I used the quotation marks on purpose, people. There were good things about the weekend - spending time with family, good on-the-road conversation with James, and some yummy food - but overall the weekend was not a success. "Vacation" it was not. I hope this doesn't sound like a litany of complaints, but I could use some venting time.
1. We stayed with James' grandparents, who are lovely and funny and in their mid-80s. However, our room was right next to their room, so every toddler screech & squeal & scream made us cringe. Also - their guest bed is the most uncomfortable bed I've ever experienced. If there had been enough floorspace, I would've slept down there with Wendy, and I'm not even kidding.
2. This was our first trip with Wendy sans Pack N Play. I bought her a special sleeping bag (hot pink outside, lime green floral print inside), so that we could train her to use it as her travel bed. It didn't work very well. The only way we got her to sleep at all was to lay with her in the cramped floorspace and sing her to sleep. This took more than an hour for each nap & bedtime. That's a lot of Twinkle Twinkle and Trust & Obey.
3. Toddler-friendly food is hard to come by when you're traveling. How many chicken nuggets, slices of cheese, and bananas can a girlie eat without suffering dire digestive problems? Apparently about four days' worth. We were gone five days. You do the math. I'll plan ahead next time.
4. James' grandparents were born in 1923 and 1924, respectively, and have lived in the Deep South all their lives. Can you imagine the extent of the political-incorrect-ness of their conversations? Yeah. It started with Grandpa saying that Grandma had a "cripple tag" for parking in the "cripple spots" right up by the door of the restaurant. Hmm.
5. Wendy, who has a sweet temperament and is an easy-going girl, decided to cut three teeth at once during our trip. Instead of our happy, playful, silly girl, we got a stomping, flouncing, shrieking, fit-throwing, incredibly loud BRAT. It was like seeing myself at 13 in the body of my 22 month old daughter. She's always been a shrieker, but she really pulled out all the stops this weekend. I would never have thought such a tiny body could produce such a high, drawn-out, LOUD screech.
It was bad enough that a detached part of my mind thought, "This is probably how people can snap and beat their kids." Don't worry, I didn't, but I could totally see that kind of behavior pushing someone right over the edge...it was awful.
6. On the way home yesterday, we stopped at two different mechanics to have the van checked out, because we were afraid it was about to leave us on the side of the road in 100+ degree heat. Both mechanics said the starter was going bad, but that it would most likely make it home OK. And we offered up some serious prayers of thanks - we did indeed make it home.
7. James dropped Wendy and I off at Barnes & Noble in Montgomery, AL, to spend time there when he took the van to the second mechanic. Wendy was in her stroller, and as I was about to reach for the door of the store, I saw someone coming out, so I backed off. This young man pushed through the door, narrowly missing the stroller, without holding the door - he just let it slam behind him. I was sufficiently frazzled to meet rudeness with rudeness, so I called out, "Thanks for holding the door for us!" He didn't even turn around, and said, "You're welcome."
That young man may have been in his 20s and over six feet tall, but I imagine if his Momma knew that he had acted that way, she'd have a piece of his hide.
8. And now...we're home...and thus ends my venting. We will enjoy our two weeks at home, and then James and I will appreciate our anniversary vacation so much more - it won't be anything like this past weekend!