This past weekend, we took a trip to Palm Springs to celebrate Mark’s birthday with some friends.  This was a rather ill-timed trip, given that it fell just a few days after I returned from BlogHer.  I was still trying to catch up on sleep, work, laundry, emails, down-time, and general sanity, and suddenly it was Thursday morning, the day we were supposed to leave.  The kids were out-of-their-minds excited for the trip, which manifested in them basically nagging me every five seconds about when we would be leaving.  Jafta was excited because his best friend was coming with, and his memories of doing this yearly trip in the years prior are some of his favorites.  On Thursday, he spent the day trying to pack for the trip himself, since I was not complying with his time-table of leaving NOW.  RIGHT NOW. ARE WE LEAVING RIGHT NOW?  Kembe, on the other hand, was excited because this would be his first trip to this particular resort, and he had heard tell of the awesome that was to be had (swimming! basketball! lazy river!) and was really excited to see it for himself.  We have done this trip every year since Jafta was a baby, but we skipped last year on account of the fact that we were living in a hotel, in the midst of adoption transition, and barely functioning as parents or human beings.  Kembe’s least favorite phrase in this house is “we did that when you lived in Haiti”, and I think this was the last family ritual that he had not been a part of.  He spent the day doing this weird sort of leap around the house, and generally being louder and more annoying than usual. Meanwhile, as excited as I was about the trip, I was NOT excited about the prospect of unpacking all of my stuff from BlogHer and then repacking a family of six for a five-day vacation.  I was so overwhelmed that I kept putting it off all day on Thursday, deciding instead to find distractions like engaging in pot-stirring on Facebook or debating about movies on Twitter.  You know.  The usual stall tactics.  I was really excited for the trip, but I literally felt like calling it off just because I could not see how I could transition between two suitcases full of black dresses and swag to four suitcases full of sippy cups, bathing suits, clothing, blankies, and diapers.   This task seemed so daunting that I literally felt like calling off the trip, because the packing thing was just too hard.  And this is the state that Mark found us in when he got home from work (which is when we were to leave) – me walking around aimlessly, Jafta trying to pack for us, and Kembe doing some kind of interpretive dance in the kitchen.  We finally rallied and got out of the house. and made it to Palm Springs just around bedtime.  We got to stay in the resort’s penthouse this weekend, which was impressive and huge and about twice the size of our own house.  I think we finally ready to forgive Mark’s parents for choosing to buy timeshare points instead of paying for his college . (I kid!  I kid!) 

Our first night there, it was still about 90 degrees outside, but we let the kids put on robes and sit in front of the fire in the air conditioning, just because we could.
We had a balcony that wrapped around the building, and the kids had fun running back and forth and undoubtedly annoying the people below us for hours at a time.

We also had our own private hot tub, which made us feel very, very fancy.  I never once got in it, because the sweltering summer heat did not make me want to sit in a tub of water heated to 104 degrees.  But the kids didn’t seem to care.

India posed for this picture with the request that I put it on my blog.  Just following orders. We spent lots and lots of time at the pool.  Fortunately this resort has a great kiddie pool, because we have three non-swimmers and one shaky swimmer, and one adult with a rather serious toe injury.

Another tradition in our summer trip to the dessert – we sneak onto the gold course and take a sunset stroll.

This has become such a tradition that the kids ask about it every year. 

This year, the kids also decided to scale a big hill near the golf course.  Karis, being the rock star that she is, insisted that she could do it, too.  She took a while longer than the other kids, but she made it too the top, beating her brother Kembe who decided the climb was too hard.  (That’s her at the very top in the last photo, holding hands with my friend’s teenage son.)

We also had a surprise guest in the penthouse – the biggest bug I have ever seen was in our bathroom one night. We put him in a plastic bag and then took him out to the golf course.  Then Moya picked up the bug for a photo op and IT BIT HER.  I am still shuddering.  And Jafta is still mad that we left him behind.

The kids also went on a frog hunt, because the frogs come out onto the golf course in mass numbers at night.  I promise, no frog was harmed in the taking of this photo.  However, a few seconds later Mark accidentally stepped on one and crushed it to death.  Which was a nice visual for the kids about the circle of life.

We celebrated Mark’s birthday with some cake (though I think he was most appreciative of the time away from the kids to play golf).

The boys also got in a little golf lesson.  India refused to go, but she did consider it for a few minutes when I told her she could wear a special outfit.

She and I logged some time in the lazy river instead.

We are home now, but the evidence of our weekend of fun remains.  A good vacation is measured in well-formed dreadlocks, right?

Excuse me while I go look for the detangler.