Saturday, February 12, 2011

Sorry I haven't written in a while...I was on a binge

 A happiness binge, that is!  (ok if you need to gag a little over how cheesy that sounds, I understand.  In fact, I just made myself a little sick saying it. But really, there was no other way to put it.  Sorry...)

A little while ago, I took 72 hours to do nothing but  make myself happy.  Now, before I go on, I should probably state that despite what you may be thinking right now, this posting is not R rated.  In fact, the only thing keeping it from being lamely G-rated is the mention of red wine and night-clothes (scandalous!).

This is what happened:

I picture my life being like a balloon and with every new stress added, the balloon inflates a bit more. And over the past two months or so, my balloon inflated at an insane rate until it just...popped.

I deflated.

I really just wanted to step off this big blue marble for a bit. And think.  And by think, I don't mean about the 10 million things I worry about every day, but about me.

And so began the most relaxing 3 days I have ever had.

I am not going to bore you with every little detail but suffice to say, I found myself smiling inwardly a whole bunch of times over the weekend.

A little bite of heaven at the Atlanta Airport
My path to blissdom began with a simple Whopper with cheese which was so good.  I would like to premise this by saying that I NEVER eat at Burger King in Toronto.  In fact, I don't even know where one is.  But for some reason, when flying alone, I always crave this greasy mess.  And that reason dates back to Heathrow Airport, circa 1991.  When I was 18, I attempted to backpack Europe with one of my best friends, Jennifer.  Two weeks into the trip, I found myself in the heart of Barcelona, swarmed by people, none of which spoke (or at least admitted to speaking) English.  I had a major freak out and a couple days later, abandoned Jennifer in the south of France.  Somehow in my hysteria, I made my way back to London, changed my flight and got ready to board a plane back to T. dot.  When I was finally at the gate, I could relax, knowing that I would shortly be home.  Only then, my appetite returned (when really, REALLY anxious, I can't eat).  I took off my back pack, bought a Whopper with cheese, sat down, exhaled, and ate.  And it was beyond delicious.  Ever since then, Whoppers with cheese have been high on my list of ultimate comfort foods...but only at the airport.

My second major moment of happiness came the next morning at the Farmer's Market.  The location had changed since the last time I was there so I wasn't quite sure I was in the right place but when I turned the corner and heard the music, saw all of the brightly-coloured booths, and smelled the most amazing, dizzying aromas of flowers, produce, breads, kettle corm, barbecue, and conch fritters (just to name a few), I knew I had found it.  I didn't know where to start, so like the song says, I started at the very beginning.  The first booth had the most beautiful fresh produce.  Including these giant avocados. I even commented to the woman next to me about the insane size of these avocados.  And when I got closer, the sign confirmed that these were not your average avocados.

Of course I bought one.  Along with tomatoes, basil, arugula, sun-dried tomatoes marinating in rosemary & garlic olive oil, a fresh baguette, and burratta cheese (one of my new faves; its very fresh ricotta cheese enclosed by fresh mozzerella.  Omg!).  Later that night I made myself what I can only describe as the best sandwich I have ever made (don't tell all the other sandwiches I said that.  I wouldn't want them to get jealous).
Lightly olive oiled & then toasted french bread with arugula, tomatoes,  basil, buratta cheese& sundried tomatoes (in that order) drizzle with a bit more oil (infused with garlic & herbs even better) & a grind or two  of sea salt.  Enjoy with a glass of wine and your feet up.  And then sigh.  
I loved this sandwich so much I ate it again for breakfast.  If you look closely, you can see me in the background in my pj's taking the photo.  This sandwich was slightly better because I chopped up the sundried tomatoes.  Duh.

Sand, sun, surf, and a Starbucks iced coffee.  Sigh...
In addition to my food obsession, I also got to the beach as much as I possible could.  I love the ocean.  I love the smell, the sound, the sand.  And I love the way the waves mesmerize you as you stare out of them.  But most of all, I love running and walking along the beach.  For the past 3 months, almost all of my running and walking has been done on a treadmill.  But it is so boring.  Anything longer than 30 minutes is unbearable.  But on the beach?  An hours whips by in what feels like seconds.  And I never get tired even though running on sand is way harder than running on a treadmill.  Probably my favourite moment in my day was during my run. I had stopped for a sip of water and looked around me.  No matter how far I looked, I could not see another person.  It was just me.  Alone in the world.  And unlike Barcelona, I did not freak out.  I just put the top back on the water and continued on my way.

I love the beach.

The perfect day, right?  You would think.  But it gets even better.  First of all I got to wear my favourite pj's that my husband hates.  He (un)affectionately calls it "Monkeys in Love" as it is an awful red nightshirt covered in hearts and Paul Frank monkeys smooching.  Hence the name.  So here I am, in bed with my monkeys and a glass of wine and the first of two awesome books I read that weekend,  Welcome to Utopia: Notes from a Small Town.  Welcome to Utopia: Notes from a Small Town Right now I am really into non-fiction, especially when the characters and the setting are so detailed. At the end of great fiction, I am always wondering what happened next in their lives and I feel frustrated.  But with non-fiction, as soon as I finish the next page, I can flip open my computer and find out what happened next in their lives.  And believe me, at the end of this book, you will want to know what happened to their lives.  The second book I read was CommittedCommitted: A Love Story, by Elizabeth Gilbert, the same woman who wrote Eat, Pray, Love,Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia a book I have quoted from more than any other book. Committed  was great too, but in a totally different way.  Instead of self-examination, it examines the institution of marriage, something that I find personally easier to read when alone when there is little to no risk of someone nearby reading my mind.  Its amazing how books can tap into you in such a personal way that you actually feel naked when discussing them with others.  There are only a handful of books that have made me feel this way, and Committed is one of them.

Fast-forward a few more hours and I find myself in hour 71, my escape from Planet of the Crazy coming to an end.  I picked up my baggage, now feeling a little bit lighter and went home, excited to get back to my husband, my babies, and my other real life.  And yes, I did have another Whopper with cheese in the Atlanta airport.

1 comment:

  1. Love this Cayla! Glad you were able to get grounded again after the last few months.