Let's rewind to the weekend leading up to the Boston Marathon, when I flew out to California and met up with Allison so we could (a) spend a three-day weekend at the Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay, just the two of us girls, and (b) attend the wedding of another childhood friend of ours, whom we've known since first grade and who conveniently picked a super-awesome place to get hitched, thereby giving us the perfect excuse for (a).
Upon arrival, the solicitous staff did everything but lie on the floor so we could walk on their bodies instead of the ground, then offered us a glass of wine at check-in, and to cap it off they upgraded us to an ocean view room.
My only real complaint is that Northern California is highly misleading, what with the sunshine and the vast blue sky and the freezing cold winds. Never once have I been in the greater Bay Area and felt warm. Not once! I'm just saying, if you're going to fly all the way across the country and shift your body clock three hours, and go to a state that boasts unceasingly about its weather, you really ought to feel less than frigid.
Other than needing twelve layers to keep warm, we had a grand time. We strolled down to the beach and shrieked as our pants got soaked when the freezing Pacific waves rolled over our feet. We sat on a big driftwood log in the bright bright sun and talked. We went into the quaint little town to peruse the shops and had a phenomenal geriatric-hour dinner at a little Italian place that was hopping with Friday-night energy by the time we left. We slept eleven (ELEVEN) glorious hours the first night, away from our early-rising husbands and cotton-eyed with jet lag.
We eschewed the -- ahem -- NINETY-FIVE DOLLAR BRUNCH and 14-dollar bowl of Kashi offerings at the hotel in favor of snack-breakfasts in our room of fruit, crackers, and Hit cookies in our pajamas. We biked six miles up the coast (and back!), and thanks to our hazy understanding of the bike attendant's directions, ended up pedaling furiously along the shoulder of Highway 1, helmetless and on single-gear beach cruisers, as cars careered past us going sixty miles an hour. But the views and the hidden coves and the sound of the surf made our derring-do worthwhile.
Upon our return to the resort, we ate an enormous lunch and then got all gussied up for the main event.
The wedding was spectacular, given both the sea-side setting and the radiant joy of the nuptial couple. The only bummer was that we'd stuffed ourselves so much at lunch that we weren't even the slightest bit hungry for the wedding feast. I am sure our table-mates thought we were those annoying women who pick at their food out of vanity, but seriously, we were TOO FULL. Fortunately, by the time the cake-cutting and the patio-firepit s'mores-making rolled around, we were ready to have some dessert. After the sun went down, it was about 40 below zero outside, with gale-force winds (come ON, California!), so I could only bear to roast my marshmallow for about 30 seconds before hastening inside, looking like I'd just been discharged from a wind tunnel.
The next morning, we took our time eating the last of our snack-breakfast and getting ready, and then we headed back to the airport and sadly said goodbye.
Leading up to the trip, I'd had so much agita about leaving Felicity for three days -- not guilt, because I knew she was in great hands and would be fine, but sadness for myself that I'd miss my Friday-through-Sunday time with her, which I crave every week like a dying man crawling through a desert. I was nervous and achy with longing before I even left, but on Friday morning when I departed from home before she even woke up, I felt completely at ease as soon as I climbed into the taxi to JFK (well, I was at ease until my taxi was almost t-boned by a complete lunatic on the parkway, but nevermind).
The flight didn't even seem long; I watched two movies and read my book and did some work and attended only to my own needs, and while of course I missed my little girl, the missing faded to the background and I had a great time. A truly, really wonderful, much-needed time with my friends, in a new and exciting place. It was good for me, and good for all of us. Remember this.
(In case you're wondering, Felicity had a more-than-ok time back home, with our sitter. Park, zoo, carousel, rowboats -- and that was just the first day.)