After a hectic family gathering on Thanksgiving -- kickoff day to the holidays -- my husband and I were ready for some peace and quiet.

We'd spent that day cleaning, cooking, eating, and cleaning again, and didn't want to do anything but rest up for the next hectic family gathering that seemed to be sledding right toward us.

So, instead of celebrating Black Friday with the rest of humanity -- dealing with the crowds, noise, and chaos of shopping -- we got in the RV and escaped to the redwoods to celebrate Green Friday, for a long and much needed rest.

True, we left town in the middle of an unseasonably warm and sunny day to spend time in the freezing shade of giant trees in the mountains, but the tranquility would be worth it, right?

Before we completely lost phone and Internet connections, I received one last text from my daughter. She and her family had just gotten their Christmas tree while wearing T-shirts, shorts, and flip flops. Meanwhile we were bundled up like Ralphie in "A Christmas Story." Still, we congratulated ourselves on missing all the commotion back in the 'burbs. After all, there in the redwoods, we had all the Christmas trees we wanted, and we didn't even have to decorate them.

We spent the first day lying on the RV couches covered in double layers of blankets, watching "The Wizard of Oz," while snacking on party mix. By 7 p.m. we were burned out from all the commercial interruptions for Black Friday specials, and went to bed, looking forward to another day of peace and quiet.

With no bargains to hunt for -- and no reason to get out of bed -- we slept in until 7 a.m., when 12 hours of peaceful sleep forced our eyes open. After more snacking, resting and watching TV commercials, I started to have fantasies about all the pushing, shoving and searching for parking that I was missing at the mall.

Even though we didn't need anything, that half-price flat-screen TV was calling my name. You can never have too many Xboxes, I always say. And even though my iPhone works perfectly well, those colorful new ones are awfully cute.

It didn't take long before I realized I'm not a country girl at heart, not even for a long weekend. I'm much more of a city girl -- actually a suburban kind of girl -- who needs constant Internet access, proximity to the mall, big crowds, congested traffic, and especially the noise and chaos of the grandchildren. These endless days (three) of peace and quiet (except for Best Buy/Hickory Farms/Walk-in Tub commercials) aren't nearly enough stimulation for someone who's used to multitasking -- making chocolate chip cookies while playing with Legos with the grandkids while singing the "Teamwork" song from "Wonderpets" while writing my column.

I've smelled all the fresh air I need. Give me some fake pine-scented candles. I've hiked through enough forest. I'm ready for a brisk walk through a crowded mall. And I really don't need three naps a day. One nap after babysitting the grandkids is plenty.

'Tis the holiday season. It's time to get hectic.

Contact Penny Warner at pennywarnerink@yahoo.com Reach Penny Warner at www. pennywarner.com.