Matt and I set out on April 1st for our first vacation, just the two of us, since our Honeymoon, 4 years ago. After arriving at the KC airport at 7am to find a 2 hour delayed flight to Houston, then a cancelled flight to Harlingen, a sprint through the George Bush Intercontinental Airport to catch a plane to Brownsville, Texas, where we rented a car to drive 30 minutes, we finally arrived in South Padre at 6pm. Our checked bag did not. It finally arrived a little before 1am. Normally, this would only provide a minor inconvenience. But I am a nursing (sorry if that makes you uncomfortable) mother of a 5 month old child, and I checked a vital piece of equiptment. V.I.T.A.L. Those of you that have never breastfed a child before, you have no concept of how miserable going from fulltime nursing to 20 hours without a feeding is. Those of you who have, yeah, it was bad. Imagine trying to relax with 2 large bricks resting on your chest. Also, as we lounged, waiting for our bags, Matt recieved an email from a prospective employer stating they did not have a position for him. Needless to say, we needed a vacation from our first day of vacation, let alone the previous Month from Hell (which is what I have nicknamed March of 2011), or the entire last 4 years in general.
To recap: Matt got a job with Cramer, Inc in January 2006. I began medical school a year earlier than planned when a spot opened up in August of 2006. My father had a stroke in September of 2006. He then got diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. I struggled to deal with this, planning a wedding, and studying all at the same time, so took a leave of absence from school in January 2007. I got married February 2007. I started school again in August 2007. I had a baby in November 2008. I had a baby in November 2010. Matt got laid off March 2011. I scrambled to match into a field of medicine I did not necessarily want to match into, March of 2011. And during all that in between time, I studied for highly stressful board exams and regularly stressful med school exams, as well as applied for and interviewed for residency positions. Meanwhile, Matt worked 50-60 hour weeks, traveled quite a bit for work, and attempted to shoot some photography on the side. And finally, there's those adorable boys, who aren't capable, yet, of taking care of themselves. I think that's it...
...not that I need justification for a vacation, I am just trying to help you, the reader, understand, just how relaxing those 3 [non-travel] days were. Do you know what I did? I slept. I ate all my meals without interruption, without being hurried, with both of my hands available and only fed myself. I drank alcoholic beverages whenever I wanted. I did a puzzle without any of the pieces being taken apart as soon as they were put together, or stolen, or fed to the dog, or fed to the baby. I relaxed in the sun. I walked on the beach, I ran on the beach, I rode a horse on the beach. I read a (somewhat) non-educational novel. I say somewhat, because it is Atlas Shrugged, which at 1066 pages long, with tiny print, and lots of enlightening philosophical thoughts, which make me wonder if I am Ayn Rand re-incarnate (it could happen, she died 5 months before I was born...) it's not exactly a light read. And most importantly, I enjoyed some time with my favorite person in the world, Matt.
We discovered an amazing little restaurant, Cafe Kranzler. This place mirrored a famous cafe in Berlin, Germany, and inspired us to the point of scheming on how to open one in Prairie Village. We ate there 3 times, would have been 4, but it's closed on Mondays. They served a pancake. Literally, a cake in a pan. Unbelievable! It took 30 minutes for them to prepare it, I would have waited 1 hour and 30 minutes to eat it. I was more than happy to sit and sip on the cup of coffee, reminiscent of the coffee I had in Denmark. The South Padre brewing company was the only other restaurant of note. With a delightful wheat beer, and the ability to fry anything and pair it with some tastely sauce, it's kind of hard to go wrong.
Though, to most of you, South Padre Island makes you think young people partying for Spring Break. To me, it means paradise. I hope we have nothing but good news, and good times ahead of us, but at least, for now, at this moment, I can say I am refreshed.