Don't ask me what we're going to do for the THREE MONTH American summer holiday or I'll have to start breathing in to a brown paper bag.
I ended up taking Wed - Fri off, and struck it lucky. Michelloui from American Resident just asked what your favourite thing is about the town in which you live, and this is mine: I have many issues with Santa Barbara, but I have to admit, it is a great town for an impromptu vacation. You can have the most miserable work day on record, and within minutes be down at the beach, feet in the sand, sipping a beer. We couldn't find anyone to watch the girls - so I had vacation thrust upon me - and I made the most of it. There was a precipitation ceasefire and three days in a row of weather in the upper 80s - it was glorious.
This is the pool where we are lucky enough to have free access - this picture was taken at noon during Spring Break - and as you can see, it's completely deserted:
We invited friends to come and share our good fortune, and when they weren't available, I used the cunning diversion of colourful pieces of floating plastic crap.
Lucy did not budge from that spot for hours.
Going to the pool is becoming a pleasure. We're so nearly there. For the past five years it has involved mountains of swim nappies, floaties, spare clothes, many towels - all for a five minute dip with both children clinging like limpets before they turned blue. Now Anna can 'swim' - she doggie paddles like she's about to drown, and Lucy bobs around wearing armbands and a perma-smile. I reckon I am about two years away from being able to sit by the side of the pool with my nose in a good book. My kids may appear to be self-sufficient in the pool, but Anna is flirting with drowning with every puppy-paddle, and Lucy is just one deflated armband away from complete submersion.
Still, I got to float around in this beautiful outdoor pool every day, thinking about David Hockney and how we're both a long way from the North of England - and I tried not to dwell on the fact that my body was not at all prepared for a bikini in March.
We also played tennis,
Ate some rather shi-shi frozen yogurt,
Shopped for gingerbread men, and played on playgrounds.
I had such a good time. Let me just say, looking after two small girls all day may sometimes be harder than working full time, but being a stay at home Mum beats trying to juggle being a full time Mum and a full time employee any day of the week. It was so nice to not be rushing everywhere, not to have to race across town at 5:15pm from a long day of work to pick up two overtired and over-hungry girls from school. We had a ball.
Now - how do I conjure up a three month summer fakecation?