NaBloPoMo.  I bailed.  Moving on.

Gwen Bell* launched The Best of 2009 Challenge today. 

I think that in December I’ll be writing a lot about SG, which is good.  I did ask him recently if he was, you know, okay with me writing about him.  It’s weird, a little, because he’s much more private than I am.  Not that he’s all secretive, but he also doesn’t blog, and doesn’t really feel compelled to.  So you know that means if we ever get into a fight, I will totally have the upper hand since he won’t be able to blog about how rotten I am.  Heh.

First day of the challenge is tripWhat was your best trip in 2009? 

You’d think, maybe, that this would be easy, considering that SG took me to Hawaii and it was a) my first time there, and b) the first time that we got to spend more than a couple of days together.  And it was the best: I loved every moment of it, from the time we landed at the windy airport and he bought me a lei, until we got back on the plane to come home and I was all happy to get a Maui inspection sticker on my bag.  I even didn’t mind the plane rides too much.  Most mornings SG left to go dive while I was still in bed, and I’d get up, put on a bathing suit and flip flops, grab a towel and sunglasses, and walk across the street to go stand in the ocean while the sun came up behind me.  We’d meet back at the house for breakfast, and then go spend the day together.  We were in the water a few times a day, mostly snorkeling with the camera and video camera.  I got to swim with sea turtles, and the first time I saw one in the water I smiled so big I got a mouthful of saltwater from around my snorkel.  One afternoon we saw something like twenty rays over the course of a half hour or so.  Sometimes they’d find a spot against the current and move forward so gently they stayed in place.  Even the little fish were magical under the water, and I love how the ocean fills up my ears and everything under the water is so different than what’s on land.  Especially since it’s just right there, so close by, but until you swim into it, you’d never guess that there’s this whole other world in the world. 

Selfishly, this trip was great because I got to do what I wanted.  It would have been wonderful with the kids, but for the first time in a long time, I got to be totally self-centered and sit in the sun and not worry about anything at all.  This part wasn’t bad either:

Maui underwater 2 Sept 09 022.JPG

Another best trip of this year happened in August, before we went to Hawaii.  I took the kids to Texas for my grandmother’s 90th birthday celebration.  It was lovely to see her and all of our family.  I had been needing very badly to give my dad a hug for almost two years, so needless to say I was very happy to get to do that.  The kids got reacquainted with everyone, met some new relatives, went swimming at night and had lots of ice cream.  My brother and his wife and little baby Max were there, too, and lots of other relatives from all over the place.  We landed in Dallas just as a storm was coming in, and now the kids know what I’m talking about when I say thunderstorm.  Northern California lightening is shy and polite.  In Texas it’s awe-inspiring and loud and not to be messed with.

I’d have loved it if SG could have come along, but he’s in grad school and it’s hard for him to get away even to go to a movie with me.  And there was that whole 96 relatives going to be there thing, too.  He will meet them sometime.  Definitely.  And maybe that will be the best trip of two thousand and ten.

I also got to go to Portland this year to meet Baby Max.  That was also the best trip, because Max is the first child of my brother and his wife, and I got to spend a few days with them in May when he was about six weeks old.  The beginning of my stay overlapped with the end of my mom’s, and we really had fun walking around Portland and taking Max out to eat.  I’m such a baby freak, and I love my brother and his wife so much that their baby is, of course, extra sweet, and smells extra nice and is extra perfect.  I can’t wait to see the three of them later this month.

2009 also gave me: a trip to the BlogHer Conference in Chicago with Jenny (which wins for the most laughing compressed into the fewest days, no contest); my first mother-daughter girl scout camping trip with the girls (next time I will bring warmer clothes and tequila to keep my blood from turning to icy slush at nighttime); a BART trip to San Francisco to meet a long lost second or third or something cousin, twice removed, probably, and visit with other known and much-loved cousins; a few short day trips to Monterey with SG to snorkel, sit in the sun, and go out on his boat where one afternoon we watched an otter protect his crab supper from a bunch of hungry sea gulls; and a memorable trip to the beach with the kids when the shore was covered in dead fish from a sardine (?) run.  Okay.  That last one, definitely not the best, because it was gross, but strangely fun all the same.  There were also motorcycle rides with SG in the hills around here, and even a really great trip to the grocery store, when SG not only took my car to be washed and gassed up and the tired inflated while I shopped, but he came back and picked up the cost of my groceries because he knew I was having a rough month.     

Tomorrow is all about the best restaurant moment of the year.  That’s an easy one for me.


*I have a total geeky fangirl crush on Gwen, and was a little starstruck this summer when I got to ride through part of downtown Chicago with her in a horse-drawn carriage under the stars.  Wait, that sounds like a date.  Really we were just going to the same party.  Anyway, I was super happy to get to meet her.     

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *