18 July 2014

If Only...

It was Dancing to the Oldies in the ballroom after dinner one night while we were cruising Europe.

I was sitting with the boyfriend's family as couples filled the dance floor. Cheek to cheek, and hand in hand they danced to love songs as the sun set. The family drifted off, coupled up, as I sat by myself. The boyfriend was off playing chess somewhere, I'd been told, and I sat there... 

Wanting to be that old couple some day. The ones who had seen it all, and still wanted to dance with each other, still smiled fondly, still laughed together. The ones who had years of memories, the "remember when's", the shared look of knowing what the other is thinking, feeling, remembering. The ones dancing to "Put Your Head On My Shoulder".

I love the family, and they love me. More so than the boyfriend does -and truthfully, more than I do him. I'm a convenience, I know, I fill the spot nicely.  No drama, no bumps, I know the right thing to say at the right moment in time.

His brothers adore me, and are the brothers I never had. We joke, we laugh, we watch out for each other. If only...

Instead of "remember when's", I have "if only's".

If only the family were enough.

11 July 2014

Back To Reality

 ♪♫♪♫...  Back to life, back to reality...   ♪♫♪♫ 

Europe was great, but it's back to reality for me.

Meaning 2 children and 1 hellion spawned by Jekyll and Hyde, masquerading as a teenager, home ALL THE TIME. It's summer holidays, and every morning the day starts with... "I'm bored. What can we do today?" before they've even finished breakfast. In between fielding conference calls, laundry, being a short order cook, and actually trying to work, the children's incessant pestering is driving me bonkers.

My sister was in Phoenix for work last week, so out of desperation I squeezed all the children and their associated piles of crap in the car and road-tripped to see her. There's a "water park" resort in Phoenix, close to the office, so my sis and I booked adjoining rooms and crossed our fingers that I'd make it there with sanity intact.

Hours driving to Phoenix: 4
Hours made it before the teen started complaining: 0.25
How many times I got lost: 1
How many times I wanted to tell the kids to get lost: 672
Bottles of wine waiting in the room: 1
Bottles of wine needed by the time I arrived: Screw the wine, where's the vodka?

Once we arrived though, and I got settled by the bar pool with my laptop, the kids disappeared into the water play areas and it went fairly smoothly. Days spent with only the occasional grumble by the kids, relaxing and catching up with my sister in the evenings while the kids veg'd out in front of the TV, and unusually cool weather for the desert.

Working poolside

All in all, it was great.

And then we had to come home, as my bank account has been complaining more loudly than the children recently... sigh.

27 June 2014

Picture Post

I walked city streets, drank wine in cafes, and climbed castle towers. I listened, with half an ear, as the tour guide droned on about the buildings in front of us, across the plaza, and up the hill. I watched, as elderly tourists walked clumsily upon the cobblestones, while young couples strolled hand in hand through winding streets.


08 June 2014

Game On, Young WhipperSnappers!

I'm on a retirement-age river cruise in Europe to celebrate the boyfriend's parents 50th anniversary, with the boyfriend and his 3 brothers (and their assorted girlfriends). We girlfriends and  siblings are the only guests under 70 on the ship.

Tonight, in the lounge after dinner, an older gentlemen next to us orders a Créme de Menthe on the rocks as a digestif. Seeing the look of horror on one of the brothers' face, he challenges the brother to try it. 

Challenge accepted.

Another Créme de Menthe is served. The brother swiftly tossed it back. His opinion, delivered with a charming grin and laughter?

"These old people are going to fuck us up!"

The old gentleman laughed, and replied, "Challenge accepted!"

The piano player breaks out into a Michael Jackson song, and the dance floor fills up with geriatric dancers moonwalking and busting a move.

Game on, young whippersnappers, game on.

30 May 2014

Back in the Saddle, err..Airline Seat... Again

Life has reverted to what was "normal" for me when I started this blog all those years ago... All work, all the time, and constant travel. The major difference is that I now get to "work" from home when I'm not traveling. As if that's even a remote possibility in a small house with 3 kids and a large dog underfoot? Whoever decided that telecommuting was a brilliant idea was obviously single, childless and had a goldfish as a pet. Because in any other situation, it Just. Doesn't. Work.

Fortunately for me, I get to travel and get away from the hellions relax for work sometimes. And sometimes travel and relax not for work. For example, this time next week I'll be on my way to Germany. The current man booked us this trip about a year ago, shortly after we started dating. Um, optimistic, anyone?

Anywho... here it is, now upon us. Two weeks of cruising the river Rhone, and me acquainting myself with German wines, seeing as I'm not so much a beer drinker. That is, in between conference calls for work and online video meetings. While June seemed a lovely month for a couple weeks in Europe, coming fresh on the heels of starting a new job may not have been the best timing. And workaholic that I am, I am feeling guilty about taking time off (although it must be noted that the new job came with a generous amount of vacation days. You'd think it's a French company or something.)

So while I have cute photos of old couples sitting side by side in wheelchairs holding hands in the airport...


and Scorpion Bowls and inappropriate shenanigans with my sister on our not-so-coincidentally coinciding work trips to exotic Phoenix... 

That's a LOT of yummy rum

I'll won't bore you with those... I'll wait to bore you with pictures from what will sure to be a scandalous and eyebrow-raising trip. Did I mention it's a retirement cruise line? For his parents' 50th anniversary? With his family? No? 

Bet you're jealous now, aren't you? A two week vacation with the boyfriend and his whole family. On a small boat. And did I mention they don't drink? Not to worry... I do.

Rieslings, here I come!