I don’t tell him nearly enough, but my father, who is an architecture connoisseur and long-time Frank Lloyd Wright enthusiast, is a man in my life for whom I am truly grateful. As a small gesture to show him some love, I booked us tickets to tour Wrights home and studio in Oak Park. To our great surprise, we discovered that the Robie House, gem of the Wright Prairie style movement was offering gratis entry today as well. After a lunch at a Forest Park diner, where we took a seat at the counter to enjoy our lunch, we headed south to Hyde Park. And that is where we found out that the whole city was offering the opportunity to visit architectural gems, with a tour included, for free. Apparently, it had been going on all weeekend, and we had been ignorant of the facts and late to the party, as it were. But, late or not, we arrived, and it was an absolute treasure of a day. I couldn’t possibly list all the things that I not only love and appreciate about my dad, but also have had the fortune of inheriting from him as well. My time with him was incredibly fulfilling; from the dialogue and laughs to the deep understanding and appreciation for art and design. It was beautiful. Pictures cannot capture a meaningful relationship in its entirety, but they are wonderful triggers that will transport me to precisely this day for many years to come. (Featured image is Wrights home)
In the beginning of May, four years ago, I was five months pregnant and living in Germany in what Americans would likely consider a ‘college town’. At that time, two very surprising things happened: 1.One of my good friends from college came to visit 2. She agreed to go on a beach vacation with her noticeably pregnant friend. I mean, of course there is nothing wrong with traveling with a pregnant woman. The reason I was so shocked by her willingness and encouragement was that I couldn’t drink and couldn’t bask in the sun for hours on end. I had limits; and who wanted to negotiate with those when one was single, pretty, and looking to go on a holiday to Mallorca? (Sidenote about Mallorca: it is a Spanish island that has basically been comandeered by the Germans and the British for the most outrages, obnoxious, and raucous partying in Europe. It’s one step (maybe half) under Ibiza. You get me?) So, I was therefore baffled, yet highly flattered that she was willing to spend a long weekend with me doing none of what the island was famous for.
Man, though, we had a good ole time nonetheless. We stayed at a great hotel on the opposite end of the island from the airport. That meant we got a comprehensive bus tour down part of the coastline and through plenty of little towns and a lot of desert in order to get from point A to point B. The hotel we stayed at was located on a bay (Cala Millor, I believe), and from our balcony, we had beautiful views of the gem that its the Mediterrean Sea. We paid for two meals a day as part of our hotel package (risky for a pregnant woman, I know), but we made due by patronizing the snack shop across the street for junk food and beach eats. Since it was May, we didn’t do a lot of swimming, but the temperatures were just right to sun bathe and drink poolside iced coffees; by far the best I had ever drunk. Mostly, it felt amazing to be relaxing and enjoying a few days away from the daily grind with a good girlfriend. I felt incredibly lucky to be able to sit in the sand with a friend who had come all the way over the Atlantic to visit. Pregnant or not, it was the experience of a lifetime.
One afternoon, we did get an offer to join a chartered yacht party, which would have been an event that included unlimited drinks, dancing, swimming, etc. I offered to go; hey, I could take one for the team. After all, the guy that invited us did say they had soda and juice aboard. She declined nonetheless. “I can drink and do all that nonsense at home. I came here to relax and eat too much.” That was her response. Well, mission accomplished. Done and done. We had been doing plenty of both.
One our second to last day, we decided to park it poolside. The water was frigid; and yet, after much self-persuasion, I jumped in. It was a shock to all my sense, but ended up being a comfortable swim after my whole body had gone numb. The little chap residing in my belly made sure I knew that he knew about the change in temp as well. As soon as I came out of the water, though, the dry heat had me feeling warm and pleasant in no time.
So yea, had I been there under different circumstances, I would have had a very different trip. But I wouldn’t change a thing. It says a lot about a relationship when two people can just relax together and respect the others wishes or limitations. And that’s exactly what we did. Wee read magazines, got caught up on world news, both ate like we were eating for two, and had many laughs about anything and everything.
It was a special trip; it was….Mallorca, Mama! 🙂