Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Weekend Escape Part 2: A Tale of Two Weekends

To describe what I was doing last weekend at the Manic Mommies Escape, I thought I'd compare this weekend to last weekend.

This Friday, I went to the gym and the post office and otherwise stayed home and played with the kids. I made grilled cheese and sweet potatoes for dinner.

Last Friday, I spent the day traveling. I flew out of Philadelphia airport enroute to San Francisco airport at 7:45am. On what was kind of a non-stop flight, we stopped in Chicago to drop off a sick flight attendant, we stopped in Denver to pick up some more passengers and we finally landed in LA where I was able to deplane. At least I met two wonderful ladies on the flight. I can't think of a time when I've chatted for a whole flight with strangers.

I caught another flight into SF that was delayed by fog. I finally landed about an hour and a half later than scheduled and picked up my rental car. Luckily, I was just in time to get stuck in rush hour traffic on the Oakland Bay Bridge en route to Napa.

By the time I got to Napa, I had been traveling for 16 hours. I was apprehensive about getting there late and not knowing anybody when I finally arrived. However, I was quickly directed to the free drinks and then out to check in and get my badge. I just sat myself down with a few ladies who were waiting in the lounge, introduced myself and had instant friends.

The highlight of Friday was the comedy show. The show was called One Funny Mother by Dena Blizzard. I was laughing so hard that tears were coming down my face. I also appreciated the huge array of Dove Chocolate we could just dig into and the fruits and veggie hors d'oeurves. There were also choco'tinis which were the signature drink of the night. It was good but a little rich once I'd already inhaled a lot more chocolate.

Now on to Saturday. This Saturday was another day in the house. We got the dog out for a desperately needed walk, even walking the long loop around the lake in windy, misty weather. I checked out damage from the storm. It was mostly limited to trampolines (3 of them!) and a few pieces of fencing. In the afternoon, I got crazy and rearranged toys! Dinner consisted of yogurt, pasta, peanut butter crackers and fresh from the oven french fries. (By the time the fries were ready, the kids didn't even want any, so they were purely my guilty pleasure. But they weren't even that good.)

Last Saturday was a little different. I attempted to sleep in but sleeping in these days is 8am and that's 5am on the west coast. I managed to lounge in bed for another few hours. Hotel breakfast came along with another moment of introducing myself to random strangers and making some new friends.

Amy Nobile & Trisha Ashworth, the authors of "I'd Trade My Husband for a Housekeeper" and "I Was a Really Good Mom Before I Had Kids" had a seminar that was amusing and interesting. Then I went to book club with the author of "The Wednesday Sisters," Meg Waite Clayton.

The afternoon was a wine tour of the valley with stops at two wineries. We boarded plush coaches and I got my first views of the Napa Valley's wineries and beautiful scenery. We had lunch at the first winery, Flora Springs and got to tour their caves and taste a 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon out of two different barrels - one American Oak and the other French Oak. I was impressed that I could actually taste the difference. At our second winery, Rutherford, we got a more in-depth look at how they actually make the wine and gorgeous views while we tasted.

For dinner, I met up with a group of 7 new ladies that I had never met and we had a great time at Farm. It was a delicious meal with great company.

On Sunday in Napa, there were a few seminars in the morning that I wanted to go to. I was sitting in the first one when I got a headache and started feeling nauseous. I ran back to my room and was sick. I felt pretty miserable for a couple of hours and finally felt better after lying in bed. I don't know if it was a touch of food poisoning or what. I was very relieved that I was feeling well enough to check out and drive back to San Francisco but I was upset at missing the last few sessions. I didn't have to be in SF at any particular time, so I did some outlet shopping on the way back. I wasn't feeling the greatest but when you don't have many opportunities to shop by yourself, you go anyway.

I was on a plane back to Philly on Monday morning, super early. It was a great weekend away and everyone was very friendly and fun to meet. I think traveling to the west coast for only a weekend might have been a bit much and required a lot more planning than I had intended but overall, I'm glad I went. I can't wait to hear where it's going to be next year and I'll definitely recruit some of my friends to go.

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