My mommycation began two Thursdays ago when I went to visit my husband in CA. It lasted four nights and five days. A brief time in my 1,070 days of mommyhood. Even though I was away from the girls that didn't mean I stopped being a mom and missing or calling-repeatedly, I might add-just to check up on the girls, to talk to them, or to see their smiles on Skype.
There were so many silly, lighthearted moments that night. I miss those the most when my husband is away. I also miss those comfortable moments of silence where you don't feel the need to talk. Just sitting near each other is enough.
Since he had to work on Friday I had the entire day to explore San Jose (after sleeping in) by myself. No schedules, no routine, no to-do list.
I am known for getting lost and I felt some trepidation driving around San Jose on my own in a rental car but I am glad that I did. The whole area had such a relaxed and laid back vibe. The surrounding hills looked like they had been molded out of gingerbread dough.
The people are very proud of their heritage and really tried to preserve it without reeling you in with touristy showmanship like you sometimes find in other areas. They were very respectful of their past.
I visited Kelley Park which had a zoo, a Japanese Friendship Garden (modeled after the Korakuen Park in Okayama), and a Historic Park.
I think there is something fascinating about old buildings and history in general. I love thinking that the buildings and artifacts of our past have endured. Real people who loved and lived and felt the same emotions as us once walked through those doors or handled those objects and it comes alive for me. Forget the peeling paint or the rust or the dust that has settled through the years. There is something about the pieces of what we leave behind that reassures me that the past is never really gone.
I didn't visit the zoo in Kelley Park but I did meet some local wildlife.
Meet Slithering and Rinaldo:
I thought Rinaldo was pretty cute running circles around the rim of the garbage can chattering away. Around here squirrels run away from humans, but not Rinaldo. In fact, he was pretty territorial about that garbage can and seemed to be staking his claim when I tried to take his picture. At one point, I swear he bared his teeth at me and it was NOT in a smile. He wasn't so cute at that precise moment.
Ever think about what heaven would smell like? I hope it smells like the San Jose Municipal Rose Gardens.
The Franciscan mission had been founded in 1797 at an Ohlone Indian village. The 1868 earthquake had destroyed many of the mission's buildings including the church which was rebuilt in the 1980s. The tombstone pictured aroused my curiousity because the woman who died was 19 (and married) and the bottom of the tombstone read:
To us for Eleven months
Her Pleasant smile was given
And then she bade farewell to earth
And went to live in Heaven.I assumed she must have only been at the mission for eleven months. It was a puzzle. It made me wonder more about her. How long was she married? Did she have children? What did she die of?
I had to leave to pick up my husband and never stopped to ask and it has been gnawing at me ever since.
I was actually late picking up my husband from work anyway because I got lost. By the time I arrived, he was a solitary figure standing outside of his office building. Getting in the car, he just shook his head and smiled.
I can't believe how many things I saw and how many memories I made my first day. I saw all of this with no rushing to see the sites-just lazily wandered around. My husband had planned the rest of the trip as far as what we were going to do and see so I just got to sit back and enjoy.