Sunday, July 15, 2012

To Florida and back

There’s nothing I look forward to more than summer vacation. Long weekends, aside, it’s really the only time all year long when I get to hang out with my hubs without any other social obligations nipping at our toes. And since T has been in the picture, it seems like the one time of year when we really get quality time together as a family. 
So this year, we went to my parents’ condo in Florida for a week. Their condo is in St. Augustine, so we decided to fly direct to Orlando rather than Jacksonville and have a bit of a longer drive once we landed. 
Anyone that knows me knows that I’ve been in a slightly panicked state planning for the air portion of the trip. T won’t stay still for a second, so I was pretty positive that we were going to be the subject of the evening news -- “Family kicked off flight due to unruly toddler.” (I’ve become much more sympathetic to these stories since giving birth.) 
Amazingly, the flight was fine. It was the airport that was hell on earth. Not over-exaggerating.  From the second we got onto the shuttle bus taking us to the terminal, Tyler was hysterical. And it didn’t let up. There is no doubt in my mind that every single person in the security line was praying that we weren’t on their flight. We were THAT family. And everyone stared. Big time. Multiple friends advised us to let T run around the gate as much as possible before boarding the flight so that he could blow off some steam and be tired by the flight. Well, that would have been fine, if he had any interest in staying near a single gate. Not my child. He wanted to run the entire length of the terminal. So while the hubs was off getting the (also recommended) disastrous (berry red) smoothie for the flight - I had long abandoned my purse and backpack at the gate and was running marathons in the terminal chasing after T and carrying back 30 pounds of a kicking screaming mess when he didn’t want to go to the gate to board. Erika and I commiserated on this -- why aren’t there indoor play areas for kids at airports? Really, a little 10x10 foot walled-in area with toys would save more than just parents a piece of their sanity. I apologize for anyone in either airport who we stripped of theirs.  
Hours of torture, yes, but we made it.  My parents were nice enough to overlap with us in Florida on the front and back end of our trip to give the hubs and I some much-needed date-time. (And maybe, just possibly, love on their grandkid a bit). Date night #1 was planned to include a nice dinner, a couple quick errands, and a mini-golfing outing. Very dateish, no? We made it through dinner and that’s about it. Instead, it ended early when I had a bit of a health snafu. Because I figured (correctly) that I wouldn’t have much opportunity for bathroom breaks while en route, I didn’t drink anything on Saturday. Sunday, we spent the day at the beach, where running after a toddler as he sprints for the ocean doesn’t give a person much time to hydrate either. Fast forward to Sunday evening, post-dinner, where the hubs and I head into Wal-Mart (quite possibly my least favorite place on earth) for a quick errand before mini golfing. Picture me, pulling the oh-so-swift move of passing out in Wal-Mart, in a dress, (according to the hubs) on the floor. (Gross. And go figure, no one in Wal-Mart even batted an eye). The hubs is convinced that security has tagged the footage of him getting me out of the store (apparently being dehydrated makes one look both drugged and wasted) in case any 30-something chick turned up kidnapped in the area. I’m more worried that the next email round of “People of Wal-Mart” will feature me in all my glory. Long story short, no extended date night for us. Good start to the vacay. Date night #2 went much better. Although it started with discovering that bad things can happen when we put T down for a nap in just a diaper, it ended with me kicking the hubs butt in mini golf.  And yes, two points counts as kicking his a$$. Date night goal achieved. Finally.
In between the date nights, the rest of the week was as close to perfect as you can expect with a toddler in a new time zone in a new routine in a new place. I got pretty good at making sympathetic noises and eye rolls to random people when he threw temper tantrums at totally inopportune times. (You know, like after my friend and her 9-month old son traveled two hours to get to our place and T made an epic scene when I refused to let him catapult himself into the deep end of the pool during our playdate. Or as soon as we paid our (kind of hefty) admission at the Alligator Farm to take him to see cool animals*.) Luckily, he had his cute moments too, like blowing kisses and waving “bye bye” to every waitress and restaurant go-er he saw over the week and trying to play fetch with random dogs and their owners on the beach. So not everyone in Florida hated us.  
Sigh, tantrums and all, it was great and fun and as relaxing as can be during life with a toddler. And I miss it. Already. I wanna be back on vacation. 

My beach baby

A vacay play date with friends.

We went to see the fishing boats every night. He's blinking, but that is joy on his face. And yes, he is not wearing pants. AGAIN.

On the other hand, T could care less about the gators.

He had more fun playing on the Alligator Farm's playground. And yes, that is sweat. He played hard. 

Contemplating life during a stroll on the beach. 

Playing in the ocean surf. 

Loving "jumping" the waves with his daddy. Some lady actually offered us to borrow her (teenage) son's bodyboard because T was having such a blast. Nice thought, but really lady? Might be jumping the gun a bit.

Trekking to the pool with the hubs.

*Mental Note: 18-month olds could care less about gators and crocs when it’s 90 degrees and 95% humidity outside. 

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