Birthday

Lee took this photo last week on the morning of my 46th birthday.

We were in Lake Placid, NY, vacationing with my entire clan.

A big, celebratory dinner was planned, but as I do every year, I longed for some quiet, reflective, soul-nourishing time.

Lee set his watch alarm early – 6:30 am – and after waking our big dog, Meg, filling thermos with creamy coffee and wrapping egg sandwiches (mine gluten-free) in aluminum foil, we snuck out of the house before anyone woke, driving to the marina where we’d rented a boat slip for the week.

There’s something so magical about feeling like you’re the only ones awake, which is just how we felt, slowly driving the boat out onto that still, silent lake.

Lee drove, I sat in the bow, and Meg had the large back seat all to herself.

We cruised in silence, taking in the rustic cottages, stately adirondack pines and rocky shores lining the island around which we drove.

Without need for consultation, we arrived at a cove on the far end of the lake and Lee cut the motor.

We floated and looked around.

“Is that a bird?” I whispered, pointing to a light brown object close to shore, “or the top of a rock?”

Meg sat up at the sound of my voice.  Lee squinted ahead.

“Bird, I think,” he whispered back.

And a moment later, our eyes caught the pair of loons that had emerged from the shadows.

“Mama and Papa,” Lee whispered.  And as if on cue, one of the loons let out that hauntingly beautiful loon call and the smaller brown bird swam to their side.

We landed the boat on the dock at the nearby trail head which leads up the back of Whiteface Mountain.

Typically a four hour hike, we walked just a half hour or so, our usually slow, lopey Meg, full of vigor and joy, leading the way along the moss lined paths.

Lee took the above photo when we arrived back at the dock, after I’d asked for a few minutes more to just sit and be.

Just sit and be.

It was a wonderful beginning to a new year.

What are some of your favorite things to do on your birthday?

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Cheerio!

Ok, to everyone who told me I’d be crazy not to jump at the chance to take the kids and join Lee on a business trip to London – YOU WERE RIGHT!

It has been three truly magical days, full of unforgettable moments I hope will be forever seared in the kid’s memory banks.  They certainly will be in mine!

We arrived Monday morning and soon after checking in the hotel, explored the nearby Covent Garden where we watched street performers and the kids indulged in banana and Nutella crepes.  After long afternoon naps, we headed to Piccadilly Circus and toured Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum. The kids were utterly thrilled to see the Believe it or Not books they’ve so frequently checked out of the library come to life!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Most of Tuesday was spent on top of a red double decker bus touring the city.  We caught the bus in Trafalgar Square and saw every London highlight you can imagine – St. Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, The Tower of London, Hyde Park and Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, just to name a few.  It was a whirlwind of a day, but a great way for the kids to take in so many sights in such a short period of time.

Looking through the gates of Buckingham Palace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today, Lee headed off to work at 7:00 this morning and while the kids were zonked out in the hotel room, I stood on a bridge overlooking The Thames, sipping a latte, chuckling over the fact that I was ever debating about taking this trip!  (Again, YOU WERE RIGHT!).

And talk about jumping in with both feet… today I was really out of my comfort zone when the kids convinced (begged) me to ride The London Eye, which is the world’s largest Ferris wheel. I won’t even go on a Ferris wheel at our local fair, but there I was, in a glass enclosed bubble hundreds of feet in the air above London.  That time, it was the kids to whom I had to say, YOU WERE RIGHT!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since arriving, we’ve been hearing that Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is the hottest ticket in town and knew it was true when we found out tickets were sold out until next week.  But with a bit of luck this morning, I stopped at the theater, which is right behind our hotel, only to learn that a few tickets had been returned and we had seats in the royal circle section of the balcony.  I truly, truly can’t begin to describe what an experience this musical was.  Unlike the movie, it followed Raold Dahl’s book much more closely and was so incredibly well done, including a larger-than-life chocolate waterfall, giant dancing squirrels and a glass elevator, I’m worried nothing in the future will ever compare for the kids!  Sitting in the dark theater, with Tucker on one side and Andie on the other, when Willy Wonka began singing Pure Imagination, I felt transported back to my own childhood and couldn’t hold back the tears. (Thank you, Becky and Rob.  You insisted the kids would love London theater and YOU WERE RIGHT!)

(Click on this photo to hear the song)

 

 

 

 

 

 

After leaving the theater, Tuck went back up to the hotel room and Andie and I walked out onto the same bridge where I began my day to see London lit up at night.  “I miss it here already,” Andie said, knowing that tomorrow we pack up our suitcases and head out to our friend’s house in the country, before flying home Friday afternoon.

“Me, too,” I told her. “Me, too.”

 

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Happy Spring!

I hope wherever you may be, you’re finding moments to get outside and enjoy the glorious return and renewal of spring.

With Blessings,

Kasey and Miss Meg

 

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