Gabriel turns Two: Happy Birthday Sweet Boy

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Adventures and Coming Home

I arrived home from vacation last night. This year, the adventure included David, myself, the swimming pool, the beach, three young children, a mother ambivalently committed to a dysfunctional marriage (the first leg of the journey) followed up during the second leg by an ex-husband who is a self-proclaimed ex scumbag and current chronic car key-loser, a stealth bottomless blender and a beautiful oceanfront view.

There were good times and bad times and we proved not only that we can (sort of) successfully travel with little kids and strange family, but also why many people don't. I will focus on the good times.

Before my former spouse arrived to celebrate Nika's birthday with us, David, Nika, Gabe, Avriana and I played Family Feud hosted by our resort; it was great fun! We also happened to win, which was cool, and our family went way with five frisbees -- red, blue and purple.

Everyone meandered along the boardwalk in various constituencies. Sometimes Nika held my hand while Daddydad/Uncle Mike chased Gabriel, and David carried Avriana. Or David pushed Nika in the stroller with Gabe sitting on Nika's lap, while Avriana snuggled into my neck. And sometimes I followed Gabe as he trotted in zig zags in whichever direction called his name, pointing out boats, dogs and rocks.

For Nika's birthday, she climbed to the top of a lighthouse. Or rather her Daddydad carried her. David and I relaxed and played while Gabriel and Avriana slept. In the afternoon, all six of us made Ice Cream Sundays and bracelets in the Fun Zone of our hotel, followed by cake and candles on little plates covertly donated by the staff from the Ozone Grill upstairs.

David and I ate a cute restaraunt next to the marina, which served the best chicken quesadillas. For desert, we ordered chocolate cake, which came decadently splashed with swirls of chocolate sauce and twirlets of whipped cream. "It looks beautiful,"I said to our waiter. "I tried to make it look a little pretty for you," he replied with a shy, mexican accent. After dinner we opted out of Casino land.

Walking along the evening beach, we marveled at crabs melting into sand under the night sky.

Nika had a blast swimming with Mom and Dad in the pool; Gabriel loved the boats and anytime we got to "go go go," and Avriana loved everything except the car. She spent the last twenty minutes of the homeward drive illegally sleeping in my lap while David drove with the care of a professional seamstress. We past two police cars and thanked God for the cover of darkness, and the hope of new light in the morning.

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