Saturday, February 23, 2013


UBUNTU in the Xhosa culture means "I am because we are."

(Thanks to my friend Anika for passing this gem of a message along.)

a clarification

My mom thought that my reference to having traveled to fewer than 5 states before I was 12 was a slight against my childhood (see my last post).  That was very much not the point I was trying to make.  It was a different time, the world was much larger than it is now, and people - at least most people in rural South Carolina - didn't travel like they do now.  Mac is leading a very different life than I led, but isn't that the way it's supposed to be?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Trips to Take Before You're Twelve

This afternoon on the shuttle ride home from work, I was flipping through the latest issue of Travel + Leisure magazine which landed on my desk today.  I was very interested to come across the article titled "12 Trips to Take Before You're Twelve".

Now by the time I was twelve, I could count the number of states I'd visited on one hand.  No need to take the glove off the other hand to use those digits.

Mac, on the other hand, is living a very charmed life by nearly anybody's standards. So I was interested to read where he "must" travel in the next 21 months.

According to T+L, every child should visit the following before age 12:

1.  Costa Rica's rain forest (pretty sure this one isn't going to happen for young Mac. He needs something to look forward to, right?)

2.  Skiing in Colorado (there's an outside chance this could happen.  Maybe.)

3.  Kauai (check the box.  Twice.)

4.  Disney Done Right (I'm pretty sure we didn't "do it right" per T+L's standards, but we've done it enough.)

5.  Alaska's Inside Package (this is Mac's all-time dream trip. I would love to make this happen sooner rather than later.)

6.  Maine Family Camp (pretty sure we can scratch this off the list.)

7.  A Great Urban Getaway in NYC, Washington, DC, and Chicago (He's done NYC and DC and we'll add Chi-Town at some point since that's one of my favorite big cities in the world.)

8.  The Annual Destination (that's a gimme for Mac - it's Folly Beach.  We'd have a mutiny on our hands if we skipped that.)

9.  Yellowstone Adventure (July 2013 or bust!)

10.  Affordable Atlantis (Mac has no memory of this but we went to the aquarium at Atlantis on a cruise stop when Mac was 2.  Technically, I believe we can check this box.)

11.  Colonial Williamsburg (I'm nearly 42 and I've never been there, but since we'll be in DC for the next 2 years, maybe we'll make a trip to check this box.)

12.  Ultimate Road Trips to include the Florida Keys, Utah's National Parks, and Olympic National Park in Washington (we intend to do some version of the Great American Road Trip this summer but it won't involve any of those places.)

Clearly we've got miles to go before we sleep....

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Random musings on V-Day

1.  These musings have nothing really to do with Valentine's Day. Jimmy is traveling, and the holiday has been a non-event at Casa Story. Mac and I ate V-Day cupcakes last night for dessert, and that was the sad extent of our celebration. Sad, right?  But...

2.  We are meeting Jimmy in San Andres tomorrow night for the long weekend. San Andres is a Colombian island way up in the Caribbean near Nicaragua.  Did you hear what I said?  Caribbean?  Hot?  Beach?  Blue water?  Now we're talking Valentine's Day. We've rented a house with friends with children Mac's age. I hope my biggest decision is which swimsuit to wear.

3.  Our dear childhood friend Jeremy's very cool, very hip wife, Jen, is launching her new business tomorrow. Check out her website - - for her totally original, totally fun, totally fresh children's clothing line. Even if you don't have babies or toddlers, you will most certainly want to buy something for someone who does.

4.  I think my last day of work is going to be May 31.  Between you and me, this day cannot come soon enough. Wow, it's been a long, bad couple weeks.

5.  We are moving back to DC in the summer, and this has me stressed. This will be the first time my sweet boy has gone to public school and that has me freaked out. I am researching schools and neighborhoods, which just fuels my freak-outty-ness. I know where I want to live, which means we're going to be the poor kids on the block. But hopefully Mac will be in a good school?

6.  I am on day two of Lent, which means day two without Facebook.  I have only wanted to check the site about 17 times in the last two days so I think that's pretty good.  I'm surviving.

Happy Valentine's Day to you and yours.  We wish you a lovely, lovey day.  Xxx

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


For Lent, I have decided to give up Facebook.

I am an unabashed FB lover. Maybe it's because we live far away from most of our friends or family, or maybe it's just because I'm a voyeur wannabe. Whatever the reason, I love checking people's statuses but I recognize that I spend too much time on FB.

So I've deactivated my account as of about 15 minutes ago.  Forty days seems like a very long time right now...

In related news, tonight while putting Mac to bed, I told him that Lent starts tomorrow and that I was giving up Facebook for the season. I asked him what he might give up, and he answered fruit.

Maybe I'll use the time I used to be on Facebook to teach him the significance of Lenten sacrifice.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Mac is home from school camp!

I picked up Mac this afternoon from his school camp. This year he went for 2 nights and 3 days to the town of Tobia.  (Tobia is where I had my near-death whitewater rafting experience nearly two years ago.  It is only because they took rafting off the camp agenda last year that I allowed Mac to go this year. Seriously.)

But I digress.  I know you don't want to hear - again - about my neurotic paranoia.

Anyway, I picked him up and he was so chatty and talkative. Here are my four favorite comments from the car ride home:

1.  "I didn't use the soap you sent when I took a shower. The water came out in such a trickle that there was no need to try to use soap."

(Parental note:  The parent in me is just glad that he actually got in the shower.  And they did swim in a pool a couple times, so he must have been relatively clean.  Right?)

2.  "The hotel where we stayed the second night was so cheap.  I dropped something under the bed and got on the floor to get it out and the wooden slats that held up the bed weren't long enough to go across the whole frame.  They didn't even buy long enough boards at that hotel."

(Parental note:  Having stayed in this hotel for two nights on the ill-fated trip, I know exactly what he's talking about. I'm pretty sure it doesn't even rate half a star.)

3.  "Did you know that the bus has a bathroom on it??????? I used it twice. It was like an airplane bathroom, but it was cool.

(Parental note:  Yuck.  Yuck.  Yuck.)

4.  "We had to take a survey at the end of the trip.  One of the questions was whether camp had made us try something that we thought we'd never try.  I answered "definitely". I would NEVER have tasted blackberry jam ever. And it was delicious."

(Parental note:  One day you're going to regret having missed years' worth of delicious food because you were so sure it would be horrible.)

Mac is now freshly showered and clothes are in the washing machine. Check the box for another successful camp trip!