The Reicherts are back after a week in beautiful La Quinta, California. My very gracious in-laws allowed the four of us to squat for 7 days in their condo where, like a plague of locusts, we encroached on their living space, eating space, and private space. Here are some of our highs and lows from our excursion to the desert:
Let’s start with the good stuff…
1. Our flights to and from the left coast were in a word, uneventful! I can see a day in the not so distant future when I will not have to fear air travel because of the exquisite torture of having to sit in a confined space with a tyrant of a toddler. I am hopeful that with our next roundtrip, things will return to normal, when all I have to fear is mechanical failure, pilot error, weather catastrophes, air traffic control misdirections, mid air collisions, unexpected (or expected) turbulence, water landings, or crazed airline staff members. Yes, Katie squirmed and yes, she fussed, but she did not do anything that made me afraid that US Marshals traveling incognito would tackle her and remove her forcibly from the aircraft. We received no “go to hell” looks from other passengers nor did I, at any time, feel that I owed everyone seated in a 5 row radius a round of premium drinks. And thankfully, we were NOT flying Jet Blue. Hurrah!
2. Whenever our girls got bored, needed a change of pace, or threatened to decimate my in-laws place with their hijinks, all I had to mention was the “pool” and as if I had sprinkled fairy dust into the air, the girls got a glazed look in their eyes and a wistful far away look. Luckily, the pool was only steps away and although it took us approximately 21 minutes to actually get ready to go to the pool (swimsuits, cover ups, sun screen, swim diapers, pool toys, towels, one last trip to the bathroom, and away we go!), once we got there, it was fun for everyone. Well, maybe not everyone. A couple of days, I had single mother duty while my husband spent the morning attempting to make the Guiness Book of World Records for most lost golf balls in a 5-hour period. I spent those days frantically keeping one eye on Sarah, who adores diving and swimming in the deepest of the deep, and another on Katie, who adores giving me a heart attack by attempting to drown herself at any given opportunity. But all in all, the pool was a godsend and had the added bonus of exhausting our daughters so thoroughly, that bed time was, on most nights, a breeze.
3. Finally, while on our trip, my in-laws gave us the most priceless of gifts for parents of young children: free babysitting! Since neither Chris nor I have any relatives in Minnesota that we can offload our children onto, we routinely pay upwards of $13 an hour for a some needed relief from our parental duties. So maybe “priceless” isn’t the word…they gave us a gift roughly valued at $80 but you know what I mean. With our children under the care of their loving grandparents, Chris and I relived simpler times, when we dined at our leisure and finished conversations without interjecting threats of time-outs or sprinting with our 2-year old to the potty. We started our evening at 5pm(!), just in time to catch happy hour at Tommy Bahama’s fabulous 2nd story deck. We were serenaded by an acoustic guitar player who sang a wonderful blend of songs that made me feel both young and old at the same time. I partied like a rock star and ordered two drinks within 30 minutes so that we’d make the happy hour prices. Buzzed and happy, we sat enjoying the warm desert breezes and fantastic people watching: silver foxes with their trophy wives (or perhaps mistresses?), surgically enhanced cougars on the prowl for fresh meat, and millionaire baseball owners/Hollywood film producers out on the town. Then, after two hours of this delicious precursor to our evening, we set off for Sense. Modern, sleek, and welcoming, the restaurant offered a wonderful mix of classic dishes as well as plates for the more adventurous palate. I had a spicy and unforgettable sweetbread cornbread slider to start, poutine topped with hazelnut-fed escargot, truffle oil, and parmesan, and finally, roasted bone marrow with a pungent purple mustard. We ended the evening with a lovely slice of cheesecake that was simultaneously creamy and airy and drizzled with sweet macerated berries. Surprisingly, I did not end the night with an acute case of gout but rather, a happy, warm glow of satisfaction. Sigh.
Next post: the not so high points of our trip!