If it weren't for Jacob, I would be in New York City right now. Though actually, I might be there if he were even a year older. The Knighthawks are playing the New York Titans in the first round of the playoffs. Craig left yesterday, and this morning over 250 fans boarded buses paid for by the team owner for a $10 (!) trip to the Big Apple. It was a great deal and in the past I would have been first in line. I love a random adventure like that. Even the thought of 12 hours on a bus in a 24-hour period wouldn't have dissuaded me. I haven't been to NYC since 2001 (pre-9/11) and would have loved to rewrite a memory or two since I'd like to forget my travel companion for my two trips there. This one wouldn't have been a long trip--literally the trip there, a few hours to grab dinner and maybe gawk at some architecture before heading to the game and back home right after. But to go to a playoff game and to NYC in general would have been pretty stinkin' cool, particularly for $10. As you may recall, I spent $450 two years ago to head to Phoenix for the Knighthawks championship game. It was worth every penny, particularly because they won. It was an amazing couple days, a surreal weekend that is still the epitome of freedom and adventure for me. I knew then that it was one of those situations that I wanted to take advantage of before having kids. Looking back on it all, from my perfect morning bike ride the day I left, to my first solo travel experience, to enjoying a couple of beers by the pool on an 85-degree evening with the championship trophy as the centerpiece, I just think of the amazing feeling of freedom and excitement that followed me that whole weekend. I knew it was a bit of a last hurrah since we were going to be trying to get pregnant that summer, and that was part of the reason I was so determined to go.
Fast forward two years and we have an amazing baby boy to fill our days. I wouldn't trade him for anything, obviously, but I'll admit there are days when I long for the simplicity of being able to do things whenever I want, at a moment's notice with minimal planning. Something as simple as a trip to the grocery store takes some strategizing, let alone a real trip of any length. Even if someone would have been able to watch Jacob for a day, I would have had to pump on the bus. Far from ideal. I know that one fan was planning on taking their 11-month old on the bus, but they are far more daring than me!! While he'd probably have slept for a good chunk of the ride, I can't imagine how fussy he'd be if he was awake, with not being able to get up and crawl around. Lugging him around NYC would have been a challenge, and by the end of the game he would have been wiped out and cranky. I think he'd have slept most of the trip back, but still....scary stuff. Maybe in a year or two when he's a little older, can walk on his own, and can be reasoned with a bit (I know, that's probably wishful thinking), if the opportunity presents itself we can give it a shot. But for now, no NYC for either of us. It just wasn't meant to be this time around, I guess.
Speaking of travel, I have been pondering our summer vacation plans for a while now, trying to figure out if there's a baby-friendly trip we could take. We've already got a long weekend in Pittsburgh with Craig's family planned for August. I think that will be a lot of fun, though that seems like a lifetime away right now because Jacob will be more than 13 months old by then. He could be walking, eating any number of new foods, and maybe even talking! Hard to imagine! But I'd like to do some sort of real vacation before then. I don't think I'm ready to leave Jacob behind yet, though I'm sure an adults-only trip would do wonders for Craig and me since we haven't had much "us" time in the last 10 months. But I think I would be spending most of the time thinking about and talking about Jacob, and the guilt of not being with him would be tough. So, I'm more than happy to go somewhere that he will enjoy, too. My first thought is the beach...low key but entertaining. I loved the Jersey shore and would love to go back. We could walk the boardwalk, play in the sand, dip our toes in the ocean, and enjoy the tacky shops and tasty snacks. Still, the thought of a 6+ hour car trip each way and packing for a week makes me crazy. That right there might defeat the purpose of a relaxing vacation. Still, it might be fun. Something to think about.
Well, the Knighthawks blew a late lead and lost in overtime. The season is over. I'm sad for Craig because I know how much he loves playoff runs and that was definitely not the way to lose a game. However, I am excited to start his first summer of freedom in many, many years. Every summer since our first full summer as a couple, Craig has worked at least one sport. He did color commentary for Rattlers (lacrosse) home games early on, and helped out with Rhinos (soccer) games as well. Soon he took over the Rattlers' play-by-play duties, which added six road trips to his schedule. Shortly thereafter, he took on greater responsibility with the Rhinos...including their 20-some home games. All of that definitely impacted our summer weekends, which were busy to begin with. The Rhinos were out of the picture last summer (the timing couldn't have been better!), and the Rattlers folded/moved this winter, so Craig is officially down to a normal 9 to 5 schedule (in theory) all summer. No games until October! I know he'll miss the travel and camaraderie, but it will be great to have him around. Lots of family parties, trips to the zoo, and whatever else we didn't have a chance to do the last seven years or so! Should be awesome...