Spring has sprung and so has…

We got back from Florida about 2 weeks ago. I say “about” because the difference is a matter of hours and for some reason that makes it seem inaccurate to me. Probably because I remember being rather proud that we pulled into the driveway mere seconds before the clock said 5PM. Like that was some sort of deadline – part of a race against our perceptions of when we would arrive at various destinations throughout the trip.

As I was saying, we got back from Florida 2 weeks and 6 hours ago… crap… I forgot about the time change. Should I add an hour or subtract one? Ugh…

Once more – it’s been 2 weeks since we got back from Florida. Not too surprisingly, I still don’t feel totally at home. As usual, our suitcases have not been 100% unpacked (not much need for the warmer weather apparel that currently fills them). Kayleigh has not made the transition back to sleeping in her own room as smoothly as desired (can’t exactly blame her, but it’s still killing our nights for the most part). And work has left me in a perpetual state of semi-confusion.

Maybe it’s more of my own inability to adjust back to not sleeping on my own. For most of the vacation I was in a separate room from mother and child, which allowed me the opportunity to watch movies, read blogs, and listen to music with complete impunity late into the night. Now I struggle to return to the previously cultivated schedule that shifted sleep patterns to more appropriate times – opening up the mornings for real activities rather than whatever I would attempt while half-asleep just before midnight. Almost everything night for the past 2 weeks I have stared at a screen willing myself to write about our Southern adventure only to realize my eyelids had no intention of co-operating.

So I’m thinking that the start of Spring is a good time to try to shift my habits once again. Stop trying to squeeze something out of every last second in the evening – sometimes it’s best to just let go and get a good night’s rest. That way I’ll be refreshed to take on each new day and whatever snowfalls it may bring… Seriously, another 2-4 inches?

Maybe it’s time to head south again…

I love it when a plan comes together

Guess where I am. If you guessed Disney World, you’d be… almost right. Now guess how I got here. If you said by plane, you’d be totally wrong.

That’s right, thanks to the current run of “security theater” being put on by the TSA, this year we opted to drive down to Florida for our annual trip. While we’ve done this before, this is a first for The Moppet. And once the plan was set in motion, I really had to question my sanity in deciding to hop in a car for 20+ hours with a 2 and a half year old kid. That kind of travel is tough on adults. A toddler? That’s just crazy.

Yet somehow it worked – and worked really well, at that. Our plan was to get started by 4:30 on Saturday morning and drive as far South as possible before hitting the nearest serial killer-free motel. In order to pull this off, days – nay, weeks – were spent hinting at the pure joy that lay ahead in Florida and Disney. So much so that Kayleigh popped up, wide awake with excitement, when we tried to slip her sleeping body into the car seat. Amazingly an hour into her delighted cries of “Where are we going? Florida!” she actually managed to zonk out.

And by the time she woke up well over 2 hours later, we had already made great time and were ready for a buttery breakfast courtesy of a Cracker Barrel in Virginia. Beyond that, Kayleigh entertained herself with reading, coloring, and singing all the way through to her nap. And just when it seemed like she might be getting a little too cooped up, we were able to take breaks to rejuvinate everyone. By 8 at night, quittin’ time for the day’s journey had arrived and we grabbed a hotel room in South Carolina.

And get this – she actually slept! Unlike our last attempt (down in Atlantic City), The K was able to wind down in a reasonable amount of time and stay down for the entire night. I keep expecting her to freak out about going back in the car, but she seems to have caught on to the concept of travel and vacation.

Her excitement upon reaching out destination was pretty awesome to watch – and yet the big stuff doesn’t start until we hit The Magic Kingdom tomorrow. I’ll write about that after we’re done.

P.S. Please pardon any typos. This is, believe or not, the 3rd or 4th post typed exclusively on my phone while laying in bed. Time to go to sleep in preparation for my little girl’s big day tomorrow.

Wherein a small child invades NYC

Yesterday I began my extended holiday early by heading into New York City for The Moppet’s first trip into the big, bad city. After a sprint to catch the train, it started like this:


And ended like this:


And in between there was stuff like this:


Overall it was more of a proof of concept than a true holiday excursion. There was no real planning beyond, “Let’s go to the city and see the big tree.” Which was somewhat silly to do so close to Christmas, but miraculously worked out.

We started with a lovely lunch at Le Pain Quotidien (which means The Quotidien Bread – thank you 4 years of high school French!) as The Woman used to frequent there for their decadent hot chocolate. After which we made our way over to one of the most famous toy stores… only 3 days before Christmas. Brilliant, I know. Surprisingly, once past the main entrance and all of the mammoth stuffed animals, the store was “relatively quiet.” Very busy, but certainly not the hectic nightmare of consumerism I had expected.

Once the nonstop parade of toys she can’t play with began to overwhelm Kayleigh, we packed up and headed to see “a really big tree.” Yes, that was enough to convince her that there was more to see outside. Thanks to a little help from Facebook we were able to meet up with a friend in the area who was even kind enough to take a picture of us in front of said tree. Maybe someday I’ll get around to posting it. In the meantime, just picture three people in front of a really huge tree. That’s close enough.

And that was also enough for us. Come spring time I’d like to really walk around with The Moppet and introduce her to the joys of CD shopping in The Village and fighting tourists in Times Square, but 4 hours was enough stress for now. Especially with the regular addition and subtraction of many layers that sort of, but not quite, kept us at decent temperatures. Still, she was quite the trooper throughout the tramping around such a strange environment and was even kind enough to fall asleep in her stroller for the walk back to Penn Station.

Fortunately she woke up in time for her favorite part – staring out the window of a moving train.

One last hurrah

We’re taking advantage of a wedding this weekend and staying at a bed and breakfast. It’ll be the last getaway until parenthood destroys our souls fills our lives with joy…

Nothing big – we’re just heading out to “Western” New Jersey. But it’s an excuse to pamper ourselves one last time. Most importantly, it’s a time to pamper the expecting mommy as the intense heat has made these final weeks a tad uncomfortable. Once we get back, however, it’s nonstop again as the kitchen and nursery renovations are full steam ahead.

Maybe I’ll get to see you guys again sometime…

No fear of flying

What is it with the state of New Jersey? Does it try to make travel so difficult for fear of people never returning once they see what life elsewhere is like? For the second trip in a row, we were stuck trying to make our way to an off airport at 5 in the morning in the middle of a monsoon. At least this time I managed not to completely soak my foot. But we did, once again, have to make multiple U-turns to reach the lot thanks to the wonderful signage of this great state.

Thankfully we reached Florida just in time to hit a monsoon down here. I can’t really complain, because we’ve almost always had very good luck with weather on vacations. And quite frankly, we’ve been too exhausted to do anything on day one but a bit of shopping and crapload of sushi-eating.

I seem to have at least a small fear of travel. It’s not the method of travel. Heck, I watched the exciting video of that crosswind landing over in Germany just yesterday, and yet I still have absolutely no qualms with handing over my sense of safety to the pilots. Instead, I seem to have a fear of leaving my home for any real length of time. I am way too much of a homebody. But for this week I have full confidence that Shadow will be able to take care of everything in our absence…

TTFN Santa Fe

Despite the explosive diarrhea, I still had fun down here in the Southwest. Now we’re packing up everything to head out of the B-N-B since it’s nearly 11. We still have about 8 hours to tool around town and enjoy the sites before we head to the airport. But before that can happen, I have to write a really lame post to cover this second day of November.

I’d love to write more, but I’ve got nothing much to say right now – and those jerk-offs in the airport won’t give us free Wi-Fi. What? I’m expected to pay $8.95 for half an hour on the ‘net? Yeah right. Anywho, see you back on the East Coast, and expect photos to be posted soon. No, seriously, I want to post them soon. Stop laughing, I’m going to go through them quickly… forget it…

Oops! I Crapped My Pants

Remember that classic SNL skit? Yeah, that was hilarious. Boy do I wish I was going to talk about it. In case you couldn’t guess, this post should be labeled TMI…

Perhaps I should have known this vacation wouldn’t go smoothly with such an auspicious start. Saturday morning, at 7 AM – after multiple u-turns – I found myself standing in half a foot of water that surrounded our car in the off-airport parking lot. Joy! As I commented in the security line, I was the only person happy to take my shoes off for the safety of the nation. Shortly thereafter, my socks found a trash can as strangers watched me try to dry off my shoes in the bathroom. Classy!

Alright, the trip out to Santa Fe went well and so did our first day of activity – more on that when we return. It was Sunday evening that things went South – quite literally. Both The Woman and I felt pretty exhausted after a full trek around the Plaza. A little bit of sunburn and dry lips meant we had been careless in the sun up in these high altitudes. It’s much harder to keep track of when the temperature is a perfect 60+ that never lets you break a sweat. So a nap and lots of fluids were called for with just a mild frustration at how easily this could have been avoided. After an hour or so, The Woman was able to begin bragging that she was feeling better and had obviously begun to beat the dehydration. I was not.

After several trips to the bathroom left me losing fluids faster than I could take them in, The Woman headed out to the store to get me some spinach… I mean electrolytes. But by the time she came back it was obvious that the little bit of Gatorade I could gag down would not be enough. Time for my very first trip to a hospital on vacation! w00t! Heck, this was my first trip to the hospital for myself in over 15 years.

Everybody was very nice at… whatever hospital it was. I almost began to regret wasting their time as I started to feel better. Then, just as they got me all gowned up, I found myself on my knees filling up a bucket with you-know-what. Well, at least we wouldn’t be wasting their time. So, they pumped me full of fluids and anti-nausea medicine until I seemed to be in the clear. It seems that we managed to pick the perfect time to journey down here, as a virus was making the rounds. And, wanting to really indulge myself in the complete Southwestern experience, I signed up for it.

Well, this was supposed to be a vacation to relax and take it easy. Getting violently ill will most definitely force you to do that. I was completely out of commission for two full days – it’s amazing how long you can go without eating and not even feel hungry when sickness is involved. It has been tons easier to deal with thanks to our fantastic hosts here at Casa de la Cuma. At least I’ve been well enough since yesterday evening to begin enjoying things again, and we still have a couple of days to catch any major sites we missed. To make myself feel better about vacation disasters, I even watched Open Water. I think I’ll stick with good ol’ fashioned vomiting and diarrhea for now!

P.S. I won’t admit right now just how true the title is…

Do you know the way to… Santa Fe?

Alright, so those aren’t the lyrics, but that song is amazingly versatile.

The month of October certainly had its ups and downs. Yes, I went out to dinner for Mark’s birthday lo those many days ago and had some fun and barbeque. And, of course, we had a blast at Malina’s wedding the following night (congratulations again!). Unfortunately things took a turn for the worse the next day. That’s when a very important hard drive started making clicky-clicky noises.

I don’t really want to talk about it, as the extent of the losses (be they photographic or monetary) are still not known. I’ll give a full update about the situation when I can. In the meantime, with all of the stress of failing computer equipment, audits at work and baby-making… oh yeah, did I mention that? Anywho, with all of the stress these days we’ve decided to take a vacation. And by we, I mean The Woman told me we were going to take one.

So rather then leave you guys in the lurch even longer (I’m sure you’ve all been hitting refresh constantly waiting with baited breath for another post), here’s a little note before we head to the airport for sunny Santa Fe. Hopefully this will let me recharge and get my muse on…