"http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd"> urbanMamas

Some urbanMamas Get Away

In my 11.5 years as a mama, I had only had 1 mama getaway.  I had a couple of handfuls of work-trips, without my family, there was one weekend when I planned a long weekend away to see friends back in New York City.  The weekend was spent going out, sleeping in, not worrying about making meals or doing chores.  It was a great weekend, probably about 6 years ago, now.

When I left Portland, a friend, who also left behind many friends after relocating coasts, encouraged me to keep in touch with friends by going on regular girls' weekends.  She herself never skipped a year, never skipped an occasion.  Her girls' getaways were sacred to her.  True to form, I can recall many of her travels in past years, usually beachy meet-ups in all parts of the Northern Hemisphere, as her girlfriends had now spread themselves throughout the US.

At the turn of the new year, three of my BFFs from Portland got to thinking "let's do a destination marathon": the Nike Women's in SF (Oct) or the Napa Trail Marathon (March).  We soon nixed that idea: too much effort to train, too much money to register, too much time competing when we were supposed to be spending quality time together.  We then thought about a really long trailrun together (30+ miles), an unofficial run where we could just enjoy the miles and miles of trails in the hills I am discovering here.  But, "eh".  I guess that idea lacked pizzaz.

Then: a new idea.  One of the mamas had a weekend at a house in Sonoma, compliments of the Beverly Cleary School auction.  And: a bold suggestion.  We should bike there: 56.1 miles one-way, add on vineyard-hopping by bike, then the return trip, and it would amount to over 100 miles, plenty of wine, thousands of giggles, and endless stories.



Go figure: despite having a California winter consisting of sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-60s, the forecast for our California getaway weekend called for rain.  The day we rode out into wine country, it was a loooong day.  We took our time getting out the door, and it felt very unlike family vacation road trips, when the morning is a tizzy of getting ready: packing for so many other bodies, accounting for all sorts of contingencies, and managing a variety of other needs (naps, meal schedules).  The difference with this trip was that even trying to get out the door felt leisurely. Finally, at noon, we were on our way, in high spirits with blue skies and sun shining above.  As we pedaled miles and miles, it got pretty long.  Backs sore, arms tired, legs strained.  Though physically draining, it was not so much a stressful situation at all.  Again, we only needed to worry about ourselves, not worry about getting little ones fed, off to bed, warming up little fingers.  

By Day 2, the rain had joined us, bringing a bit of nostalgia to our ride.  We sucked it up, sloshed from winery to winery, despite some technical difficulties (flat tire in the rain, setting out to walk 2 miles to the nearest bike shop. in the rain), we managed.  After all, at least we didn't have to struggle with whining or complaining or other people's needs.  All we needed to tend to were our whims and desires, going with the flow, not rushing to stay on a family schedule.  

On Day 3, the ride back home from wine country was much more delicious then the previous two days of riding.  There was sunshine, wide road shoulders, well-marked multi-use paths, rolling hills, and fresh air to devour.  Fearful that the trip home might be as long as the trip there, we left early, and we actually arrived close-to-home by 1pm, with the whole afternoon ahead of us.  The rest of the day was spent relishing more of the unstructured, unpressured life, knowing that reunion with our families would mean many needs and requests hurled upon us.  A few more hours of luxury, then we slowly pedaled home.

When I saw the kids again after three full days without them, I had to hold them at arm's length and give them a good look.  They were happy, cheery to have me back, and I was soaking in their eyes and hugging their bodies tight.  I love my kids, and I even love responding to their every request, even if they come at a rate of 5-per-minute.  I love my home, and I love helping keep its order, even if I drown in 7 loads of laundry every Sunday.  But.  I must say: I love my adventure of an urbanMamas getaway and I cannot wait to see what we cook up for our next epic reunion.

Here are a few more photos from our travels:








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Wow, what a trip. Your pictures are great.

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