The year is winding down, and it's tempting to say "Oh thank goodness this year is over, I hope 2013 will be better," while in reality the "New Year" is just a point on a continuum. If I want the next arbitrary bundle of 365 days to be better, I have to make them better... I'll get out of the new year what I put into it.
What is undeniable is that I have much to be thankful for. This weekend, for example. To finish off our Christmas vacation-at-home, Emma and I went away for a Girl's Weekend to our nearest metropolitan center with a plethora of retail opportunities that are not found in La Grande. We hit all our favorite thrift stores and craft stores in Kennewick, Washington, and stayed overnight in a hotel. It was a cheap hotel, but it had a POOL, and it had a HOT TUB!
So we replenished Emma's wardrobe at the thrift stores. Chortle, chortle...for $40 we got her 2 pants, 2 dresses, a skirt, 6 shirts, a pajama set, and a pair of shoes! I love thrift stores! We got beads and feathers and a mask to decorate at the craft store. We went to the mall and had lunch and got her some sparkly earrings. We swam and hot tubbed. We went out to dinner at Red Robin, then swam some more. We snuggled in bed and read books. We slept.
Today, we had the continental breakfast provided by the hotel- cereal and oatmeal seem so much more glamorous when eaten in a hotel, especially when there are also cinnamon rolls wrapped in cellophane and a juice machine where you can serve yourself half orange juice and half cranberry juice. We geocached in town in the morning and went to a park, then we went to REI for a bike pump, to the craft store again just on general principles, to Best Buy to see if they had a power cord we need for Emma's computer (they didn't), and to the pet store (new fish! yay!). Then a quick late lunch and we headed home. But wait, there's more!
On the way home we stopped off at Plymouth Park, which is an island in the Columbia River, just downstream of McNary Dam, on the border between Washington and Oregon. There are seven caches on this one island, and we found them all, which allowed us to go for a two-mile hike through the sagebrush. It was lovely. The temperature was right at freezing, but there was no wind and we were moving enough to keep warm. We got there mid-afternoon, so the sun was starting to go down and we were treated to a beautiful sunset.
It was a great two-day trip, with a great walk to cap it off, and a fun time with my girl. What a wonderful Christmas break this has been.