I’m wondering if you can relate to this scenario in some form or fashion. I’m talking about the Special Occasion Countdown. How it should go vs. How it really happens.
On Monday of this week, I received a surprise phone call from my niece, Sarah.
“Hi, Aunt Rae. Mom and I are booking a 2-night getaway for this week on Kent Island in Maryland, and you’re coming with us!”
“Oh, really. Are you kidnapping me, or something?”
“Yup. Something like that.”
“Hmmm, I don’t know. I have to check with Uncle Scott and see if I can move some commitments around. Maybe for a day and a half.”
“Ok, great. We’ll meet you there on Wednesday.”
“Um, yeah. Ok. We’ll see…”
How could I possibly resist? First of all, I hadn’t had quality time with my sister, Michelle, since our trip to Vermont, last summer. This would be a first; taking my niece, Sarah, along. She is the most extraordinary ten year old girl I know. Beautiful, inside and out, with such a lively personality. I knew it was a wonderful opportunity for some memorable girl time. Last but not least, I had never been to Kent Island in Maryland before.
Kent Island is the largest island in the Chesapeake Bay, and a historic place in Maryland. At only four miles wide, the main waterway of the bay is at its narrowest at this point and is spanned here by the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Kent Island is the oldest English settlement within the present day state of Maryland and the third oldest permanent English settlement in the United States, after Jamestown, Virginia and Plymouth, Massachusetts. (See Reference)
Thankfully, Scott approved. Within 48 hours I was on the road with a bag packed with sneakers, a sports bra, a long t-shirt, a bathing suit, sunscreen, lipstick, my toothbrush, a sundress and hat, flip flops, and running shorts. Oh, and a bottle of my favorite red wine from the Finger Lakes, NY.
This was a leave-your-make-up-at-home kind of a trip, if ya know what I mean. Our objective was to spend time at a lovely and historic (of course) Inn, on the water, so we could spend time outdoors being adventurous, natural, and carefree!
Whenever my sister and I get together, the playful little tom-girl comes out in both of us. She and I are convinced that we were not born to be city girls. (Although we can play the part, when necessary.) But, we appreciate the beauty and boundlessness of the outdoors.
Okay, we only had three FREAK OUT moments…
1.) When we were swimming in the pool and there was a water beetle darting from my head to Michelle’s head! (I think they like the smell of shampoo). EW! It’s on YOU now!! Get it off!!
2.) When there was a mosquito in our room. Oh, no you didn’t! I‘m not going to bed until this thing is dead!
3.) When I dropped my kayak oar in the bay water and begged my sister (since she is older) to retrieve it for me. I can’t see the bottom! I’m gonna step on a jelly fish or something!
Seriously, aside from being “skeeved out” (Sorry. That’s South-Philly Italian lingo) by bugs and murky waters, we totally loved the time outdoors.
Sarah had a wonderful time, hanging out with the big girls. And, she kept up with us, for sure! She ran beside me for part of our wog/hike to the beach. She kayaked with mom in the bay. And, she captured great photos and videos of her mom and me being completely uninhibited. (This was a first for her.)
Here’s a little recap of our 28 Hours together…
* We arrived at the Kent Manor Inn around noon, on Wednesday. We spent the afternoon taking pictures of the beautiful property and hanging out at the pool (which we shared only with a few bugs and one slimy green frog).
* We spent the late afternoon enjoying a private happy-hour on the back porch of the Inn, with a bottle of wine, cheese, and crackers.
* We spent our evening out at Fisherman’s Inn & Crabdeck enjoying steamed crabs (I had Mahi Mahi), feeding the ducks in the bay, and playing a few rounds of bean-bag toss.
* Our night ended back in our suite, just in time before the thunderstorm!
* Thursday Morning: Breakfast was ready for us by the time we got downstairs around 8:30am.
Here is a video clip my niece Sarah captured of Michelle and I wogging in the park. I was trying to get Michelle to “pick her knees up”, but she was claiming that having a recently broken knee cap is something that can hinder her performance. Ok, whatever! It’s still worth the opportunity to slap each other around! http://youtu.be/r5d9RzRC4qo
* After a filling lunch, we took out kayaks (owned by the Kent Manor Inn) and enjoyed some time kayaking in the Chesapeake Bay. It was a perfect day (80° and sunny). Even though Sarah almost “wigged out” on us, mom was able to coax her in her Kayak with remarkable maternal skills. (I give my sister credit for refusing to allow Sarah to be a fearful child. ) Unfortunately, I left my phone/camera in the room. So, I don’t have any pictures of this excursion. It was pure beauty!
* As much as I wanted to stay, I was on the road by 5pm, heading home to my hubby and thanking God for such a lovely memory!
A few days ago, I went for a wog in a beautiful historic neighborhood in Camden County, New Jersey. (Wogging is jogging with intervals of walking breaks.) There was a time in my life that I used to run like a gazelle. Once, a college professor of mine spotted me running on campus and later told me that I ran with such grace and speed it reminded him of a gazelle.
Those days are officially over.
Nowadays, if you see me exercising outdoors, chances are I am on a wog. And, I probably look like I am headed to the nearest bathroom facility.
Nevertheless, I make it a point to wog in locations that have beautiful scenery. That’s one of the perks to exercising outdoors, right? In this particular historic neighborhood, I couldn’t help but to slow it down to snap some photos along the way. I even passed a lemonade stand with two adorable blonde-haired boys.
I yelled from across the street, “If I make it back to my car alive, I will come back and buy some lemonade!”
Here are some photos of a historic neighborhood, taken during my wog.
This was a pleasant wog. I enjoyed the scenery and ended up going a further distance than I had anticipated. When I finally made it back to my car, I was very thirsty and very hot! I could barely untie my knotted shoelace to remove my car key to turn on the AC in my car…before I was about to pass out…
Ah! That felt good. Once I cooled off, I drove back to that adorable lemonade stand. My afternoon wog ended with a delicious and cold lemonade, served by two adorable little boys, in a mini dixie cup.
I only wish I had a porch swing to have taken a late afternoon nap. Oh, well. Perhaps someday at The House on High Street.
Last year was the first time I had visited Ithaca, and I immediately fell in love with it.
Last week, Scott and I hit an all-time high with anxiety and exhaustion.
For me, it was my routine time-of-the-month in which I want to crawl out of my skin due to pain and discomfort. For Scott, it was a combination of physical and mental exhaustion from work and managing the reno for The House on High Street.
As I write this, my heart is heavily burdened in reading the news story about the woman in Sudan who was sentenced to death…because of her faith. (You can read about it here.)
It made me think for a moment. What if that happened to me? Would I be courageous enough to stand up for my faith in Jesus Christ?Gosh, I hope so. And, what about life in the Sudan…or so many other places in the world, where there is so much persecution? Who am I to complain about anything? And, why do I worry so much about everything, when I know God tells me ‘to be anxious for NOTHING’? (Phil. 4:6)