Wednesday, April 8, 2009

On the road again.

I'm coming to you this morning LIVE! from Reno, Nevada; home to both sets of parents, two sisters and brothers-in-law, two adorable little nephews, countless friends and memories, three llamas, one turkey and a cat named Roach. To call it The Biggest Little City in the World is a considerable understatement.

Every time I plan a trip home to visit, I have the highest of hopes. I figure I will see everyone I know - friends, acquaintances, people I used to work with, everyone! - at least once, maybe twice. I will eat at all the restaurants I used to love - Bangkok Cuisine, In-and-Out Burger, Blue Moon Pizza - and get some really good Mexican food while I'm at it. I will check out all the new bars and shops and walk around downtown by the river to really get a feel for this city that feels so unfamiliar. I will drive up to Tahoe at least once and bask in the natural beauty that simply cannot be missed. If there's time, maybe I'll even ski a little.

Of course, as soon as our plane touches down, I realize I have left one very important thing out of my plans: reality. OK, maybe two things: reality and Liam. Not that I would necessarily be super productive and skiing without him (for someone who grew up 30 minutes from Lake Tahoe, I am surprisingly bad at winter sports), but with him I am almost embarrassingly useless.

This trip is especially bad.

Liam and I always stay with Bill's parents because they have plenty of space for us and Liam has his own room (with his name on the wall and everything!) that he has been sleeping in since he was a baby. On previous visits, I would sometimes get Liam down for a nap or to bed for the night and then slip out for a little bit to see friends. I felt a little awkward assuming my in-laws would babysit just because they were here but I appreciated the break so much I think it more than made up for it. While not a perfect system (sometimes he'd wake up looking for me or I'd leave before he was fully asleep), it was still a heck of a lot more freedom than I'm used to.

Well, yesterday morning Bill's parents took off on a trip to Italy for two weeks. Now Liam and I are staying in their house all alone (aside from the cat the turkey and the llamas, of course). If I want to sneak away to do something without him, I have to actaully call and arrange for a babysitter. I don't know about you but if I was my mom and got a call like, Hey, I know I don't get to see you very often so I was wondering if you would come babysit, I might be a little offended.

So, yesterday after our play date in the park, Liam took a nice long nap while I tiptoed around the big, quiet house wondering how much time I had before he woke up. Should I call a friend to come over and hang out or make plans to meet for a child friendly activity later? How long is this kid going to sleep? I ended up wasting most of my time wondering about it and by the time he woke up it was time to meet my sister and her husband for dinner. The afternoon of day 3 totally bit the dust.

I think the real reason I am somewhat baffled when it comes to seeing friends is I am not used to being a parent in Reno. My Reno consisted of things no respectable parent would expose their child to. Liam is too young to appreciate dive bars and indie bands and late night tacos (and to be honest, I don't even know how much I enjoy those things anymore). Instead of calling up an old friend to see if they want to grab dinner or drinks, I have to remember the Liam factor and plan accordingly. Coffee? A walk? Surely there are activities that work for all ages.

Today I will be driving up to Lake Tahoe with my sister and Liam to see my most favorite cousin (one of my most favorite people!) and her family. Liam will have to skip his nap but all other activities for the day will be child friendly and appropriate. I doubt there will be any skiing (if I'm lucky) but day four of our trip is going to be great. Look out days five through ten, Mama might finally have this travel thing figured out!


erin said...

Ok, I was totally with you, until you said you aren't sure if you enjoy late night tacos anymore.

You've only been gone a few days, and already I feel like I don't even know you. Hurry back!

CelinaQ said...

Reno is the same way for me, Maggie. So familiar, yet not. And I wasn't able to squeeze in everything I wanted to do, either...

No Mommy Brain said...

i may have misspoken. i maybe felt this way at 9 am on tuesday but at midnight on saturday i was eating late night tacos in bed.

of course i still love dive bars! it's just, you know, the curfew. late night fun has to be a special treat, not a way of life.

erin said...

Ok. Thanks for reassuring me. :)