So, it's official...yup, we're here on the East Coast. We're not officially in New York, yet, but we will be. I'll explain all that later. I'll try and give you updates of what we've done each day and what fun we've had! :)
I'll be honest, though. I have a serious case of Vacation Amnesia (yes, I made that term up), and I realized I get it on every trip I make. I literally shut down and forget every responsibility back home. I take a SERIOUS vacation. That's what we're supposed to do right? Well, I always have things I still need to do because for some reason (or because of my lack of planning and "overdoing-it-life"), I never can get everything done before I leave so I bring it with me....and then forget to do it. hehe. Or if I DO remember, I just don't "feel like it" so I just don't do it.
Blogging is starting to feel like that to me. So, I'm trying real hard to become excited about it. I WANT to be excited about it. I want to share with everyone what we're doing. But I also want to just put the baby in a stroller and walk outside in the freshly fallen snow (even though I'm not a "snow person") and let the girls throw snowballs at it and ask me questions about how the salt helps the snow melt (yup...you can bet we counted that as a "Science" lesson for homeschooling! :) ).
First off, let me just say that I have a whole new level of appreciation for those of you who have traveled a lot with kids (ahem...Amber). It's HARD. And not just a little hard. REALLY hard. But aside from the traveling...the packing up is enough to do me in! Stressing about whether I forgot something, how much we're taking, whether we'll be overweight (no...we're not talking about ME, we're talking about our luggage), how many bags we're taking, whether the girls are going to get bored, if we have warm enough clothes, if I've taken care of the "home" stuff (you know, Bunny Babysitter, House Babysitter, Mail Hold, etc.). K. We have 3 HUGE, HUGE, HUGE bags (Thanks Randi!), which were ALL overweight and I managed to not forget anything EXCEPT the baby sling I made an extra trip to Tucson for, to buy it at an exclusive baby store to buy the exclusive, ultra-ergonomical, amazing, can't-go-to-NewYork-without-it slingbackpack. Ya, I forgot it. In my car. In the airport parking lot. Looks like I'll be googling ANOTHER ultraexclusivebabystore here in this area to buy another ultraexpensive, but can't-go-to-NewYork-without-it slingbackpack.
I have to say, the traveling was way less painful than I expected/have experienced before. ALL the flight attendants and personnel/ticket agents were relatively nice and all our flightmates were super nice too, considering we had a baby that could have turned into a nightmare for everyone around us. Spencer was great, the girls were great and we just had a great time. Thank you YoGabbaGabba and Baby Einstein!
Here we go with some pictures!
***the headphones were too big. We improvised. :)
***At the layover in Dallas, Brian and I tagteamed it...getting dinner, bathroom breaks, feeding Spencer and repacking our carryons that somehow (no one will admit it) got spread all over our row and under all the surrounding seats, so it of course got quickly stuffed into whatever bag was closest so that the stewardess, sorry, flight attendant, wouldn't have to inform us a 5th time that we had to hurry cuz she had a flight to catch.
There was a fun candy store that had these HUGE Pez dispensers. They were probably 2 feet tall. I was enthralled. Enough to even take pictures.
***Second flight, Brian got a whole row to himself. So, Spencer then got his own seat. He loved just sitting there with his seat belt on, watching the aforementioned shows that we/he loves.
Xoe & Xanthe had great activities to busy themselves (and I'm proud to say they pack their own bags, and have for a long time.) They entertained themselves by listening to the ever-so-popular music of their day (which they are way cooler than I was when I was their age. Where did they get it from?), getting their "craft on", as my SIL Ruth coined for them (modeling clay, drawing), crocheting big long strips (yes, I taught them how to crochet, are you proud?) and having a lesson on where New Jersey and New York are in relation to each other and how the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan are laid out. (And yes, you can bet all this and their travel experience counted towards "Arts & Crafts", "Music", "Geography" and "Social Studies" for homeschooling).
***After the Flight Checklist...
1. Get tons of bags and travel 15 minutes to the Enterprise Rental Car Lot right across the street from the airport. Don't ask. I don't know how it happened. I'm still boggled...CHECK!
2. Pick up rental van...CHECK!
3. Bundle the baby up for a really cold night...CHECK! (Ralphie! I can't get up!)4. Get lost driving around New Jersey's really confusing and blocked-off streets to our hotel in a beautiful little town called Tinton Falls, NJ. (Oh and did I mention every highway/parkway/overpass in New Jersey charges you a toll? It cost us $10 just to get from the airport to our hotel. We opined that we don't know how New Jerseyans afford it around here.) CHECK!
5. Check into our really posh, yet affordable studio apartment hotel room, all equipped with two staircases, a fireplace, a couch/hideabed, kitchen, dishwasher, fridge, stove, etc., and not one secluded area to put our baby in that NEEDS (well, at least I need him) to sleep through the night. (OH! Did I mention he sleeps 10 hours now?! I'll have to post about that. I'm way proud of myself and can't believe it! But I digress). This great little hotel is called the Residence Inn. CHECK!
6. Put baby in portacrib in the corner of the communal bathroom that has made it impossible for anyone to brush their teeth or wash their face (or talk above a whisper after 9 p.m.) unless they squeeze into a 1x1 foot area. (It's for the greater good, people! ...CHECK!
7. Find random pictures from my crazy girls who entertained themselves while we (parents) tried to settle in. (Whatever works, right?) CHECK!
8. Take showers, climb into bed to somehow get a little sleep. Xoe decided she wanted to stay up and crochet. After all, even though it was midnight here, it was only 10:00 p.m. to our Arizona bodies.