With Mother's Day right around the corner I can't help but think of my own mom and how rich she made my life. Before there ever was a June Cleaver there was my mom - the queen of the kitchen, reigning in her house dress and high heels. And what a happy reign it was! She made home the kind of place kids wanted to be. I can still remember coming into the house after school and inhaling the fragrance of home-baked chocolate chip cookies. (No wonder I'm a chocoholic!)
And, oh, the parties she could throw for me and my friends - always some sort of theme party complete with hand-crafted invitations, yummy food, and clever activities. She made it all look easy. I still remember fondly the "sewing club" my mother started on the pretext of teaching me and my grade school girlfriends how to embroider and quilt. I think really it was an attempt to teach us to be ladies. We always had tea (laced with cream and sugar) and cookies and were expected to practice good table manners. (Oh, how she tried to wean us away from playing horses!) Every gathering was an adventure. When I was in high school she came up with the brilliant idea to dress my poor old dad up like a gypsy fortune teller and have him crash my Halloween party. He was an instant hit, telling all the guests' fortunes... using information we fed him ahead of time.
She loved to plan special dinners for our family, and her greatest joy was seeing her children, grandchildren gathered around her table.
She didn't stop with family. I think my parents fed half the neighborhood. I know there was never a time when I asked if I could have company that I was denied.
Mom was busy with more than just fun and games. She was a tireless volunteer. She made sure her children got to church every week and she worked hard to instill good moral vallue in us. Kindness and generosity were the twin goals we aimed for in my home, and Mom taught us to take aim with love and laughter.
I wish she was still around to hang out with my daughter and me. Whatever we wind up doing this Mother's Day, we'll bring her along in our hearts.
So, ladies, love to travel? Want to save money? Do a girls' weekend and do it off-season. It's the perfect way to travel. How do I know this? Personal experience, of course!
I Just got back from a fun trip to Portland, OR. Sheila's assessment? Efficient transportation system, huge Saturday market (got the cute cupcake bath bomb th, lots of wonderful restaurants - a great getaway. And going with girlfriends makes it affordable. When you get wonderful off-season rates and can share a room with a friend, well, what's not to love about that?
We took the train down from Seattle, which allowed us to visit and play cards - the time flew! We stayed at the Benson Hotel, which is gorgeous and has a wonderful staff. We ate breakfast at Mother's. Twice. IMHO, this restaurant serves the best breakfasts in the Northwest. And they are not stingy. Both times I split a plate with a buddy and not only saved money but came away perfectly satisfied yet not stuffed to the point of explosion. (Which is more than I can say for how I felt after consuming the incredible happy hour hamburger at El Goucho!) Before we left on our trip three different people told me I absolutely had to visit Voodoo Donuts. Well, we went to check it out but the line to get in stretched around the corner and halfway down the block. So no voodoo for me and no adding to the fat colony on my hips. Probably just as well. And in between the shopping and eating what did we do? Well, this group of friends is The Game Girls, so naturally we staked out a table in the hotel and played games. And since playing games is my favorite thing to do, well, let's just say the weekend vanished in a blink.
Now I'm home, doing laundry. Ah, the glam life of a writer! Why does the time go so fast when you're having fun?! It is a mystery. Sooo, how about you? Have you been to Portland? Somewhere else? What was your favorite spot to visit?