Naples, travel, flowers, tree climbing

Looking out my office window, I can see a light mist on the trees where they are getting their buds. Very exciting! Yesterday was quite warm and sunny, so the 9-year-old and I tried out his new tree-climbing kit (well, sort of new — he got it for his birthday two months ago). You basically attach rock climbing grips to a tree with bands that ratchet tight. He was able to scramble up into the branches of a pine tree that has no low branches. We’re going to try again later this week with a tree in the woods that has a tantalizing branch that is just too high to get to unaided.

He’s also been trying out his artistic skills — doing a series of portraits of our numerous Squishmallows (see @lvanderkam on Instagram for an example of his work). He tried to get his little brother to pose for a portrait but it turns out that 4-year-olds are more wiggly than stuffed animals.

In the meantime…last week Wednesday I flew to Fort Lauderdale to meet up with my co-host, Sarah. The two of us drove across Florida to Naples, where we hung out for two days recording numerous Best of Both Worlds episodes and brainstorming several more. While we were mostly working, I managed to walk over to the beach and sit on the sand for about 20 minutes. I truly do love the beach, which I should remember. I’m only 90 minutes or so from the beach here at home, so from May to September it really is possible to go for a day (the NJ shore is a little less exciting to visit when it’s frigid…one reason Sarah and I have our March and November podcasting retreats in her neck of the woods!).

Travel to Florida went smoothly. Travel home was a little more…fraught. Sarah and I left from Naples in what we thought was plenty of time (around 12:45 for a 4:00 flight — it’s about a 1 hour and 45 minute journey). Then a lane through parts of I-75 turned out to be closed for construction, and as there is really no other way through the middle of Florida, there we sat. I did make the flight — phew! — but after we had all boarded, the pilot came on the intercom and announced that there was a major maintenance issue and the plane couldn’t fly.

Good they check, right? So, off we all went to wait for a different plane to arrive from Charlotte. That plane took off around 5:45 p.m., so not too terrible. I arrived at PHL at 8:30 p.m., retrieved my car, and put in my home address into my map app at approximately 8:50 p.m. to see what was the fastest route. The map app said through Philadelphia (I-76) so I went that way…only to learn that two lanes on I-76 were shutting down at 9 p.m.

This was a total disaster. I sat in traffic for an hour. So, so frustrating when I just wanted to get home. But anyway…eventually I made it.

On Saturday, my husband and the 4-year-old and I all went to the Philadelphia Flower Show. This was beautiful as always. The little guy really enjoyed a display of cactus plants. And getting a pretzel. And going into the butterfly exhibit. I got to walk around on my own for 30 minutes while he and my husband were in the butterfly exhibit which was…lovely. Meanwhile, we were able to send the 16-year-old to go pick up his little brother from a robotics team practice. A parenting milestone!

Anyway, it’s a full week as usual, and not quite enough time blocked for work. On the other hand, my Bach schedule should have me listening to Wachet Auf on Wednesday, which is on of my favorite organ pieces. So that’s exciting. Onward…


2 thoughts on “Naples, travel, flowers, tree climbing

  1. I absolutely love the glimpse into your week! 🌳 The tree-climbing adventure with your 9-year-old sounds like a blast, and his artistic endeavors capturing Squishmallows are adorable – kids’ creativity knows no bounds! Your impromptu beach break in Naples sounds like a perfect pause amidst work, and despite the travel hiccups, it’s a relief you made it back safely. The Flower Show excursion with your family, especially the butterfly exhibit, sounds delightful! Parenting milestones like having the 16-year-old pick up the little brother are the sweet victories. Wishing you a productive yet joy-filled week ahead, with some Bach’s Wachet Auf to add a musical touch! 🎶

    1. @Natalie – thanks! Lots of stuff going on, but it all fits together. And yes, I am looking forward to Wachet Auf!

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