Thursday, April 12, 2012

Scarlett's First Vacation

Sixteen months ago, we were planning our "bucket list" for Scarlett.  She was only two months old, but we had just been told she had a brain tumor that could not be treated.  We had barely left our house with her yet, let alone do all the fun and interesting things we had hoped to fill her life with.  When I posted about it on the blog, it was a way to remind myself to keep my eye on how to make Scarlett's remaining days as bright as possible rather than wallow in the grief we felt.

Around that time, my dad told me that a friend of his wanted to help us do one of the things on that list - go to the beach.  They offered a hotel room so we could enjoy the beach comfortably with Scarlett.  This was overwhelmingly generous, and we were very grateful.  

Then, a few days later, everything changed, and Scarlett went in for surgery, then a year of chemo.  We did what we could, but she was rarely healthy enough to take out, especially over night.  A few months later, my dad forwarded me an e-mail that said the offer for a getaway was still on the table, whenever we were ready.  I saved that e-mail, but figured it would be a while still.

Then, last week, we realized the time had come.  Spring break meant far fewer appointments for Scarlett, and no after school tutoring for me; Chris was able to rearrange his work schedule, and we had a free day!  We made a last-minute request, and had a room.

Oh, and not just at any hotel.  At the RITZ CARLTON! 

The Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay sits on cliffs against the ocean and is surrounded by golf courses.  It is only about 45 minutes from our house.
The staff had been told Scarlett would be coming, so they had this duckie waiting at the front desk for her (and glasses of wine for us!)
When we checked in, we learned we had gotten a complimentary upgrade to a room with a private terrace fire pit.  From our room, you could see right over the golf course to the beach.
Between check-in, naps, meals and the storm that moved in overnight, we didn't make it to the pool.  However, Scarlett got to swim in the giant bathtub, so she was happy enough!
The hotel was surprisingly kid-friendly, with high chairs, cribs and beach toys available.
Before the rain started, we fit in a little trek to the beach.  Scarlett rode in the big backpack for the first time.  She liked it so much that she fell asleep by the time we made it down tot he beach!

When we returned from our walk, a gift had been delivered - cookies, cocoa and a gourmet s'mores kit (including long sticks!) to enjoy at our little fire pit.  Thanks, mom!

One day, I will figure out how to get Scarlett ro reliably look at a camera and smile.  She was LOVING the soft feather bed, and was laughing as she rolled around...until she caught sight of the camera.  She had fun, I swear!
We roasted marshmallows on the patio in our pajamas and lots of blankets, since a wild storm was making its way in.
This rascal decided he wanted to try some s'mores, too!  He was very persistent - he actually climbed right up to our fire pit, flames and all!  Chris used the camera flash to distract him while I got Scarlett and all the food inside.

Thank you so much to Dawn for giving this wonderful night away!  We had such a great time!  I can't wait to go back to have s'mores on the big patio again when Scarlett is a little older (and maybe without the raccoon!)

We have one more short trip planned before Scarlett's surgery in May.  Preparations for surgery are already in progress - she will have a 3-D CT scan next week to help the surgeons plan how to reconstruct her skull.


carriesue said...

This brought tears to my eyes! The happy kind!! I'm so happy you got to do this with your baby girl!

And it looks like an absolutely amazing resort!

Denise D. said...

I remember reading that original post way back in 2010. I cried then and I cried re-reading it today. This time, though, it was happy tears. I know Scarlett has a long road ahead but what a difference 15 monthes makes! I smile every time I see pictures of your beautiful little girl. Just proves that you can never give up. That little lady of yours is pretty incredible. And so are her parents.

Darla said...

I am so happy for you guys, this made me cry. Talk about a family that deserves a fun time at the beach. I'm so glad Scarlett had fun and you guys had a good time! I hope your next small trip is awesome, too!!

April said...

How wonderful. I am glad you all had a good time.

debtfree4me said...

Wow, what a stunning resort! My heart is smiling knowing you three had such an amazing time! God Bless.

sredmon81 said...

Sounds amazinf. I still cannot get over how much hair she now has.

Karen said...

It looks like you had an amazing time! I had tears in my eyes seeing the pictures and hearing that Scarlett had such a great time. I never get tired of reading all about her amazing life, and hope to read much more in the future.

alex said...

Such a well-deserved vacation. I'm so glad you all had a good time!

Robin said...

This trip looks like heaven! I'm so glad the 3 of you got to have a special family trip, and many happy memories were made! You 3 deserve it so much! Scarlett looks adorable as ever, and I can not believe how much hair she has! I think she has way more than my Morgan! LOL...
Praying for you always!