Monday, August 27, 2012

Round Two

This time of year is a hard time.  The 3rd of August held our anniversary.  The 9th was his birthday.  And the 9th of September is our son's birthday.  These are probably the three hardest days aside from May 17th, the day he died.

I am already in the seconds though.  All of these dates are now the second without him.  I am starting up another school year soon, the second without him.  Time does help tremendously, but there is still that hole.  That ache for life to have taken a different turn.  But I have kept with the traditions that I started last year and they help.  I don't think that turning my thoughts and feelings towards the positive do not repress the sadness.  I think it channels and allows the the sadness to shine in light rather than darkness.

On August 3rd, the date which would have been our 10th wedding anniversary, I wrote cards to all of the people that have been the most influential in my life during the past year.  Some roles were larger than others, but every one's influence in my life has made a difference to me and I am so happy that they are in my life.  My card, was just a way for me to express my appreciation for their kindness, love, and support.  Because this is completely genuine, I really kept it to a small crowd.  I didn't thank everyone who was kind to me (there were plenty!), but just to my inner circle and to a few people who are approaching that circle.  There were some people that I wrote to last year, that I did not write to this year with no hard feelings whatsoever.  And there were some people that I wrote to this year that I didn't write to last.  I am sure that as people come and go in and out of my life, there will be changes.  But I do know that I have a core group this will stick by me no matter what and it makes me happy to share my love and appreciation with them.  August 3, 2002 was a day that I will always remember with love and happiness and I plan on continuing to spread that as the years go on.

On August 9th, my husband would have been 37.  That was our first day in California and I have to say that it did help take my mind off the date.  However, the tradition that I started last year with my son was to "celebrate" this date with an ice cream cake.  By celebrate I mean that its just a way to remember what this date means and to talk about him and look at pictures, etc.  A quiet celebration.  What made me happy was that even though we were not home, we were still able to keep this tradition.  We found an ice cream shop in Los Angeles, had the ice cream and I talked to my son about this day and his father.  My son doesn't say much about his father (he's so young) but I think its still important for me to talk about him and to keep his memory alive for my son, who understands much more than he verbally communicates.

My son's 3rd birthday will be coming up in less than 2 weeks now.  My how he has grown.   His birthday is a tough day though.  It is very bittersweet.  But, at least I have him and he makes everything brighter.  

Sunday, August 26, 2012

San Francisco

The last stop on this trip was San Francisco.  I have to admit that I was a bit disappointed.  San Francisco was a beautiful city, don't get me wrong.  The architecture was gorgeous!  The city seemed clean and spacious.  But I just wasn't feeling it.  I thought for sure that I was going to fall in love with the place and even view it as a potential place to live.  But for no other reason than a lack of that feeling, it just wasn't.  I still enjoyed visiting it though!  

The crookedest street in the world!?!
I worked my fanny off getting to and from this place.
We took a big red tour bus one day to see as much of the city as we could.
I am spoiled living in NYC and the transportation system here.

Painted Ladies

I drove out there alone with my son one day.  I chose Sonoma because I found another Train Town!!
I went to a couple wineries :) but didn't taste any.  It was one of those tough toddler days.
But it was beautiful none the less.
The Brotherhood Winery

And that concludes my trip to California.  There were some tough moments (more on that to come) but I am so happy that I took this trip and that I did so with my son.  We have lots of great memories and experiences to look back on.  

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Highway 1

Part 2 of my trip to California was the part that I was looking forward to most, the drive up from LA to San Francisco along the Pacific Coast Highway.  It really was amazing and the pictures don't do it justice.  Although I appreciated my brother driving most of scenic parts so that I could take pictures and I appreciated how well my son behaved despite the very long day spent mainly sitting in a car, it is a trip I'd like to do again one day with just one person and in a convertible!

We did stop along the way to spend the night rather than to drive all the way to San Francisco.  We stopped in Monterey, a wonderful little town on the water.  It had a wonderful aquarium, a great downtown shopping area, and an awesome playground called Dennis the Menace Park.  Again, I'll let the pictures do the talking...

Santa Barbara
What a quaint town, loved it!

Hearst Castle
This is the closest I got to it, :(
The Monterey Aquarium
The bat ray my son touched!

The tanks were incredible!
Dennis the Menace Park, Monterey
It was quirky and my son had a blast!
The only thing that I would have changed about this part of the trip would be to have spent the night in Santa Barbara.  I love quaint towns and it was just that with a great Mexican influence.  If we had done that, then we would have had more time to take a tour of Hearst Castle, which I also would have loved to do, but we just ran out of time. But again, what an experience!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I'm Back, Back in the NY Groove

After being gone for over two weeks, I am finally back home.  Home sweet home... even though I had a great time. There were a few hiccups, which had to be expected vacationing for such a long period with a toddler who is in his terrible three's stage (yup... :()  But overall, he was very good and the trip was awesome!

The first big test for this trip came on the flights to California.  Like I have posted a few times, I am not a fan of flying so flying with my son for the first time was nerve wrecking.  But... he did great!  I had a bag full of new toys and treats and he loved them.  He was so excited about going to CA and about having his own seat in an airplane.  He did wonderful and he actually was a great distraction from my own fears of flying.  I wonder how fake my brave face for him was though!?! (lol)

First stop, Los Angeles.  We stayed just outside of the city, in Manhattan Beach.  It was an uppity town, but it had a great beach and some great restaurants as well.  We didn't do anything big like Disneyland or Universal Studios, but we were busy everyday and I enjoyed the little things.  I am not going to do a rundown of every day.  Instead, I will let the pictures do the talking for California, Part 1.
Sea lions at Redondo Beach
Looking back from the pier in Manhattan Beach
Sunset at Manhattan Beach
The Getty Villa, Malibu
A Greek and Roman Museum
Santa Monica
Train Town, Griffith Park, LA
My son loves trains and it was a little park full of old trains and a miniature train that we got to ride.
Griffith Park
That is my son, riding a pony all by himself!!
Griffith Park Observatory
The views were amazing!
Here's one thing that you can see from the observatory.
View of the city LA from the observatory.
My mango margharita that I had to chug brain freeze and all after a very long day for a toddler that couldn't handle any more time out in a restaurant.  
Port of Los Angeles
For all you mothers of boys out there, you know... lol.
Long Beach
The Queen Mary from a fabulous restaurant in Long Beach
The weather was phenomenal in Los Angeles and I enjoyed this area more than I anticipated.  Good times.  Very good times.  :)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


When I first started planning this trip, it was late January.  It's hard to believe that 8 months have past and that tomorrow I will be stepping onto a plane that's going to take me and my son (and my brother) to California.  I am super excited and it's so close now that I just want to be there already.

I have to admit that I am nervous.  I am nervous about flying and I would be if I were flying alone, but am even more so flying with my son.  I feel that I am as ready and as prepared as I can be and whatever may happen on his end will just happen.  I have a bag full of new little toys, snacks, and candies.  Our flights are booked so that we will be flying during times in which he should be sleeping.  I have tried to excite him about planes by watching them in the sky, watching tv shows about them, and just hyping them up.  So, what will be will be.  Just cross your fingers that it will be all good!

We will be landing in Los Angeles late tomorrow night and will be there until Monday morning.  Honestly, we don't have definitive, big plans of any kind.  I have a list of things to do to refer to if need be.  But really, I want to go with the flow and just enjoy the change in scene.  I am not planning on doing anything huge with my son like Disneyland (we're going to do Disney World in Florida in a few years instead) or Universal Studios, etc. mainly because when I think about what he likes most, it's not that.  He's happiest in a park where he can run and at the beach with a pail and shovel so that he can build sandcastles.  So... I figure I will take advantage of the fact that he is not overly demanding in his need to be entertained.  I am not ruling anything out, but like I said, I'm just going to go with it.

I am most excited about the drive up Highway 1 from LA to San Francisco!  We will be stopping overnight along the way in Monterey which is supposed to be a great place to see whales and it has an aquarium that I plan on visiting.

Finally, SF!  We will definitely take a boat tour and see the Golden Gate Bridge.  Many people have told us to visit Alcatraz, so we'll see.

Regardless of what we actually end up doing, I am just happy and excited that I have the opportunity to take a 10 day vacation across the country.  I am happy that I can give this experience to my son and am even happier that I will be a part of it with him.  

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Wherever your heart is...

"Wherever your heart is, that is where you will find your treasure."  This is one of the quotes from The Alchemist that I found brought a smile to my face.  It is one of those warm, feel good sayings that brings about good thoughts.  So... yes I did and yes I am... I am bringing up my bracelet again.  I had this quote engraved into my newest charm, "Love Within."

It seems like an appropriate day to post this since in one hour, it will become August 3. August 3, 2002 was the day that I said "I do."  It was a completely joyous day as I married the man that I completely adored.  Tomorrow not only marks that is has been ten years since that happy day, it also marks the second anniversary without him.

Our marriage was not perfect by any means, but there was an enormous amount of love.  My treasures... letters, cards, notes... that he saved from me starting from when we first met in 1997.  I have my own stash of the same that I saved from him throughout the years and they are treasures as well.  However, with my words (and I wrote so much and with so much detail) they bring me back to the moment.  When I read them, they truly take me back 5, 10, even 15 years back and they allow me to relive the moments, the thoughts and the feelings.  They remind me of the love and the happiness that we shared together in the most authentic and genuine of ways.

I mention very frequently about my quest to find something truly amazing.  It is not that I feel I deserve it or am entitled to it.  It is because I have known truly amazing. There were moments, many moments, when the cloud had lifted and my husband and I were just ourselves, and I experienced amazing.  So I want amazing because I know that it does exist and I know what it feels like and I am not going to settle for anything less.

So this charm is not a representation of my husband or my marriage.  It is a representation of my love.  My husband and my life with him is connected to this in that I truly loved him and because my heart was with him, I found happiness, a treasure.  My love for him did not die with him.

Some day, I will love again.  It will draw from a different part of my heart, but it will be love pure and true to the very core.  And with that, I will find another treasure to cherish.