When you live where we do, Spring Break locales are often exotic: Aruba, Turks and Caicos, Mexico, London, Italy. Social media lets you know what fun/sun others are experiencing as you brace for another "Staycation" of dental appointments and haircuts.
In 18 years, we have not been on a family Spring Break trip, but I was determined to make it happen this year, despite Tim's confusion about whether or not Spring Break "is a thing."
We would fly to FL and stay with Tim's parents. The only big expenses would be the jacked-up holiday airfares and the cost of a dog-sitter. We'd take a friend so Margaret would have a teen companion.
The first snag hit when we reached the ticket counter in the wee hours. Andrew was supposed to be a lap child, but I forgot to bring any ID for him. The other times I'd flown with lap children (many moons ago) this was not a requirement. The reason for the ID was not to make sure we weren't kidnapping him, but to make sure he was under 2. If we purchased him his own seat, they did not require any ID at all! Unfortunately, when I offered that up as a solution, the flight was overbooked.
So we scrambled. I frantically texted Tim to tell him NOT to park the car and to run home and get Andrew's passport. He didn't get the texts, and we lost 20 minutes. By the time he reached the ticket counter, the agents were trying to help us connect to someone, anyone, who could prove in writing Andrew's age. I called the pediatrician's office, but the switchboard didn't have access to his files at the early hour. Tim tried to get into our health insurance account, but he didn't have the passwords available. Our insurance card had his name, but not his D.O.B. We re-set account passwords. We waited on hold. We made progress, but our time window was closing.
The agents said if we didn't leave immediately, we would not make it through security and onto the plane.
Finally, we split up, and I headed with the girls to the terminal and our flight, leaving Tim behind with the baby. I would have stayed with the baby and tried to straighten out the mess, but I had no idea where Tim had parked the car, and we were afraid the solution might include running home for the passport.
Tim struggled with the insurance website and finally found the info we needed, but by that time it was about 10 minutes too late to board the flight. I hate to think that if we had been calmer and more focused, we likely would have all made it on the flight. Or, if I'd just grabbed Andrew's passport...
Tim ended up having to take Andrew home, get the passport, get a ride to a DIFFERENT airport, and board a later flight to Florida. By way of Milwaukee. It was not an auspicious beginning to our trip, but Tim and Andrew were troopers. Oh, did I tell you it was Tim's birthday? Happy Birthday, Tim.
The 3 main days of our trip were enjoyable, or as enjoyable as they could be while sharing a room with a 5 am riser/wailer. I had forgotten how vacation with a baby/toddler is never truly a vacation. The weather was beautiful. Andrew enjoyed playing with his birthday toys from his grandma and seeing a digger and a trash truck in the neighborhood on their morning walks. The girls went shopping. Tim got to play tennis with his dad. I met some lovely ladies who had read my book, and connected with an old friend. We went to a beautiful local beach and reminded ourselves that next time we would schedule more than just an afternoon for the soothing power of sea and sand.
The night before our departure, however, I started feeling sick. Tim, his parents, and the girls played dominoes, and I tried to keep a low profile. Soon, however, not just my profile was low. I started vomiting, my heaves waking the baby. Curled up on the bathroom floor, I prayed it would be limited to me. In the night, as I dealt with simultaneous vomiting and diarrhea, the others started to fall.
The was no way we could get on our return flight. We couldn't do that to ourselves or others.
Tim made some calls and got us new flights for the next day. He and his parents stocked up on ginger ale and saltines. I was in and out of sleep/vomiting/pooping myself.
I was unable to care for the poor girls.
By afternoon, Tim started to have diarrhea, and his mom felt off.
Andrew showed no signs of illness, or slowing down. Margaret, head down, listlessly handed him crackers as I rested my face on the cold floor. Tim slept a bit. I checked on Margaret's friend every few hours, looking for a thumbs up in the darkness. We willed the hours to pass, and limited our movements to pushing Andrew's toy cars to him and contemplating the pros/cons of taking a sip of water or eating a popsicle.
I looked around the carriage house, feeling guilty that we'd turned it into a biohazard site in just a few short hours, longing to be home, but not sure how to get there. Wondering how hard my in-laws would be hit.
In the morning, after two flights, we made it to D.C.
The next day, Easter, half of us made it to church. We canceled Easter Dinner, but were able to enjoy the beautiful day.
I know some college Spring Breaks are riddled with vomit, sleeping on the floor, and watching the sunrise after being up all night, but I didn't think our first (last?) family one would be the same.
Hope YOU had a good Easter. He is risen!
Here are some happy photos from the trip. Note: We got lots of great pics of the girls, but we don't post without their permission.
Blue Jays outside our window:
Yarn leading to hidden Easter Baskets:
First Easter Basket: