I've been back from vacation for almost a week and I've really had time to think about all we did. We got to see some cool things, sweated our butts off, and spent a lot of time in the car. Let me lay out our vacation on a day to day basis.
Day 1: get up at the crack of dawn. Take children and Meemaw to the airport. Surprise the kids and tell them we are, in fact, going with Meemaw to Hawaii. Record their shocked reactions, which were much less exciting then I was expecting, and get all of us and our bags into the actual airport while Meemaw parked the car. I paid a skycap from a different airline $20 to get my bags inside while I tried to wrangle the Things and The Baby. It was like watching a train wreck. I have the Things peppering me with hundreds of questions about what I did and did not pack for them, I am trying to separate the luggage and hand my ID to the lady at the counter and hold The Baby because I was not thinking about putting him in his backpack carrier when Meemaw left us. Finally get everything aside from our carry ons ready, Meemaw comes back, we get boarding passes, head to security. Things were going well, we packed little bags of candy with cute poems to bribe nearby passengers for when The Baby inevitably screamed. We were there in plenty of time and even though it looked like a disaster I thought I was doing well. Security was less impressed. Meemaw had the bottle and the candy. I had all three children. I forgot to put my phone on the belt in the chaos, which was pointed out to me before I went through the metal detector by a less than happy security Nazi. We go through the metal detector, get my hands swabbed for bomb making materials, happy to say that test came out as an all clear, and then Meemaw gets pulled aside for her suspicious items. She pointed to The Baby to explain away the bottle. The candy only took the security Nazi a minute once he read the note and we were good to go. Met up with Grandma and Brother in Laws Girlfriend, Shaniqua and we were ready for the first of 2 flights.
First flight was only 1.5 hours so baby did well. He snoozed and I thanked God. Get off first plane, eat lunch, let the baby crawl on the horribly dirty floor which I was far too exhausted to care about and then board the plane that mattered. The 5 hour flight plane... It was a darn good thing we bribed the people around us. The Baby got REALLY tired and screamed for a good 20 minutes because he no longer wanted to be touched, he just wanted to sleep, but on a teeny tiny airplane the whole sleep on his own thing was not going to fly. Eventually he fell asleep and I held him and dozed for one blissful hour. The rest of the flight involved a lot of movement, a lot of singing, and a lot of crying, mostly it was The Baby crying but I was close to tears once or twice. Finally touch down I go to get the rental car, Lineman meets everyone and loads enough into Shaniqua's car that only we fit and everyone else has to go in the rental van. It was a nice 2 hour ride in which I was not allowed to sleep due to constant chatting. Eat dinner, explore house, drink wine and fall exhausted into bed.
Day 2: Wake up at 4 AM because the baby is not aware of the time change, go to make coffee, find only decaf, contemplate killing both my brother in law and everyone else around me, eat breakfast and go to the store to buy REAL coffee and other necessary items. Then drive back to the same town that we landed in yesterday, 2 hours away, enjoy a BBQ and fun day at the beach. Introduce The Baby to the ocean, snorkel, watch the Things body board and then dinner and another 2 hour drive back to the house. At this point we are all triple exhausted from the travel and sun and beach. Lineman, Meemaw, Grandma and I vow to never go back to that town until we have to fly back home.
Day 3: Laze around and make breakfast, eat, let the baby nap and then head to a rocky beach in town. Watch the kids play, enjoy our day and be thankful it was only a 20 minute drive. Go home eat dinner, drink wine, and fall exhausted into bed.
Day 4: Special outing to a black sand beach is planned. Get up, make breakfast, play with children, put The Baby down for a nap get ready to go, wait for baby to wake up. Brother in law gets antsy I tell him I will cut him the baby gets a real nap and he isn't going to stop me from providing that. Then I hear where the beach is.... 2 hour drive the other way with a VERY sketchy road that can only be driven by 4 wheel drive vehicles. Baby wakes up, we make the very long drive with the Baby in Brother in law's pickup because we didn't have 4 wheel drive. I was secretly hoping the baby screamed the entire drive but unfortunately he was pretty good. I got an attitude at the beach only enjoyed an hour of our time there, of which we only spent like 3 hours, then drive back home. Yep 2 more hours in a vehicle.
This was my breaking point. Let me first say my Brother in Law and his girlfriend obviously don't have children. They should not have planned the vacation since they live there and there were other things some of us wanted to do besides what they had on the agenda, and I have OCD and need to be in control to enjoy myself. I hated the amount of driving and the poor planning that caused The Baby not to get naps and to hate his life, which in turn make me hate my life.
Drink wine, eat something probably, go to bed really really pissed off.
Day 5: Baby and Meemaw stayed home and everyone else went to visit the volcano, only .5 hours away and had a nice time until my leg floated out of the socket and I was barely able to walk back to the car. Go home, watch a movie about the island, drink wine, eat dinner, go to bed.
Day 6: Go to find awesome waterfalls in the jungle, get sadly disappointed that we could not get closer and they were all right off the road, go to the rocky beach, play, have fun, and enjoy the day without Brother in Law or Shaniqua. Go home, eat dinner, drink wine and go to bed.
Day 7: We had planned to go swim with dolphins this morning but due to Brother in Law and Shaniqua needed us to help them ship their cars we wasted this day. It was a cluster you know what, of stupidity and I was irritated. No one asked the right questions, they assumed it was our problem, yadda yadda yadda. Finally get everyone back to the house, eat dinner, do laundry, drink very little wine because we ran out, and pack to go home. Fight with Lineman before bed and then end fight so we can sleep for 4 hours before getting up to go home.
Day 8: Get up ungodly early with slight headache, drive 2 HOURS to get to airport, go through security without Lineman then barely make it to our flight on time in another chaotic crazy airport experience. Flight has extra seats allowing for The Baby to get his own which was heaven on earth. He napped well until another baby was screaming, with my frayed nerves I wanted to strangle the parents though I know they were doing the best they could. He did really well on the long flight. We got to our connection early had a slight mishap of The Baby smacking his tooth in an attempt to stand, there was blood it was sad. Board last plane, fight with baby for most of flight. Get home and thank god the vacation from hell is over. Vow to never ever do that again with a baby.