Monday, April 25, 2016

The Bridal Shower . . .

The future Bride and Groom . . . Surprise!

When my older daughter started planning her wedding she advised me there will be no wedding party. I realized that her sister and I would have to throw her a shower if she was going to have one.  As I said in my blog about the wedding, it’s been 33 years since I have been to a wedding or shower. I had no clue what to do. To make it easy on us, I knew I wanted to have it at a nice restaurant. Right after the holidays of 2015 we started to look into places we could have the shower and what lies we needed to come up with so my daughter would not be suspicious.

First thing we had to do was come up with a list and get the invitations. As it turned out the list was not very long at all. We had 15 to 20 names and expected about 15 people to come. I had wanted to get a private room, but 15 people fell well below the 25 or 30 minimum required. I spoke to my neighbor, who attends weddings and showers almost every other week. She is my expert! She took me to a local Italian restaurant with a nice decor and easy parking. They told me they could set up the tables and give me a separate table for the gifts. It didn’t matter how many showed up the day of the shower, they could easily set the table accordingly. That was a load off my mind. I made reservations for April 24th, the day before my daughter’s birthday, and tell her to save that date because we are taking her out to dinner for her birthday . . . it’s her last birthday as a single woman. Never hurts to add a little guilt. She fell for it.

Me and my baby!

Now I had the little problem of getting her to dress up so she would look nice in the pictures. What to do? I explain to her that her younger sister has a few new dresses in her closet and was looking forward to wearing one to dinner. I asked her if she would wear something nice and we would all dress up since it’s a Sunday. She agreed. That was easy. She must really be preoccupied with the wedding because her usual inquisitiveness and tendency to ask unending questions were turned off. All she wanted to know is what kind of restaurant we are going to and that was it.

Meanwhile, I ordered a beautiful cake from local bakery. Just my luck that when we went to pick it up the main street the bakery is on was closed for some ridiculous “fair.”  I had to walk three blocks uphill to pick it up and carry it back to the car where my husband was waiting. The cake was loaded with two layers of pudding so it was a little heavy, just sayin'.  And before going for cake I went to pick up a few balloons, adding birthday balloons so I would not be “lying” about the birthday dinner. When we finally get home from those little errands, my husband and I decide to load up the car with the gifts. Since the number of people was uncertain, my younger daughter and I bought about 16 gifts. We wanted the bride to have a few things to open to make the day memorable. It might have been overkill. Oh well.

Meet the Parents!

I told everyone the date of the shower and sent the invitations out 2 weeks later, in February.  To cut a long story very short, over the course of two months, the number of people coming kept dwindling from 15 to 12 to 11 to 9. But my future son in law’s mother said her two sons and husband would be coming to drop off her and her daughter in law at the restaurant. That’s when I told her the men should join us. I’ll have them set up a separate table for them nearby. I was really happy to have them there for this special occasion. I was especially surprised to see my future SIL’s brother and wife there. They had just gotten home at 1:30 AM the night before after a 20 hour flight from Thailand!  And yet, less than 12 hours later, they were at my daughter’s shower. I will never forget the fact they were there. In fact all the right people were there to share this little celebration with us. We had a very nice dinner, the service was great. The gifts were opened. The cake was delicious. No one rushed us. Everyone enjoyed themselves. 

We had a total of 6 guys who also doubled as photographers! We ended up with 15 people in the end. And since this was a Shower/Birthday, I think everything turned out even better than I hoped for and planned. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Wedding Planner . . .

Engagement picture

The Wedding Planner I am not. The last wedding I have been to and planned was my own, 33 years ago this coming June. Things have changed quite a bit over the past 33 years. Most notably the cost of everything has exploded beyond my wildest imagination. But, my little girl is getting married, and I wanted her to have everything the way she and her fiancé want it. I didn't give my opinion unless I was asked. This is her day. No one told us what to do and I have no regrets about my wedding. I am hoping the same for my daughter.

This has been quite a little whirlwind in the making. They got engaged July 4th, 2015 and my daughter wanted to get married as soon as reasonably possible . . . so she figured a year would be plenty of time to plan. I was a little overwhelmed thinking she doesn’t have enough time, but she is well organized and figured she could take care of everything in a timely manner. Okay, great, as long as I don't have to plan it I didn't care. First she needed a venue. The venues get booked well in advance. They found a place they liked. They considered the available dates and took the first one that was open. My husband and I went there with them, checkbook in hand. Did I mention the venue is not too far from us, but in a heavily trafficked area?  This means we need to stay at a hotel near the venue the night before and night of the wedding. I guess you could call it a destination wedding? I book two rooms for us, check check.

Next on the list Photographer, DJ and Master of Ceremonies, check, check check (literally). These are things I told them they can’t skimp on so make sure they are highly recommended or reviewed. Pictures will last you the rest of your life and you need people who know how to keep a wedding lively and entertaining. Oh and we need engagement pictures, which came out terrific and were a bargain! Next we go shopping for wedding dress on December 6th, 2015. The place seemed to have millions of gowns. You have to make an appointment so you get your own personal assistant help you pick out and try on the gowns. When I went for my gown 33 years ago I saw one I loved in a magazine, they had it at a local store. I went there, tried it on and bought it. My daughter tried on a few different gowns based on what she told the assistant she wanted. She found one that looked beautiful on her and that was enough for her. I pay one half the cost and we all got nice canvas tote bags with the store logo on it. One tiny little glitch. They are already booked for alterations till July so she has to get her own seamstress to alter it. They have to order her size and it will take 4 months for it to come in. That puts us in April. No worries. I look online and find a recommended seamstress that we are seeing this week for the first fitting. Check.

Oh but now we need the Mother of the Bride gown and her sister needs a dress as well. I expressed interest in a pink dress since it's a summer wedding. My daughter did not approve of pink. I was informed "Pink" is for babies. "But, I look good in pink,” I say. That argument didn't sway her. She started sending me links to gowns in burgundy, dark green, purple, etc. I forget what she called them, I think it was jewel tones. I didn't want to stress her out, but I didn't want to wear a dark fall color in July . . . shoot me. Instead I say, “okay sweetie, we'll go look and see what they have and what looks good on me.” Meanwhile, my husband, who has had a brand new gray suit sitting around for 20 years, has gained 10 pounds. So off we go to get him a new suit, shirt, tie, socks etc. not to wait till the last minute. And, as soon as the holidays are over and before the blizzard hits, we go to the mall and shop for my gown and my younger daughter's dress. We both found dresses we liked and the bride-to-be approved. Hallelujah. My gown ended up being a silver color with sparkly gems all over it. Well, we are making some good progress. However, now we all need shoes, especially the bride and I, who are having alterations done. My younger daughter and I also need evening bags and jewelry. The bride needs jewelry. My daughter expressed an interest in opal earring and pendant to wear on her wedding day. We went shopping and found a nice set. I decided it would be her birthday present and we got them. 

What else could we need?  The wedding favors? They are on the way. Check. The Save the Date and Wedding Invitations, done and done. We need a box to hold the wedding cards the night of the wedding . . . on the way. We need a nice frame to hold the wedding pictures of three sets of grandparents who will be missed from the celebration. We need table numbers in gold. We need a suitable cake topper. In my day everyone had the same cake topper, but you'd be surprised at all the variations there are today. There are almost as many cake toppers as there are wedding gowns!  I'm just waiting for the bride to advise me which items she needs me to order. 

Now you might think we are done. Nope. My daughter, the bride, with her beautiful full dress with the extra long train, has decided we will all get in Uber cabs to go take pictures at the park. Yes, you read right. Uber cabs in July with a big ass wedding dress. I tell her we need limos. Since she made up her mind to take Uber cabs, she has thrown the limousines back into my lap. She finds me one place who wants $1,701 for two basic 9 passenger limos. I am not getting a good feel about this place. I try for 6 weeks to find another company. Suddenly a five star reviewed limo company pops up on my laptop screen. I call to make an appointment to speak to the owner. Long story short, he charged me $400 LESS and threw in a complimentary limo at the end of the wedding to take the newly weds back to the hotel!  Booked and check paid in full. The lesson here is to trust your gut feeling!

Oh and I almost forgot! You might remember that we will not be at home the day before and day of the wedding.  That poses another little problem called hair and makeup. Normally you would go to your own salon the morning of the wedding, that's what I did. But we won't be home. So I ask my hair stylist and her makeup artist if they could come to the hotel and do the hair and makeup of me and my daughters. Since the photographer plans to come at 11 AM to take some pictures, they would need to come early on a Saturday. Like maybe 7 AM. I speak to my hairstylist and bring my daughters there so she can look at there hair. She agrees to come. That's a load off my mind.

Now that's not all there is to it. I'm sure I forgot a half dozen to a dozen things along the way. My brain tries to protect me from stress. I’ve been crocheting a lot not to think of anything. It works just fine for me. I have made my husband take me to Michael’s a couple dozen times, maybe more. I have crocheted another five afghans and other things. Pounds of yarn later we are three months away from the wedding day.  

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Madame Secretary, A Conspiracy Theory . . .

I only watched a few episodes of Madame Secretary last season. The acting is very good. It conveniently aired right before my favorite show, The Good Wife, which I never miss. It seemed like a good opportunity for me to extend my quality television viewing. However, something didn’t sit well with me from the beginning. I had a feeling that this show was indirectly about Hillary Clinton. Two women with blonde hair acting as Secretary of State was a little too much of a coincidence for me, not to mention the timing. I got the impression that by making people like this character they would somehow transfer these positive feelings to Hillary. A subliminal brainwashing of sorts. Anyway, that was my state of mind and it’s my conspiracy theory. For some unknown reason CBS is trying to help Hillary’s campaign and Lord knows she could use it.

I couldn’t take to the show. There were too many hostages that needed rescuing around the world. Madame Secretary never used “legal” channels for her rescuing. She would hire people in foreign countries, our enemies, to accomplish the rescue and then take the flack after the fact. In one episode, maybe the last one I watched, she actually asked her husband, a college professor, to give this Russian kid an A so they would release the hostages. Seriously. Her husband balked at the idea for a while, not willing to compromise the integrity of his position. Madame Secretary needles him for a while and works out some compromise until the poor guy gives in and does what she wants.  I stopped watching. The plot lines are too ridiculous for me to stay tuned in.

This season has just premiere with Madame Secretary becoming President and taking the oath of office. We see the commercial and my husband laughs and says, “This could never happen.” He explains to me that she is FOUR people away from the Oval Office. But somehow the writers conveniently manage to get rid of those four people so she could step in. How did they do that? The President and Speaker of the House are on Air Force One and their plane goes missing. This happens the same day as the Vice President is having gall bladder surgery. The President Pro Tem of the Senate isn’t capable of taking office either due to a series of mini strokes that have affected his ability to make decisions. You see what I mean? The lengths they go through to get Madame Secretary into that Oval Office are just unbelievable. If that doesn’t validate my conspiracy theory, what does?

And now, we get to see a woman who was Secretary of State, run the country and get a preview of what it might be like with Hillary as President. And CBS wasted no time making sure she moved up the ranks while Hillary is sliding dow the polls. Is this a coincidence too? Maybe CBS gave Hillary’s campaign a lot of money and the proof is in this missing emails? Someone should look into this for me. 

Meanwhile Hillary keeps saying that Madame Secretary s her favorite show. I wonder why?

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Half Empty Nest Syndrome . . .

This weekend, after seven years of dating, getting engaged and setting a wedding date, my older daughter has decided it’s time to move out of our home. It’s a big step. A milestone. It’s the natural progression of events. It’s the way things are done today. I’ve been expecting this day to come. It’s not a surprise. She has been semi moved out for years already, spending half her time here and half with her fiancé. She has to live her life the way she wants to and she has a good head on her shoulders. I know she is happy because I hear it in her voice and see it on her face. That’s all I have ever wanted for her. We’ve been blessed to have her home for 28 years, and now her future is with her fiancé, who we love. 

But now I have a half-empty nest. My emotions are conflicted at the moment. I am very happy for my daughter and feel blessed she has found a man she can share her life with and who makes her happy. It’s the circle of life getting fuller, but I am feeling a little empty right now. I know it will pass in time, but I miss her already.

I miss seeing her face in the morning as she comes down the stairs, still half asleep with her cell phone in hand. How she looks around the kitchen for something to eat, and nothing appeals to her. How she quickly accepts my offer to make her something small, while she sits at the table staring into the little screen reading God knows what. I miss how she will look up and tells me the the latest news or a fascinating piece of information that she has discovered. After breakfast she would go upstairs to get ready for work. It’s doesn’t take long. She has this down to a science. Then she comes down with her bags, gets the lunch I’ve made her from the refrigerator and heads out the door to work as we exchange “I love you’s.” It’s very quiet here this morning.

The nights she would come home for dinner I would hold off dinner until she was home, even though she arrived between seven and eight. It’s much later than our usual dinner time at 5:30, but I enjoy it when we all eat together and talk about our days. She shares some funny stories from work, or rants about the things that frustrate her. We’ll watch some television together after dinner. I’ll let her pick out whatever she wants to see so she can enjoy the little time she has before bedtime. I’ll offer her favorite snacks like peaches or strawberries with whipped cream, ice cream, cheese cake, but she only says yes half the time. Mostly, she will snack on the cheese doodle snacks I keep handy because I know what she likes. And, because she has already had a very long day, she will head up to bed at 10 P.M. She’s tired. Even though I would love to spend a few more minutes with her, I don’t try to stop her. She needs her sleep. She has always needed her sleep. She got me in trouble with the nurse the day she was born because I couldn’t wake her up to feed her her bottle. I tried everything they told me. I tickled her feet, I opened the blanket so she would feel cool. Nothing worked. The nurse yelled at me saying I should have pressed the call button and asked for help. Oh well, it never occurred to me. My baby needs her sleep.

What I have been doing is a lot of reminiscing over the last 28 years. I’ve been thinking of all the joy and happiness this little sleepy baby has brought into our lives every day. How she made the most ordinary days special with her laughter. How she made us laugh from the time she uttered her first words. “I can’t eat right now, I’m calculating,” she would tell my mother as she played with the calculator at age three. At age two and a half she looked up at me in Hallmark while we were looking at pocket calendars for my brother and said, “Let’s get him a sophisticated one.” Or how at age two she would know how to appropriately insert “in my opinion” and “as a matter of fact” into our dinner conversations. We never knew what would come out of her little mouth. But we knew she was beautiful, intelligent, had a wonderful sense of humor and compassion. At seven years old she came home to find I had put new curtains on the windows. “You bought new curtains? There was nothing wrong with the old curtains.” I explain they were old and I wanted a change. “You could have given that money to the homeless. They have no place to live. We have a house and the old curtains were still good.” Even then there was no arguing with her logic, so I tried some of my own. “Okay,” I said, “Tell you what we’ll do. Instead of Christmas presents this year and more toys, we’ll give that money to the homeless.” Dead silence. 

So many memories, conversations shared, even arguments. We had our first argument when she was two years old and I wanted to record her saying the alphabet, but she refused. I have that whole argument on tape, but no alphabet. I take out the camera and tell her to say the alphabet. “No.” I beg her please just sing it for me one time. “No, you sing.” I tell her that her kids will want to see it, and she’s aggravating me. “You’re aggravating me!” I tell her she is being a haunt. “You’re a haunt.” End of that argument. But there would be more arguing in our future when she hit those “terrible teens.” We hit a rough patch, but we survived. A couple of years later she actually said the words every mother longs to hear, “Can I ask your opinion about something?” I nearly fainted, my little girl had grown up! 

No matter how old or wise she gets, she will always be my little girl. She will always be my sweet pea who curls her hair with her finger as she falls to sleep. 

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Mom's Candle . . .

While we were in Lancaster, PA and browsing through all the specialty shops in Kettle Kitchen, my daughter was busy smelling candles. She turns to me and tells me to smell the one in her hand. I knew that smell well, but I couldn't identify it immediately. The name of the candle, made by 1803, is called Lavender Linen. I take another smell and tell her, "It smells like my mother." Of course she didn't remember my mother’s scent, but she is partial to the fresh linen scent. Maybe because she spent so much of her baby and toddler years being held, cuddled and hugged by grandma. I took another whiff of this candle, that stirred up so many memories of my childhood, when my daughter turned to me an said I’m buying this for you. I told her she didn’t have to, but she insisted, saying “You said it smells like Grandma.” My first thought was to let my brother smell it and see if he had the same feeling as I did. 

About a week later, my brother was visiting me and I suddenly remembered the candle. I brought it down and opened it for him to smell. “What does this smell like,” I asked. He said it smelled familiar, he knew the scent, but couldn’t put his finger on it. I gave him some time, but he could identify it. He asks me what I think it smells like. I said, “Mom.” He nodded and smelled it again. 

My mother, who never wore perfume and used Camay soap, always washed her laundry and hung it out to dry on the clothesline. The fragrance from her freshly laundered clothes, that crisp linen smell, was strong and almost intoxicating. This simple candle captured it perfectly. Suddenly, I had the urge to try and purchase more of these candles. I checked online and the scent has been discontinued by the manufacturer, their remaining candles sold out. I don’t recall the store we purchased the one I have, so I checked all the stores in Kettle Kitchen online. None of them advertised the scent, probably because it’s been discontinued. In any case it’s no where to be found online. 

I’m not going to light this candle unless I find another one just like it somewhere on a store shelf.  I love it. My daughter must have been instinctually aware of it significance, more so than I was that moment in the store. I’m so happy she bought it for me. Every time I smell it I’m transported back in time, to kisses and hugs, to unconditional love . . . to mom. 

Friday, September 4, 2015

Politics, What Do I Know?

What do I know about politics? Probably next to nothing. I have never been interested in politicians until Barack Obama ran for office. I started to pay more attention to the issues and political platforms of those running because I knew this was going to be a historical election. It was possible, that for the first time in our nation's history, a black man was running for office and actually could win. I should have stopped paying attention after the election because politics, politicians and the political process only serve to increase my already high blood pressure. But, even paying attention, I still know relatively little and yet have so many opinions.
Now for my little rant. Since Obama won the election back in 2008, Republicans have been complaining about his leadership. They hate Obama Care. He doesn't do anything about illegal aliens. He made a bad deal with Iran. The list is endless. I can understand some of their points of view. So what have they done in the last eight years to prepare for the election in 2016? I see a dozen Republicans all trying to get the nomination. Many are saying the stupidest things that are sure to lose them support with voters. I am not going to point them all out as examples right now and risk having a stroke. My question is why are there a dozen candidates at this point?
The party had eight years to groom someone and get them ready for this critical election. They knew Hillary Clinton was going all out on the Democratic Party ticket. They knew she had lots of support and money. Hell she has been grooming herself by first becoming Senator of New York, like she gave a damn about us. Then she maneuvered herself into the Secretary of State position to gain more support. Everyone knew her strategy. And, the Republicans knew Obama could not run again in 2016 and that Joe Biden probably wouldn't be running. So here's my question: Why didn't the Republican Party take that eight years and go find someone in their party who they could groom to be the next president? Someone who would appeal to Republicans and Democrats alike? Someone who understands the issues and speaks intelligently about them and has concrete ideas for fixing what is wrong with this country. Why are we watching 12 candidates who are all losing in the polls to Donald Trump? Donald Trump! Now don't get me wrong, Donald is very entertaining to watch and listen to. He talks off the top of his head without a censor. He makes me laugh, but that is not a quality I am looking for in a President. And still he is ahead in the polls . . . way ahead in fact. The only reason I can think of for that is that he is saying what many people are thinking and feeling in this country. I will give him credit for one thing, he has gotten me back interested in the election. He has made me aware of the other 12 candidates, many of whom I have never heard of before. He keeps tabs on them and them tweets everything they say and do. I love it! But at the same time I am afraid he just might get elected. I am afraid the Republican Party has fallen down on the job. They needed a solid candidate to run, not an army of politicians dividing up the party into little pieces. That's my opinion anyway. This feels like a three ring circus where a dozen clowns come out of a little car and run around.
This leaves me with the impression that the Republican Party doesn't have one solid candidate that we can take seriously. When Donald Trump is there front runner, what else is there to think? And maybe the Republican Party doesn't want to win the election after all. Maybe they know they can't fix all the things they claim they can? Maybe they just like to complain about what the Democrats are doing and put up road blocks?

I may lean towards the Democrat side in politics, but right now I am not happy with Hillary at all. I would welcome a good solid candidate from either side to lead this country. Unfortunately, right now, I am not seeing anyone I can put my faith in to vote for.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Lancaster, P.A. Revisited . . .

The "old" Lancaster Map

When the girls were much younger, we took a couple of trips to Lancaster, PA aka Amish country. We did all the “tourtisty” things including: the Amish Buggy Ride, tours of the houses, farms and school, experiencing the “family style” dinners, enjoying the “shoo-fly pie” and apple butter. We shopped for souvenirs and assorted jellies, jams, peanut butter. We didn’t leave any stone unturned. However, as the girls got a little older (13 and 16) Lancaster became less enchanting and the simple lifestyle of the Amish more boring. They weren’t interested in going there even for a short family vacation any more. But now, 12 years later, both of them suddenly agreed to come with us for a four day weekend. Granted it was my birthday weekend and I had just finished dealing with a health scare, so maybe they were feeling generous? I wasn’t about to talk them out of it by asking why they agreed to go. So we packed.

The ride to Lancaster was uneventful except for some traffic getting out of the city, which added an hour to the trip. We had a bite to eat, checked into the hotel and then went shopping at the Rockvale outlets, surrounding the hotel. This was not only our first day away, but the first day of a heat wave of over 90 degree weather. That really sums up the whole trip, eating, shopping and dying of the heat. We saw cows, horses, and Amish people. We spent all our cash and our Kohl’s cash too. We had a few laughs. We filled up the trunk of our car until there was almost no room left for the luggage. So why did this trip mean so much to me and fill my eyes with tears?

Nostalgia. Ever since the kids were born we went on family vacations. Almost all of them were along the eastern seacoast, from Massachusetts to Florida. We always looked forward to spending that time together and doing new things. We enjoyed some places so much we went back two, three or more times. In their early years there wasn’t anything unusual about us all eating our meals together at home, it was a regular routine. But, as the girls got older, this ordinary little thing, this routine we often took for granted, has become the exception not the rule. We rarely eat meals together any more. So in Lancaster, as I looked around the table at breakfast, lunch and dinner, and saw my family all together talking and laughing, it brought tears to my eyes. It’s the simple things in life we forget to appreciate until they’re gone.

We escaped to the hotel room, after shopping, to cool off and pick a place to have dinner. We stretched out on the beds and tossed ideas around while my younger daughter, always in control of the remote control, flipped through the tv guide trying to find something we can all watch. We discovered that Lancaster has changed quite a bit over the last 12 years. Some of the old stores and restaurants weren’t there any more and new ones have taken their place. I was looking at our old map to try to find someplace to eat, while my daughter was surfing through her smart phone for menus. She was getting frustrated because quite a few places I mentioned didn’t exist any more. “Why are you looking at that old map?” she asked, “I picked up a new one in the lobby.” I didn’t tell her that the “old” map I was holding had all the places we had been to in the past “circled” in ink. I kept it to myself that while the girls and my husband were revisiting Lancaster, I was revisiting the past and their childhoods. Children grow up too fast. Parents start aging. Instead of my husband and I helping the girls get out of the car, now my older daughter extends her hand to help me get out and then tells me, “I think dad’s back is bothering him, I could tell by the way he got out of the car.” She was right. He was in some pain, the long ride had aggravated his backache. The roles are already starting to reverse ever so slightly, or maybe more than I like to think.

After dinner it was back to the hotel. The shopping and heat had taken it’s toll on us and we wanted to make the most of our time there. Showers, PJs, under the covers watching television together, without laptops, just like the old days. It wasn’t long before we were falling asleep and the lights went out. I look over at the girls. They look so little when they are sleeping . . . at least in my mind’s eye. I can see the young women they are and the little girls they were, all at the same time.

I wish I could turn the clock back and do it all over again, but of course I can’t. It’s the circle of life. My older daughter is almost the same age I was when I got married. Soon she will be married. One day both girls will have families of their own. I wonder if they will take their children to visit Lancaster one day. I hope they put down the smart phones while they are there and take a paper map. I hope they circle all the places they visit and save that map. One day their children will be grown and they will be looking to revisit not just Lancaster, but the past; wondering where all the years went and yearning to have those simple family dinners together that grow fewer and farther in between.

P.S. At one of our meals together, my older daughter got the idea that she and my younger daughter should blog our trip to Lancaster using “my voice,” as though I had written it. Years ago they each wrote a blog in my voice about a particular topic and I posted it. No one seemed to notice I hadn’t written those blogs so I guess they did a good job. However, had my daughters written this blog it would have been very different. They were prepared to write about “peeves.” There are always peeves to write about whenever I leave the house and this trip was no exception. But, I did tell my older daughter that she and I would not be writing the same blog about this trip. I was feeling this trip from a mother’s point of view. There would be no way she could see it the way I did, and hers would be a lot funnier. My daughter’s blog would be full of details that I have already forgotten. She may have changed her mind about writing it, but if she does I will post it.