Monday, March 12, 2007

Cary Grant and Quiche

Alagnak River Katmai LodgeAndrew's leaving me for a week. He doesn't travel often but over the next two weeks he has business in Seattle and Washington D.C. which means I'm doing the single mom thing. I don't like doing the single mom thing.

He's left plenty of times before but the difference is that in the past I've never wanted to go with him. For example, in summer he's gone to the Alagnak River in Katmai National Park. You're not familiar with the Alagnak? Well according to the men around here it's the Most Holy of Holy Fishing Spots where the men are men and the salmon lounge on the banks just waiting for the mighty hunters to arrive for the fight.

World class fishing, breathtaking scenery, even a bear or two thrown in for good measure. They stay at a place called the Katmai Lodge and Andrew's often asked me if I'd be interested in joining him there for three or four days.

He tells me how posh the lodge is, saying that I'd love it but whenever I quiz him on the accommodations they don't quite match my idea of luxury. For example, he raves about the food but really what this means is that there's merely lots of it. With men quantity is often mistaken for quality. If there's enough to make your gut ache, then who cares what it is.

Andrew loves it because the guides take them on the river and when it's time for lunch they whip up a fish, flapping and fresh, slit it open, pull out its guts, rinse the blood in the river and grill it up right there off the back of the boat on the guide's hibachi. My husband doesn't realize a woman isn't impressed by watching her dinner die.

He insists I'd love staying at the lodge and says each of the men get their own private room. Hmmm. Doesn’t sound so bad until you probe:

Me: So do they have king-sized beds in each room then?

Andrew: Well . . . no.

M: Oh, so you must have a queen.

A: Well . . . no.

M: A double?

A: Not exactly.

M: You’re kidding, you mean you get a twin bed?

A: Well, they aren't quite as big as a twin.

M: So what? Are we talking a cot or something?

A: Oh, it isn't a cot. Definitely not a cot. It isn’t a cot—it's a bed—just not as big as a twin.

M: Hmph. Sounds like a cot to me.

The important thing to remember here is that as long as Andrew’s in heaven all is well and when he's gone I can compensate by getting a real queen-sized bed to myself.

During these male-bonding fests I indulge myself in various ways. I make quiche (with plenty of mushrooms), watch Cary Grant movies, stay up late, wear less make-up (I say less because if I told you I don't wear any you'd be appalled) and sleep in the middle of the bed. It doesn't take the place of having my husband here but it helps.

The only problem is this time he's not going to a place where he needs to pack mosquito repellent and rain gear. He's heading south--south means warmth--and he's going to D.C. That's where we lived when we were first married. He'll see places full of memories and is even planning on eating at Continental Pizza and Subs the absolute, hands-down, most fabulous, tastiest, hole-in-the-wall sandwich shop we haunted in the evenings when we finished our daily commute. We dream about their steak and cheese sandwiches, there are none to compare. He'll be visiting my brother and sister-in-law and he'll be going out with old friends that traveled the east coast with us back when we were young and childless. Sigh.

Cary Grant and quiche isn't going to cut it this time. This is going to call for some serious indulgence.

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Robin said...

Oh dear, that is serious. I think the internets need to send you chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate. Quick. And, DH better tell you that the sandwich shop has changed ownership and gone wayyyyyyy downhill.

Sandra said...

I agree with Robin .... loads of chocolate is in order. Now chocolate and Cary Grant is a winning combination.

A chuisle said...

i also agree. maybe you can treat yourself to like, an in-home massage or something to make up for it. :)

Keith said...

Since I am a man I will not submit an idea of how you should indulge yourself. But, I will say that he better bring you back a sandwich!!

Babystepper said...

I suggest you start working your way down your wishlist. One purchase for every cool thing he gets to do that you don't.

I guess I must be apalling, because I only wear makeup to church. I hate the stuff! Mucky. Too bad I also have a bad face.

chelle said...

awww I hate when my husband goes out of town!!!

And he BETTER bring home something good *wink*

nutmeg said...

In a couple of weeks my husband is leaving for two weeks in Italy without me and our four kids. Forget quiche, I get through it with red wine and chocolate. When he gets home he's into me for hours of free time and back rubs, and I better get something in Italian leather!

wheresmymind said...

Bears!! That sounds like fun!

wheresmymind said...

Bears!! That sounds like fun!

grnidlady said...

well as others have commented this does call for chocolate! :)

Melissa R. Garrett said...

My husband travels a lot too - in fact, I am playing the single mom, as well, this week. Unfortunately for me, with only the picky eaters to please, dinners without hubby usually consist of hot dogs and vegetarian "chicken" nuggets. I don't even get the benefit of having a bed to myself as one kid or another ends up with me. And it never fails that one of them gets sick. Yep, wouldn't you know the youngest woke up with a terrible cold. Sigh. And there he will be in Georgia, Tennesee, and South Carolina. In the sun. In the warmth.

I may take the advice of the others and indulge in something chocolate. And possibly that risotto ;-)

Lei said...

Well I'll indulge with you cuz my husband is going out of town too.

Sleeping in the middle of the bed is the best, isn't it?

edj said...

I know how you feel...last fall I had to come back alone (well with the kids) to Mauritania in the middle of the hot-and-sticky season (WORST time of year) while my husband was writing to me from coffee shops in the NW about fall colours and crisp mornings and Thai food and time with friends. It was rough! Here's hoping your time of single mom-hood passes quickly and you get lots of chocolate, red wine, Cary Grant, new books, whatever it is you want.

Marie N. said...

Your methods for coping with a husband on a business trip are very, very familiar.

Would bringing home some take out meals help?

I love it when I don't have to cook or clean up/supervise clean up.

J Fife said...

Funny. My husband and I have steak and cheese sandwich memories from early in our relationship - only ours came from Cambridge, Ma.

Solo parenting is so hard. Good luck!

Pendullum said...

Have a few galpals over , stinky cheese and a few nice bottles of wine and some really fun music...

Sooo, when would you like us to virtually to arrive????

An Ordinary Mom said...

Sleeping in the middle of the bed is great, especially when you don't have to share covers or pillows.

So sorry you don't get to go,though. Just think, you are saving up for India.

If Cary Grant and Quiche don't cut it, what are you going to indulge in? Do share :) ?!?

Heffalump said...

When my husband goes out of town I usually stock up on comfort foods and frozen things that will please the kids and take less work in the kitchen for me.
I have to tell you though, that I don't wear make-up at all. Maybe every couple of years. I do put on lipstick to place kisses on little notes that I hide inside his luggage for him to find while he is gone. But since he doesn't go traveling much anymore, I haven't had to do that for a long time.
Sounds like you need to learn to make Philly Cheese Sandwiches. I am looking for a good recipe for those myself. Right now we make due with the ones they sell at Costco.

scribbit said...

You've all given me something to think about. I may have to order a wild mushroom pizza at Moose's Tooth and go see the new Sandra Bullock movie--Premonition. I really want to see it.

Where's my mind says the bears would be fun. You know that picture with the bear opening it's mouth and the salmon is jumping up the waterfall into the bear's waiting jaws? That's taken close to Katmai. I forget the name of the place but it's close. At least in Alaska terms.

These steak and cheese sandwiches have all sorts of odd things in them--like salsa and mushrooms--but the combo is that secret thing that makes them fabulous. They are huge and 14 years ago were only $2.75 for a full-sized sandwich, if my memory is correct. By any standards that's a bargain and by D.C. standards it was a miracle.

I've tried making them over the years and can't duplicate it.

Susan said...

I know what you mean about not being able to replicate it. I also think it's not just the sandwich, it's sharing it with Andrew and all of the associated memories that go along with it. I'm sorry you can't be there with him.

How about something carby and filling like cheesy pasta or pizza? Then have the chocolate. Stick with Cary though. He always makes me feel better.

Haley-O said...

CHOCOLATE!!! And HUGS your way! We're hear if you need to vent while he's away. That's a long time!

Christie said...

man, that's a tough one. i hope he brings you back something deeeelish, and not something that you have to watch die on a plate! by the way, that made me laugh out loud. you're too funny. good luck to you. i hate playing single mom when hubby goes out of town. i usually head to my mom's. i'm a wimp.

Amanda said...

Oh, now you have me feeling soft and wishing for the hill behind our house, taking us from Watertown and down into Belmont. Over to the corner shop for the amazing calzone, past the place we bought the antique chair for Spalding Gray's Swimming to Cambodia at Harvard. Our windy T stop outside the diner. For the days before kids and owning a business. Mind you, I wouldn't want to live in those days again, but to visit for a night might be sweet.

Good luck.

The Wooden Porch said...

That fish is amazing! I'd jump at that vacation offer from my husband. We were just talking about where we were going to go for our fishing/camping vacation this year. With a barely one year old, I think we may have to pass on fishing. :-(

Anonymous said...

Sending lots of virtual chocolate, and hey, the "stinky cheese" (LOL!) would be a great thing, too. Hard to beat stinky cheese! ;)

Linda said...

I know a lot of guys who would be drooling at the mere reading of your post - fishing lodges, grilled fish on the back of a boat, uncomfortable places to sleep - oh yes, they would be all over that in a New York minute!

I hope your time apart from your husband isn't too unbearable. The new Sandra Bullock movie sounds like it would fit the bill nicely and go for the pizza, too! Indulge yourself!

Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier - you have a very nice place here! And that's an amzazing list of links you have in the post above this one!

Blondie said...

It's so true that if there is a "lot" of something like food, men think they are in heaven.

Yes, you are going to have to spoil yourself. I think this should involve expensive earrings.

J said...

Sorry you can't go with him. :( I love DC, and it would SUCK to have my husband there, eating at my favorite ethiopian restaurant over in Adams Morgan, and me at home eating quiche. I mean, I like quiche as much as the next person, but, well...