Photo from Mount Royal, Frisco, Colorado.

"That is happiness; to be disolved into something complete and great. When it comes to one, it comes as naturally as sleep." - Willa Cather

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Where happiness is made

We just returned from a dream vacation. I would normally imagine a "dream vacation" to be going some place exotic to run and camp with SR. But what we did was visit the step-kids in the US. In the entire 2 years I have known them, they have never been so well-behaved and so much fun.

Here are s-son and s-daughter at our leopard print-themed hotel in Minneapolis.

It was actually the Comfort Suites Hotel right in the downtown. There we swam in a pool on the 10th floor that overlooks the city. It was so gorgeous at night. My sister and her fiance joined in the fun. And only $61 for the room and free breakfast!

Then we visited the Children's Museum in St. Paul. None of us had been there before. But what a fun place! I felt like such a pathetic mom there, though. Man, talk about power moms with tupperware lunches and wipes, plenty of diapers and toys (and lots of other things I'd never even think of bringing).

Anyway, I loved seeing them all play together.

The Lorax was soon occupied for 30 minutes playing with one water spout. In the meantime, the other kids enjoyed the games and exhibits and we laughed so hard about the rude kids there who pushed them out of the way and skipped them in line. Geez louise.

Man, do I love being a step-mom. Sometimes I think I'm better cut-out for that role than an actual mom. I get to play and laugh with the kids and challenge them and yet get away with less responsibility.

Here we are at yet another children's museum in La Crosse, WI.

S-daughter is hilarious at times. She began calling everyone "skunk bags" at some point. We were getting along so well that at one moment she said "Everyone is a skunk bag except sealegs girl. I want to spend the rest of my life with her." Talk about a happy step-mom. Not that I want her to think everyone else is a skunk bag, or a scum bag for that matter.

Here's s-son at the Deke Slayton Memorial Space and Bike museum in Sparta, WI.

Some beautiful runs on our trip:

1. Heading south down the Mississippi river path from downtown Minneapolis (wow!).

2. Hixon forest trails in the beautiful, warm sun of La Crosse, WI.

My mom spent lots of time with us. Especially The Bois. She even slept with him two nights! That was the first time I slept in a different bed than him since he was born. I felt like a new person after such good sleep.

And now we're back to Denmark with a new forhold to life. The days are getting longer and sunnier. SR and I work on the same floor of the same hospital overlooking a forest and a beautiful river in Næstved. And when The Bois is in a good mood and helt oppe at køre, he repeats step-daughter's name over and over.

Beautiful run in Denmark:

Along The Suså to Friheden Skov in Næstved

SR and I are having a discussion about whether having lived in multiple countries makes you happier with what you do have or more frustrated with what you don't have. What's your opinion?

I concluded that it probably just makes one more realistic because you know you'll never find a perfect place to live. Perhaps the only perfect place is somewhere inside of us. And our surroundings can only help us find that. On a day like today, I feel like I'm almost there.

Running Song of The Day: 8-6-6-0 by Peter Sommer


Abbie said...

Looks like such a fun trip! I'm glad you had such a wonderful time. Don't worry, I'm not a "power mom" either. These days, I don't even take extra diapers with me on errands less than 2 hours. I'm bad.

I think living in multiple countries makes me more frustrated with what I don't have. I agree... it makes you realize there is no perfect place. When I have lived in Europe I have missed American things and here in America I miss European things. Such is life. The grass always seems greener...

Kate said...

"On a day like today, I feel like I'm almost there."

Wow. Cherish the moment. Hold on to it forever in your mind so you can taste it again later!

Danni said...

I'm glad you had such a great trip. I think that where you live, to the extent that it impacts your quality of life and such, can affect your happiness. Ultimately though hapiness is found within, no matter where you live. But sometimes it's a lot easier to find inner happiness when you love where you live.

Not sure about how living in multiple countries impacts this. I lived in France for a year in college but I'm not sure that counts. It was more like a long vacation.

SteveQ said...

The Science Museum is in St. Paul, not Minneapolis. Those of us who live on the "proper" side of the river hate when people mistake the two. It doesn't matter where in the world you live - unless you live in Minneapolis. That's just wrong.

Olga said...

What sweet, sweet time it was. Kids look very happy! It's sad that we as adults often make them sad because our lives get twisted. I guess we are all trying to do the best we can?

Olga said...

Oh, and I agree that the only perfect place is inside. We also say - it's always better where we are not. Kind of like grass is greener on the other side:)

sea legs girl said...

Ha. I lived in France during college, too. Where were you?

Don't I feel like a rube. But wouldn't it be easier to just call both cities Minneapolis? Just kidding.

You are so right on about adults lives becoming twisted. That makes me think of a Nada Surf song. "Always love. Hate's what gets you every time." Simple, but if only we could all lead our lives that way.

Danni said...

Besancon, Franche-Compte (in the Jura mountains) -- my keyboard lacks the proper keys so that looks really wrong.