HOUGHTON FAMILY VACATION SUCKASSSS!
Okay, maybe it hasn’t been that exciting (I mean, we are traveling with a 20 month old so we’re not talking luxurious beach vacation here) but it was pretty great to be away for a week.
Let me take you through it…
The trip started early for me when Jenn and I left to help our cousin, Taylore, out with setting up her wedding in Kansas City last Saturday. It was horribly hot and tiring to work outside for two days straight, but the wedding went off without a hitch and it was beautiful. I highly recommend getting married at an orchard, people. There are ducks. There are apples. There are beautiful houses with comfortable furniture that you can stay in.
The morning following the wedding Elias, Jeff and I woke up before dawn to start traveling to Indianapolis to meet up with Jeff’s family– all 18 of us — for the week. It was going to take about 7 hours, and we don’t have A/C in our car (a very tragic long story there, but I’ll spare it), so we wanted to get to Indy before it got too hot. Well, plans be dammed, we ended up getting a flat tire around 7am. It sort of turned me into a crazy person right away. I had received little sleep the night before (thrashing toddler in bed with us in a hot room) and had endured two days of manual labor outside in the summer sun to set up this wedding. 15 hours in the hot car later, I could have killed people.
The next day though turned out to be wonderful, and each day thereafter were a series of little gifts. Huzzah! Bad travel day redeemed! First of all, Elias enjoyed being around his cousins so much that I thought a permanent smile had been plastered on his face. Hugging everyone.Clapping. Blowing kisses. Dancing. Playing kindly with the other kids. There is something about seeing the world through a child’s eyes– everything is a new endeavor, which brings out playfulness and a sense of insight. Good things, I think.
The second part of the trip which I really enjoyed was just exploring the city. Indy has a bike share program so it was incredibly easy to navigate and get through. This leads me to another unrelated point: I love cities. I like being outside and the country all of that, but there is something about the energy of a city that gets me going. It feels like possibility.
Requirements to make a city “cool” (and how Indy fit the bill):
- Plethora of pretentious coffee shops. They do, in fact, have the best coffee.
- Local music scene or ability to access good shows. -I attempted to catch a show on my own but ended up getting there late (family walk turned into an Entire Evening Event) and I had a hard time finding the venue. Also, as my family and I were walking along the canal one night we caught the beginning of an outdoor O.A.R. show. That was fun.
- Local shopping spots; like record stores (found a great one), vintage shops, local book stores, some sort of artisan snack shop (Indy has a POPCORN shop. Didn’t visit it, but oh-my. Popcorn!) , etc.
- Some way to be a pedestrian in the city- Indy has a canal, a bike trail through downtown, and the Monon. Good stuff.
- Groups of people with skin pigment that isn’t the same as mine. Note: doesn’t exist here.
- Tall buildings. I love looking up. Again: possibilities.
- Art everywhere.
- Good landscaping. Strange requirement, but I love me a well landscaped space.
- Someone special to share it with (sometimes– sometimes I need some room to explore).
Finally, though, it was nice to be with family. Assuredly there were a few times I was slightly out of it and a bit detached– I think all in all I’ve been pretty exhausted from everyday life lately– but everyone being together was pretty wonderful. Jeff’s family = wonderful, kind, intelligent, caring people.
So to add it to the record- I enjoyed myself. Thanks, world, for some blessed time away.