“I want to get away, I want to fly away…”

I decided this morning that I want to go somewhere, ANYWHERE next year for a vacation. Excepting weekend trips, we haven’t gone on a real trip since 2006, when Jay won a few days on South Padre Island for being Employee of the Year. We considered that to be our honeymoon, since that was the year we got married. And we’ve never been on a family vacation with the bambino. Two of my good friends back in Ohio have both gone to Florida in the past year with their families, and quite frankly, I’m jealous. Jay & I have talked about this off & on, and nothing against my family, but even I’m getting tired of my “vacations” being hectic visits back home that are crammed with streams of visitors and rushing from place to place to accommodate this relative or this friend, etc. And it never winds up being relaxing–I’m more relieved to come home and get back to work. Plus, no matter how much I try and plan, there are things that when I go back home, I want to see or do, and it never seems to work out. For a couple years, I’ve wanted to go and photograph the Dawes Arboretum in the fall. I’ve still only been there once, and I think it was back in 2002, maybe 2003. I almost never get to go back to Cincinnati, or spend any decent amount of time there.

And I don’t say this to be a jerk…I think most of my family knows it’s a bit of a pain for me, just as I know they probably dislike having to schlep us all around or rearrange their lives to accommodate us! And I would like to think that my family and friends know that I love them all, and would come for more visits if our budgets or time off allowed.

But all that being said, dammit, I’m starting a vacation fund. I don’t care how much I have to scrimp and save, but next summer, I want to go somewhere with my family. I don’t even care if it just means we go out to the Black Hills for a week, or if we drive down to Kansas City (I’m sure I could get recommendations from Hal on what to see & do while there). I want a road trip with my guys to someplace I’ve never been.

All that aside, today’s the first day I felt well-enough to try and actually accomplish something. Last night I’d taken some donut mix out as a reminder to myself to make them this morning. The bambino & Jay got up before I did, and when I came downstairs, the bambino wanted to know when we could have donuts. So I got to work.

I picked this Sof’ella mix up at World Market last week. I goofed with the batter, though. I tried doing as I have in the past and using a piping bag to fill the donut pan…Yeah, that was a big mistake and made a huge mess, because the batter was pretty runny. So I just used a spoon, and that ended up working much better.

Cinnamon Sugar donuts. Man, were those addicting!

Powdered Sugar donuts. I probably should’ve let those on the top there cool off a bit before I dropped them in a bag & shook the powdered sugar all over them. They were still edible!

While Jay & the bambino went off to Jay’s folks (I stayed home more because I thought Jay’s mom was still visiting her sister), I got to work on some treats for dessert:

Oatmeal Peanut Carmelitas, from Gingerbread Bagels.

I’ve eaten 4 of them already, and I could go back and finish the pan. I won’t, but I could. By gods, they’re good!

Dinner was basically a repeat of last night:

Grilled cheese (no peppers) and fries (instead of chips):

I honestly think my panini maker is on its last leg. I noticed the other night that after a couple minutes, one of the lights went off. The same thing happened tonight, and when I unplugged it, I noticed the plug itself was really hot…And it was nowhere near the panini maker. I suppose after 5 years, it probably is dying a slow death.

I got a little bit of laundry done as well. I suppose I should call it a day and get myself to bed!