Wanna hear something crazy? (That was rhetorical, because of course I'm gonna tell you anyway...but if you didn't want to know, you wouldn't be here, right? Now, where was I...) Oh, yeah: it was just about 13 months ago, on an unexpectedly, un...wanted....ly (sure, it's a word) snowy day during the boys' Spring Break from school, when I hatched the Grand Get-the-Heck-Out-of-Maryland Scheme. Originally, it was focused entirely on relocating to my dream destination--Northern California--which we explored on our Summer vacation, taking notes for a possible westward move. But then in the Fall, Husband discovered that his work situation was not conducive to a cross-country transfer, so the original agenda had to be scrapped.
However, we quickly regrouped, and a new plot began to form...one in which we still achieved our goals of 1) finding new pastures (so to speak) in which to roam and 2) escaping the harsh bonds of Mid-Atlantic Winters. Thus we began burning up the interstates between here and North Carolina--on an initial recon trip, and subsequent house-hunting ventures. Fast-forward to the present: our house has been sold, and we're going to settlement tomorrow. We also have a contract on a home in Chapel Hill, that hopefully will be finalized in early June. So, my point is (at last): from the germination of Plan A; to testing it, discarding it and initializing Plan B; to completing the necessary field-research and implementing the actual move...approximately 15 months will have passed, all told. (Can I just say, "Jeez Louise, no wonder my head is spinning!!")
As the days count down to the introduction of our Southern Story, Team WestEnders has begun to compile a Bucket List of sorts, one that involves "stuff we would like to do before vacating Maryland". Sometimes the items come to us randomly--like when we were driving one day and spotted a restaurant we like from the highway. Husband mused, "Hmm, should we go there one last time?" Why yessss, we should...for my birthday lunch, in fact! (We checked that one off today--and boy, was it yummy...) While we were on the subject, I asked each of the Male Posse what else they felt a burning need to accomplish in the remainder of our allotted Maryland time. Derek immediately mentioned a steakhouse we took him to when he was, like, 4, and that he apparently remembers so fondly that he simply MUST eat there again. Oh-kaaaay...Husband jumped in and offered to have a "carnivores' outing" for his own birthday lunch next month. (Which means...Bonus Alone Time for Mom....Win/Win!)
After that, I quickly clarified that I was looking for "non-food-related activities", lest we spend the next 60 days noshing our way out of the state. So, Husband wants to ramble through the National Zoo and bid farewell to all residents furry, feathery, and scaly. Derek wants to do the local ziplining course again. I'd like to ride my bike on the Capital Crescent Trail. We ALL agree that an Orioles game must be squeezed in somehow. And finally, Husband decided that one more excursion is in order to what he calls "the ancestral homeland" (Um, yeah, the rest of us just know it as "Pittsburgh", but whatever...) before that particular drive doubles in length. Furthermore, while in the Steel City, certain things will be prioritized, namely: spending time with his Pennsylvania relatives, cheering on the Pirates at PNC Park, taking a ride up the Incline, and...visiting the denizens of the Pittsburgh Zoo. (I know, right: again with the animals...)
Between these items on the Must-Do List, the plethora of social engagements sprinkled liberally across our calendar...and of course the requisite packing and whatnot...the only thing we might be achieving significantly LESS of...is sleep...so please remind me to put "Daily Naps" at the top of the Very Important Tasks page (in between ceremonial meals...and time spent with local nature and her creatures, of course...I'd better go get some rest, I'm worn out just thinking about all this...impending fun!)