Sunday, March 9, 2014

Our Epic Florida Trip: Day One- Travel

So, I realize that "epic" is a slightly exaggerated term.  In no way do I think that anybody will ever be writing a book about our travels or making a movie about our Florida trip...but for this family it feels a little bit epic...two and half weeks in Florida with a 6 year old, a 4 year old, and a baby!  I'm going to try and share about our trip as often as possible (to try, somehow, to stay caught up)!  So here it one...

Our trip actually started yesterday since the kids and I drove down to Joe's parent's house for the night.  A few things are worth noting here.  First, it actually felt like this little adventure started many days ago first with wondering, after I got the flu, if we would all be healthy enough to travel (we were) and then with many days of packing (I hate packing).  The second thing worth noting is that Joe wasn't with us today.  Originally, of course, he was planning to be with us but something came up at home that he needed to be there for and we had to rearrange plans.  We considered changing flights for all of us, but it was crazy expensive so the kids and I flew out today as planned and Joe will join us tomorrow afternoon (prayers for his safe travel would be wonderful)!

So, this morning we left at 6:30 and Joe's parents drove us to the airport in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.  Yes, there are closer airports, but we got an amazing deal on tickets there and our flight was nonstop (amazing)!  I always feel like a train wreck going through security (even when Joe is there to help).  I'm not complaining (because I really appreciate them doing all they can to keep us safe) but it's a bit of a wild ride trying to get all of us and our stuff through the scanners.

This is what we were dealing with today...Just me, a 6 year old, a 4 year old, a baby, 2 large suitcases, 2 backpacks, a diaper bag, a camera bag, 3 car seats, a sit and stand stroller, 3 blankets and 2 stuffed animals.  My children should rise up and call me blessed!:)

Anyway, we made it through the airport actually quite smoothly and the airline even took mercy on me and let us board before just about everybody else (because how could they deny me really?)!  And the kids did fantastic.  They were helpful and thoughtful and kind and excited and not was almost shocking how good they were.  And the whole flight went very smoothly...

My big girl right across the aisle from me...she was so helpful this day!

My two boys enjoying the ride!

This trip made me further declare him the best baby EVER!  He was so sweet and calm and mellow pretty much the whole day!  At almost 8 months of age he was the oldest of all our children on, this, his first flight and he sailed right through it!

And even this one was really good during our travels...listening really well and playing so well quietly on the plane!
But then we landed and it was like 6 hours of travel (and being so well behaved) was all they could handle and they went from being my sweet, sweet travel companions to wild, feral animal children in the blink of an eye!  Thankfully my incredible friend Jami, who lives in Orlando, came to the airport to meet us and good gracious I'm just not sure how I would have done it without her!  She watched the children while I got our luggage, while I got our rental car, and stayed with the baby while I took the kids to the bathroom.  I don't think we would have made it to the car with all of our things without her extra set of hands and she just smiled and laughed right along with me at lunch while Eli literally bounced off of the walls.  Oh Jami, you kept me sane that afternoon!

 And something else kind of funny happened when we landed in was as if my children had never seen grass or nature before.  In the parking lot at lunch they were picking up piles of leaves and throwing them in the air.  And the picture above is Lily literally rolling around and kissing the grass!  Never have children been more excited to see green grass!:)

 And after checking in to our hotel for the night (and a minor meltdown from me when I couldn't get the room key to work) we finally settled in and I was able to let the kids run wild outside and get the crazies out!  Here is Eli running around and picking up every form of leaf or nature he could find!

And right outside our hotel room was this lovely little pond with the friendliest ducks ever (who are clearly used to being fed by many, many tourists) and the children and the ducks had a lovely time chasing each other.
And after getting out the crazies and some dinner I tucked them all into bed and let out an enormous sigh of relief.  Traveling solo with three little ones is exhausting but at the end of the day I kind of felt like Superwoman (like if I could do this I could do anything)!  Little did I know what was coming...

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