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If you were to think about large-scale efforts – mapping the human genome, searching for monster prime numbers, developing the TESLA, you would be wise to add planning a family Caribbean vacation to your list.

There’s the organizing, packing, passport-checking, last-minute snack shopping, the rounding up of coloring books, crayons, headphones, medication, sunscreen and whatever sand-caked plastic shovels that can be found from the last vacation.

Rodney imposed house rules against me asking him to exfoliate my back and apply sunless tanner the night before a trip, so now I leave that job to the professionals. Which of course never gets done. Time, who? what?

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This year I got my act together and scheduled an appointment that I promised I wouldn’t break. I stuck to my guns, shed my clothes in front of a woman whose name sounded like Mary but wasn’t, and stepped into the booth. After a few passes of her spray gun, she declared that I looked “owa-some” and I skipped back home, a burnished shade of bronze.

My kids weren’t impressed. Over the sobs of one child, another demanded to know what happened to my “other skin”. The third was found later, hiding in a closet. This pre-tan effort, I imagine, won’t happen again.

It was the least I could do to get ready for what promised to be the trip of a lifetime.

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When traveling with kids, Rodney and I have always leaned towards big hotels with big pools, big restaurants, and a bigger set of amenities. The kind of place where a kid can race around and find plenty of entertainment.

This year though, we booked our trip through Inspirato. After looking through their list of properties, we found a house that seemed like it would be a great fit for our family: our own pool, an empty beach, ocean-facing bedrooms, and the icing on our Tortuga rum cake….a well-stocked kitchen.

I’m not sure how many times the word “idyllic” was dropped into the conversation during our stay, but I’m pretty certain that were in three-digit territory.

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Let the record state that if you’re planning to attend a store opening, and are planning to take pictures that you’re then planning to share with the company, don’t arrive after you’ve been drinking.

It’s at times like these when I’m relieved that I’m not a surgeon. Or part of Barrack Obama’s security detail. Even a dressmaker, all of those pointy needles and other stabby things.

It wasn’t always the case. I used to have a job where drinking wasn’t part of the job. It was much easier to demarcate that line in the sand – these are the times when drinking is acceptable – these are the times when drinking is not.

But then you start to work in environments where drinking is the norm. And in some cases, where NOT having a beverage in your hand is completely unacceptable. Like that event a few weeks ago for Edible Manhattan where against my will, I was forced to drink moonshine and talk about local spirits all night.

For legal reasons, let’s strike that last sentence. It was willful, all of it, I apologize. Sometimes I can’t even admit these things to myself.

The day of the Edible event was a long one. It started out with working lunch where I was taking food photos for a restaurant. You can’t very well take photos of lunch without a cocktail in the mix. And sometimes that first cocktail needs another one on the table for balance.

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It’s likely that I’m snorkeling off the shore of some Caribbean island right now. So to stave off any jealousy or daggers thrown in my general direction, let’s pretend that we’re still in New York contending with Month 5 of sleet and snow.

Though the temps may have been lower than hoped this spring, it hasn’t stopped us from getting out and exploring the city on foot.

Emma was off on Spring Break last week, a full week earlier than the other kids. And since we’re traveling this week, she gets to skip a full week of school. Translation: that is SO NOT fair MOM.

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I told Lauren that it wasn’t fair that she was born first and had my complete attention for the first two years of her life. And that she’ll get her driver’s license first. AKA zip it.

So back to last week. Emma knows not to broadcast what actually took place since it was nothing short of incredible.

Monday took this form: lunch–chocolate store–Sephora–nails. 

We took a breather on Tuesday, just enough rest to recharge the batteries and prepare our feet for another day of walking.

On Wednesday we spent the day on the Lower East Side doing the following:

Park visit:

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As if Monday’s visit to Lilac Chocolates didn’t provide us with enough sweets, we were determined to visit Economy Candy.

We headed off on Rivington and quickly realized that we were heading in the wrong direction. But in one of those fortuitous twists of fate, we ended up at the tip of the alley that leads down to Freemans Restaurant.

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If you’ve read previous posts about important days in the year – Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, etc, you’ll know that my strategy in approaching these events is something along the lines of “oh cr&p, it’s [insert holiday]”. Often it’s “oh cr&p it’s [insert someone’s] birthday.

Now before I unintentionally paint myself as the world’s most insensitive mother, please know that this doesn’t relate to children’s birthdays, which are usually SWAT team-planned the day before. And generally follow the creative bake-a-cake-and-make-your-favorite-meal variety. Elaborate birthday parties, with the exception of this one aren’t my strength.

You can impute thusly that preparation for national holidays isn’t my strength to the power of infinity. Taking that one step further, it wouldn’t be so shocking to learn that I was duly unprepared for Easter this year.

But Easter hasn’t happened! [yells the reader before throwing her shoe at the screen]

Hold on…I’m getting to the punchline.

According to the Gregorian calendar, it has yet to happen. But in our family, Easter will be spent in the coach section of United Airlines flight ABC123, hauling three kids and corresponding bag tonnage to a Caribbean island far far away. So, based on a technicality, Easter actually happened last Sunday. In the form of a neighborhood egg hunt planned by others, and open, mercifully, to all.

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I’ve been called a lot of names in my life. A favorite, from middle school, was “Fur”. Fortunately it had nothing to do with body hair; it was a shortened version of my last name which was deemed unpronounceable. Which is all well and good until your boyfriend starts referring to you as “Furburger”.

Back in the bling bling days of the early aughts, when J.Lo and Ben Affleck were doing their horizontal yacht thing in rap videos, I earned the slightly more palatable nickname at work: J.Fo.

As in “what’s going on in that tiny cube J.Fo?”

(that would be the cube with no windows, two computer monitors and a headset).

“Nothing much, just planning my exit strategy from this sweatshop and the name isn’t helping.”

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That conversation didn’t happen but my, did I fantasize.

In one of my first blog posts I referenced one of my earlier, husband-assigned nicknames: the “pocket wife”. Both of us are at fault for our size difference; him with his ceiling-grazing stature, me with my child-sized clothing.

However, if we’re really going to get into it, one of us came this close to receiving college scholarship funding from the [blank] club of America. Size discrimination is real. I’m not saying who it was, but here’s a hint: this person never went by the name of “Fur”.

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