Monday, May 9, 2011

Busses, Trains, and Automobiles (plus Subway) on Mothers Day

Me and Mom, December 2010
Everybody I know is a mother or had a mother, so....

I hope you had a Happy Mothers Day, everyone!

My gift from my family for Mothers Day? A weekend away from them. Really. My first actual break in eight and a half years.

(Remember what happened the LAST time I tried to get away for a weekend?)

So I went to Bloggy Boot Camp in Boston (to you civilians, that's a women bloggers conference run by the wonderful SITS Girls) and had a great time, learned a ton.

I am still processing it all, and not ready to write about the conference content in detail here yet, but let's just say it was an enjoyable success both educationally and socially.

I met, ate good food, and drank good wine with many marvelous women there, some of whom I actually already knew IRL, some of whom I had known only in the e-space and was confirming they were actual corporeal beings, and some of whom were completely new connections.

At about 150 people (148 women and 2 men, I think) the conference was just the right size, not too overwhelming (though I also rather enjoyed the massive BlogHer conference last summer, too, it was just a different type of experience).

I left Friday morning, and Ethan sent me off in style, requesting and giving me a "Hug that will last three days!" as I bade him goodbye in the schoolyard at drop-off.

I drove up from New York with two lovely blog buddies (Holly, the Culture Mom and La Mere Joie) I had hung out with a little bit before, but happily got a chance to talk to and get to know in further depth on the five hour trip (four driving, one in a Connecticut diner -- we're all Jewish gals, we don't go too long without a feed and caffeination break).

I spent the first night at the conference hotel with a great roomie, another terrific NY area blogger I had been wanting more face time with, Anna from Random Handprints.

Then after a wonderful, chock filled conference -- including sneaking out to spend a WAY too short 45 minutes at the hotel bar with two sister Autism bloggers I had been dying to meet IRL who were not at the conference: Bostonian Alysia of Try Defying Gravity and the Spectrummy Mummy  (who had flown up from the DC area for the day) -- I was off to Lowell to spend the night with my cousin Annette and her lovely family.

I was catching an 8 PM train to Lowell. North Station is right under the Boston Garden, where the Celtics play. There was a Celtics game that night. At 8. And there had been a Red Sox game that afternoon.

I was given plenty of examples to help me remember why they call (a certain type of testosterone-and-beer fueled) Boston sports fans "Massholes."

My time in Lowell? Pure family-bonding delight.

And my twelve year old, about-to-be-Bat Mitzvahed niece? Made us a wonderful Mother's Day breakfast including pancakes and home-made strawberry coulis. She is thinking of starting her own foodie blog and I am greatly encouraging her. (Hear that, Greta? Do it!)

The interesting thing about the weekend? I spent a significant portion of it traveling. I took a cab to the commuter train to the 'burbs to meet my ride up. Then the mini-van drive to Boston.

From Boston it was a cab to the commuter-rail train to Lowell, where I was picked up by my cousin's husband and driven to their house. Then back to the Lowell train station (Twice! I missed my first train by 2 minutes, don't ask!) for a commuter-rail ride back to Boston.

And a cab ride from Boston's North Station to South Station where I caught my Peter Pan bus home with 2 minutes to spare. (Yes, bus, because $25 vs. $128 for Amtrak? No contest.) And then NYC subway back to the Upper West Side.

And I discovered: when traveling alone, without the kids, I am just Miss Laid-back-whatever-pants these days. Hours upon hours on the road, delays, traffic, detours, missed connections... ho, hum, no adrenaline necessary.

Because I can eat or read or nap or noodle around on my Droid to my heart's content with no one to bother me, thinking about no one but myself.

And THAT is a real vacation for me.

So thanks, family, for that amazing Mother's Day gift. And for all the kisses and hugs I received upon my return at bedtime Sunday night.

I hope you all had a lovely one, too!

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