Sunday, December 9, 2007

...Vacation: Day One

...but before we get there, the night before. It was truly like Christmas for me. Even better because I got to be Santa Mommy. I was thinking that the kids would like the adventure, if not, I was going to have fun. Hubby was going to have fun.

I had settled on the Amazing Race theme for the vacation. So had to limit myself to one backpack. This is hard for me, I take three pair of shoes on an overnight trip, but it was five days not five weeks, I was going to have to be a big girl, with limited shoe choice.

The night before we left, I had all the arrangements made:
House Sitter: Check
Dog Sitter: Check
Baby Sitter: Check
Online check-in/exit row plane seating: Check
Roaming Gnome: Check (What is an Amazing Race without a gnome) ((it is really an Amelie thing, rent Amelie, it is my favorite movie))
House return from vacation ready: Needed checking

So, clue number one read:

DO NOT GO TO SCHOOL. Shower, eat, do these chores and meet me on the couch at 8:45

Afterthought: waking kids with a lengthy chore list and a note stating nothing more than don't go to school and do these chores generates questions.

While they readied the house, I readied the babies for school for the day. At 8:45 we met on the couch and I handed the three older kids green envelopes. Inside was $20 and instructions for them to pack one bag, a coat, and be plane (liquids in a ziplock) ready in an hour. Then hubby and I took the babies to school.

Afterthought: Six kids. Six envelopes.

Little middle boy had to be at school at 9:00, twins had to be at school at 9:30. Perfect opportunity to let older kids stew. When we returned at 9:45 our 8 year old was packed, the older kids...doing laundry.

Parenting note: Always build in an extra 45 minutes in your schedule for laundry.

So our big boy was complaining that he didn't have a coat. He had a coat that he BEGGED for, but couldn't wear it because it was too "South Park". It was fine, and he is a big boy, if he didn't want to wear the coat, I wasn't going to make him.

We headed off to the airport, the kids finally got the clue that we were going to Albuquerque, and we were off. Our airport, not a hub, easy in, easy out. We landed at the hub at gate B84, our departure gate, B83. Not adjacent, clear across the airport. But we get there, I was even impressed that our eight year old was oohing and aahing when we did the final turn into the airport, that usually causes him to tense up a little. So proud of my little frequent flier.

Travel tip: I will always travel backpack. I love it.

Once we are in ABQ, we headed off to rent our car. For those cities that haven't caught on yet, car rental centers ROCK. One shuttle, one area, thank you. Also, kiosk check in, TOTALLY ROCKS. We wouldn't even have had to talk to anyone if the mini-vans weren't a mile out. So, we're off on our adventure, and our phone map doesn't work. (Do they ever when you are out of familiar territory?)

Afterthought: Paper maps.

After a mildly lengthy tour of ABQ, we find our home away from home, the Residence Inn, and the nicest hotel guy ever, John. In the middle of my rave of John, my husband asks if He should be worried about Me, I replied that it was I that should be worried about Him. Then we walk into our Suite. It was Sweet. It was their two story loft. I love it, can't get enough of the Residence Inn, and it was $150 a night, for a king bed, a queen murphy bed, a hide-a-bed, full kitchen, hot breakfast, two full baths, and John got me extra blankets.


After dinner our eight year old was giving the gnome a tour of our suite, (rolling him down the stairs). Well, a $20 gnome is not up for such adventure, he brought me the gnome pieces with tears in his eyes, (first thought: Why do we have to break everything?????? second thought: It's a choice between my son's spirit and a twenty dollar gnome.) "It's ok, I know you didn't mean to break him, next time be more careful."

Important reminder to me: Broken gnomes not broken homes.

So, dad played cards with the kids downstairs, I vegged in front of the tv upstairs. (Again, loving the Residence Inn). ((Do you think they'll let me stay there free if I mention them enough?))


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Cast of Characters

  • BOB - Born of the body children
  • BOTH - Born of the heart children
  • Roran aka Big Girl - 18 year old BOB daughter - recently booted from the nest
  • Big Boy - 15 year old BOB son
  • Radical - 9 year old BOB son who fyi is not RAD
  • Felpsy aka lil middle - 4 year old BOTH boy who is RAD and is the cumin in our soup
  • Booger - 4 year old BOTH boy, sib to Felpsy, Twin to....
  • Princess - 4 year old BOTH girl. Diva,