I’m blogging from a hotel room in lovely, crunchy, red-neck, artsy, hippie Moab, Utah. This trip marks my third visit to the city that looks like, well, sorta like I’d envision the red planet of Mars to look. And instead of funky little Mars rovers’ roaming around the terrain there are tricked out mountain bikes, fresh with dirt, leaning against colorful cafes and tons of Jeepish vehicles moseying along Main street. It’s an adventure seeker’s paradise, or a tired Mama’s perfect people watchin’ escape.
Outside my hotel room’s window is a dirt lot, followed by another dirt lot housing old, painted school buses. I think these buses shuttle white-water rafters to their t-gene lovin’ destinations. Backing up to the bus lot are huge, bold, looming, beautiful mounds of red Moab earth. Red Moab earth that lightly dusts everything in its path. Red Moab earth that has held the weight of thousands of Jeepish vehicles every year for the Easter Jeep Safari, an event I’ve been lucky enough to attend twice.
This year, I’m here with my husband and a bunch of other rock-crawlin’ buddies who came for a 5 day getaway, just for the heck of it. I managed to weasel my way in as the only wife, nay, woman here with the group. Plus baby! Which means I’m relegated to staying behind the scenes at a hotel while the guys machismo it up on the trails. And I'm soooo okay with that. While Jason will be gone most of the time four-wheeling on the trails, I saw the trip as a divine opportunity to actually relax for awhile. Staying at a hotel with nothing to do? Pre-baby I would have scoffed and passed on the offer. With-baby, it’s definitely a vacation worth making it to, despite the solid 8 hour road trip. In a Jeep. With big tires. And a soft top. So loud you can barely talk. Bursting at the seams with bags and baby gear.
In the hotel, I can sit atop the king sized bed fit for a queen and watch Kaia crawl around on carpet I don’t have to clean (OK, stay with me now, I’m trying to not think about how dirty the hotel carpet probably is). When she naps – OLE! – I can nap too!…cuz there are no dishes to clean, litter to scoop, laundry to fold, or phone calls to take. I can be a water hog and partake in a long, hot shower with nary a worry about the water bill. With Kaia on my hip, I can waltz to the pool and play, or waltz two doors down to the indoor hot tub and relax with our feet in the water. It’s like a vacation away from everyday life, with one big exception: there is still internet. Wi-fi. Oh la la.
Life in the hotel room is simple. I read a magazine here and there, nap a bit, and oversee Kaia’s efforts to climb, and subsequently fall, on everything. I also do stranger, quite random things like swallow an orange Skittle. Whole. Yep. I do have to say, though, that it isn’t as terrible as having Skittle “juice” go down the wrong pipe and into your nasal cavities. It burns like hell and takes forever to go away. Like maybe an hour. But this phenomenon has happened to be more than once and it’s one I hope not to repeat soon. That interesting, but brief, whole-Skittle swallowing experience came while trying to read Kaia a story aloud and simultaneously cram that “rainbow of fruit flavor” into my mouth. I’m kinda glad it was just us two in the room, because my look of utter shock and horror as the Skittle slid (thankfully) down my throat was probably kinda embarrassing. Kaia didn’t notice.
A few hours after Jason left us two sleepyheads this morning; I was stepping out of the pool with a towel-bundled Kaia in my arms. I looked up to see someone who resembled my husband – no way, it was my husband! – hopping out of a black primered truck. His Jeep busted on the very first obstacle of the day. Poor guy. Good news is he took it to a shop immediately and it will be trail worthy again tomorrow. So, we got to spend an unexpected day together. We celebrated by strapping Kaia into the hiking backpack and walking to Wendy’s for Frosty’s, lunch, and mandarin oranges. Then, we strolled through the streets of old town Moab and poked into the shops. While waiting for the little white LED man to tell us it was safe to cross the street, the smell of blooming roses in front of a local cafe wafted past us. I asked Kaia if she could smell the trees and the distinct yumminess of Italian food and bakery goodies. Ohhh yah, vacation smells for sure.
Tomorrow we’ll walk to the park and loll (lolling is a must on vacation) in the grass, watching the locals on a Sunday. Then, we’ll stop at one of those bakeries and devour a brownie or lick some ice cream. Before we know it, Jason will be back from his daily expedition and it will be time to eat again. Then sleep. In a king sized bed fit for a queen. With sheets I won’t have to launder!
P.S. Ya know how states have things like state bird, state flower, etc? Add to Utah’s list… State Cooking Pot: The Dutch Oven. How random.