Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Away with My Girls

The time away with my girls was a sweet success. They were so thrilled when I began to feed them bits of information about what we were doing and where we were going. They giggled and whispered together as they excitedly picked out outfits and packed their pink and purple overnight bags for our hotel stay at the Radisson Hotel Iquique. It was a bit of a splurge but their special internet rate included a room with an ocean view and breakfast was included. What else are tax returns for, right?? Pedro and I talked about it and decided it was money well worth investing in a memory that hopefully will stay with our girls forever.

Our first stop of the day, even before the hotel, was at Iquique's largest grocery store. There we purchased snacks (bottled water, potato chips, Oreo cookies and a Sahne Nuss chocolate bar) as well as a manicure kit and nail polish. Only would you believe the store had just one color of nail polish? It was ... orange. A reddish orange, but still ... orange. Oh well! Not to be deterred, we purchased it and I chalked it up to being part of the memory. Our next stop was the video store to rent the new Lego's movie for Owen so that he and Pedro could have a boys' night in while we enjoyed our girls' night out.

After dropping off some goodies at home, we finally made it to the hotel. Unfortunately, somehow in the few hours since I had made the reservation by phone it had gotten lost. The lady at the desk was very nice, however, and was able to find us the same room we'd been promised at the same rate. The hotel was beautiful and clean and the girls were so impressed with the whole key card routine as well as the size of the room. We settled in for a short while (just enough time to watch a few cartoons and paint fingernails) before we left for the next big event of the night: the circus.

I must admit that I was a little nervous about the circus. My experience in Chile has been that the circus can sometimes be a bit vulgar and that was the last thing I wanted for the girls. But this one seemed larger and more professional than most and we had received a coupon from the girls' school to try it. Thankfully, it was well worth our time. The stunts were amazing and the performers seemed to really enjoy what they did. Eva and Isabel loved it and I was pleasantly impressed!

The show didn't start until 9:30 p.m. and it was after midnight when we returned to the hotel. A quick stop at our favorite Chinese restaurant (which was open and busy at that late hour on a Tuesday night - after all this is Iquique!) yielded some yummy snacks which we enjoyed back at our room. Around 1 a.m. we called it a night ... and around 6 a.m. Eva whispered in my ear that she was awake and couldn't go back to sleep! No way was I getting up at that hour and I didn't want her sister woken up either, so Isabel joined me in bed and Eva watched cartoons while we slept. Crazy girl!

As a mother to five children, I look forward to sleeping in without interruptions on a getaway. But that was not to be with this daughter of mine and by 8:30 we were getting ready for breakfast. The dining room overlooks the pool and the ocean, and the breakfast buffet included a nice variety of food and drink items. My favorite was the fresh mango juice! The girls and I ate and chatted, then returned to our room to pack our things. Leaving everything in order for departure, we spent the last hour and a half by the pool with our mother/daughter devotional book and a "body book for girls" which we have been reading together.

Eva and Isabel humored me by taking a couple of pictures showcasing their freshly painted nails and sweet smiling faces. We talked about bravery, and how God is our Protector who hides us under the shadow of His wings. We discussed hair care and teeth care and skin care and how true beauty is found within. We agreed that even the most beautiful person can be ugly and the most ugly person can be beautiful depending on whether she has a smile on her face and joy and kindness in her heart.

Too soon it was time to check out and head home. When the lady at the front desk asked me if I had rested, I replied: "Well, I didn't rest as much as I would have liked. My daughter woke up at 6 a.m.! But, we accomplished our purpose. We escaped from the three brothers at home and had a time just for us girls." She was surprised and pleased, telling me that this is something my girls will remember the rest of their lives.

Which is exactly what I hope it will be.


Terri Fisher said...

So cool, Steph! What a great treat for your girls and an experience they won't forget, I'm sure!

Anonymous said...

Steph, You made a wonderful memory for Eva and Isabel! Just be aware that you may have to keep it up now that you have whetted their apetites! I know that that it will long be remembered and talked about! Love you all. Mom

Simply Heidi said...

what an awesome time for you and your girls! You are a good mom! :)