Thursday, March 27, 2014

A break from routine

27 of 31 at Two Writing Teachers!
"Let's go somewhere this break. I want to get out of here!" It was mid-March and I was up to my neck in stress and frustration. (Although that seems far away now, that's only because I've been ignoring the two sticky notes filled with to-dos that glare at me whenever I open my laptop cover. Other to-dos are more important.)

"When's your break? ... Remember, Caleb will be gone for his honeymoon." Husband shattered my hopes of a stress-free getaway. His building could not be completely devoid of IT support, even for a few days. "But we can have a special week right here at home!"

I rolled my eyes. "Right... I'll feel real relaxed as I sit in a dirty house, surrounded by piles of schoolwork..."

Determined to cheer me up, he started going to work an hour early so he could come home an hour early, giving us an extra hour in our all-too-short evenings together. We've gone out to dinner. We went to a wedding. We've caught up on TV shows, played video games, watched videos, and even gone shopping.

Fun, but not out-of-the-ordinary special.

Luckily, my colleague Stella is amazing when it comes to exploring the hidden gems of our city. It seems that whenever I scroll through my Facebook feed, there's another intriguing new post from Stella about an incredible restaurant, shop, park, or other activity that I've never heard of!

Unfortunately, I usually think "Wow, cool! We need to go there!" ... and then promptly forget about it...

Then, last weekend, Cathy included links to some activities in her Spring Break poem. Those few simple lines nudged me: You don't have to go away to make your break special! Even better, one of those links was to an extraordinary art exhibition that I'd also seen on Stella's Facebook page.

"That's it! We have to go see Light!" I screeched.

So we did. We meandered through enchanted gardens. We giggled and held hands. We captured our wonder in pictures and videos. We even enjoyed a delicious treat right under the dazzling lights of one of the installations.
a huge cream cheese brownie and exotic fruit sodas!
And not only did we forget about the stressors and routines of everyday life, we forgot we were in our city. We almost forgot we were on Earth! It was that incredible.
What?! You still didn't click on yesterday's phoem yet?! Go look at it now! I'll wait!
Then, yesterday, I drove to campus to meet him for lunch. After some comfort food in the old-fashioned diner, we walked to a new campus discovery: the Cartoon Museum, which has a Bill Watterson exhibition right now. Husband is a huge Calvin and Hobbes fan, so he was practically scampering all the way around the room.
It was fascinating to see the original strips and sketches, with information about Watterson's creative process.
The exhibit even included some of Watterson's tools and unfinished sketches. We learned that he drew the black & white outlines on one page, then did the watercolor on a separate page. Fascinating! 
When you know where to look, there's so much to discover... even right in your own town!


  1. Happy you made it to some of your wonderful places. Yep, there are places in my city that I never get to, just forget or ignore. Have a great rest of the break!

  2. Sometimes the discovery of what is close by is even more exciting than going away for vacation. This is an inspiring push for me to do the same. Happy exploring!

  3. What a spring break this has been! So many discoveries and moments to savor. It sounds like this staycation has been just what your body and mind needed.

  4. Both exhibits sound great! I too find it hard to make the time to enjoy what my own town has to offer. I live 3 miles from Washington, DC and don't get to see everything I could. Enjoy your break!

  5. I need to take a lesson from you when I think about my break that is starting in 8 days! Plan fun activities even though I will be staying at home.

  6. I'm so glad that you are enjoying your staycation and that you are finding so many wonderful things to do. Your description and pictures of the Light exhibit were incredible. Maybe I will try to convince my husband to check it out with me this weekend. Though, I already feel like I have experienced it after reading your post!


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