Posts Tagged ‘ traveling ’

(My) Milestone Monday: Bad Vacation Decision. What’s Yours?

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

Damn, three weeks in a row and I’m still writing about my own milestones. I hope this means I’m vastly improving myself. Either that or I’m getting dumber and need more fixing.

Sometimes I really think we suck as parents. We decided to take a last minute mini-vacation. Saturday we started looking for hotels and cool places within a 6-hour drive from Los Angeles. We’re hotel snobs and all the places we wanted to stay were sold out. After exhausting the morning, we gave up. Then Phil had an idea.

“How about Sequoia National Forest?” he shouted from the office.

“How far?” I shouted back.

“Looks like only 3 hours. I found a cabin with a private pool.”

Done. We threw ourselves into a packing frenzy and headed out the door.

As soon as we were on the road, our old-life, (pre-kids) started knocking. We have always loved going off the beaten path. We’ve trashed many a rental car by finding dirt roads and rural routes to ding up the paint and ruin the shocks. Once in Hawaii we went off-roading so badly that we nearly rolled our rental jeep. With kids, we don’t take dangerous driving risks. But taking a scenic route with what looks like a 2-hour detour to see an old ghost town? Totally within the realm of reason.

A few weeks ago, we went to Palm Desert. On the way home we took “the scenic route” through Joshua tree. A 2.5 hour drive turned into a 7-hour one, with temperatures hitting 102-degrees. Poor Fia and Emmett were troopers, but by the time we got home, we were hot, exhausted, and dirty. Whatever “rested vacation feeling” we had was left behind on a cactus. You’d think we would have learned our lesson.

Nope.

We take off on our detour towards Silver City. Turns out it’s a ghost town made up of relics from other ghost towns. In short, a tourist site. Having said that, it was still pretty cool to see all these old buildings and let Fia run around obsessing over spider webs from the 1800s.

Pre-Barf Ghost Town

I looked at the map and told Phil that the shortest route appeared to be through the mountains. You can’t tell on the iPhone how twisty the roads are. But you can guess where this is going. Two hours later, with each turn getting sharper, I start to feel sick. No sooner did I say to Phil, “I’m feeling queasy” did the projectile barf of Fia go splatting all over the back of my seat.

We had a half-pack of baby wipes and one small bottle of water and about a gallon of barf. There wasn’t a house, a store, or a gas station within an hour of us. Yup. We definitely got our wish. We were in the middle of nowhere.

We pulled out Fia, getting covered in barf ourselves, reassuring her through her tears that it was okay. We tried to wipe the barf off the car seat bedding, the safety straps (where vomit was stuck in all the grooves), and of course Fia, all the while cursing that we should always have paper towels in the car. Or at least napkins. Or maybe a better f–king plan where our own selfishness doesn’t dictate. We used all the baby wipes but 3.  We saved those for Emmett. (Oh right, nearly forgot about him. He slept through it all. God, he’s good.)

We got Fia as clean as we could, promising her the pool in a mere 90 minutes. That’s like 90 years to a kid. Nothing we could do but forge on at about 5 mph with Phil practically walking the car at each turn. The windy road ended 3 miles (30 minutes) later.

At the cabin we all jumped in the pool, letting the residue of barf and guilt wash away.  The water was heaven and all the playing made up for our stupidity. But seriously, no more of this ridiculous decision making. We have to remind ourselves that with babies it’s not about YOU. I think after this trip we finally acknowledge that.

 

Image: Windy Road via Shutterstock

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(My) Milestone Monday: Do Baby Barf and Vacation Mix?

Monday, May 21st, 2012

If you don’t hear from me for a few days please call the looney bins in Palm Springs. I may be in one. My mother used to show up at the psych ward with her typewriter so she could get work done. No sh-t.

My potential disappearance is because we are going on “vacation.” It includes a stop at Disneyland. In reading that sentence, I can’t believe this was my idea.

We are heading to Palm Springs for two nights via land of Mickey. The desert is 105-degrees right now. Fia gets burnt even in the shade. She also gets carsick. Massively, as seen on our horrendous trip out to LA this fall. And Emmett barfs and farts. Constantly. This is going to be a helluva roadtrip.

Anywho, I convinced Phil to take off 2 whole days of work (Gasp! I’m not bitter…) to go to the desert. We hadn’t taken a family vacation since last May in Costa Rica. That’s when I got pregnant with Emmett. Oops. This will be a far different trip. I’m not reading 50 Shades of Grey, therefore this trip won’t involve sex. Just diapers and barf.

Right now, as I sit here in the cozy cafe typing, I feel like a smug veteran mother. I can handle this, right? The hotel asked if we wanted a suite on the 5th floor. Oh, no-no-no I said. I’m a MOM. I know better. I know that lugging a stroller with a raft, water wings, Emmett’s diaper bag, 40 bottles of sunscreen, snacks, and my Kindle (dare to dream) through a hallway, to an elevator, to the pool will take up the entire day. I’m smarter than that. I know the only way to go is a poolside room. In fact, I booked two. They adjoin. This way Fia and Phil can sleep peacefully while Em and I tackle the night.

Yes, this “vacation” is sounding more appealing by the sentence.

I had to research about 15 hotels in the Palm Springs area. The ones my mom friends recommended were full. Then there were my non-mom friends. I got a list of about 5 hotels that had things on their sites like, “no pool toys allowed.” One said, “While we welcome guest of all ages, we are a boutique hotel with an intimate setting and backdrop that is not always ideal for children of all ages. We warmly welcome dogs.”

Well folks, that definitely takes Feral Fia out of the equation. My girl who loves dirty feet and messy hair is pure Mutt. I think this hotel wants the Pomeranians. I finally found a place that has, are you ready? A Splashtopia! Whatever the f–k that means. All I know is when I saw “availability” and “splashtopia” in the same sentence I felt like god was on my side.

I have a list of everything we need to bring. Included on it are our two noise machines (one for each room) and wine. Oh no, please teetotaler moms. Don’t begrudge me on this one. It’s vacation for god’s sake. Which now means survival.

The best advice I have gotten thus far is from a friend who said, “Go with low expectations. You probably won’t find it relaxing, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun.”

Yes, in motherhood, “fun” takes on a whole new meaning. I know my babies won’t let me down.

 

Picture of family vacation via shutterstock

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Moving With a Barfing Baby

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

We Broke All The Rules. TV. Pacifier.

When we got to JFK I saw 2 signs: one for the chapel and the other for the restroom. I wasn’t sure which one I needed more. Divine intervention or soap.

We had just left Brooklyn at 7 a.m. to begin our new life in LA. We looked like the Brooklyn-to-Beverly Hillbillies. We had Wayne Sanchez as one carry on, 4 other carry-ons, 4 pieces of luggage, her stroller, and of course we three humans.

The driver, like most of them in New York, kept hitting the gas and brake. Stop and go. Stop and go. I was getting worried, but just hoped we’d make it. No such luck. 10 minutes from the airport, Fia whispered, “uh oh” and out came the barf. It went everywhere. Luckily for us, I had asked to use the driver’s car seat, because I didn’t feel like dealing with installing ours at that hour.

I won’t go into the stench. All parents know how horrendous it is. Make that double horrid when you’re 7 months pregnant and your sense of smell is heightened.

Poor Fia was crying. The driver didn’t say a word. I’m sure he was furious. I told him we’d give him extra for the cleaning. Phil and I were dealing with the aftermath, trying to clean up Fia with wipes, but really there was no point. She just had to sit in her vomit. And we all had to sit in the smelly van with her vomit. The only person who wasn’t rattled was Wayne.

I rushed Fia to the bathroom and the kind TSA women who saw us rushed over some plastic bags for her clothes. Thank god for national security.

I gave her a bath in the sink and managed to get off the smell. Slightly redeemed, we rushed to our gate, the last to board, looking like the 3-ring circus we were.

The plane was packed. All our carry-ons had to go under the seat. Wayne took up so much space we were literally scrunched with our knees to our chest. Fia fell sleep on takeoff and landing. The remaining, oh, 5 hours or so, was sheer entertainment and avoiding the ambush.  Wayne didn’t make a peep.

This may have been the worse travel day of my life. Oh, but it gets better.

(more…)

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Frequent Baby Fliers

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

For all you frequent baby fliers out there, I have a travel tip. Money-wise it kind of sucks to buy them their own seat, right?  Sanity wise, it’s priceless. I had a recent dilemma on this:

I had to book a last minute ticket to Florida. Five days out and the flight was wide open. I decided to take my chances and not buy Fia her own seat. My gamble paid off. The plane was empty. We had an entire row. And I saved a few hundred bucks.

Now on the way back, there were only 4 seats left to buy, so on that leg, I bought her a ticket. I’m not willing to risk it.

But it’s a good little travel tip to keep in mind. And one more: if you have a baby who gets carsick like mine, take the barf bags from the airline seat pockets. I promise they come in handy down the road, on the road.

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Flying with Fia–not so fun

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

I think I have to stop flying–at least until Fia learns to love television. Neither scenario thrills me. But at 18 months, it is becoming exhausting. I don’t dare take a night flight, because if she doesn’t sleep everyone will despise me. Plus, she is a very specific sleeper. (For naps: only in stroller in bathroom with lights off and fan on. At night: only in crib. She can also climb out of the pack n play, which now makes hotel stays difficult.)

So daytime flights are it. Problem is, it’s her time to be on the go. But on the plane, she has to sit. I don’t let her roam around, crawl on the floor or kick the seats in front of her. That would make me the person I used to hate. I refuse to be that oblivious/obnoxious parent. She’s allowed to crawl on me/my seat and that’s it. However, it’s soon going to drive me to drink…or at least drink more than I already do.

Case in point: On a recent flight I took this self-portrait.

Why flying with a baby isn't so fun

After 2 hours of trying to get her to nap, she finally succumbed. I was both shocked and victorious. Problem was, she slept on me. There I sat for 90 long minutes, scrunched against the window, knees up, legs spread. I looked like I was at the gynecologist or giving birth.  I sat right by the bathroom, so many a passenger got a glimpse.

I also had this stupid cough that came out every time I lied down–or scrunched– as the case was here. I knew I couldn’t chance my stomach lurching up and waking her. I managed to reach into the diaper bag with one arm and find the organic lollipops to suck on. I had searched all over town for them– much to my husband’s annoyance. At least that mission wasn’t a complete waste of time.

My tip of the day from this trip: don’t wear jeans with holes in the crotch. That was my only saving grace. And don’t travel alone with an 18-month old. Wait until they are well on they way to becoming addicts of television or better yet, portable video games. And by the way parents of older babes–when does that milestone happen? I need to have some sort of travel to look forward to.

fi in suitcase

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