I realized last week that Steve has been gone a lot lately for work…not for a significant period of time, usually just 1-2 days. But 5 trips in about 5 weeks for him (plus he was gone overnight a couple of weeks ago for the SoCal Ragnar Relay – his team was 88th out of 454 teams that actually started the race).
It’s been a few years since he traveled this frequently (and for much longer periods of time). The longest trip will start this weekend – he’s going Down Under for two weeks.
If you had asked me 4 weeks ago, I would have said with 95% certainty that the trip was really going to be for 6 months. And I was going to wrangle a couple of trips Down Under myself. Then some people pulled their heads out of you-know-where and realized they aren’t quite ready for Steve to do what they wanted Steve to do. And just like that, no more trip.
Such mixed bag of emotions – I had resigned myself to being home while he took this amazing opportunity (both professional & fun). We’ve been apart before, and I honestly think it makes us appreciate each other so much more. I would have been stuck at home because it’s not really financially feasible for me to not work for any significant period of time…plus not wanting to deal with the cats, not being in our house for 6 months, etc. etc. And I was excited to get a couple of trips to visit for a couple of weeks. I’m definitely happier he won’t be gone for so long…but darn it, I wanted a passport stamp from Australia!
In anticipation of needing a weekend for just us before I became a 6-month work widow, I booked us a stay out on Catalina Island. Avalon is quite the quaint little town, a 25 mile boat ride across the Pacific. I think Steve has been on the island every single year he’s lived out here – and I’ve only skipped a year myself. I think we’ve done/seen almost everything we could want to see, but we still like to go over there.
One of the places we hadn’t ever visited was the Wrigley Botanic Gardens & Memorial. Yep, Wrigley as in the gum and the baseball field and the Cubs. Our South Coast Botanic Garden membership got us into the Wrigley gardens for free, so we actually went on both Saturday & Sunday.
Catalina tile manufactured on the island in the 30s (and no, I will not stop going for the bokeh shot, my new lens is fantastic!)
However, I really am an idiot and thought I was capable of attempting to hike a trail to the top of the peak behind the gardens. I made it 1.5 miles up and my knees started screaming bloody murder. However, thanks to my friend Icy Hot, I was able to hobble around town the rest of the weekend (though stairs & downhill were not so fun).
We saw “Rio” at the theater in the Casino (above – casino means “gathering place” – the upper level contains a HUGE circular ballroom). There’s an organ concert for the hour before the movie starts (and NO previews!).
And even though we stayed in a hotel, I think the hiking qualifies as outdoorsy, so I’m crossing #18 off my list.