I don’t know how to write about our vacation.
Parts of it were amazing, quite magical really.
The wedding was wonderful. My mom-in-law married her sweetheart on New Year’s Eve. ♥
They sang to each other during the ceremony. Sang to each other!
I told my husband that despite my intense love for him, I am pretty sure the only thing I could sing all the way through while looking deeply into his eyes in front of an audience is the Lumberjack Song from Monty Python.
There was flourless chocolate cake at the reception. And chocolate covered strawberries too.
We had a beautiful room in the woods at Asilomar. With two giant windows…
and an ocean view.
And deer. Big deer. With antlers. And a full moon. Amazing.
My husband’s generous mom made it possible for us to be there. We are forever grateful. It was something we wouldn’t have missed. We love her and her husband very much.
I don’t know how to write about this vacation because, despite all that lovely, there was some anxiety too.
We took some bad habits into the car with us and they rode along all the way up the coast.
The few essentials we forgot to pack motivated daily stops at Rite Aid or CVS or Albertson’s.
Everytime we went to a store, we impulsively spent another twenty or thirty or forty dollars we didn’t have. Foolish.
We bought a California road atlas and bottles of water and cheetos and magazines and this giant SpongeBob pillow for the little boy.
We got a can of cashews, some plastic utensils, chocolate covered almonds and a pack of Gladware bowls.
We bought chocolate milk and cranberry-grape juice and straws. And beer and a bag of miniature teddy grahams.
I went in for bandaids twice and never bought them. Dumb. 😦
We spent too much money.
We agreed to enjoy the trip and were committed to most of the expense, but the reality is that we are a single income family and we don’t have a lot of extra cash for things.
On the morning we went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the reality of that hit me like a ton of bricks.
I am 44 years old and I don’t work. I guess I’m embarassed by how totally incapable I am of paying my own way. I probably shouldn’t be, but I am. Embarassed, I mean.
I spent money on these little knick knacky things because I thought we needed them. Then I realized we mostly didn’t and I was mortified.
I had a meltdown in the parking garage in downtown Monterey. About money.
I was exhausted from the driving and all of the wedding/new family excitement I think, but it was the money thing that got to me.
My husband sat quietly and listened, or pretended to anyway.
When I was through melting, we agreed again to enjoy ourselves and we locked up the car and walked.
As we made our way to the Aquarium, I talked about the salt water taffy I looked forward to getting in the same little shop we’d been to years before.
We bought a bag on that trip too, but after enjoying only a few pieces, we lost it somewhere. It would be fun to finally replace it.
The Aquarium was great. If you haven’t been, you’ve got to go. They have the most amazing jellyfish tank.
My husband’s mom and stepdad treated us to lunch afterward. Great food and great view.
Very relaxing meal. Will have to get the name of the restaurant for you.
We parted company with the newlyweds and arranged to meet them later for dinner.
As the three of us meandered toward the candy store, I had almost let go of the money stress.
We would get our taffy and forget about the rest of it.
We each grabbed a bucket and perused the rainbow before us. The taffy was piled high in barrels, every color and flavor imaginable.
There were also old timey candies like Mary Janes and Bit-o-Honey. The little boy spotted yogurt covered malt balls and some miniature Reese’s Peanut Butter cups too.
We were in candy heaven and the morning money meltdown was fading.
We came back together in the middle of the store and compared our selections. A few more caramels for good measure and we were through.
I took everything to the register while my husband and son did a final loop around the bins.
I watched happily as the cashier poured our buckets into little white bags. I impulsively added a big dark chocolate macadamia nut turtle. Yum.
The cashier plopped our bags onto the scale. Wow, they sounded kinda heavy.
And this, my friends, is why my morning meltdown surged again – this time high in my chest – causing my cheeks to flush and tiny beads of sweat to trickle down my neck. Oy.
At some point you just have to laugh. 🙂
If you want a piece of $50 taffy, come on by.
Stay tuned in the next few days for some more pix and tidbits from our trip.