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The Calm Before The Storm

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Calm Before The Storm

Two weeks after my parents died in October 2007, after the dust had settled bit, the shock wore off some and the memorial service had been held, I returned to my job as a marketing manager for a trade publication.

It was what I had to do.

I needed to escape the sadness of my family, my home and the pressure of handling my parents estate. I wanted to use my brain on something I knew I was good at and be somewhere where I didn't have to think about death or deal with my grief. I thought that getting back to my "regular" routine would help.

I was on auto pilot.

Almost a year later, in August 2008, I decided I needed to step away from my job and decompress from the roller coaster ride of emotions and tasks that I had at hand and just be with myself and my thoughts.

There was still a lot of work to be done; an estate to close and several trips to the house my sister I had inherited in Arizona. I also wanted to reconnect with family and start thinking about starting one of my own.

My husband, Todd was very supportive of my decision but I remember the day I gave my one month notice he said, your last day there, is going to be your last day there and the very next day, we are going to go on a trip. He was planning to take a week off work so we could do this, so we began plotting our adventure.

We could go anywhere!

We have both been all over the world... Europe, Africa, Asia. But this time, we decided to stay closer to home and planned a very different type of trip for us, a vacation that ended up being one of the best ones we have ever had together.

It was a road trip comprised of 1200 miles and three states.

We woke up when we woke up and got on the road that Saturday morning and drove;
we had hotel reservations, but no agenda, no time line, just a navigation system.

irst, we went to Las Vegas, the perfect place to get away from it all, let our hair down and have fun. We stayed at the beautiful Palazzo hotel, sipped cocktails as we lounged by the magnificent pool, saw LOVE, the Cirque du Soleil show and had a great time gambling, eating and drinking too much.Next, we headed to the Grand Canyon, a place even with all of my ties to Arizona, neither of us had ever seen before. It's breathtaking and should be on everyone's "Bucket List".

We saw the Hoover Dam, ate at fun, eclectic diners along the route, visited the boarding school where I graduated from high school, on a whim, spent a night in beautiful, mystic Sedona and stayed a night with my sister in Phoenix.
We ended up seeing more of our own state by ending our trip in Palm Springs, where the only thing we had to do was show up for a massage appointment.We covered a lot of miles, but we broke it up so that it wasn't boring or monotonous and we talked. A lot. We talked about how different our lives were going to be with me not working anymore and what I hoped to accomplish with my time off.

We relished the sights and sounds of the highway and listened to a couple of books on tape and a ton of Dave Matthews.
We played Rumi Cube in dive bars in the middle of the day and simply enjoyed being together.

That trip? It was sort of the calm before the storm and I mean that in the nicest of ways. I loved every minute of it.

A month after we returned home, we found out we were pregnant with Lucas. :)

This post is for Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop: Prompt 1.) A vacation to remember.

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Blogger Cheryl said...

I love this, Tonya! We husband (then boyfriend) and I went to Sedona and the Grand Canyon one spring when I was working out in Tempe. Such a beautiful place. He would love the kind of trip you describe. And he and I are great travelers together.

Thanks for sharing - you made me think of some great memories of my own. And I'm also glad you got away and had time to just be.

February 16, 2011 at 10:28 PM  
Blogger Melissa (Confessions of a Dr. Mom) said...

Oh yes, well that would be both a vacation to remember and the calm before the storm. A really lovely story.

I want to see the Grand Canyon. That is definitely on my bucket list.

February 16, 2011 at 10:37 PM  
Anonymous Morgan B. said...

You brought home the best souvenir ever. What a great trip!

February 16, 2011 at 10:53 PM  
Blogger CJ said...

Great story. Most of my travel has been like that ---just a general destination and start driving.

I am very lucky to have a friend who lives in Sedona. Her spare bedroom is always available to me as long as someone else hasn't claimed it first. I hope to go back sometime soon.

Find my Writer’s Workshop entry HERE

February 16, 2011 at 11:39 PM  
Blogger parentingBYdummies said...

I love when people get happy endings. I've always wanted to go to the Grand Canyon. Maybe one day.

February 17, 2011 at 3:51 AM  
Blogger Carrie said...

What a perfect end to a perfect trip! I definitely want to see the Grand Canyon someday. Perhaps we'll plan to squeeze it in on our next trip to Vegas.

Visiting from Mama Kat's

February 17, 2011 at 5:53 AM  
Blogger The Schweitzers said...

I've always wanted to do something like that. Beautiful pictures.

February 17, 2011 at 6:20 AM  
Anonymous Jen said...

T, How wonderful that you and Todd did this, and I know it did wonders for your soul. I think this is a great example and illustration of how marriage is never 50/50--sometimes it's 100/0 and when it's you being on the receiving end, it makes it all the sweeter that your husband was able to sense what you needed before you knew you needed it. Todd knew that break would be a pivotal moment in your lives, and Lucas really is the best souvenir! Cheers to you three. The best is now, and yet to be!

February 17, 2011 at 6:23 AM  
Blogger Miri said...

What a wonderful time for you and your husband. And a special way for your son to begin his journeys in this world.

Visiting from Mama Kat's

February 17, 2011 at 6:59 AM  
Blogger gingerbreadmama said...

Love this! What a thoughtful hubby, and a great way to close one door before opening another.

February 17, 2011 at 7:03 AM  
Anonymous Donna said...

Certainly a great trip and a great memoir to leave to your son. Sometimes the biggest joys are in our own backyard - your post explains this well.

Amazing that even in grief, happiness can be born. Beautiful!

February 17, 2011 at 7:08 AM  
Blogger John and Allie Fields said...

I think everyone needs a good trip with their hubby before the storm. I miss those carefree days of not knowing where I was going or what I was doing but instead just sitting back and enjoying the ride.

February 17, 2011 at 7:36 AM  
Blogger Jeanette said...

I'm thinking I could use a trip like that. Sounds awesome!

February 17, 2011 at 8:14 AM  
Blogger Liz said...

TOTAL chills at the end!!

That trip was so necessary and perfect for so many reasons!!

February 17, 2011 at 8:26 AM  
Anonymous Jessica said...

What a great vacation with no agenda and no timeline.

February 17, 2011 at 9:26 AM  
Blogger The mad woman behind the blog said...

How wonderful. Thank you for sharing this story and lighting a fire under me: I need one of these.

February 17, 2011 at 11:23 AM  
Blogger Renee said...

I love the ending!
Finishing one adventure to begin another.

February 17, 2011 at 11:30 AM  
Blogger Gigi said...

AWesome trip. Everyone should get to do one of those!

February 17, 2011 at 12:03 PM  
Anonymous Heidi Smith Luedtke -- LeadingMama said...

As I plan our upcoming vacation with two kids in tow I am reminded how easy breezy it used to be to travel around with hubby and just be together, see things, stop when we were tired, etc. What a joy! Of course there's something special about watching your child race his matchbox car off the top level of the Roman Collisseum, too. You know, special in that "dear God I hope this doesn't turn into a rerun of the meltdown of 2009 and ruin our entire trip!" I blogged about my tips for toddler-travel here:

Visiting from MamaKats!

February 17, 2011 at 1:23 PM  
OpenID jadenotjaded said...

What an awesome trip! Totally agree about the Grand Canyon (I wrote about my trip there)!

February 17, 2011 at 2:29 PM  
Anonymous Kimberly said...

I have always wanted to just get in the car and go without an agenda or schedule. Maybe I'll try that one day.

February 17, 2011 at 3:51 PM  
Blogger Natalie said...

I for one would like to do a trip like this right now! Only problem would be leaving the kids for that long. I couldn't do it and wouldn't want to take them with us ;)

February 17, 2011 at 4:04 PM  
Blogger MrsJenB said...

How cool! Evidently that trip was taken at the perfect time - like you said, the calm before the storm. What a great story :-)

February 17, 2011 at 5:43 PM  
Anonymous Mom Went Crazy said...

That sounds like a great trip! Even though you were still sad from the death of your parents it will be the last trip you ever took without really worrying!!

February 17, 2011 at 7:06 PM  
Blogger Carri said...

Great post! I love how you saved the best for last. I have chills! :) I'm glad you two had a great time before settling down into parenthood.

February 19, 2011 at 7:21 AM  
Blogger Sherri said...

You will never forget this trip! Sometimes, you just have to go for it...and this seems like just what you both needed.

February 19, 2011 at 9:47 AM  
Anonymous MamaRobinJ said...

Wow, amazing. I'd love to do something like that. How great that you took the time! And I love the ending ;)

February 19, 2011 at 4:42 PM  
Blogger Sue said...

I do not to road trips. They make me queasy in every sense of the word.

But this post? Made me sort of yearn for one. Well-written.

February 20, 2011 at 3:24 PM  
Anonymous Mama Kat said...

I've always wanted to do this! What a great trip. :)

February 21, 2011 at 2:09 PM  
Blogger Leah said...

Yeah, this was such a great idea for you guys. It was fun having you stop over at my place too. Pretty funny that soon after you found out you were pregnant-it really was the calm before the storm.: )

February 21, 2011 at 6:39 PM  

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