For two weeks this summer, my husband and I were empty nesters. Our son has been going to overnight camp for the past several years, this summer our daughter went away for the first time. Much to our joy, their time away overlapped! We envisioned a staycation for ourselves. Dinners out. Movies. Concerts. Weekends at the beach kid-free.
In reality, it was kind of a bust. Sure, the house was cleaner. There was nobody to drive places. Nobody to nag. We went out for some nice dinners. But I actually missed them a lot. At first. Then, I started to really enjoy the freedom!
In addition to the dinners out and a concert, my husband and I started binging watching a show which brings me to the first thing I’m really into right now:
What I’m watching:
We have started watching lots of shows together in the past. Homeland. The Divorce. Ray Donovan. House of Cards. I really liked all of those shows. At first. But then I just burned out. My husband went on to watch all of them without me. Honestly, I think the last series we actually finished together was The Sopranos and that was back before binge watching was a thing. We actually had to wait until Sunday night to watch!
My husband is always begging me to watch a series with him. With the kids away, I had more time and more energy. Friends had raved about The Crown. So we decided to give it a try. I was hooked immediately! Unlike the other shows, I wasn’t on the edge of my seat waiting for someone to get hurt physically or emotionally. But something about The Crown just hooked us.
We watched two seasons while the kids were gone and I can’t wait for season 3! So good! I was never really big into the royal family but now I am totally intrigued. As they say, it is a total “watch, pause, Google, play” kind of show. Every time something happened, we wanted to see if it was actually true. Highly recommend watching it if you haven’t already.
What I’m eating:
The two weeks flew by and then it was time for the kids to come home. There was just one problem. Our son was in New Hampshire. Our daughter was in Maryland. His camp pick up is a weekend-long event. Her’s is just an afternoon. For a variety of reasons, it was decided that I’d make the drive to New Hampshire and my husband would go to Maryland.
Whenever we drive to New England, we try to get there with as few stops as possible. Since I was alone, I decided to take advantage of not being on anyone else’s schedule and stop along the way. The kids and I had been watching American Housewife which is set in Greenwich, Connecticut. The show depicts it as a very upscale area so I thought there would at least be some good window shopping and a place to grab lunch. I stumbled upon Green and Tonic. What a find! I ordered an Up & At ‘Em smoothie. It was so good I thought about stopping for one again on the way back home. Instead, I spent the rest of the summer trying to recreate the smoothie at home!
To create my own version, I blend together ice cubes, a date or two, a frozen banana, cacao powder, almond milk, almond butter, and cold brew coffee. Sometimes I add in frozen spinach and/or frozen cauliflower rice and sprinkle some hemp seeds on top for crunch. Yum! Literally, I’ve been making some version of this smoothie almost every day since. It tastes pretty much like the one I had at Green and Tonic. But I need to up my blender game. It might be time to upgrade to a Vitamix or a Nutribullet!
What I’m listening to:
I don’t mind being alone but 6 hours in a car alone wasn’t exactly appealing. I love listening to podcasts but my phone kind of sucks right now so listening to anything on my phone for 6 hours plus Google Maps wasn’t an option. So, I decided to listen to two audiobooks: Tell Me More by Kelly Corrigan and Happily Ali After by Ali Wentworth. They were both so good! I listened to the Ali Wentworth book first. Anyone who saw me on the Merrit Freeway probably thought I was crazy because I was literally laughing out loud. It was funny and relatable. All about aging, kids, marriage. Perfect entertainment!
Then, it was time to listen to Tell Me More. I’ve read other books by Kelly Corrigan and loved them. But I was not prepared for my reaction to Tell Me More. Like the Wentworth book, it was really relatable to me as a 40-something mother, wife, and daughter. There were times I laughed. And there were times I shed a tear. But about 25 minutes away from my son’s camp, I started bawling. Crying like I haven’t cried in years. The book was poignant and heartbreaking and everyone should read it. Or listen to it.