We took advantage of a weekend without sports obligations to ship the kids off to Baba and BudÂ’s house for two nights.Â I know there are probably some parents that feel really guilty about sending the kids off to the grandparents, and miss them terribly the whole time they are away.Â My wife for example.
Me, IÂ’m good.
My wife and I celebrated our independence with food, wine, and real estate.Â Friday night we returned to the former site of our favorite restaurant (Castle Hill Cafe) which has rebranded (Corazon at Castle Hill). It was good news to me to find that the drapes had changed, but the soul (and the food) was still in tact.Â Still the great wine list of amazing value, some of the same waitstaff, and while the cuisine has been given a Mexican tweak, it remains identifiable as Castle Hill.
The next day, we lunched at the downtown Whole Foods (mislabeled food be damned).Â If you pick the counters farther away from the entrance you can have a downright civilized lunch.Â We settled in at the seafood counter for some amazing tuna tartar and smoked fish quesadillas, with maybe just a splash of chardonnay to gird ourselves for the main event: apartment shopping.
My wife and I have never owned real estate or held a mortgage, thus never qualifying as fully fledged adults.Â The financial crisis, in addition to convincing me to turn off all news media in favor of music and video games and being even more focused on my family, has me perversely interested in the housing market.Â Our retirement fantasy has long been a downtown apartment.Â No yard, no driving, no way for the kids to move back home.Â Ideal.
It also occurred to me that if we ever hoped to own a condo for our retirement, we would have to begin to pay for one in the relatively near term (especially with there being fewer investments that seem likely to enable us to pay cash way down the road).Â So we contacted the famous Austin Aaron, and he suggested a number of high rises in the CBD.
The views were astonishing and not a little unsettling for those with any fear of heights.Â I could clearly imagine us living there -- we would adapt effortlessly to apartment living (thought the whole grill question persists).Â So the destination is pretty clear.Â Rent or own?Â I still have a lot of noodling over economics with that one.Â Your perspectives welcome.
That night was a campus party that was mostly spent around a fire pit drinking wine and talking about how crazy the campus parties spent sitting drinking wine around the fire pit used to be.Â ThatÂ’s what it means to be old.
Sunday I fetched back the little ones, and did have to admit to myself that I did miss the little boogers.Â And then I made reservations at a B&B for our next parents weekend out.
Clay Nichols, Family Correspondent:
ClayÂ’s column, Dadventure, published twice monthly to Gather Essentials: Family, is a sure-fire guide to raising flawless, perfectly behaved, and always obedient children.Â Riiiiiiight.
Clay is the co-author of Filmmaking for Teens: Pulling Off Your Shorts, an award-winning playwright, and the Chief Creative Officer at DadLabs.com, a fatherhood website.