The other half has been out of town for six days now. As most Moms can attest, sometimes things are much easier when you leave your house. Maybe it's because you can tack on drive time in the countdown to bedtime?
I find my odds of successful trips alone with the boys are tipped in my favor to about 60% good over 40% disastrous. It's that 10% that allows me to keep trying, and I'm often glad that I do.
Today after watching waaaay too much Playhouse Disney I noticed that just outside my windows, hey!, it was 60 degrees outside, sunny, not a cloud in the sky, and beckoning us to come play. I searched 'kid activities Bay Area' and saw that in Sonoma they have a place called Train Town. Perfect for my train-loving boys, and perfect for me because I have a total crush on Sonoma.
I always second guess such plans when getting the boys ready, letting the dogs out to pee, packing our bag with snacks and other necessities, and walking down THESE FREAKING STAIRS, YET AGAIN for 'x' item that I curse myself for having forgotten on the last trip. (Have I mentioned yet how WRONG this floor plan has been for my family? I can promise you I will never use a StairMaster for fear of the flashbacks I will have of the endless ups and downs I execute on these stairs each day.)
Once the keys are finally in the ignition, and I've made peace with the fact that I forgot B's special car, etc., I actually get into a great state of mind...that is, of course, until mile 53.5 happens and B's patience is up, and the sun is shining in his eyes, and 'oh, Mommy, hold my water,' (reach around to grab his cup), 'NO! Mine!'
'Just 10 more miles, boys,' I say while taking measured breaths.
'Just five more miles and we'll see the trains!'
'B! If you want to ride the darned train, you need to stop whining and behave!'
Long story longer, Train Town was okay. If you're already in Sonoma, check it out because you pay for what you want to do, and it's relatively cheap. However, because it is run mostly by unenthusiastic, mumbling, teenage boys, it's all about the fun that Mama is making for the kids, not the staff.
The boys had a good time and didn't want to leave, but I knew we all needed to eat before the hungry whines set in. We went to Amigo's Mexican Restaurant. We'd been here once before and loved it. If you're on a gluten-free diet, this place it tops. They even have a gluten-free menu if you ask for it. A woman I assume was one of the owners, even let me look through her Triumph Dining, nation-wide gluten-free restaurant guide that I am for sure going to order. She asked about how M was diagnosed as celiac and I explained to her that he had autism, and therefore some assumptions are made as to his gut issues and possible food sensitivities. She made my family feel so comfortable, and she and the waitress took excellent care of us. It was a great, yummy meal! (and not a bad margarita to boot!)
The boys were out about two minutes after leaving the restaurant, so I decided that it was probably in my best interest to drive the 20 miles to Napa to buy a few bottles of wine from one of my favorite wineries, Peju Province.
As I drove home from Napa, I looked to my left and saw the most beautiful, biggest, brightest moon guiding me from over the mountains. It was difficult to concentrate on the road for all its beauty.
I am going to miss this place.