i guess it wasn't supposed to be a vacation, per se, but we were trying to turn it into one.
several months ago jim's cousin jerry asked him to be an usher in his wedding, it was a nice honor for him and of course he happily agreed. and it would save the yearly trip to binghamton by serving double duty as a family reunion - score! so we planned a trip, booking what i thought was the same hotel as jim's sisters and their families (discovered it wasn't. it was the next block over) and planned to set out friday morning.
thursday jim calls midday and has to unexpectedly work late, so i spend the day doing all of the going away things that need to be done. grocery store, bank, cleaning house top to bottom, laundry, packing every member of the family, shuttling dog to grandma's house, as well as the normal taking care of kids and cooking meals nonsense. also, squeeze 15 minutes in to get ready for my run the following morning. bathtime, kids in bed at 8, mommy in bed at 8:30.
friday AM i wake at 3 - eat, hydrate, bathroom, dress and i'm off. carrying 2 liter jug of water, handheld, backpack through the pitch dark streets. drop off jug in friend's hedgerow where i will pass by around the 10 mile mark for a refill, and ease on down the road. first loop is fine. second loop and my stomach starts turning, legs start slowing, morale starts flagging. have 26 miles scheduled and end up doing 22 and change, after the body and mind cry uncle. see jim and the girls out on the road, where he took them for a morning run to wear them out. thankful. at home have a half hour to shower, dress, finish packing, fill the cooler etc.
so the car rides, which were the most fearful and loathsome part of the weekend with a 1 and 3 yr old, were not bad. and there was a LOT of car riding. traffic was horrendous at times, and we were a good 40 minutes from the wedding site, another 40 from the reunion party, and 6.5 hrs from rochester. thank God for portable DVD players. the one unanticipated snag - maya wouldn't sleep in the car for more than 40 minutes. so 3 days with almost no nap. so the problems were not in the car, but out of them - where i had a delirious, grumpy, exhausted, squirrely baby on my hands. she was uncontrollable, wouldn't focus, and had many meltdowns. she also got bit by a deer tick at the reunion in Maine. jeez.
the wedding was pretty. it was outside in a garden. at noon.
it was 90 degrees out. so maya and i stood in the shade and sang songs to keep our sanity and keep her quiet (she spotted daddy walking down the "aisle" and wanted him so much, we had to excuse ourselves to not cause a scene.) the youngest groomsman has to be removed from the lineup as the men are baking in their black suits. at the reception, maya twirls round and round in circles, dances, does headstands, walks into things, hugs random men's legs (thinking they were jim), gets covered in dust (from the gravel roads), and takes her dress off and sits in her diaper cover. up in Maine, cousin Worth has prepared a FEAST. maine lobsters, marinated steak tips, local breads and blueberry pie, corn so fresh the kernels were jumping off the cob, wine, cheese... i think it was the best meal i ever had in my life. i even ate a bit of lobster. and it was GOOD. of course, Worth's house looks like an antiques shop, as i expected it would. everything is spode china, 200 yr old federal chairs, 100 yr old priceless teddy bears and the like. baby runs through the house like the tasmanian devil, but i think managed to not break anything. pheew.
back at the hotel - maya toddles in, goes over to her pack and play and hangs on to the side screaming "bed! BEEEEEEEED!" when i insist that she need a bath (blueberries, dust, tick bite) she fights so hard that i am forced to drag her to the bathroom. that's one tired kid.
ride home yesterday. short naps. hip hurts from driving. chicken nuggets all over the back seat. pee pee breaks on the side of the road.
home, unpack. get a phone call from mom. (OH! the dog! dammit!) make dinner while jim and the girls wash the car. feed them. go out for a short run (thank you God for 2 legged locomotion), and get the dog.
and all of the parents are nodding "yes yes" along with me because they know what we know - it is much more enjoyable to stay home and do the same old same old than it is to attempt a vacation with small children. so parents - if you cannot get away without your kids i highly recommend that you stay home and do nothing instead.
family vacations are overrated.