Monday, November 22, 2010

My Marine weekend - Part Uno

Departure Day

I have started 5 different sentences and then backspaced them all off.  I am having trouble finding my words.  Or any words actually.  I'd use someone else's if I found the right ones.

What a weekend!  The good, the bad and the just plain ugly.  We had it all.  I guess I just need to break it down by day.  Lot's of journaling, so if you are not into this kind of thing......well., you know what button to push.

Wednesday was departure day.  The boys (Splenda, Tuffy, Luka and 'dawg's friend Corby loaded the Honda and headed out of town bright and early.  I did my shift at the temple, some last minute picking up around the house, final work emails and then picked up Sissy.

Talk about an excited little girl!  She couldn't get in my car fast enough.  After Tib dropped us off at the airport, we found ourselves lined up for security.  I had my backpack with a laptop, my purse, her backpack and then her suitcase that the boys forgot to load earlier.  So I was pretty loaded down with bags.  Picture if you will, me juggling all the bags and trying to hold Sissy's hand and keep her with me at all times.  I'm sure we were quite the scene.

I explain to Sis to take off her shoes while I am frantically trying to unload everything in the bins and not make people behind us wait.  I get everything on the conveyor belt, and turn to walk through the metal detector when TSA agent motions that Sissy needs to come through alone first. 
Me:  Okay, baby walk to that man and I'll be right behind you.
Sissy: *silence*  looking at TSA agent suspiciously and not moving.
Me:  Really, honey, it's okay just walk through that box and Mimi will be right behind you.
Sissy: *more silence*  line is now forming behind us.  TSA agent looking annoyed and summoning Sissy towards him.  She slowly starts to move and walk through the gate but with her head turned watching to make sure I am following.

Whew!  No beeps, I frantically try to gather all our belongings again, keep her from wandering away, and our shoes back on when another TSA agent stops me. Holding Sissy's pink suitcase, she asks if the bag belongs to me.  Yep.  Seems there is something on the xray, she will need to search it.
Uh...okay. I didn't pack that bag.  Sissy's mom did.  I havent' gone through it.  I have no idea what it is in it.  Wondering what they are going to find.
Seems that some shampoo, toothpaste and hair detangler were NOT allowed.  Okay - chuck em.  I'm just glad to have all the bags back on my shoulders, and Sissy's little hand tucked in mine and heading for the gate.

The flight itself was great.  Sissy's first airplane adventure and I am going to give her some serious kudos!!  She was awesome!  She loved the take off and landings. 

The only struggle she had was the air pressure in her ears as we descended.  And since we had a stop in LV - she had to go through it twice. She was also well behaved.  No kicking the seat in front of her, flipping the tray table, bouncing her head on the seat back.  She was just dang good.  We watched the clouds, talked about the plane, colored, and snacked.  She liked the flight attendants bringing her sprite and peanuts.

We finally landed in SD and I immediately called Splenda to see where he was.  Happens he was at the WRONG hotel.  Clear up in communication and while he got headed in the right direction, I called the hotel for the shuttle  This is where things got a little dicey.  Sissy did not like me being on the phone.  She wanted, nay, DEMANDED my full attention.  So while I am on the phone, balancing the bags, holding her hand and trying to following the signs while I navigate the airport, she is SCREAMING at the top of her lungs!
Oh and did  I mention that she also had her Pillow Pet?  It was about this time that she decided Pillow Pet was just to hard to carry.  I crook a finger around his ear and re-balance my load, take her hand again and try not to drop the phone from my ear.

I follow hotel guy's directions out the airport doors to the skybridge.  Now Sissy decides that she needs to walk the yellow line.  Step, by step, by step....on .....the.....yellow.....line.
We make it down another escalator and to the courtesy pick up area.  I found a cement bench, dumped my load and asked Sissy stay close while I watch for the shuttle van.  Her definition of close and my definition of close are two completely different things.  I'm sure the cab drivers sitting there were quite amused by watching me chase her around a cement pole and still keep all our belongings safe.  I finally just have to hold her.  She is ticked.  Tired, hungry and ticked.  Me too.

Shuttle arrives and since there is no car seat, it takes some convincing from me that it's okay to just sit carefully on her bum and buckle up.  I am trying to get all the bags, and pillow pet in the van and off we go.

I'm told it's a 10 minute drive.  It was more like 20.  But after 10 minutes, Sissy was asleep.  Great.  Now I have to wake her up.   She is not a great waker-upper kind of girl.  It takes her awhile to find her happy self. 

We pull up to the hotel, I call Splenda since our room is "who knows where" and the place is enormous!  Shuttle guy helps me get all the bags, we sit in the lobby and eagerly await Splenda Daddy.

Our  hotel was right in the middle of Old Town.  On the hill.  So while the view was great, it was a hike to the 5th floor to our room.  It was all spread out so it was quite the maze.  10 minutes and several wrong turns later, we finally get to our room and I feel like I can finally relax my guard.

The boys are exhausted from being in the car for 12 hours, everyone is hungry and Sissy is now wide awake and ready for action!  The two queen beds were perfect jumping distance from each other, so while we all tried to decide what to do for dinner, she amused herself with jumping back and forth, and back and forth, and back and forth, and back and forth.

Notice we have an hour time difference.  Change watch and while it is early evening, it feels like freaking midnight!
Order pizza (totally gross BTW), unpack, and while I am unloading Sissy's bag, I find a nice full bottle of lotion.  So....they got the shampoo, toothpaste and hair detangler, but missed the lotion.  Niiiiiiiiice.

Finally, and gratefully, we bedded down for the night.  Sissy and I tucked into a soft, warm queen size bed -
Luka fell asleep on my right, she was on my left.  As we are settling in, she realizes that she needs Pillow Pet.

My stomach clenches.  Pillow Pet?  Crap!  I don't remember seeing him since the airport!  Tears form in her eyes.  Buster is waiting for her.  He needs her.  We HAVE to find him!  We go through the room, and confirm the fear that he did not make it into the hotel room with us.  I console her with the promise that I will find him in the morning and that he is on a great sleepover adventure.

Damn those stupid Pillow Pets.

(not a lot of pics this day - really, can you blame me?  One more thing to juggle)


Garden of Egan said...

I have been thinking about you and wondering how it went.
Sounds like Sissy kept you on your toes.
Looking for more details!

Garden of Egan said...

I love being first......just sayin

Connie said...

I have great respect for you...traveling with a little one and luggage and a pillow pet...well most of the time with a pillow pet!

Pedaling said...

we have a cat pillow pet and a pig.
I understand her fret.

LKP said...

i love being 2nd, or crap, wait am i 5th?!? ok, i somewhat like being 5th. ;)

wow what an adventure! i can't wait to hear about day 2. :)

bet you're glad to be home & rested....

" Hit It......." said...

I remember not being able to put our experience into to words for awhile. You are just overwhelmed by what you have been through. (btw - you did a great job).

I was tired for you reading about how much you had to do by yourself.
I can't wait to read more of your adventures.


Ann Marie said...

I could totally see all of it.
Where you in one of those Victorian House/hotels? I didn't know there were any other hotels in Old Town.

We have AWESOME eating places in SD.. I should have told you about them.. sorry!

Now I am worried. 3 pillow pets join us on Christmas morning. I know this could/can be a very bad thing..

Looking forward to more adventure!

Mae Rae said...

reading and going on to #2.

tammy said...

Poor Pillow Pet!

As I was reading this I was reliving many of my airport adventures with my boys. I would travel from AZ to UT a lot with just me and Taylor and then just me and both boys and I remember how hard it is! I was stressing for you the whole time I was reading.

tiburon said...

I am ever glad you found that pillow pet!