Saturday, March 20, 2010

Taking Care Of Me 101

I am truly blessed to have my daughter and grandson living with me and to tell the truth it would be very lonely without them in the house. Having said that, I also know that to truly appreciate the wonderful gifts we are given we need to sometimes step away so we can see them.

In January, following Theresa's lead, I decided to work on five areas of my life in 2010 and two of those areas were "make time for myself" and "once a month pamper myself" (the other three are for another time). I am here to report that on these two items I am doing very well.

The making time for myself and pampering myself once a month seem to go together very nicely so doing one seems to take care of the other. Though I am trying to make time for myself more then once a month and some of the pampering will include my daughter and grandson.

January, my first month, Monique was working a high school retreat and Benjamin went to spend the weekend with his Uncle Santi & Aunt Joyce. This left me home alone and I decided to stay home and just veg...I really needed it!

Along came February and Monique and Benjamin went to the snow; I was invited but decided to stay home. That weekend I took a drive up to Sacramento to see my dear friend Beth and get a waxing, facial and pedicure (she is the best!!!). It was so wonderful to see her and to have her pamper me so wonderfully that I have no words to describe it! Great two months down and only 10 more to go.

March seemed to arrive almost without me noticing and Monique had no plans to go anywhere and so I decided it was time for me to go somewhere, but where? Then it came to me, I should go to Fort Bragg. I have always wanted to go to Fort Bragg and now seemed as a good time as any. So I began looking into where to stay. Theresa suggested Vichy Spa, but that was a bit pricey for me right to the Internet I went. I found the Emerald Dolphin Inn. The price was right and AAA rated it very good. I called and made reservations for Saturday night. My plan was to drive up, stopping at my favorite winery, Hanna, along the way and then spend the rest of the day in Fort Bragg. I made my reservations and then started counting the days, hours and minutes until I left.

On Friday I decided I would work from home so I could get caught up on some reports. When I do that I try to start the day with a cup of coffee with Christa. As it turned out it was furlough Friday for her and so we met for coffee. I wanted some recommendations from her on where to eat and what to see as she and Joe come up this way. She gave me the name of a coffee shop, restaurant, a must see garden and a wonderful office supply/paper/artist shop. While we were talking she asked why was I not going up today and I replied something about money, etc. Her response was something about putting myself first. I went home and made a any chance do you have a room tonight? Why yes, we have your room available tonight. BOOK IT! I was ready to head out as soon as Monique got home. That was until the email that said, can you come in for a family meeting at 4:00 p.m.? Why of course I can be there...I love my job.

I started my long drive sometime after 8:00 p.m. and arrived here in Fort Bragg a little after 12:30 a.m. Thankfully there someone still in the office as I had not thought to call to say I would be late. She was such a sweet woman and to top it off the price she gave me for the room was lower than the one I was quoted by AAA and she also informed me it was Mendocino Coast Whale Festival. Okay this weekend is starting out pretty good. I took my key and got my stuff and headed to the room. The one thing I was looking forward to was the fireplace...well it was not so much a fireplace as it is an image of a fireplace. I think we have all seen them in the know the ones you can have in an apartment or house that does not have a chimney. It does generate heat, but without real flames, but as tired as I was it was just fine with me. I slept like a baby and woke up ready to meet the new day and get a look at my surroundings.

This is the view when I step out of my room...that is the ocean. What a beautiful day! Time to get some food and coffee. I found this very cute place after I drove into downtown Fort Bragg and parked.

I went in and they said it was about a 40 to 6o minute wait and gave me a pager so I could walk around downtown. I walked around until my pager went off and headed back. Let's just say the breakfast I had there was incredible and the staff so nice and sweet.

After breakfast I headed back to the cute toy store if had found earlier the Skunk Train Toy Store, and got Benjamin several gifts...oh how I love to shop for him. I went back to the car to drop them off and then headed to the coffee shop Christa suggested, Headlands Coffee Shop. Well done, Christa, it was the best! (and I need to go back tomorrow and get one of their pastries...they looked too yummy)

I then strolled around town and visited the many craft fairs and shops. I just enjoyed the morning (that turned into the afternoon). I visited Racines Art Supplies...the store I think Christa suggested...and just looked at all the stuff knowing that Monique would go crazy with all the beautiful paper for her scrapbooking and card making. I was able to withstand the temptation to buy a journal and just let myself soak up all the wonderful stuff!

I headed back to my lodging and decided I wanted to go to the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens (another must see suggested by far she it batting 100). I arrived and paid my $10 admission, grabbed the map and started walking. Side mom had some Rhododendrons in her garden that would just not bloom for her...that is until she died and then those darn shrubs bloomed like crazy. Well guess what is in bloom right now...yes, Rhododendrons. Oh my were they beautiful...see...

I walked some more and could hear a babbling brook and low and behold I turned a corner and look what I saw....

Wow the beauty was just breathtaking. Could there be more? Yes...I walked a little further and I came upon the coast and it was just so beautiful and peaceful. I didn't see any whales, but who cares I found a bench and sat down and this is restful relaxation!!!

As the afternoon was coming to an end and the gardens were closing it was time to walk back to the gift shop..

but time for one more beautiful group of flowers.....
I decided to drive a little bit south on Highway 1 and then a little bit pretty...

Guess now it was time for some dinner and again another suggestion by Christa...Sharon's By The Sea, now known as Heron's. It was a cute little place and I started by sitting on the deck, but the cold breeze soon had me heading inside to a table by the window. The house wine was called Bliss and of course I had to have was pretty good for a house wine. I ordered the fish and chips special (Halibut) and sat there in such utter blissfulness...what a way to end such a wonderful day of relaxation.

Tomorrow I have to go back to the real world, but not before I head back into town and stop at Hanna Winery on the drive home. This has been a wonderful weekend and I have found myself several times thinking...oh Benjamin would love this or Monique would enjoy next time it will need to be a family trip.

You may be asking has she made plans for April yet??? Yes, and May, June and July! So stay turned...

Oh, by the way, I saw this sign as I was walking and had to laugh...
we would so not see this in downtown Concord.