Family · Running

Wrap, Unwrap, Re-cap

Ah…recovery days.


I don’t mean the kind after a race; I mean the kind after traveling, after many days of a delightful, finished-way-too-quickly vacation. The kind that means sleeping in decadently late, lounging in pajamas past noon, and not leaving the house except for an afternoon run. As I get older, I’m becoming increasingly appreciative of  these “cushion” days between vacation pace and rat race.


Sitting here nursing a cup of coffee (yes, in my pajamas), I must admit that while my vacation did go by way too quickly, I can’t complain — not a minute was wasted, and the occasional little hiccups along the way turned out just fine.


The adventure started two Saturdays ago, when I flew to San Francisco for my brother’s wedding.  My luggage missed the connection in Phoenix – eek! – but caught up to me just a few hours later. Crisis averted.


The next 24 hours passed in a blur. After the family reunited in a flurry of hugs at the lovely Queen Anne Hotel, we headed to the Embarcadero’s Plant Café for a delicious rehearsal dinner. Friends and family got acquainted, told stories about the bride and groom, and enjoyed the really cool British accents of the bride’s family. Or at least I enjoyed them.


On Sunday morning, a group of us went running around Golden Gate Park, including the necessary jaunt across the bridge and back. Awesome, awesome run.  And later that day: the wedding ceremony, at Fort Baker’s Cavallo Point. Another gorgeous place – San Francisco apparently has no limit to those. In the interest of succinctness, I’ll just say this about the wedding: it was, from my vantage point anyway, perfect.


After that, it was go-time for Christmas. Over the next few days, the family, with a few exceptions who unfortunately couldn’t make it (we missed you guys!), converged in Virginia. I soaked up grocery shopping with Mom, running with Dad, and seeing the water and trees that I miss in Albuquerque. As more family arrived, the activity increased: Cooking! Hikes in the woods behind the house! The Annual Banks Family All-Comers’ Run, which drew 7 participants this year! Last-minute gift shopping and wrapping!  Keeping the baby from launching himself down the stairs!


I couldn’t believe how much my niece and nephew had grown since I last saw them. My fabulous niece, who’s five, has entered the Barbie Phase, but happily still enjoys romping around the woods as well. Not to mention [Brag Warning!] she has a brilliant imagination. My nephew, meanwhile, has become an unstoppable crawling machine of cuteness. I absolutely love hanging out with them. Not to mention, when they leave a snack for Santa, someone has to make sure it gets eaten, right??


Christmas Day brought some important lessons. One: Attending Midnight Mass when there’s a 5-year-old who will wake everyone up at 6 a.m. maybe isn’t the best idea. Two: Coffee is the answer. Three: Material presents really and truly are just accessories to the gift of spending time with family.


It was a fantastic Christmas. True, my flight out of D.C. left enormously late, causing my aunt and I to miss our respective connections in Dallas, but hey, that just meant we got to have a tasty dinner at DFW. Plus, since no coach seats were available on the connecting flight that I wound up on, I got to fly First Class for the first time EVER! For free! I got to board early and drink water from an actual glass! Not a bad way at all, I figured, to re-enter the non-vacation world.


After a recovery day.


Still pinching myself to make sure this actually happened!

6 thoughts on “Wrap, Unwrap, Re-cap

  1. It still strikes me as odd to board 1st class first- why? I, personally, would not want to have to sit on a plane any longer than absolutely necessary, and really, having to be passed and poked by everyone else on the plane is just not my idea of a good time. Maybe if they reversed that- last ones to board, not getting hit with everyone else’s luggage- maybe that could be enticing. Although….. real glasses is alluring- do they give you free snacks or do you still have to pay for the cookie? 😆

    Glad you had a good time!

    1. Hmmm…well, it admittedly WAS very nice getting to board first, but I also had the window seat — it’s probably not so pleasant for the aisle seat! They did hand out free snacks, although no cookies, which made me a tiny bit sad. Oh well! Fun while it lasted!

  2. Your enthusiasm for your first-class freebie made me laugh in recognition. Twice I ended up in the front of the plane unexpectedly, and it was grand. I really appreciated the free drink and especially the extra room. It made me long for the good old days when the seats back in coach had a bit more room. Not to mention blankets and pillows.

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