Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Everyone Survived

Friday, my friend Teresa picked my children and I up from our place and we stopped back at her house so her step-mom could watch all five children (my two plus Teresa's three) until Teresa's husband came home from work. I said a quick goodbye to Trey with the instructions to listen to the adults, be good for grandma and have fun. I snuck out the door without Leah seeing me leave. We drove over to another house to pick up one of our passengers. She'd brought her kids and their gear to a friends house for the weekend. Her husband just left for Iraq and this friend of hers was gracious enough to agree to watch her children for the weekend. Her friend wasn't home. We waited, and called, and peeked through windows, broke into the back yard all in search for the missing babysitter. Fifteen minutes later she pulls up. Whew! We hop in the jeep and drive over to another house where an eight passenger Suburban is waiting for us. We follow the mini bus to one more house to pick up one more person before we start our weekend adventure. As we're driving to pick up our last person I remark that this is close to where our pastor lives. And yeah, this is the street you turn on to get to his house, and yeah, that's his street and hey! there's his house! Our last passenger lives two whole houses from our pastor. "Wow", I say, "I didn't realize how close you lived to Hal. So much for getting away with anything bad, huh?"
"Yeah, we can't have any more keggers!" she says.

We're on the road. Traffic. Curse you drivers being on the road at 5pm!! How dare thee!! We're finally up the mountain and stop for dinner, meeting one more person who drove alone. Yes, we are the party of ten, anywhere you have a spot for us would be fine. We are out of the house and don't have children's menus and crayons to worry about. We don't care where we sit. They seated us outside and almost everyone ordered a glass of wine or a Corona with lime. Everyone remarked how weird it was to look at the menu and order what they wanted instead of what they would have to share with a little person. We are, after all, MOPS (mothers of preschoolers) and although we love em, they are all consuming.

Back on the road. It's dark. The roads are windy and there are no street lights when you're up in the mountains. It interferes with your view of the galaxies. We cannot find the street we're supposed to turn on. We spot a park ranger at the Shell station. "Excuse me! We're lost, can you help us find this street?" She doesn't know for sure, but her guess is to go up here and turn right. By now, we've lost our other party because they turned and we didn't. The cell phones are going to voicemail and did I mention it was pitch black out? After making a few circles we think we've found our street but there's still no sign of the other two cars. We cannot, however, find the address. The see the numbers above and we see the numbers below, but we don't see the street numbers we are looking for. As we start to panic and internally laugh thinking this is going to make a great story, we see the headlights of the Suburban and the other car. Well, at least we're lost together. Lights start to come on in the cabins we're blinding with our own headlights. We make the decision to pray that we haven't arrived at a serial killers getaway and walk up and ask for directions. We are greeted by a very sweet woman and her even nicer, but extremely large dog and tell her our situation. Kathleen and Murphy the dog walk us (in the dark!) to where we should be going as we follow behind in the car. Guess what? She can't seem to find the stupid place either. After a few trips up and down the dirt road I manage to spot a very faint house number that resembles the one on our directions from Mapquest. Thanks and God Bless Kathleen and Murphy, we've finally made it.

The cabin is unlocked. There's knotty pine covering the walls, a fireplace, a wood deck, and a 1982 kitchen waiting for us. Two bedrooms and a loft with a full bathroom downstairs and a laundry room with a toilet right next to the stackable washer/dryer upstairs. Where is the jacuzzi that I'm planning to enjoy? Just outside the front door is a set of steps that lead down into the black abyss where I hear the familiar sounds of spa jets and water pipes. It's down there but we can't see a thing and the light is not working. I am one of two brave souls willing to check out the accommodations below. I'm no superhero woman and I get the heebie jeebies when I see a spider but darn it! I came up here to relax. What's the worst that could be down here. You'd think that sentence was setting up a bigger story. It wasn't. There was nothing down there but the jacuzzi. I turned the heat on and went back upstairs. We stayed up till 1 talking and laughing over what was revealed at our game of Two Truths and a Lie. The caterer showed up at 7am. Just let me know when the coffee's done.

What a treat it was to have someone else cook and clean in the kitchen the whole weekend. He wouldn't even let us scrape our plates. Our time there was jam packed with training, communications skills and more training. This was not only a retreat but a mini conference for the leadership team for MOPS. Stacie Maslyn, a big name within MOPS came to speak to us. She just happens to have connections with our coordinator, Teresa, and charged us half of her going rate. Good for the one who is charge of finance (moi). She's written a children's book and gave us all an autographed copy. It is now Trey's favorite book and he won't put it down until he finally falls asleep.

I finally got in that jacuzzi Saturday night. What is wrong with the other women that didn't get in? Only five of us got in to enjoy the bubbly goodness. We got out when we couldn't see each others faces anymore. Remember? Stupid light not working!! Another late bedtime and another early morning. I think we got a total of ten hours of sleep the whole weekend. The day we left, thunder boomed so loud it rattled the windows and then big fat raindrops spotted the ground. We took off for home around 2 and were greeted by a torrential downpour when we hit the straight and narrow through the desert. That's ok. We had four wheel drive! Stopped in the old wine country of Temecula for some Golden Spoon frozen yogurt and made it home by 4:30 where I was greeted by a very tired grandma and a very excited little boy. Both kids came down with summer colds and Trey's upper lip is chapped from wiping his little faucet. He kept hugging me and exclaiming, "You're home!" Wonder what he's going to say to his daddy when he comes back?

Unfortunately, I have no pictures to share....right now. We had a "professional" taking the shots and she has promised to email me photos. When I get them, I will surely post.


Judy said...

Wow - I have been eagerly awaiting your post about your weekend! What an adventure! Glad the kids fared well, and it sounds like you had a wonderful getaway (in the dark jacuzzi and everything!).

Beth said...

Wow, sounds like and absolutly fabulas weekend chicky. Glad you had such a good time...hot tubs in this heatyour crazy girl!