Two Saturdays ago my mom dropped us, along with the GIGANTIC pile of crap that has to be dragged along when traveling with a small child (or maybe just my small child – but keep opinions about that quiet for Keri’s sake, m’kay,) off at the airport at a semi-insanely early hour of the day.
We checked my humongous suitcase at the counter -attention to The Mr: I am packing for TWO in that thing, OK? Most of that stuff is totally for Jr, not really I swear! Then I wheeled Jr’s carseat strapped to an old school folding luggage cart through security, on to the train and to the gate for gate-checking, and off we went to the great state of Ohio for a week of family fun with The Mr’s extended family.
In honor of this trip, I present to you:
Keri’s Fun Facts From Family Vacation!
- Southwest loaner car seats are actually really nice – as we learned when ours remained (lonely and abandoned) on the jet way in Denver while we jetted to the Buckeye state. It arrived later that day on a different flight – I hope they gave it a juice box and some pilot wings, flying alone is scary!
- Evidently, to a 4 year-old, one has not truly visited a place unless one has pooed in a potty at that place. (This includes, but is not limited to, private homes, restaurants, quaint destination Inns, and coffee shops.)
- My father-in-law’s chocolate martini recipe isn’t NEARLY as complicated as I previously imagined. (So. Damn. Good.)
- It is a good thing I took the giant suitcase *ahem, husband, as the amount of gifts bestowed upon Jr by The Mr’s generous family meant we needed the space (and my luggage gained 5 lbs.)
- Speaking of gaining 5 lbs… the Midwest has a LOT of good food. I did my best to eat it all.
- Fireflies are kinda scary looking in the full light of day.
- If you ask Jr about the Columbus Zoo, where he spent like, 5 fun filled hours looking at all the animals and frolicking in glee, he will only tell you that the animatronic pirate out front “was scary but it’s ok ‘cause he can’t move from there.” (oh, pooed at the Zoo too, BTW.)
- Deep-fried,Bacon-wrapped Deviled Eggs are an actual thing. Long live The Walrus !
- Ohio Squirrels don’t look like Colorado Squirrels – they grow ‘em lean and scrappy in the O.H.
- You can get Brutus the Buckeye on literally ANY product you could ever think of in your mind. EVER.
- O-H-I-Oh my effing gawd does humidity jack up Keri’s hair.
- Most importantly: You can pack a lot of family fun and shenanigans into one week!
I am not going to lie – travel sometimes takes me out of my comfort zone, and there were some moments that I was definitely not at my best as a mom, (there was a particularly horrifying moment involving an airport escalator that is burned into my mind with regret.)
But I hope that Jr’s memories of this trip will be of all the fun adventures he had; of chasing his big cousin Adam around bugging him to play; of his great uncle calling milk “Moo Juice” and giving him high-fives; of his GaGa and Grandpa watching him proudly display his gymnastic moves in the twilight of the front yard; of late bedtimes and sweet treats and new experiences… and most importantly, of the amazing amount of love he got to soak in from his wonderful extended family during his first trip to “where Brutus lives.”
Happily Urban Me didn’t travel for work. She occasionally transported her VIP Boss to the airport while he took conference calls with the Sultan of Biggetty Bruhaha (or whatever, I MAY have that name wrong,) but other than that, hoofing it across campus to represent at the all staff council was my biggest work trip.
Reluctantly Suburban Me is also “Shockingly Corporate Me” who has to travel occasionally, and currently located 38000 ft in the air after 2 days at the main office (or Mothership as I like to call it – so I can say “They called me back to the Mothership for a few days,” because I am a super dork unique like that.)
It’s fine… it makes my Foursquare and Untappd check-ins more exciting, and I get to send pictures of ivy-covered brick buildings back to my parents with captions like “Look Ma, now you can say your daughter went to Harvard!” I can’t exactly say that sorting through email while lounging in a puffy hotel bed with a plate of room service fruit and cheese and a glass of wine super sucks or anything. That would be a pretty transparent lie.
But there are a few things that are less-than-awesomesauce about it both this time and in general:
- The biggie. Leaving my kid, standing there waiving with The Mr., wearing his tiny Dropkick Murphys T-shirt in honor of Mommy “Shipping Up To Boston,”, I had a feeling of certainty that he would be packing for college when I returned in a few days because YEAH, it really does seem like it is all going by that fast.
- Getting to DIA kind of always sucked. But from the north-west burbs it feels like you actually are driving to Kansas. You should SEE the amount of bug carcass splattered on my windshield. Too. Far. Out.
- The GTL beefcakey situation spilling into my seat as I type this has been ripping toots every 7 to 10 minutes since we pushed back from the gate at Logan over 2 hours ago. If I had to guess I would say he had burning tires for dinner. I have been sniffing my own pit on a regular basis just to see if I can muffle the stank with what is left of my Secret powder fresh.
- Speaking of Dee-ode, is there some ninja version that peeps in high humidity climates know about that us high and dry dwellers aren’t privy to? Because the “Secret” I find is that I am a sticky, sweaty pile of less-than-fresh about an hour into my day during trips to Beantown. (Holy swamp ass, yo?)
- Every cabbie I get for the ride between hotel and office seems to be on the “I will save money on car maintenance by only using two of my tires every time I take a turn,” plan. Oh and also by rolling the windows down (A/C is for sissys,) so that my passenger’s humidity bombed hair can also be blown 80 different directions. Hot stuff.
- I used to be a TERRIBLE flyer. I say this knowing that the only reason I am no longer one is because I turned 21 and was able to toss a lot little booze on top of the Xanax/Ativan/Whatever that the doctor had given me that never QUITE worked completely. However, faced with the knowledge that I have to drive myself back home from Kansas DIA when we land, I have to ratchet back on my usual shameless self medication – leaving me stone cold sober and sniffing up GTL’s gas as we hit the usual mountain wave turbulence in our descent back to the pleasantly thin-aired 5280+ ft that we like to call “on the ground” here in the great state of CO.
- The actual, legit (not doing an SNL skit,) use of the word “Wicked”. It can be kind of cool, actually… but when the bar tender at the hotel has said it 9001 times in 15 minitues? Yeah, I’m wicked pissed.
- Andplusalso – my kid. (did I say that already? He counts twice.)
(And The Mr…. and the world’s greatest puppy pants…. And my folks who tag team Jr. care with The Mr. while mommy “pahks the cah in Ha-vad yah-d” because it really DOES take a village to raise
a Little Emperor Jr. Miss them all like crazy-crazy-cray.)
Until next time, Boston – Home again home again, jiggetty jig.