Sunday, January 06, 2008

Home away from home

Making the Calgary trip comfortable and tolerable for all the affected family members is a work in progress. We go because Erin needs violin lessons. Somehow we need to make it work for the rest of us. Not just the for three siblings but for their mother too. This past week's trip felt good. We splurged and rented a hotel room with this extra space. I think it was an extra $25. What a difference!

Two burners and a few pots and dishes meant that we could have real meals without all the fuss, bother and expense of going to a restaurant. Our solution in the past had been to eat out of bags and boxes and from grocery-store veggie platters. But real meals are possible in this room -- soup and pasta and the like.

Five of us in a room dominated by two queen-sized beds was manageable but very cramped. In this room we could spread out. One kid on the couch, one at the desk, one on each bed and still space left for me to perch on. There was even enough floor and closet space that we weren't constantly tripping over our suitcase, innumerable stringed instruments and doubly-innumerable winter boots. (Okay, only ten winter boots. They just seem innumerable.)

Oddly enough the TV, which is usually a hotel-room tradition with the kids, barely got turned on this trip. Probably because there was enough space to spread out and do one's own thing. Oh, and the mega-bookstore shopping trip helped, no doubt. And the pool downstairs. And the social visits with our SelfDesign Learning Consultant and Erin's teacher's family. And the outdoor skating we did.

If it hadn't been for the fact that the 7 1/2-hour trip home turned into 12 hours with the poor driving conditions and the three-hour detour, we'd have all felt truly happy about the trip.

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