Friday, May 20, 2011

How Mommy Got A Vacation for Our Anniversary

As many of you know, David's job involves quite a bit of travel and it's not always at the most convenient time. My first taste of this was when I put David on a plane to Hawaii 3 weeks after we said "I do." Buying a ticket for me to go with him would have set us back a whopping $2500. So, having lived in my new state, 1000 miles from everyone I knew for just one week (the first two weeks were the honeymoon), I dropped my husband off at the airport and for two weeks spoke to him for about 20 minutes at 3am (eastern time) after he finished his 12 hour work day. Fun times.

Then there was the time work sent him on a week long trip and I was alone with a 7-week-old who was colicky and waking every 45 minutes all night long...or the 6 month move we embarked on two months after that (and yup, Caleb was still waking every hour, but at least the colic was improving). I don't say this to complain. I feel so proud to have a husband with a strong work ethic, blessed to be able to be a stay at home mom and completely support him in his work. I do say all this, so that when I tell you what a completely fabulous week I've just had, you'll know this coin has two sides : )

A few months ago, when David told me he'd need to attend a conference on our anniversary week, I was pretty bummed. I was relieved to hear it was in Baltimore, so Caleb and I could go with him. As the time drew closer and plans solidified, I found out I'd be spending our anniversary week in a suite on the Inner Harbor and that another coworker's wife and 9 month old son would also be coming. Now I was really looking forward to the trip. No cooking, no cleaning, beautiful places to see in easy walking distance and another mom and baby to hang out with while the guys were at work...perfection!

The view from our window

Skyline views from the hotels roof top garden. I wish our camera had panorama capability!

The week has been every bit as amazing as I was hoping it would be. These trips can be lonely during the day, but getting to know Melissa and her baby boy Braydon this week has been such a joy. Caleb is slowly being taught the meaning of the word gentle (he wants Braydon's hair so badly...) and I'm loving having another mom to fellowship with. We've walked (and pushed strollers) all around the inner harbor, met our husbands for lunch each day and gotten to rest during naps times- an unusual occurrence! In the evenings the four of us played Settlers of Catan together after the babies were in bed.

Boys attacking David together

I won the first game of Settlers. David has taught me well!

We've also been able to trade off babysitting for one another, and each took a date night to the Cheesecake Factory. Drew and Melissa surprised us with a Starbucks gift card for our anniversary. We never go out for coffee unless we have a coupon or they are running a special so having a gift card is a real treat!

Caleb did NOT like sharing mommy during Drew and Melissa's date

As the week drew to a close, yet another small surprise sat buried in my wallet. One of my favorite places to visit on the Inner Harbor is the gigantic Barnes and Noble that was built inside the old power plant. On our second to last day, I discovered a gift card for B&N tucked away in my wallet. It had enough on it that I was able to purchase 5 new books for Caleb. We now own Clifford, The Mitten, Go Dog Go, Pat the Bunny and yet another Boynton book (he loves her writing and rhymes!).

Barnes and Noble- Inner Harbor style

Inside the old smoke stack at Barnes and Noble

I was so excited to get to add some more classics to his collection, especially since flipping pages and being read to are some of his favorite things. I had hoped to get him a set of Beatrix Potter books, but the only treasury they had was a giant, heavy single book. When I was little I had a set that was the perfect size for children's hands and each story was separated into a tiny book of it's own. Publishers just don't think of these things sometimes.

Of course, while I was exploring and shopping, David was spending his days learning more about his favorite topic- Computer forensics. He really enjoyed this conference and came home with a smile on his face. Wednesday, I noticed that smile was a little wider than usual. He tossed me a coin (which usually signals someone thought he did an outstanding job) and proceeded to tell me the story of how he plowed through a forensics challenge and became the first to actually solve it in class. This earned him a coin bearing the title: Lethal Forensicator. A little long for a super hero name, but I'll go with it : )

It's been an awesome week of connecting with my husband over lunch, getting to know new friends, not having to cook or clean and spending time exploring a historical part of our nation. Despite all that, there really is no place like home.

A few more photos from the week

Our hotel room

The kitchen became Caleb's nursery

Goat cheese, sun-dried tomato, arugula, and prosciutto pizza...Mmmm!

History Abounds

This ship survived Pearl Harbor


Stephanie Cunningham said...

Sounds so fun, and looks like a neat place. We too love Settlers and play with some of the long term families here..congrats on the win :]

P.s. there are lots of online or on your computer programs you can use to make panoramic pictures! We have windows photo gallery and it makes great panoramics. You just have to take three pictures that overlap a bit and then the computer or the program does all of the work and they look so awesome! That's my tid bit for the day haha

Jessica said...

Sounds like you had such a great time :) And I love Pat the Bunny!!!