A very Happy Easter to those who celebrate the holiday!
The girls and I made cake pops yesterday (strawberry with dark chocolate coating), but this is the first year we haven’t bought candy and/or treats for the girls. Brett and I plan to head to Walmart tomorrow though to pick up some discounted candy as well as a few other Hawai’i treats to make a care package for Meiling.
WenYu was accepted at Wellesley College!! She got the news last Wednesday evening, when she checked her email right after we checked in at our hotel in Phoenix. Wellesley was her “reach” school, the one she thought she’d never have a chance to attend. And the financial aid! If we thought the offer from Colorado College was excellent, Wellesley’s offer was even better. WenYu and I are going to visit CC in a couple of weeks because she is actually still undecided between the two schools – both have their advantages – but I feel like she is already leaning more to Wellesley (which has also offered her airfare to visit their campus, but the visit unfortunately overlaps with the CC visit). Anyway, we are all over the moon for her, and her Wellesley acceptance softened the rejections she received from Scripps and Oberlin. (Besides Colorado College, we thought she would be accepted at Oberlin, rejected by Wellesley, and Scripps could go either way. Totally got that wrong!!)
Our other piece of good news concerned my Social Security. After taking so long to get it started, it turned out the initial estimates for my benefit were wrong – I will be receiving $53 more per month than I expected! The girls’ dependent benefit also jumped quite a bit. So, while we were comfortable before, we’re going to be a tiny bit more comfortable income-wise (although WenYu’s benefit ends in June).
Otherwise, we’re back to our regular routines for the most part. The suitcases have been unpacked, laundry is being done, I’m back on the exercise bicycle, and I’m on duty in the kitchen again. The weather is beach perfect today so Brett and I are planning to head down there shortly to soak up some sunshine.
This afternoon I am:
- Reading: I started Over the Edge, about deaths in the Grand Canyon, and so far it’s a good read. If the first chapter is any indication, the woman there who mentioned stupid was right – most of the accidental falls off the edge were easily preventable. But, people insist on climbing over guide rails “to get a closer look” or do other dangerous and stupid things it seems, especially males between the ages of 22 – 39.
- Listening to: The washing machine running once again, finishing up the last of our vacation clothes. It’s otherwise a beautiful, quiet Easter morning here, with birds singing and soft breezes blowing. The girls are quiet, getting the last of their schoolwork done before heading back on Tuesday (tomorrow is a state holiday).
- Watching: Brett and I are looking forward to starting the second season of Happy Valley on Netflix tonight. We all watched Mona Lisa Smile last night (starring Julia Roberts), which was set at Wellesley College in the early 50s.
- Cooking/baking: Brett made french toast topped with strawberries and whipped cream for Easter breakfast (I had cereal with soy milk and strawberries). We picked up a ham at Costco on Friday, so Brett and the girls will have that with some macaroni and cheese and steamed green beans for dinner this evening. I’m not sure what I’m going to have, but most likely some of the delicious leftover yakisoba that YaYu fixed for last night’s dinner.
- Happy I accomplished this past week: Besides coming in under budget for the Mystery Vacation™, both Brett and I are relieved the big monthly Costco shop is over. The refrigerator and pantry were practically empty when we left for Arizona, so it was a BIG shop. Not accomplished this week but the week before, we got our hotel reservation at the New Sanno in Japan! We feel very lucky to have gotten a room – the level we wanted was already sold out when we called, but we got another room level that will work for the three of us. Brett, YaYu and I are going to Japan next year!
- Thinking of good things that happened: Besides WenYu’s Wellesley acceptance, the good news from Social Security, and getting a reservation at the New Sanno, we also brought back $10.81 in change and $1 bills from our vacation (and spent less overall than expected); that will go into the fund for future vacations. I lost a couple of pounds during the vacation in spite of feeling like I ate way too much. And, Brett bought me a gorgeous, artist-signed Navajo silver bracelet in Sedona. I had admired it in a store we visited, and he bought it for me as a surprise anniversary present!
- Looking forward to next week: Brett and I are going out for happy hour on Wednesday evening to celebrate our 37th anniversary. We’re heading to Merriman’s in Poipu on the south shore, to catch the sunset while we enjoy some delicious appetizers and drinks.
- Grateful for: Brett, WenYu and I are all feeling very, very grateful for and amazed by the extremely generous financial aid offer from Wellesley College. With the scholarships she has received and her brother covering textbooks, there would be no out-of-pocket expenses for her to attend other than transportation to and from Boston (one of the cities Hawaiian Airlines flies to – yeah!). WenYu still hasn’t made a final decision on which college she will choose, but the aid award is definitely tilting her toward Wellesley.
- Bonus Question: What’s your least favorite part about traveling? Other than enduring long plane flights, I seem to always end up unhappy with the beds and pillows in whatever hotel I stay in, and never get a good night’s sleep. I have to say though that the beds in all three hotels we stayed in on this vacation were incredibly comfortable as were the pillows. All three beds were pillow topped, and each hotel offered a selection of pillows from soft to firm. I drifted right off to sleep each night without a problem and woke up feeling terrific. Brett and I now want to get a memory foam topper for our bed.
How are you spending this Sunday? Are you celebrating Easter? How did your week go?