Monday, January 16, 2006


Friday night we dropped off the girls. We said "we're leaving now..." They just said, "ok," gave us the briefest of hugs and ran away to play. I wanted to cry out, "Don't you know that I issued you forth from my loins and I love you more than life itself??" But they would have just said, "ok," and ran away to play.

We drove up the beautiful Columbia Gorge until we got to Stevenson. Looming out of the misty dark was the great Lodge. Our bellman was dressed like a forest ranger and gave us helpful information as we wound through the vast halls to our room. Very tastefully appointed. Lots of wood, but not so much Western decor that we felt like we were trapped in an episode of Gunsmoke. The honor basket contained many tasty Northwestern-y treats, like chocolate covered hazelnuts, for outrageous prices. The Hotel Staff asks if you Please put your children on collateral for the potato chips -- enjoy your stay.

Oh the short-lived joy of charging everything to one's room. We went down to the more informal of the two restaurants and had a lovely meal. Then we wandered the halls, exploring the first floor with its vast Hearth room and the piano that David pestered me to play (I didn't).

Then the jacuzzi. The Lodge has four jacuzzi's and we chose the one outside which is irregularly shaped like a natural pool. It was lightly raining and misty that night. The near-full moon glowed in the clouds. Steam rising from the water. No interruptions of "Mommy, I've got to go potty!!" Ahhhh.

Deleted scene.

The next morning I woke up and had an epiphany. I had nothing to do when I got up. Is there much else as glorious as that? Of course there many days in my pre-child life that I had nothing to do when I got up, but it never felt as fantastic as it did after four and a half years of 24/7 responsibility.

Dear David made me breakfast in bed. Yes, it consisted of handing me a bowl of cereal with sliced bananas, but it was lovely. Then I got up when I felt like it. Ha! Take that, Responsibility, you unrepentant slave-master of maturity and other icky things. Ha HA!

We hiked (hike=walk at medium pace on moderately uneven ground with frequent panting breaks) along the Creek Trail which was muddy but beautiful with its swollen streams and gleaming ponds. Occasionally the trees would open up and we could see the forest clear across the Columbia River. I thanked God for this beauty.

Later we had virgin daiquiris (WAY to sweet for me, couldn't finish) and then found the library which was stocked with books and games. We started playing Scrabble and another couple sat at a table behind us playing their own Scrabble. I overheard the woman say, in quiet, dreamy tones:

"No baths to give."

"No Cheerios to dole out."

"No peanut butter in the hair."

David and I beamed at each other, in silent yet complete agreement with this stranger.

We sort of dressed for dinner and ate in the Very Nice Dining Room. The bad news is that the diet/fitness contest was totally ruined during the weekend. The good news is that my competitor joined me.

Outdoor jacuzzi in the moonlight again.

Deleted scene.

In the morning I got up leisurely, stretched. Pulled on my sweats and leisurely spun the elliptical in the gym for twenty minutes while freaks around me actually appeared to be chased by something, gathering actual sweat, and misunderstanding the whole spirit of rest and relaxation. I slid into the jacuzzi again and simmered until it was time to pad down the hall and get my....

First 80 minute massage. Oh mama. I'm too emotional for words right now. **dramatic sniffing**

Floated to my room, packed up and waved the gentle giant lodge goodbye. Stopped in Stevenson for lunch. Great Mexican food (El Rio Cafe), by the way. If I had ignored my higher powers of reasoning I could have eaten the whole plate of deep fried jalapeno's by myself, and even if I would have had my cardiologist and the Stevenson Fire Department by my side I still would have died.

Finally, we pulled into our friend's driveway. We saw little figures in the window peering out at us. We went in. You know how when a child is being brave and doing a great job in not crying but as soon as they seen their mommy they lose it? That's a good illustration on what happened next. The overwhelming joy, excitement and lack of sleep over the weekend hit them like a hammer as soon as we walked in the door.

Deleted scene.

The girls, weeping hysterically, asked our friend if they could stay for a week next time. We quickly moved in and extracted our progeny before our friend could hurt us. We wondered if the weekend had been worth it.

Oh yes.


At Tuesday, January 17, 2006 5:24:00 AM, Anonymous lawbrat said...

Sounds like a heavenly weekend! My goodness, 80 minute massage? Nice.

The pictures are beautiful.

Now, back to responsibility. Its nice to know that your girls had a good time as well. Sometimes I think its harder on the parents than the kids.

At Thursday, January 19, 2006 12:22:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hopefully you won't have to wait 4 1/2 more years before you can have a weekend just for you and your husband! You both deserve some "just you" time!

At Thursday, January 19, 2006 3:25:00 PM, Blogger Sheryle said...

Lawbrat: I know, 80 minutes, it was awesome!

We didn't think about whether or not it was worth it. It was definitely more of a stress on us than the kids. But the massage and the jacuzzi tipped the balance our way.

GB: It better not be another 4 1/2 years! As the girls get older it'll get easier to get away -- even to just have a date!


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