Tuesday, March 5, 2013


Yep, you guessed it. Another trip out of town, another story about traveling.

"Why does she do it?," you might ask yourself. If that is the case, then you do NOT live in Indiana, or anywhere near the Midwest. This time of year is horrible. No. You know what? It completely sucks. We left Indianapolis at 11:00 am this morning with a Winter Weather Advisory predicting more than 6 inches of snow. Today.

By 1:15 pm, we were looking at this:


So, the day actually started out pretty well (my horribly stressed-out attitude notwithstanding. Sorry again, babe.). However, I'm not sure if it was a good or bad sign that I woke up, turned on the TV to watch the news, and the movie 'Airplane!' immediately came on. I'm taking it as a good sign. Because, seriously? I love that movie. And, also? It was the scene where the little boy sits next to the little girl and offers her a cup of coffee. And she turns down the cream he offers, because she likes her "coffee black, like her men." Which is probably one of my very favorite lines of that movie. Or ever. So, good sign, it is.

We got out of the house with only a few meltdowns about shoes being too tight (seriously? I am about to lose it with that ... perhaps that will be tomorrow's post?) and only 2 threats of not being able to go to Florida at all. And by 'threats,' I mean 'leaving them at home and going without them'. 

Derrick drove us to the airport and walked us to the security checkpoint. We all gave him a few smooches, and then the girls and I were off! Yep. You read that right. Just the three of us. 

And, I don't often give out mad props, but I will here - specifically to the TSA people working at IND this morning. Sequester-be-damned - the line was quick, and everyone there was MORE than pleasant to us. They were actually helpful. I know, right? It was a wonderful experience, and I'm sort of wondering if I was in The Twilight Zone (which, for you young-uns out there, will already be the second reference you probably don't get in this post).

We headed to the gate, got the girls a muffin, some fruit and a juice and got Mommy her medicine (aka, strong coffee...but with cream and sugar). And then we went to the gate and this happened:

Watching Tinkerbell with breakfast. And this lasted for more than 30 minutes!

 Girlies on a plane.

I bought Blair her own seat since it was just the three of us, and so I decided that Blair should sit in her car seat (aka-so I could keep her confined). I had her seat buckled onto this cart that allowed me to pull her like a suitcase, which she surprisingly liked. Until when we got on the plane, I realized that the cart did not fit down the aisle (as promised...although it was Southwest ... the Walmart of airlines). So, we went ahead and caused a major clog because I had to pull into the bulkhead row (next to an old man who I'm pretty sure was about to have a heart attack until I assured him we were only temporarily in his  space, not there to stay). I unlatched Blair, tried to confine she and Paige (aka, continuously grabbed ahold of their hood and yanked them back towards me), unhooked Blair's car seat, folded the cart, wrangled three backpacks, a purse, two blankets, a bunny, a penguin and two sippy cups. Luckily, the flight attendant offered to carry both the cart AND the car seat back for me. Curly-haired blond Southwest flight attendant? I heart you.

Sidenote: I'm pretty sure it's somewhat offensive to call flight attendants "stewardesses" nowadays. Folks over 70, take note. It really seems to piss them off, and I'm pretty sure they're spitting in your drinks.

The flight was VERY uneventful. Lots of jockeying technology around and getting things in and out of backpacks, but nothing out of the ordinary. In fact, IN FACT, I read an entire magazine. In 2 1/2 hours! A record (since circa 2009)!!!

After getting off the plane we loaded up, and headed to baggage claim. We quickly rented a cart and found our 2 suitcases (make note of this), then headed to the rental cars. En rote, I actually thought to myself, "Look at me! I think I've got this".

Until I got to Budget. Where the line was about 30 people long. This is what that situation looked like for us:

Yep. That's Blair asleep in her carseat/suitcasy-roller thing. See that blur behind her? That's Paige running circles around her. Literally. Running. In. Circles. Around. Blair.

 This is where Paige ended up. Yup. That's her balanced on top of our two suitcases on our rented suitcase cart. Super safe. If you're judging right now, either stop reading this blog or travel with yourself with a 4 and 1 year old. You may borrow these two, if you'd like. I'll be heading back mid-March.

After about 30 minutes we got to the front of the line, and the guy there gave us an AWESOME deal on an upgrade to a minivan (my husband had rented us a Ford Fusion). And he did his very best to be quick. It's a good thing, because Paige had woken Blair up and Blair was NOT pleased. And Paige told me she was tired, which is basically like her saying she's about to lose it and then pass out.

Um, remember how easily baggage claim went? That's because I actually forgot that I ALSO brought along a booster seat for Paige. So, the nice manager from Budget (who was actually working the line trying to get folks to sign up for something) offered to run back to baggage claim to get it for us. (Matt Wolfman at Budget, I heart you too.)

Oh, and then he came back with Paige's booster seat. And our stroller. Which I totally forgot we even brought. Oops. I have really got my shit together, people.

So we headed off to get our car, after a quick stop to the bathroom. Where Paige told me I smelled disgusting. My response was that A) she was rude and B) I probably smell disgusting because you and your sister make me sweat. A LOT.

Then we headed off to the car (again) and I promptly dropped Blair's car seat backwards onto the ground. With her still buckled into it. She handled it VERY well. I did not. Nothing makes you feel like a 'Good Mom" than dropping your daughter (okay, fine she was in a car seat and a cart, and not any part of her or the seat actually hit the ground, but still). And then both girls started to scream and throw fits. 

Aha. Now we're talking.

Then we GOT to the car, where I had to get all the luggage loaded up, change Blair's diaper (while she was standing up - the third time that happened today), buckled in both seats, buckled in both girls and give them smooches so they could be reassured I truly don't hate them. Then I turned to the Hispanic women who must work for either the airport or Budget (judging by their neon vests and official looking name tags) standing near the car to ask where I should drop off our luggage cart. Oh, you're going to shrug and make the "I don't understand" motions? Guess what? I speak Spanish and can hear you talking about me and how you don't want to take my cart back for me. Really? I don't even have the patience (or the swear words in Spanish) to deal with this. Thank you, Carl at Budget, for taking my cart for me. Or for whatever you did with it. I really don't care at this point.

We get on the road, and I'll fast-forward (because this post is getting long). Paige fell asleep, Blair didn't, Paige woke up, Blair was still awake, there was lots of screaming, some singing,  ... blah, blah, blah ... we get to Longboat Key!!!

The girls were SO EXCITED to see their Nani and Botsie meet them at the parking area, and they ran into their armm. We got upstairs, unpacked quickly (I mean, have you met me...first things first) and headed to the pool. How nice was it to leave a potential snowstorm in the morning and be swimming that afternoon? Really nice, that's how nice. 

A quick dinner, and it didn't take these girls long to settle into their old habits:
Watching a few episodes of old-school Smurfs while snuggled on the couch.

 Then time for bed, but first:

A few stories from Botsie. 

MAN these girls were tired! A 6:30 pm bedtime, and these girls were OUT.

Stay tuned for some GREAT stories, folks. We'll be here for TWO. WEEKS.

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