On March 13, I received an email from the kids’ school letting me know that, due to the spread of coronavirus, they would be extending Spring Break for another week and that we could expect to return to school the 23rd…..of March.
We all know how that panned out. Lol.
My husband had already gotten back on the road and was headed to the family ranch for work when the email came in. I called him right away and told him that we, the kids and I, would pack up and head to the ranch as well and spend a few days. Like I had mentioned before, I wanted to take advantage of every opportunity that gave me quality time with my kids. Being away from them during the school day was harder for me than I had expected. Well….I knew it would be hard but I didn’t expect it to not get easier as the school year progressed.
Anyways, even though we had just made it back to San Antonio from New Orleans, in my mind, there was no time to waste so I packed our car up and got back on the road the next day, determined to spend at least 4 days at the ranch before heading back to the city for school.
The trip to the ranch from our city home is an almost 7-hour drive; it’s brutal. I hate it. lol. But, man, do I love being on the ranch in our little blue house. It all holds such a special place in my heart.
We spent the first few days just breathing in the fresh air and talking about all the possible outcomes of what was happening in the world. Everything we knew or thought we understood was up for debate; we had never lived through anything like this pandemic before.
This extended Spring Break was completely welcomed in our house and we gathered eggs, ran our dogs, fed the horses and the cows, and just enjoyed the slow pace of things.
It wasn’t until the second email from our school came in, extending the school closure through the rest of the month of March and laying out the groundwork for distant learning that things became a little tense.
Sheltering in place and social distancing are pretty easy rules to follow when you have the privilege to live on acreage. Being able to let the kids run wild was so good for the soul. Finishing the kids’ schooling at home without any prep time is a completely different story; a story I’ll save for another day because….sheesh. LOL.
We ended up staying on the ranch until the end of May. Just typing that sentence out still feels insane. It’s July and it still feels unreal. That was our reality.
The world is crazy right now, isn’t it?! Until Next Time,
This year was RJ and Milly’s first year back in a traditional school setting after two years of homeschooling with me and that transition left me missing them terribly while they were at school.
This year, during every school break, I made it a point to plan something, anything, that would give us an opportunity to spend some real quality time together. We hadn’t visited New Orleans in a couple of years and so I decided to plan a trip. I absolutely love NOLA and since it is a tourist hotspot, there is always so much to do for families which makes it a great vacation spot for me who has only traveled once without my kids since becoming a mom.
The kids were out of school for Spring Break for a week; March 9th through the 13th. That gave us plenty of time to drive from San Antonio to New Orleans and spend a good amount of time there, having fun and seeing the sights, while also leaving space for rest and relaxation before going back to school and our regular day-to-schedule.
If I’m being honest, we weren’t thinking much of the coronavirus or the ramifications of the disease at that point. Everyone we knew was still traveling and the conversation surrounding what was happening was still, at least in our circle, this thing that was happening across the ocean and not really affecting our decisions.
We drove to New Orleans, checked into our Airbnb on March 9th, and enjoyed our Spring Break together as a family. We hopped around, trying new (delicious) restaurants, we walked around the French Quarter, played at Storyland Park, enjoyed a performance at the infamous Preservation Hall and had a family photoshoot with a local photographer. More details on all of this to come but the point that I’m trying to make is that we were simply living our best lives with much care in the world. We checked out of our Airbnb on the 12th and headed back home.
New Orleans saw its first coronavirus case on Mar. 9. which we didn’t know about until after we were gone. Just two weeks later, confirmed cases jumped to almost 600 and nearly doubled in the following three days, marking NOLA one of the fastest coronavirus growth rates in the country at the time. Then, New Orleans shut down in a big way.
It was surreal to read and watch all of the unfold in a city that we had just visited and if I can continue to be honest with you, scared the living daylight out of me. I felt like I was holding my breath, waiting for the worst to happen, for the next two weeks; hoping and praying that we hadn’t caught the virus while we were visiting.
Luckily, we are safe. The incubation period of the coronavirus has passed and we are all seemingly healthy.
This is crazy time we are living in.
Stay safe out there.
Until next time,