Thursday, July 23, 2020

Catching Up With the Cady Bunch

How are we already more than halfway through July?  Time seems to have sped up the past few weeks.  I've always thought that summer flew by, but this summer seems to be hitting warp speed.  I thought that it was time I do another update since it has already almost been a month since I last checked in on our day-to-day lives.

Honestly, it's been much of the same... Eliot and I have continued to work on mouse ear and desk accessory orders.  Thankfully, ear orders have picked up a bit now that Walt Disney World has re-opened.  We've started to get a few requests for items that we were already planning to make for our new home decor business, so that's been really exciting!  (People already want the products we were planning to make!!!)  In our spare time, we're still watching plenty of Hallmark movies- even catching a few of our favorite holiday movies during Hallmark's Christmas in July special this week!  I also continue to treat myself to an at home ice cream sundae occasionally.

On the personal note, things are still a bit rocky with my Mom's health, but I'm hanging in.  Jeremy was home last week to help my parents with the end of tax season, so at least that big deadline is no longer looming over us.  My Mom's final surgery was postponed.  She called me earlier today to let me know that they scheduled it for mid-August.  So now we sit back and wait... 

Thankfully, these past two weeks or so have been much more exciting than our current "usual" routine.  Tuesday July 7th, Eliot took the day off to go to IKEA in MA.  (We had originally planned to go down on Friday the 3rd, but Eliot didn't want to use his holiday day to do that.)  After a productive, yet relaxing, 4th of July holiday weekend, we were ready to go pick up a few things that we needed.

We've been putting off this trip to IKEA for months now.  We had every intention of going down this spring after receiving our tax refund.  However, COVID-19 happened and we haven't been able to go.  After double checking that Massachusetts was allowing Maine residents to come over the border, we planned our day trip.

Our trip down and back was uneventful.  Shopping at the store reminded me much of our experiences at Walmart.  Everyone wore masks; there was social distancing, lots of signs, hand sanitizer, wipes and tape on the ground.  The store was pretty quiet compared to other trips we'd been on.  Everyone was trying to avoid each other in the showroom which was awkward at times when you got blocked in.

Eliot and I found most of the things we needed, plus a few other things.  We always find cool stuff in the Marketplace area on the lower level.  Before we knew it, we'd loaded up our cart with treasures.  We had a lot of small kitchen tools and things for our businesses.  I was pumped to get some reusable rainbow bags.  I even found a few bell jar glasses to make my own enchanted roses like in Beauty and the Beast!

After leaving the Marketplace, Eliot grabbed a furniture cart and we gathered the items we needed to get.  Unfortunately, one of the things we needed two of only had one left in stock.  Eliot looked all over the store, but he couldn't find one.  We also didn't get the red storage boxes I wanted for our master bathroom, but they were getting more in stock soon.  I guess we'll be going down again sometime!  (Next time, I'll call ahead to make sure they have everything we need though!)  Regardless, it was a nice day trip and good to get out of the house for a bit.

On Sunday July 12th, Eliot's sister Elissa came to stay with Eliot and me for a week before heading back to California.  (She's stayed out here on the east coast since college ended back in May.)  With the coronavirus, trying to figure out how to move her back across the country has been a little more difficult than usual.  We decided to take advantage of the opportunity to move her back across the country this week during their sister Sara's vacation week.  It was the plan that made the most sense.  Sara was going to drive her back as far as Colorado, then they'd quarantine for 2 weeks, and Eliot's Dad Rick would drive out to CO and drive her home to San Jose from there.

Eliot and I enjoyed having Elissa here to visit.  We also had a good time hosting MJ the rat.  (Elissa adopted a white rat from her animal behaviors class... that's part of the reason we had to work out the across country plan.)  At first, Eliot and I were a little apprehensive about it, him more than me, but we ended up loving her.  She quickly got to the point where she was climbing the cage anytime we walked by.  After a few days, she let me pick her up and hold her.  She enjoying crawling on my chest and arms.

While Elissa was here, I made hair appointments for both of us at the JCPenney salon on Thursday, July 16th.  I've needed a haircut for months.  I actually needed one before our trips back in November, but we were so busy traveling that I put it off.  Then, I was really sick in January and February.  When I was finally feeling better, it wasn't long after that COVID-19 struck and we were in quarantine.

It was so nice to get my hair cut.  I probably had 8 or 9 inches cut off.  It feels so light now!  Elissa also got quite a bit cut off.  She's always had long hair but decided to get it cut up to her shoulders.  She was somewhat shocked when it was done.  I've never seen her hair so short and she hadn't either- but it looked great!  Plus, this was the perfect time to do it since both of us will be quarantining before seeing our families.

Eliot and I spent most of this past weekend finishing ear orders and working with Elissa to clean and organize our house.  Elissa's extra set of hands were really helpful.  She was able to help us tackle quite a few projects that we'd been avoiding.  Now, we're in much better shape to continue and finish things!  Plus, Eliot and Elissa brought up the (really heavy) IKEA glass cases that have been sitting in our basement.  They put those together so we can start to organize and display some of our collectibles!

Sara flew out from Denver and landed in Portland late in the afternoon Monday.  Eliot and I met her over at D'Angelos to have sandwiches for dinner.  (Elissa was visiting with a friend.)  The three of us ended up eating there in an empty dining room off to the side of the main lobby where everyone else was getting to go orders.  It was the first time that Eliot and I have been out to eat in a restaurant since COVID-19 began.  I didn't feel unsafe as we were the only ones in that room... but it was honestly a little weird.  
After that, Eliot, Sara and I headed to the hotel to check in.

I probably should preface the rest of the this post by admitting that we didn't comply with Maine's current COVID rules about out of staters quarantining.  I have mixed feelings about this.  Obviously, I want them to do so as it will help protect us.  However, I'm not completely naive enough to think that most tourists are actually doing it.  I know they aren't.  They've been on our local news channels admitting that they aren't.  So, Eliot and I decided that if so many other people weren't quarantining on their weekend trips into our state, why the heck shouldn't Sara be allowed to go out for the less than 42 hours that she was here in Maine?  We aren't sure when we'll be able to see her again because of COVID, so we decided to take advantage of our short time together. Anyways... I just wanted to be real and honest about it.  Now, back to the actual story.

The three of us hung out and caught up at the hotel until Elissa got there.  Then, the four of us talked for a few minutes before quickly realizing that it made sense to go supply shopping Monday night since we'd be busy on Tuesday.  We hoped into the rental van and headed over to Walmart.  After getting Sara and Elissa some more hand sanitizer, water, drinks, and some road snacks, we headed back to the hotel to separate.  Sara went into the hotel to study and get some sleep, while Eliot, Elissa and I headed home to pack up Elissa's stuff that was at our house.

Tuesday was moving day... so we all got up bright and early with plans of attack for our day.  The universe had other plans for us though.  Eliot and I had our bi-annual teeth cleaning at the dentist at 11 and I didn't want to postpone since they are having a hard enough time getting everyone in from COVID re-scheduling.  Instead, we scheduled our plans around the appointments.  Of course, Eliot's Jeep chose the opportune time to not start up right after Eliot and Elissa packed all of her stuff into it.  I couldn't get it to turn over, no matter what we did.  (So much for our great plan, but we rolled with it.)

After a quick phone call to Sara, she agreed to come to our house instead of meeting us at the storage unit.  Eliot and I stayed with Elissa until we had to leave for the appointment, and she stayed to wait for Sara.  They moved everything from the Jeep into Sara's rental van before heading back into town to the storage unit.  Meanwhile, Eliot and I went to the dentist for our teeth cleaning.

After our appointments, Eliot and I went over to Amato's to pick up lunch.  (None of us had eaten anything since we had to scrap our breakfast plans when the Jeep didn't start.)  At that point, we were all pretty hungry.  Sara and Elissa had packed most of her stuff into the van by the time we got there.  After moving a few more things around, we all sat down to eat lunch outside of the storage building.

The girls left to go back to the hotel after lunch.  Eliot and I stayed and took care of the final payment on Elissa's storage unit.  Then, he and I stopped into Auto Zone on the way to the hotel.  We picked up a battery for Eliot's Jeep, as well as some freon for the air conditioner in my car.  (It hasn't been pushing out cold air for a few months.)  The employees showed Eliot how to put it in my car, and thankfully it worked!  The air is now so cold that I have to keep turning it down.  Thank goodness because the past few days here have been hot!

Meanwhile, at the hotel, Elissa and Sara had both showered and were getting dressed to take photos.  Since Elissa never got to have a college graduation, she wanted to go over to the UNE campus to take some photos in her cap and gown.  The four of us got into our nice outfits and we drove over to the college.

We spent the next hour or so taking photos around the campus.  I had a few ideas of locations: in front of the main sign and the wall where we took her photos when she visited for accepted students day.  Elissa wanted to take photos in front of the new building and garden.  We also took a few photos in front of the alumni office sign- which used to be the admissions office and where I first took her for her campus tour there five years ago.  Finally, we recreated the photo Eliot and I took on the front step of her dorm from freshman year when we first dropped her off.

I was really glad that we got to get photos of her in her cap and gown on campus.  We also got a few group photos with her... as well as some funny candids of us trying to avoid the bugs.  (I swear the bugs knew they had fresh blood to eat.  Ouchie!!!)  Of course, we also got a few photos of her wearing her face mask.  What Class of 2020 graduation photos would be complete without a few mask photos?!?

After perfecting the art of the quick change back into normal clothes, we all jumped back into our cars and headed for Old Orchard Beach.  Sara wanted to do something fun while in Maine.  She's only been here twice- both times during Thanksgiving.  We thought the beach would be a fun option.

When we got down to the parking lot where Eliot and I usually park, it was completely empty.  The other parking lot was also empty.  The side street we park down also had plenty of metered parking available.  We set the meters for 90 minutes, and started our walk to the downtown area.  We all had our masks, but it was pretty apparent when we turned the corner that we were over-prepared.

Maybe 10% of the people on the Main Street were wearing masks... if that.  There wasn't social distancing.  It looked like a normal summer night in Old Orchard Beach, other than the social distancing stickers on the ground outside of the food places.

The four of us made our way over to get a large box of Pier Fries to share.  At least in line, people were keeping their distance.  I liked the customized stickers and signs that Pier Fries had to remind people to stay separated.  Then, we waited for a picnic table to open up so we could sit and enjoy our melted cheese and fries.  Eliot also got me a cold lemonade and it was like a little slice of heaven.  (It was still really humid even though it was later in the day!)  The lemonade was delicious!

We then walked over to the beach and made our way under the pier to the "far" side that's usually quiet.  Even though it was probably about 6:30 at that point, the beach still had a lot of people on it.  We found a quiet section and took a bunch of pictures.

I had heard that Pirates Cove mini golf was open, so I thought that might be a fun thing to do outside.  We headed over there after the beach, picking our cars up on the way over.  Pirates Cove was also busy, but since mini golf makes you golf in distanced groups anyways, it seemed like a fairly safe idea.  We waited our turn in line to go in to pay and get our balls and clubs.  (That's how they also kept people spaced out... only one group could enter at a time and they spaced us all out.)

The four of us had so much fun golfing.  We've gone mini golfing with Eliot's family a few times since Eliot and I started dating 12 years ago.  We always get a few good laughs.  We're all fairly competitive, but none of us really take it seriously.  We had a few hole in ones; Eliot and I actually got one on the same hole!

Elissa had to leave a few holes early since she was spending the night with a friend before she left for California, but Eliot, Sara and I had fun on the last 6 holes.  The three of us took some photos while on top of the giant mountain.  I also hit 10,000 steps on my Fitbit right after climbing up there.  It was poetic really.  With all this time I've been at home, I have never hit 10,000 steps in one day on my Fitbit since I got it earlier this year.  Apparently, it does a little vibrating buzz thing with some bright colors when you hit 10,000 steps in one day.  It felt like a really big accomplishment for me, especially since my knee has been giving me trouble on and off this past week and I could barely walk at all the other day.

At the end of the course, we dropped our clubs and balls off at the outdoor return station that was set up.  Sara and I ended up tying for the win with Eliot not too far behind us.  We made our final plans for Wednesday morning before Eliot and I said goodnight to Sara as she departed for the hotel and we headed home.

Wednesday morning, Eliot and I got up early again.  We showered and got ready before heading into town to pick up IHOP on our way to the hotel.  We met Sara and Elissa there and had our breakfast.  Then, we looked over the room, checked out, and made sure everything in the car was secure.  

Eliot and I said goodbye to MJ.  She climbed onto my arm and curled up on my chest one last time before Elissa put her back into her cage.  We checked to make sure MJ was secure and that there wasn't anything near her cage that she could chew on.  It took a few tries to get everything all set but she seemed to settle in ok.

After that, the girls checked the front seats and made sure that they had quick access to everything they needed to.  Eliot and I gave them both big hugs and told them to be safe on the road.  (We didn't prolong the goodbyes because I knew I'd end up losing it.)  They hopped into the van, plugged their destination into the onboard GPS and were on their way.  Eliot and I waved and took a few photos as they departed the hotel parking lot and started their road trip back to Colorado.  After the van was out of sight, we hugged each other and both promptly burst into tears.  It was hard to say goodbye when we don't know when we'll see them again.

It's been a rough few months, but these few days visiting with the girls felt like a little slice of normalcy.  It might be the only semblance of summer that I get, and I really enjoyed it.  It was great to visit and spend time with with Sara and Elissa.  And as you can see, having them here was pretty much the most exciting thing to happen to us since we first went into quarantine back in mid-March!

I'm not sure what the rest of the summer will bring, but Eliot and I are hoping to make the best of it.  Fall is right around the corner so we're trying to take advantage of the nice weather while we have it.  I love the fall, and it's my favorite season, but I still don't want to wish my summer away.  Maybe we'll go back over to Old Orchard Beach for some Pier Fries and play more mini golf at Pirates Cove.  I'm still hopeful that we'll get to spend a weekend in Bar Harbor.  Regardless, I'm sure I'll be back here to check in with tales of our adventures a few weeks from now!  °o°

1 comment:

  1. Love when you do Cady Family Updates! You put in so much fun information...really waiting for your home pictures and descriptions when everything is done! jv