Thursday, July 22, 2010

Open Letters to My Family

Mi madre mom has always, since my sisters & I were old enough to stay home alone when they travel, written us notes, letters, emails to tell us how much she loves us. I think it might be something to remind us that no matter what happens, she loves us & we know that’s the last thing she was thinking about when they left for vacation. You know the sentimentality behind that – no regrets.

I have done my fair share of traveling, as we’ve talked about before. I don’t leave letters, unless you count the notes for the pet sitter. I don’t think it’s going to make her feel all warm & fuzzy inside though. Not that I’m mean or anything, but I don’t sign them ‘Love.’

My folks are leaving on a trip to Seattle & Vancouver the same time Cop’er & I will be in Puerto Rico & my sisters will be here in town. So, to switch things up, I’m going to write letters to them as my ‘parting thoughts’.
Dear Madre & Padre-
It seems as though you have decided you can’t stay in town when I’m not here. I totally understand. Hope you enjoy your time away. Try not to think about me too much, you’ll get homesick and the whole trip out west would be a waste. Since you know my tastes, I won’t rehash the kinds of things you should bring back for me, but know I am looking forward to receiving them! It’s a real downer that you won’t be here to check on my house & the ‘kids’ though… I’ll have to pawn that off on a sister.

Have fun on your trip & we’ll compare vacation notes when you get back! Ok, I’ll let Cop’er tell you about HIS vacation.

Love, your firstborn, the light of your life, the best thing that ever happened to you.

Dear Sister Fantanimal -
Thanks for watching my youngest child. You know he’s a little troublemaker, but when you look at the face, it all goes out the window. Try not to let those big dogs eat him, stomp on him, or use him like a stuffed toy. For the most part, I like him in one piece.

Also, thanks for coming to check on my other kids. I’m sure Moodles is going to talk your ear off. He doesn’t like so much alone time, so bring a book & humor him for a while.

Lastly, I have a pool that needs cleaning & tomato plants that need water. Can you see to those things too? If this works out, you might get a little treat upon my arrival home. Of course, this all depends on Lil Guy still being in one piece & Moodles not keeping me on my first night back talking about how you didn’t give him any quality time.

Your favorite sister, the one who paved the way for your cushy life with mom & dad.
Dear Sister KidEduc8r & family -
Since you have been on vacation already, I’m sure the absence of myself & Cop’er will go unnoticed as you kick back at home with your residual relaxed feelings… However, we’ll be gone for 9 days & by then you’ll be all tense again.

If you want to use the pool while we are gone, please leave a small donation on the counter. This will cover the large amounts of water that will need to be replaced after my nephews shoot their water guns.

Buenas Noches,
Your favorite sister, the one who allowed for your early escape from parental oversight.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Oh the packing…

Before I start talking about the packing, I just wanted to talk about the new Windows Live Writer that I downloaded. It’s supposed to allow me to different things on my blog. Right now, it’s letting me change my font to Century Gothic – it’s my current fave. I even use it for my emails at work. So far, I’m liking this Writer thing!

So, back to the topic at hand… packing. Cop’er & I like to travel. We’ve been traveling since the first year we were together. Some of the places we’ve been include: Las Vegas; Sedona; Flagstaff; San Francisco; Napa Valley; Half Moon Bay, CA; Miami; New Orleans; Myrtle Beach; Outer Banks; Chicago; New York; Dover; Mexico; Guatemala; Belize; St. Thomas; St. Lucia; and the Bahamas.

Once upon a time I was the world’s WORST packer. I’m not talking about fitting all the suitcases in the car (I’m great at that!). I’m talking about how-much-can-you-stuff-in-your-suitcase packing. I used to pack the kitchen sink, because, let’s face it, you never know when you are going to need that!

There are several things in previous years that have required me to change the way I pack. One of the things is the weight limit imposed on flights. I can’t cram as much in there anymore because that would me I have to PAY for it! No, not going to happen. As a matter of fact, Cop’er & I have been known to make shifts in luggage at the counter just to avoid paying extra!

The other thing that’s happened over the years is that I have traveled more. While I have taken vacations with Cop’er while we’ve been together, my last 2 jobs have required me to travel to conferences. When you have to pack for both business & fun while you are gone and knowing you have a weight limit imposed on your suitcase, it really makes you think about what’s going in there!

For example, when I first started traveling to conferences where I was one of the staff, I’d take the exact number of suits I needed for the time I was there. Now, I take mix & match pants & jackets (2 max) with different shirts. Shoes for work are down to 2 pair, unless there is more formal attire needed.

Even knowing all these things – the hotel has shampoo, conditioner, soap, etc; you aren’t going to be in the middle of nowhere, you can buy what you need; you can wash something in the sink if you need to… it doesn’t stop me from having a quandary every time it comes to packing.

Currently I’m starting to pack for my 9 day trip to San Juan next week. Cop’er & I are arriving 2.5 days before I have to report for work, so i have to have casual clothes for sightseeing & just hanging out; clothes for work (4.5 days); clothes for the 2 dressier nights of the conference; clothes for the remainder of my time there before we fly home (another 1.5 days).

There is a small perk with traveling for work – i can add another suitcase if I need to. I usually do since I have to pack those ‘last minute’ things from the office that don’t make the shipment with the rest of our conference items.

I know in the scheme of life this is a problem lots of people would like to have. So, for now, I think I’ll just continue to work through my issues… Happy Travels!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Pardon Me, I'm trying to swim!

WOW! I have been away for a while. Sorry to make you all check my blog only to find that I am too busy doing other things to talk to you in the electronic world! Ok, it's not like it's all THAT exciting... it's work. Lots of work. Our annual conference starts the 28th, so we are busily doing last minute tasks. I won't even bore you with the details of how these tasks weren't supposed to be last minute! That's another story for another time!

I did host my family for the 4th of July. Cop'er managed to get the pool together, so we had a Potluck Pool Party. I was looking forward to a low-key gathering where I wasn't needed to spend the day in the kitchen (everyone knows I don't belong there!). Added to my excitement was the fact that the pool got up to 79-degrees! That might be the 'hottest' it's ever been. I think it was helped along by the 104 record-breaking day we had the week before.

The excitement about having a warm pool was short-lived though... the temperature drops down into the 50s a few days prior to the 4th & it was all over. Everyone likes a pool that's 68, right? By the actual party day, it was warmer - 70-degrees! Like bath water!

Once all the party-goers arrived... the fun began! Some were a little hesitant to get in because the water was too enticing, but they eventually succombed. They couldn't resist the rest... the relaxation... the calm waters... the... water gun fights!

Cop'er setting up for his kill shot.
Sister KidEduc8r absorbing strategies before she gets armed.

Caidelcake - we teach them young how to protect themselves.

Take a look at Cop'er face - the enemy is going down!

DragonSlayer is a dedicated soldier.

Caidelcake (with co-captain, Sweet Pea) is not ready to meet the press.

DragonSlayer is practicing submarine skills, coming up to launch his weapon.

Mi padre is not to be outdone. He's got far-shooting aim even from the pool's edge!

No one is safe from this end of the pool as long as DragonSlayer resides there. 

Caidelcake & Sweet Pea know how to use the protective gear they were given.

Sweet Pea leads the charge as Caidelcake urges escape from Cop'er.