Day Dates

My husband and I rarely go out on dates. It has a lot to do with my schedule. I work nights and I work every other weekend. It also has to do with the exorbitant cost of babysitters these days. What the heck happened to $2/hour? When I am lucky enough to even find a babysitter the minimum is $10/hour.

My husband is a mason and he gets laid off most winters. We plan for it financially so we don’t stress about money, but it tends to take an emotional toll on the two of us. I think it’s the lack of day structure that makes my husband a bit loopy after a few weeks. Needless to say neither on of us can wait for work to begin again.

We decided to take a different approach this year. For one I have stepped down off my martyr throne and now graciously accept any offers to drive Carlos to school, do other errands or jobs around the house. We are also enjoying some much needed quality couple time together. Since we don’t have too many Saturday night dates we are now taking this opportunity to go on day dates. I have no idea why we never thought of this before.

So far my favorite day date was snowshoeing at Northfield Mountain. It was a first for both of us and it was so much fun. Northfield is a small town located in north western Massachusetts. It was established in 1723 and straddles both sides of the Connecticut River.

The trails were nicely groomed, it was a good day for a winter activity, not too cold and no wind. Oh I have to interject here that it was also my first outing in my new snow pants. I splurged and bought a pair of black North Face snow pants. I decided that in order to really enjoy winter and all the fun winter outdoor activities then I need to dress appropriately. I have never had great winter gear so I’m always cold and uncomfortable. No more! These pants were amazing; warm, perfect fit, not bulky and they looked decent. According to my husband the view from behind was rather pleasing! They weren’t exactly cheap, but I suspect I will have them for years to come.

Back to snowshoeing…it was a blast. We tore up the mountain once we got the hang of walking with the funny shoes. We followed the map to the summit. There is a reservoir on top with pretty views all the way into Vermont. We took in the view and then back down we went at a speedy pace so we could head back to pick up Carlos from school on time. It was a workout for sure, but it was so much fun it didn’t feel like work.

Enough talk. Here are some photos of the day.

Mozambican Mountain Man

Scenery along the way

Nearing the summit

We made it!

Taking a break to admire the view

Taking a break to admire the view

New snow pants and a view of Vermont in the distance

New snow pants and a view of Vermont in the distance

If you have never snowshoed before give it a try. It’s like hiking in the snow. It’s fun, refreshing to be out in the crisp winter air and it’s great exercise.

The Long Weekend

Happy Memorial Day Weekend! For me it’s really just like any other weekend. In fact I’m working all weekend and then some, 7 nights in a row to be exact. The actual holiday is always up for grabs on my unit and I certainly don’t mind the extra pay. Working nights seems pretty strange to most people. I happen to love it. For whatever reason I’m a bundle of energy throughout the day (most days) and I don’t let work stand in my way of enjoying the day with my family.

This weekend has been just Carlos and me since my husband had to work yesterday to make up for the holiday. He is a mason and the school his company is building at the moment seems to be on a serious deadline so he’s been doing a little Saturday overtime here and there. He also does some side work so he’s working today too. We are used to busy working summers which is why we tend to vacation in the winter when my husband is often laid off.

Anyway Carlos and I enjoyed a very tranquil hike yesterday. At the end we made some new friends who were fishing nearby and they graciously let Carlos have a try. He absolutely loved it. Below are a few photos from the day.

The Navigator

Hiking the trails at Mt. Tom in Holyoke, MA

Up we go

View from the tower

Catch of the day

A new friend

The weather here in Western Massachusetts is summer like. I left work this morning and had a fabulous run. My shin is feeling great. I have taken it very slow and was finally ready for a longish run.

Still trying to get my 10K under an hour. Almost there!

This afternoon we are going to a birthday party for one of Carlos’ friends. It’s at a local gymnastics center. Thank goodness my little guy has so much energy.

Hope the weekend is fun, safe and relaxing. I am saying my prayers that all of our military serving both in the U.S. and around the globe are also safe. Many thanks to the men and women who serve our country in the armed forces and also a heartfelt thank you to their families who sacrifice so much so their loved one can protect this nation. Thank you very much.