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Take to the Trees

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Kurt Hummel couldn’t claim to be an outdoorsy type of person, really.  It wasn’t his favorite activity choice.  He’d rather go to the theater or shopping. He was fond of hotels and room service.

That said, Kurt Hummel also was not a stranger to the outdoors in the grand scheme of things.  His dad had dragged him off camping every summer of his life until his dad got involved with Carole and was too busy to go.  His dad dragged him off hunting three times in the fall.  They went bow hunting, they went bird hunting and they went deer hunting with guns.  Kurt did his level best to never hit anything and his dad and whoever they were with let him avoid field dressing anything.

There was one season he liked it outside, though.  Kurt Hummel liked winter.

He liked coats and hats and gloves and scarves.  He liked boots.  He liked crisp feel of the air.  He liked the sound of leaves and then snow as he walked through them.

He liked ice skating and sledding. He spent time at those activities rarely in his high school years.

Throughout high school he sometimes wondered if he should invite others to do outside things with him…go ice skating or sledding or hiking in the snow.  But most of the New Directions hated the snowy winter outside stuff so he never did.

It turned out a good thing.

If he’d thought the first Christmas in New York was bad, the second was one step away from being an utter nightmare and it started in October!

First, as much as Kurt liked winter and snow…he did not like slush and wet nasty streets.  He did not like power outages and he absolutely hated whining about any of it.

Blaine didn’t like winter…or maybe he did but didn’t like it in New York?  Kurt wasn’t sure. He just knew that Blaine hadn’t stopped complaining about the cold and his hair gel working badly in the freezing temperatures since it started.  Sam wasn’t too fond of the cold either.  Apparently the air mattress he was sleeping on didn’t keep him far enough away from the cold floor and the living room area was too drafty at night and Sam kept getting chilly.  Blaine took to sleeping next to Sam Mid October so he wouldn’t get too cold…instead of with Kurt.  However, even though Blaine wasn’t generally sleeping with Kurt, Kurt was NOT allowed to change the sheets to Kurt’s favorite wintertime sheets…flannel…because Blaine ONLY slept on Egyptian cotton sheets, or satin or silk.

The second issue was…Blaine’s family started decorating their house for Christmas the first of November.  Blaine talked Rachel and Sam into decorating the loft…starting in mid-October.  Before Kurt was consulted, let alone given a chance to nix the idea, tinsel garlands and snowman and Santas had overrun the loft.  Rachel talked Blaine into a Baby Blue fake tree, which they had covered in pink and gold ornaments. Kurt wanted to throw-up every time he entered the loft.  Blaine also liked singing stuffed things….the kind that started singing when anything around them moved.  Kurt couldn’t walk from the bedroom to the kitchen without setting off at least six.

The third issue was gift lists.  Rachel posted hers up in October and told everyone that since she had had such a hard year, everyone owed her at least five items from it.  Not a single item on it was under a hundred bucks.  Blaine, Sam and Santana took Rachel’s posting of her list as a signal to post their own and each reminded the others over the course of the next several weeks that they had had just as shitty of a year so deserved multiple items.  Kurt decided to post a list of his own, but his list always went missing within a day of being posted.  He never made any comment on them buying more than one item…he figured if the years previous were anything to go by he’d be lucky if any of them bought him anything.

Finally there were the travelling plans. It started with Rachel’s dads calling to cancel their family vacation but offering to send her on a cruise just herself.  Rachel didn’t want to go alone so she invited Santana…to make further peace, so to speak. So Santana and Rachel were off on a cruise to Mexico for a full week and then they both headed to Lima for another week.  Then Sam’s family said they wished he could come home for Christmas…and Blaine decided to make that happen.  Since Blaine was spending the money to help him get home, Sam invited Blaine to go with him…and Blaine accepted and invited Sam to go with him and his family on their family vacation to Disneyland.

Kurt’s parents decided that they would spend Christmas with Carole’s family…they were going to Texas.  Kurt wasn’t invited.

Fine and Dandy, he figured after he found out Blaine lied to Kurt’s parents and said he was going with Blaine and Sam to Disneyland, so his dad and Carole didn’t even feel the least bit badly.

(“Of course I told Carole I was bringing you, too.  She would have thought it weird if I only brought Sam and then she would have fussed and I’d have felt bad and it would have ruined my whole vacation. They will never believe you didn’t go, so you should just remember to be silent about not being there….make shit up if they ask.” Blaine had insisted when Kurt asked him about why Carole and his dad thought he was off to California.)

Kurt called Elliot and asked if he knew of any place that was relaxing and far away from it all.

Elliot helped him book two weeks at the Yoga Retreat being held at a spa in the woods of Vermont, where Elliot was already slated to attend.

Kurt wasn’t sure what he expected, but the spa was centered around hot pools, which had been fixed up for year round use.  People stayed in small cabins which seemed more window than wall but due to massive fireplaces and thermal heat were always warm.  He and Elliot shared a cabin.

Mornings were spent doing yoga and on meditation exercises and swimming laps. Lunch was always sandwiches and soups, but in the two weeks they were there it was never the same soup, although Kurt had the same sandwich option a few times since the meat options weren’t as varied as the vegetarian.

Afternoons, though, were free after the single class offered after lunch.  Kurt went to several of them…there was one on finding the proper clothing options for yoga that was interesting and one on maintaining peace in your life that left him writing a thank-you note to the instructor, he had needed it so badly.

The spa offered spa packages, like other spas…massages and manicures and pedicures and the like, but they also offered outdoor activities.

Elliot liked the outdoor options as much as Kurt did.  One afternoon was a sleigh ride and another an informative walk through a syrup grove where they learned about tapping syrup. They went on a wine testing tour and a historical building tour. They went on the local small art shop tour and Christmas shopping tour.  They got cross country skiing lessons and went ice skating. Several afternoons were spent in the hot pools and just relaxing and playing card games or chatting. And one afternoon was spent getting the spa’s full package treatment.  Kurt loved it, but he was just as pleased with all the other offers.

Dinners were often hosted at different restaurants in the area. The spa sent a van out someplace different each night.  Kurt and Elliot went sometimes, but more than half the time they stayed at the spa.  The main lodge’s restaurant had excellent meals, mostly vegetarian, but with a meat option each night and if you didn’t want to eat up at the restaurant, room service would deliver to the cabins.

The whole get-a-way was relaxing and delightful and energizing to Kurt’s body, soul, and mind.

They got home the day before anyone else did. Kurt washed all his stuff and spent the evening having band practice with Elliot and Dani.  The day all the rest got back, he went to work and went shopping for school supplies and groceries.  He wrapped gifts and sent those needing to be mailed off.  He set up for another band practice and made diner.

His loft mates all arrived at the same time…having all ended up on the same flight out of Columbus.

As Blaine and Rachel spilled in with their excess of luggage and Santana and Sam came in right behind, Kurt smiled and welcomed them home and told them diner would be ready in a half hour and Elliot and Dani would be over for band practice in two hours.

He listened to the whine about band practice and then listened as they all spoke about their vacations…right over the top of each other so he couldn’t really hear any of it well.

“How about you Kurt?” Blaine said. “Did you go out of your mind with boredom while we were gone?”

Kurt smiled. “No, I had a relaxing time. Did some yoga and shopping. Not much though.”

With that, they rushed to the packages left out for them and babbled about what he got them.  Rachel of course also whined he didn’t get the exact items off her list, but what he got her would do.  Blaine asked why he didn’t have tons more, since he was Kurt’s fiancé. (Blaine hadn’t got him anything…he forgot.)  Only Sam asked where Kurt had actually bought the items from.  Kurt just smiled and said he got them from a small art shop.

Kurt’s dad called before the band got to the loft and Kurt managed to talk about his vacation without lying at all.

And if Santana gave him an odd look when the band got there and they had a more in depth discussion on yoga and vegetarian foods that she thought he should be able to have…well, she liked her gifts too much to mention it.