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Connecting and reconnecting

2012 February 21
by elizabeth_admin

Oops!  A mini unintentional blog break just happened.  But let me explain…

Jack and I took a spur of the moment* trip to Washington DC this past weekend.  It was a holiday weekend in the U.S. as most of you know.  It’s only taken me four years to learn this valuable lesson, but holiday weekends are the worst for me as a single parent**.  The entire city of New York empties out.  Jack’s playdates disappear, Jack’s cousins are often out of town, and I am left with three days to fill with activities for a four year old boy.  After several lonely holiday weekends in the past, I was determined not to be caught with my pants down for a long weekend ever again.  Since our tentative plans to rent a car and go out to the country were postponed for another visit, I had to come up with a last-minute plan on Thursday for a fun weekend for Jack.  Facebook came to my rescue when, after my status update inviting myself to anyone’s home/city for the weekend within drivable distance was answered by no less than two people right away for the same city.  Washington DC.  Trena and Sara totally came to this single parent’s rescue. ***

I booked our bus tickets right away and we were off early Saturday morning for the nation’s capital city.  I had grand plans for this grand city.  Jack and I would go to 10 museums, tour the mall, see the Lincoln Memorial (my favorite president), see a play, all while visiting our friends.  Forget about sleeping or eating.  Yeah, well those grandiose plans were just a wee bit ambitious and over-reaching.

In actuality, we only saw two museums, The National Building Museum at which Jack played in the Lego room and The National Art Gallery where Jack participated in the Stories in Art program on Georgia O’Keefe.  We’re going to save the new Lincoln museum and memorial for another visit soon.  Hopefully we’ll have some fellow travelers next time too. 

Jack in the Lego Room at the National Building Museum


Jack learning about George O'Keefe at the National Art Gallery


Sara and Pete treated us to an awesome production of P Nokio, a hip hop version of the Pinocchio story.  Very creative and funny!  We loved it. 

Sara and Pete in their beautiful DC home (photo taken by Jack)


Trena met us up and took us to Exquisite Fabrics in Georgetown.  However, a very rare thing happened to me.  I didn’t buy any fabric.  Not one piece.  I thought I might be ill.  In fact, I do have a cold, so maybe that had something to do with it.  My “illness” didn’t stop Trena from buying some lace though.  But I will let her tell you about that on one of her Stash Confessionals.  Oops!  Maybe she wasn’t going to fess up to the purchase.  Sorry Trena!  Oh and we also met up the next night for dinner.  Although the service left much to be desired, the food and company were great.  I wish I had more time to spend with Trena and Michael, but it was late and way past Jack’s bedtime when we finally left the restaurant.

Mostly though, we visited our friends, ate lunches, dinners, and brunches, and walked around Washington DC.  It was a fabulous weekend, connecting with my son and reconnecting with friends.  Jack was a great traveler for the most part with only one temper tantrum (that thankfully did NOT occur on our 5 hour bus ride home) and a good trouper about the museums.  While we did not make it to the Lincoln Museum or Memorial, I do have a great blurry, from-the-car evening shot of the Washington Memorial for you.


 Let’s pretend that I meant to take the photo that way, ok?  And a BIG THANK YOU to Sara and Pete for their spontaneous generosity in opening their home to us, taking us in and entertaining us in grand style.  And also a BIG THANK YOU to Trena for treating us to a delicious dinner and making time for us in her busy weekend.

I can’t resist posting a gratuitous Jack picture from one of our DC meals with the artwork he made at the George O’Keefe presentation.


* My close friends and family know that I am not usually a very spontaneous person.  Taking a spur of the moment trip is practically unheard of for me.  My BFF Cayce will probably never recover from the shock when she finds out that Jack and I went to DC this past weekend.  I’ll let you know if she lands in the hospital. 

** Amy McCracken, a fellow single parent who I know from her on-line blog which she co-authors with two others, inspired me to take this trip.  Her post (third one down) about a trip to “China” with her little boy brings me to tears every time I read it.  I only hope that I can be as good a mother as she is to her son, Buddy.

***I know I could plan a similar fun weekend for Jack in NYC as well, but it just isn’t the same as doing it in a different city for many reasons.

12 Responses leave one →
  1. Cayce permalink
    February 21, 2012

    commenting from my comfy office chair – not in the hospital. 😉 wow, totally impressed! I hope this doesn’t mean you’re going to stop planning my social life too… 🙂

  2. February 21, 2012

    Wow. Awesome! Yay for occasional spontaneity!
    I spontaneously asked a stranger (who commented on someone’s blog, and lives near me) out to brunch yesterday. The crazy thing? When we met up … we KNEW EACH OTHER! We were in the same cloth doll club 10 years ago! It was awesome!

  3. February 21, 2012

    That sounds way more fun than my weekend! I spent some of it sewing, then got food poisoning, watched Hoarders with my cat, cleaned my house 3x as a result, and played Skyrim.

  4. February 21, 2012

    That’s such a great solution to the problem – I know I find the holidays long without others for playdates and there are two of us doing the parenting! I’m not spontaneous either but maybe that’s something I ought to fight a little.

  5. February 21, 2012

    Sounds like an awesome weekend! I’m a planned sort of person, too, and my husband is the exact opposite—to the point where if I plan something he usually never wants to go. My revenge is usually to just not tell him until the moment of, but somehow that tends to backfire, too…

    Although I’m not a single parent, I well recall life with a small child who couldn’t possibly entertain herself for more than a few minutes alone. Thankfully it’s improved now that she’s on the verge of sullen adolescence… or maybe that’s not an improvement…

    Well, if you ever need a weekend rescue in Alberta for some reason, let me know… we’re far too inclined to sit home and do nothing.

  6. Janet B permalink
    February 21, 2012

    What a terrific weekend for both of you. How fortunate that you had friends available at a short notice.

    We went to Washington DC when my son was 4 and my daughter was 9 mos. We learned on that trip that one planned thing per day worked best. When we wanted to go to a museum that was the only thing planned, after that anything else was a spur of the moment bonus for us.

    Now they’re teens and when we travel I still consider more than one activity a day a bonus.

  7. February 21, 2012

    Congratulations on embracing spontaneity even if it feels a little unnatural! Single parenthood is sometimes difficult and just plain exhausting. (also very rewarding when your child displays some beautiful trait). I call this sort of trip “getting out of my own way”. Just letting go of everything that needs to get done (that never ends) and just getting time to be together. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I LOVE having a boy! (I have to do this on the weekend coming – off to the beach)

  8. February 21, 2012

    Oh I read that post re China trip – of course it made me cry too!

  9. February 21, 2012

    oh I am so glad you did it and had fun!! I wish I had had the internet when I was raising my daughter as a single parent. I did have good neighbors, though. Without the gay guys next door, my life would have totally sucked. OOps, did I say that out loud?
    But hey, that’s life and it’s all just one problem after another anyway.
    I said that out loud, too, didn’t I?

    Great photo of the Washington Memorial!!

  10. February 22, 2012

    What no fabric? Sounds like you had a great weekend though, and I hope your cold’s better soon.

  11. Sara permalink
    February 22, 2012

    Such a pleasure to have you and Jack! Come back soon, and we’ll see you in NYC next time we visit your home city.

  12. February 23, 2012

    So glad you came to visit! And had a good enough time to come back someday (hint hint).

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