream come true. Nestled high up on the side of a mountain between trees, the home is surrounded by nature. We have squirrels and rabbits running around the branches by our large deck all the time. Little birds stop by to say hello and feed off the bird-feeder.
In my picture below, going by its reflection on the glass, you can see how green everything around me really is. It is perfect weather – Stays in the mid-60s most of the day and gets toasty warm at certain times of the afternoon.
We love being this close to nature. Yesterday we saw many deer around our place (the picture below is our backyard)
The deer seem completely desensitized to humans. They were casually hanging out in the huge mountainous backyard, eating and sleeping. How cool is that! TJ had a fun time looking at them in awe. He and Aaron even caught a glimpse of a fox in the morning.
In the two days we’ve been here, we visited the city itself twice. Our rental is tucked away in a quiet area away from the sleepy hum of a small town “city” life. There is something about rich small towns though that seems surreal to me at times. Everything looks perfect. I wonder what dark secrets lurk behind closed doors, oceanfront homes, mountaintop mansions, and shiny store fronts.
Most people you see are other visitors. Those who aren’t, have that small town friendliness and easy comfort in their stride and demeanor. The downtown is quaint but in a sophisticated kind of way almost as if it is trying to shed a previously pretentious attitude and just trying to embrace newness by the leaps and doing a really good job of it.
We stopped by a local grocery store on the day we got here and everyone was smiles and small talk and effortless chit-chat. I like that. I can do small talk reasonably well when I choose to.
After a leisurely breakfast at the rented home our first morning, we went downtown to check out the neat little boutiques-lined street. With TJ running around under Aaron’s watchful eyes and Baby in her stroller sans carseat (Yep! She is finally old enough to go carseat less in her stroller) we enjoyed our walk. We later picked up lunch at a restaurant called Robin’s and really, really loved the food.
So far, TJ has been doing well in his new surroundings as has Baby E. Of course we’ve already had a few tantrums, tears, spills, and throw-ups..just a typical day in our household, rented or otherwise but that’s just our rhythm as a family. It is normal. It is our normal.
It has been a learning experience vacationing with young kids in some ways. When TJ was Baby E’s age, I looked forward to when he would be older, more independent, and more able to entertain himself. Now that he is at that age, he is quite the handful and needs a constant eye on him. He can be quite exhausting on any one parent and while all that crazy energy is great and we see a lot of creative expending of that in his future, in the present, it’s just really hard to manage him sometimes. At the heart of it though, he is still a two-year-old and we’ve had some really awesome times together too.
As for Baby E, she has been a pleasure as always even as she is getting bigger every day. I now believe that the baby age is the best time to travel with kids (I know that that has its challenges too but all things considered, if you are considering a domestic road trip with a pre-potty-trained baby, go travel NOW). She is more wakeful, more aware, and just more present. She makes her preferences clear and her displeasure known. She watches her brother ever more intently and basks in his contagious spirit smiling, cooing, and gurgling happily.
To be continued