Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The Journey

The Writers Island prompt for this week is "the journey". I sat on it for a few days, then began trying to put words on paper keyboard. First I tried a heavy, ponderous approach to the journey that is our life, then a philosophical view of motherhood as a journey, and after that the way our children merely walk beside us for a while, the paths of our journeys coinciding for but a few brief years as we to raise them to walk proudly and upright into adulthood. I wrote a few sentences here, a paragraph there, a half a phrase on a third one, segued off into googledom for a good half hour in a desperate but ultimately futile attept to find the lyrics to a Si Kahn song called Traveler that Priscilla Herdman sings on her Seasons of Change album... (I've actually got the disc in the other room, and it's possible that the lyrics are in the liner notes, but of course that would be the easy way out. Besides, I'm sitting with my daughter as she laughs talks sings giggles stalls quickly falls asleep.)

None of those felt right. None of them really spoke to me tonight.

I've been focusing more on being a Writer lately, and less on being a writer. It's enjoyable, and certainly a good stretch for the old gray matter, but I've been missing my proverbial roots and decided it was time to take my own advice, at least for today. Who knows what twists and turns tomorrow may bring. At the rate I'm going I could find myself taking up playwriting!

When it came right down to it, I just didn't feel like being serious and philosophical this week. What I really wanted to do was to shout from the rooftops that my husband and I will be taking our first-ever child-free vacation in just a few short weeks. So that's what I'm going to do:

IN JUST A FEW SHORT WEEKS MY HUSBAND AND I WILL BE GOING ON VACATION ALONE FOR THE FIRST TIME IN SEVEN YEARS!

My parents are finally retired and will at long last be coming for a visit that is long enough to allow us to leave for a bit while they stay with the kids. They've been offering to do it for years, but for a variety of reasons the time was never right (kids too small, new baby arrived, vacation too short, it was always something). This time, next month (!), we are finally getting the chance. We will have an entire, blissful week all to ourselves, and as the icing on the cake we will be having it somewhere in Europe. We've had a night or two here and there (even a weekend a few months ago), but this is the first honest to goodness we've even got to fly to get there vacation we've had since our first child arrived on the scene six and a half years ago.

We're consumed with that most difficult of dilemmas - where to go. (I know, so shoot me.) Should it be Barcelona? Everyone loves it, but everyone also knows someone who's been ripped off there. Do I really want to spend my one week of freedom worrying that someone's going to snatch my bag? Should it be Ireland? I've always wanted to go there, but it sounds awfully cold and rainy in November. Florence would be divine as long as the weather holds (November is apparently Europe's rainiest month by far, just my luck.) Are we really sure that Thailand is too far to go for a week? (Yes, it is.) Does it really cost upwards of $4000 to fly to the Seychelles for some warm weather? (Yes, it does.)

Barcelona or Florence? Stay in a city the whole week? Rent a car and combine city with quaint little villages? Portugal? (Hard to get to as we'd have to go via Spain.) Turkey? (No thanks, I'll save that for some summer when we can go down the coast. I've already been to Istanbul and spent 4 lifetimes in Ankara.) Hotel, pensione, or holiday apartment? How budget do we want (or not want) to go? (I'm thinking definitely somewhere at least comfortable, in case the weather's awful.)

Decisions, decisions.

My poor husband, the "must analyze and plan every last detail" guy, is beside himself. We've said we'll hold off until the last minute to decide and then just go wherever the sun is shining, but he's having a hard time trusting that there will be a deal to be found and that all will be well. In fact, I suspect if I went over and looked at his laptop this very minute (he's on vacation this week for Sukkot) that I'd find him scanning all sorts of airfare and travel websites, hoping for that bolt of inspirational lightning to strike.

But you know what? It doesn't matter. The specifics just don't matter all that much to me. Wherever we go we will have a wonderful time, because we'll be there together, on our own, just spending time together and reconnecting. (Did I mention this one was without the kids???) Half the fun is the discovery that awaits around the next bend, whether that discovery is as basic as what country to go to, or as simple as what to order for lunch. The joy is in the journey itself. And the hours of fantasizing beforehand? That brief moment before you've committed when all is possible? Priceless. Simply priceless. Why rush it?

22 comments:

Jo said...

That brief moment before you've committed when all is possible? Priceless.

Yes it is. That said, Barcelona is wonderful and I wouldn't let bag-snatch-fear put you off. I've been twice and once to Madrid and all went swimmingly. There are some incredible sights (the Black Madonna up in the hills, can't remember name of place, will think on it, the Sagrada Familia), mouthwatering feasts, cool shops, wonderful buzz. Enough already. Florence is where I spent part of my honeymoon and you can't go wrong there.........in fact of the two, it would probably get a bigger vote. I am green with envy.

Mel said...

You know my thoughts LOL! Wherever you go I am sure it will be the most fabulous week!

Redness said...

Love this ... you've got it! Doesn't matter where the journey is as long as you're with the one your love - stay in the best hotel locally, look at where you live from a tourist perspective, it's fun!

gautami tripathy said...

The planning of any kind of journey is what makes going. When we finally reach the goal..itis anti-climax!

Summer said...

You're going to have so much fun together no matter where you go. I can't wait till my hubby and I get the chance for a vacation alone. But only heaven knows when that will happen.

Robin said...

Actually Redness we've done that. We spent a weekend just playing at tourists in Tel Aviv last year and had a wonderful time. Since we've got a whole week now though we want to take advantage of it and go further afield.

Melissa Garrett said...

GOOD FOR YOU!! WOO-HOO!!

We're still a little ways off from that, but I would even accept my MIL and FIL taking the kids to their place for the weekend. Oh, to sleep in and eat in peace!!

Pick someplace warm and beautiful :-)

Nancy said...

You already know it doesn't matter where you end up, the alone time, together will be the most important thing.

(I bet you get pregnant)

=)

Robin said...

Bite your tongue woman! ;-)

Janet said...

I just got back from St. Thomas and it was gorgeous there!!!

tumblewords said...

A wonderful journey - the details will dim and the experience will grow as time continues. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy - there's no small amount of kind envy in my mind at this moment!

Mary Timme said...

I'm trying to make it around to people I've missed before and I loved your reminising and conclusion. I once heard years ago that one third of the fun of going somewhere is the anticipation. And two-thirds of the fun is reminiscing. Hmm. Of course, I feel that travel is just hard work to sleep in a bed you don't like. I know, I'm a kill-joy! Sigh.

Mrs. W said...

So awesome you'll be getting a vacation! Have fun.

If it were me, I'd skip Europe altogether and hit South Africa... the cape region. Tons to do there--wine region, penguin colony, Hermanus for some whale watching... ooh yeah!

paris parfait said...

What about Paris? Or Seville - it's fantastic! Wherever you go, I'm sure you'll have a wonderful holiday as a couple, sans children! Enjoy every minute (and snap a photo or two every now and then so we can glimpse the sights wherever you are).

Jen M. said...

Ooooh! I am so happy for you two! Can't wait to hear where, and then of course you'll be blogging while on vacation, right? Hello?

Herb Urban said...

Have a glorious time wherever you go!

sister AE said...

Excellent! I can see why this is the answer to the "journey" prompt for you.

grace said...

I'm so happy for you! Wherever you will go, what matters is you are together and without the kids! That's a breather.

Have fun and take lots of pictures!

Robin said...

We've both been to Paris so many times that we're looking for a bit of a change this time. Paris is high on my all-time list of favorites though.

Lea said...

What fun, this planning and knowing your kids are with your parents... seven years!!! You will get to enjoy and rediscover oh so much! And such a great post for "the journey" this really is a journey!!!

kimberley said...

How absolutely out of this world fantastic for you!

I lived in Europe for a time years ago - lived in Madrid. From there we traveled to lots of cities - but I have to say my favorite is Florence (Firenze).

I know wherever you go it will be a dreamy time for both of you.

Vader's Mom said...

Vacations are wonderful. But this was the first one I was ok to come home from. I usually want to move into the hotel, but I actually missed work this time...what's wrong with me? How exciting for you to be able to get a week away together!! It's wonderful to have that time.