I’m back, Final Installment

I had better get the end of the story down before I forget it all in a haze of “Yeah, that was a wonderful vacation.”

That next morning,the kids were itching to get to the resort’s pool, as we had promised them that due to the fact that we had not taken them to the pool at all on the cruise.   We were still doing butt-loads of laundry, and Steve had the wonderous idea to call his brother who lives about 45 or so minutes away to see if he wanted to come over with his 2 girls.  Oh, and while you’re here, did you want to go ahead and spend the night, since we have an extra bedroom?  That’s when it occurred to Steve that that night was the night when he was going to meet up with the karaoke guy we met on the cruise who lived in Tampa.  This guy was going to, with his lovely wife, drive over to Orlando, and take us to the Swan where they did a great karaoke thing on Friday night.  We thought we’d go, at least for a little while, and since we had the boys with us, we’d of course have to leave at some point.  Then we thought of Brother.  His little girls are only 3 and 1 1/2.  And I don’t think karaoke is his thing.  And they probably wouldn’t want to go anyway.  And since he’d be at the resort room with his girls, it wouldn’t be too much trouble for him to watch the boys too, would it?  It was all going to work out so well.  He would get here with the girls, we’d all go to the pool and have some fun together, then we’d find someplace to go to dinner, and we’d shack up our boys on the sofa sleeper in the living room and let Brother and his girls have the second bedroom.

It did not go as planned.  You probably guessed that already.  The first few parts did alright.  He got there safe and sound with the girls, we got everyone lubed up with the 50 proof sunscreen and had a lot of fun in the pool.  We came back and changed clothes and went to RainForest Cafe.  That’s when it all started to fall apart.  One daughter got very very tired, and bless her heart, fell asleep on Daddy.  He had the foresight to bring the stroller and Steve set it back up for him, and he put her down to sleep.  The older one was clearly entering the meltdown stage.  It continued during dinner, and into the getting ready for bed stuff.  That’s when Steve and i entertained the thought that our last evening by ourselves would not be going the way we thought it would.

Brother announced that melt-down girl was worse, as we heard, and, worse yet, sleepy child was running a fever.  But, true to his word, he was going to try to stick it out so we could go out.  He had brought with him some sort of video game thing that hooked up to the tv, for the boys and him to play with after he put his girls down.  Everyone was so excited.  We were set to leave around 8:30 or so.

I don’t remember exactly when this happened, but he came into the room with a sad yet panicked look on his face.  He just didn’t know what to do.  Both girls were screaming, although the older one was alternating her screaming with whining and complaining and other noises that weren’t at all conducive to calming down the younger one.  I told him that if he had to leave and go home that we totally understood, and he said it was looking like he was going to have to do just that.  I really felt bad for him.  His wife was on a girl’s weekend in Las Vegas, and he was all alone there.

So, Brother went home (and let us know later on that both girls fell sound asleep on the drive), Steve went to the karaoke thing and had a marvelous time, the 2 younger boys went to sleep back in the other bedroom, David and I played one of the games we got from the Disney folks on the cruise (side note here…the kid’s club people that night that they gave me the sea-calm, also gave us a bag with 2 games in there, saying that we were so nice and all and they wanted to give us a present.  I was so sick at the time, I really thought “Bless his heart, he liked that little slipper so much that he must have hunted around their game stash to give us a present. ”  It wasn’t until that very night that I realized that 1. The games were brand new still in their plastic wrap, and 2. There was a certificate in there awarding us as “The Family With The Biggest Hearts”!  I’m still looking for a frame.), and after I got David in bed, I sat up and knit and crocheted and watched Lifetime movies until Steve got back, and even after that.  Stupidly, we ended up staying up until like 4 am.  It ended up being, although not as we planned, a really great evening.  And, best of all, the laundry got done.

The next morning, I had told the kids that even though we had to check out at 11, that we’d still go down to the pool before we drove over to Grandma’s.   I packed everything up, and got them down to the pool while Steve got everything down to the car and us checked out.  We changed clothes and drove over to Grandma’s and I let the boys go swimming over there a bit as well.  We went to bed a little early, if I remember right, since the next day Steve was planning on taking Russell to the football game.

Grandma was doing this big refrigerator switcheroo thing, and she had to clean out hers.  Brother came over with the girls, who by now were feeling great.  Steve and Russell left for the big game, and I had told David and Patrick that they could go swimming as soon as I got rid of this big headache I woke up with.  Unfortunately, it went away right around the same time the girls got  there, and Brother didn’t want them swimming without him.  He was going to be actually moving the fridge out and driving it over and bringing the other one back and was pretty much going to be in and out for a while.  So, I told my boys they’d have to wait.

This was the day when we entered the black hole.  I wrongly assumed that the whole switcheroo thing would at most take maybe 2 hours.  The person she was switching with only lived about 5 to 10 minutes away.  This was like those things you knit, where you just knit and knit and knit and knit, knowing that eventually you’ll get to the measurement you need, and you measure, and it’s like 4 inches and you need to get up to 10, so you knit and knit and knit some more until it looks like you’ve at least doubled your previous measurement, so you measure again, and it’s 4 1/2 inches.  It just goes on and on and on.  That was the day.  The boys were so patient, only asking me if they could go in the pool now about 4 or 5 times, and finally understood that they couldn’t until the girls went home.  Then they switched to asking when the girls would be going home.

Both of them were into EVERYTHING.  I was trying to re-pack everything, and get things organized for the trip home the next day.  I wanted to this time pack an overnight bag just in case we weren’t able to make it from Tampa all the way to Kansas City in one day.  Learned my lesson from the trip down.  Plus, I figured, if I go through the effort of packing one, then we won’t need it.  Like when you go on a trip, don’t you always bring the tylenol and cold medicine and motrin and band-aids and neosporin and stuff like that, so that the kids can not have headaches or fevers or get scratches or anything that you planned for but instead find the only poison ivy in the entire state since you didn’t pack any anti-itch stuff.  I thought, no, I knew, if I did this, it would pretty much insure that we’d make it.  While I packed and thought stuff out, and re-packed and remembered to leave out what the kids would be wearing the next day and that night, David and Patrick tried to entertain the girls.  Which wasn’t easy, since, due to my smashing headache that morning, I had neglected to get ANY of the toys out of the minivan before Steve and Russell drove off to the game.  You would not believe all the things I had in there pre-packed for that very instance, and all for nothing.  I was slightly angry at myself, for getting the headache, for not being able to let the boys go in the pool, for the whole thing taking WAY longer than any of us thought it would.  Steve’s mom had even had a plan of her own, thinking that this would only take up a small part of the afternoon.  She had thought we could leave the 2 older boys in the care of Grandpa and she and I would sneak off to the movie theater.  Do you know how long it’s been since I went to the movies?  To see a grown-up movie?  I don’t either, it’s been that long.

We never got to go.  I finally told the boys, that if Uncle Les, that’s the girls’ dad, wasn’t back by 5 pm, yes, 5, that they could just go ahead and get in anyway, that I’d take care of the girls whining why couldn’t they go in and all that.  So, 5 rolls around, and no Uncle Les.  Guess when he got back?

5:15.  Yep.  Guess when Daddy and Russell got back?  5:20.  They wanted to go to dinner at this local hang-out called Dice’s.  Hot dogs and ice cream.  The boys had just gotten in, and now we were going to get them out.  Plus, I realized, the minivan was a mess.  Since Steve had had it all day, I hadn’t had the chance to clean it out from the previous week.  And it needed it before we were going to leave the next morning.

We compromised.  Steve watched the boys in the pool, and I cleaned out the car, and Steve’s mom proceeded to clean and wash out the “new” fridge, since the person she was switching with hadn’t bothered to clean it.  Ewww.  I actually got the car cleaned out and stuff re-packed in there, not the suitcases, quicker than I thought, and Steve got the boys out of the pool and re-dressed and we went to Dice’s.

We moved away from there in, let me think, 2005?  Maybe 2004, wait, I can figure this out.  Russell was not 2 yet, and he was born in 2003, so he would have turned 1 in 2004, so we moved in 2005.  Wow, that hurt my brain.  What that was leading up to is that Dice’s prices have not changed.  Their shakes and dogs are the EXACT same prices as when we left.  We fed 5 people 5 hotdogs, well, actually 3 corn dogs, 2 chili dogs, and 1 mega slaw dog, and got 1 kid’s cone, 1 child’s cone (slightly larger than the kid’s one), one small chocolate malt, one large chocolate malt, and one large chocolate caramel malt.  And one pop.  Guess how much?  Barely over $25.  Can’t beat that.

We went back to Grandma’s and put everyone to bed and Steve loaded up the car and we went to bed too.  Next morning, we got up at o’crap o’clock and managed to sleepwalk the kids into the car and then they and I passed out until Georgia.  Nice.  The drive back was fairly uneventful, thankfully, and I got pretty much no knitting done then either, and we got in just after 11:30 pm.

The End.  Whew.

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2 Responses to “I’m back, Final Installment”


  1. 1 Meredith October 12, 2008 at 10:12 pm

    Wow, the end sounds like the sort of vacation that you need a vacation to recover from. I feel tired just from reading it. Or maybe it’s because I’ve been up for something like 18 hours… Anyway, I’m glad you had a good trip.

  2. 2 Fran October 16, 2008 at 8:15 pm

    Wow! What an adventure; I’m exhausted reading it. 🙂


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