I did a thing with some friends. It’s about time.

I recently took a real vacation to Monterey, California with my best friends and honestly, I’m not sure I could describe it. I mean, I could tell you what we did – hiked along the coast, posed with redwoods, watched Avengers: Endgame without our families (ssh! I haven’t told Nathaniel), ate FRESH seafood, and went sailing (and spotted dolphins!) but I’m not sure I could convey the sense of freedom and adventure I experienced.

I’ve always said I was a boring person. The majority of my life is lived within the four walls of my home and that’s fine with me. Really. In fact, I love being home. Spending most days alone in my house is a good fit for an introvert like me. But that doesn’t mean I have no sense of adventure or that I don’t dream of visiting far away places.

The reality is that my husband is in the army and has traveled all over the world. Sometimes, to places no one wants to go and other times to places I only dream of going. But either way, He couldn’t be home, even when he wanted to. And that meant I had to be.

I had to be the stable parent. The one who never misses an award ceremony. The one who makes sure all three kids make it for their regular medical and dental checkups. The one who sits down every few weeks and pays the bills. The one who plans the weekly menu and does the grocery shopping. The one who’s available each afternoon to help with homework and always home for goodnight kisses. Maybe it would’ve been different if we had family nearby and had others to rely on. But that’s never been our reality. It was my responsibility. And also my privilege.

I don’t regret my choice. I think my kids are better for it and they are the most important thing. But now that Lover Boy has a new job and will be non-deployable for the next few years, I finally had the opportunity to get a little taste of adventure and freedom myself!

Turns out, I’m not boring after all, just reliable. Here are some of my favorite images from the trip. (Click the thumbnail to view it larger).

Point Lobos State Nature Reserve:

 

 

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park:

 

 

Monterey Bay Aquarium (and sailing):