Our family Cape Cod trip was sliced in half. Jon’s upper respiratory infection had him coughing so violently that he had no voice. He hadn’t slept for nights because every time his head laid on the pillow, he sprung back up with a barking cough. There was no way he’d make it through a weekend away; much less, there was no way we could stay in one hotel room together and get any sleep. Mario decided he needed to stay home with his dad to make sure he could take care of him if anything happened. Oh, and he also got to spend the night with Grandma Ionno to let dad get some rest.
So, it was a girls’ weekend. Ri and I took our first airplane trip together alone. She had to endure sitting in coach seats; every other trip she has gotten First Class due to her dad. She’s a natural at traveling – she had her shoes off and her jacket in a plastic bin before I could tell her she needed to do that prior to going through security. Is it bad that I would look at her in line and see a 25-something, somewhat anxious, executive waiting in line to get to her work destination? It’s so easy to imagine that with Ri because she acts so much older than her years. I recall Grandma Meg telling me a story about Ri commenting about her couch pillows and how nice they looked and felt. Grandma Meg felt as though she was having a conversation with a 50 year-old woman.
We bought two bagels and sat at our gate. She looked at Facebook. I looked around. When it looked like the ticket agent was ready to board, Ri gathered up our things and scurried me along. “Mom, hurry, we want to get on the plane before the others.”
On the plane, she nestled into her seat with her iPad and earphones. Cupcake Wars began to play and she zoned out. The attendant came around eventually and we got waters and pretzels to eat (we each asked for an extra bag, of course). When we landed, Ri was the first to stand up and prepare for departure. She was excited to be in Boston. I was excited, too. So excited that we exited the terminal to get our bags not realizing that once we exited we couldn’t get back in to eat! We had two and a half hours to wait for Melanie and Stephen who were driving us to the hotel.
But we figured out an alternative plan that ended up being much more fun. We took the Silver Line bus to South Station where we got to eat come good Cajun chicken and people watch. Ri wanted to take a subway and this was the next best thing. We had to buy a card to go back into the station and catch our bus, which was something new and exciting for Ri. A man was playing the guitar on our way back right along two yuppies who were holding briefcases and chatting. You get to see a wide range of folks here, Ri. She nodded as if she’d seen it all before.
By the time we returned to the airport, Melanie had landed. We found Stephen (after nearly 45 minutes of roaming the parking lot!) and headed to Cape Cod in the pouring rain. Ri had her girlfriend Henley with her now and she was loving that – they laughed and acted ridiculous most of the way to Cape Cod (Ri passed out asleep about 20 minutes out).
On Friday morning, Ri woke up ready to devour the breakfast buffet. I was right beside her! We met up with Henley and the crew. Ri was mightily disappointed that the Inn did not serve a buffet bar. She threw a bit of a pouting session (there’s my ten year old girl!) but then livened up after I took her out to talk. The rest of the day we chilled with Henley and her family and Melissa and her son (Henley and Ri love to watch over him) around the Inn and around Sandwich. We visited some stores and found a cute candy shoppe that sold those candy cigarettes I used to fake smoke as a kid. I had to buy those up. Later that night, Ri asked if we could throw them away since they were bad for you – even if they were candy. Sweet thing.
We headed off to the Clambake in the evening. It was at a lake house and it was a beautiful night. The kids loved the water and the sandy shore. They couldn’t resist to roll up their pants and jump in the lake. Ri exhibited much self-control – usually she will jump in fully clothed but I warned her I would not be happy.
Ri also tried her first lobster! She didn’t think it was bad … not particularly her favorite, either, but she gave it a shot. She was not a fan of the clams, however. The cake and cookies were killer dessert though and we both had enough for four!
The kids put on a dance show for us at the end of the night. Ri, with her meek self, approached guests and told them they better come to the basement for a killer dance show.
Saturday was the wedding and Ri and Henley spent an hour preparing. They looked like divas. Red lipstick and all. They were so stoked about it.
Ri has known Doris and Kim her entire life and I’m grateful that they let us witness their vows. We also got to take a trolley to the wedding. Too fun! The beach couldn’t have been any more stunning with the powder blue sky and white bouncing clouds and balloons and colorful umbrella for folks to hold as they stood in the sun waiting for the brides. The ceremony was short and sweet; the kids watched the entire event deep in the moment.
Afterwards, they jumped in the ocean after slipping off their shoes. They found huge rocks to climb and stand on as Melanie and I bit our nails worried about them slipping. They had it under control.
The kids took the mass of balloons back in the trolley and we sang songs as we headed to the reception at the home of one of Doris and Kim’s dear friends. The kids did fairly well in the beginning. However, Ri was pretty disappointed at the fact this friend had a pool but wouldn’t let them swim in it. She got over it though as they brought out appetizer after appetizer. She and Henley tasted most everything. There was a man playing the guitar and singing and a tent up for everyone to sit under while eating and chatting. Doris and Kim were so happy and in love, which made the day all the more spectacular.
After dinner, the kids were getting tired and antsy. I told them we could go to the boardwalk. Someone had told me it was just a few blocks away. About fifteen minutes into the walk – and five minutes from the boardwalk – we got a text that the desserts were being served. Henley desperately wanted to go back. Ri didn’t. One boy didn’t, the other did. I knew Henley’s mom wanted her back so we turned around and headed back. Ri was irritated. Henley felt bad. They both pouted. I walked with Ri and explained how I always feel bad when I get mad at a friend for something trivial and end up having a horrible time because of it. We could see the boardwalk later. Ri walked back to where Henley was sauntering and said something to her that led to them walking together and talking. Ri is good about letting things go, which I hope she keeps as she gets older.
We ended up losing out on the desserts after all. We scored a few macaroons but that was it. But we got hugs from Doris and Kim – a fine alternative to the sweets. We left a bit afterwards to go change at the Inn and hit the boardwalk. The kids got bored as the adults changed and relaxed for a few minutes and they went to the gardens. Much to their surprise, the pool was open. We went down to find them jumping off the fake cliffs on the sides of the pool and having a blast. So much for the boardwalk. The Inn’s pool won the evening.
We closed the pool down and headed up to our rooms to change for a late dinner. How we could be hungry after all we are at the reception is beyond me but we were. Grilled cheeses and pasta dishes later, we trekked up to our rooms for sleep. We all looked like zombies the next morning. We had to leave at 9:30 am for the airport. We sat at breakfast staring off into space. No one was offended. We shoveled in more food and packed ourselves in Stephen’s van to head to the airport.
Ri held my hand as we rose up in the air on takeoff. I get super nervous and I was starting to get sick by Sunday with a cough and headache. She nursed me well as we flew through the cotton clouds on our way home to Columbus. I learned how enjoyable it is to go on a trip with Ri – she is the quintessential travel partner. No drama, low maintenance, funny, out-going, and kind. She earned the right to visit Mexico and hang with her Aunt Sarah or Sweden to visit her Uncle Jack. Oh, heck, maybe we’ll hit both.