Monday, October 08, 2007

Tampa: A Grand Adventure

The night before we left for Tampa, my Bible Study was about looking at caregiving and life as a grand adventure rather than drudgery. Well, that proved to be excellent timing. We were supposed to have a direct two hour flight to Tampa. If you have heard the story about our first day of marriage, you will notice the similarity to the first day of the Tampa trip. We very nearly missed our plan for our honeymoon and we were not seated with each other for the whole day of flying. This was probably best since Peter and I had been screaming and perhaps saying unkind words to one another shortly before we walked on the plane. I am happy to say after nearly nine years of marriage, we did not scream at each other or call each other names. We did, however,
take the Metro (in our own home town, mind you) the wrong way, run with two kids, two backpacks and two suitcases to get the car, haul it to the airport (while kids said things like "Slow down daddy, I don't want to die."), split up each with a kid to check baggage and park in long term parking (unlike our honeymoon where Peter parked in short-term parking for a week) and finally we did miss our plane. At one point, I had my purse, two backpacks and Grasyon in my hands while running in my flip-flops. Perhaps if we were nine years younger with no kids we would have made it or if I had parked in short-term parking. We didn't. Peter looked at me and said, "We missed our plane and we are going to move on without thinking about it." (This is code for "Melanie, you will not complain or have a bad attitude about this." I need that sometimes. He is good for me.) Well, $100 and 1.5 hours later we were on a flight to Chicago seated separately, me with the kids and Peter with a book. Something like four hours, five delays and five gate changes later we were on a plane to Tampa. We treated it like an adventure and it was. We just laughed and hung out and rolled with it. On the flight to Tampa which started at ten p.m. both kids fell asleep on me for about two hours. This was the hidden treasure. I don't think that has ever happened. It was such a sweet time and well worth all of the drama. We arrived in Tampa, got the rental and drove to the house to arrive at about 2:30 in the morning. We were supposed to arrive at 5:30 p.m.

The house was great with a pool in the backyard. Peter, my dad, Kirby (Melissa's boyfriend) and Michael (my step-brother) went off-shore fishing on Friday. They caught a lot of mackeral and we dined on that several times. The kids and I spent the day swimming and playing at the house with Melissa, Sara and Dana (Sara's sister). Melissa taught Lillian to snorkel and she got pretty good. She snorkeled in the pool and at the beach. We saw dolphins, went to Sara's art show and ate and ate and ate. We napped and read and talked. We got to go to church with Peter's brother Andy and his wife Amanda. They took us to lunch and to a really wonderful park where the kids played in water fountains. We hit the beach a few times and saw dolphins and collected shells. Lillian also got to paint her nails for the first time, now that she is five. She loved it. We saw some beautiful sunsets and sunrises, as well as a rainbow.

Peter and I were reminded that vacation with young children is not really romantic or restful, but more family bonding. The four of us slept in the same room. Grayson got up super early most of the trip and Lillian slept in the middle of the king sized bed. It is really nice to all snuggle together in bed and have sweet sleepy kiddo time, for a week anyway.

We were adjusted to the fun and thinking the real adventure stuff was behind us, then Lillian came down with a really high fever. It got up to 105 degrees. Just yesterday was she fever free. Poor girl, she was so sick. You might think that I called the pediatrician about that high fever, but no I called her because Grayson swallowed a penny. What the heck? Adventure, I say, adventure! It has given a new meaning to the saying, "Find a penny, pick it up, all day long you'll have good luck." Does that apply if there is poop all over it? Peter thinks it will be a lucky penny and that we should put it on a chain and keep it for his wife. Weird! I just hope I am lucky enough not to change the penny infested diaper. I was hoping it would slow down the pooping, but no. My dear Grayson continues to poop around four times a day, again I say, "What the heck?"

Even with all of the adventure it was nice to be away and it is nice to be home. We were early for the direct flight back to St. Louis. I am sure you are not surprised. We did get seated separately, but this time Peter let me have the book and he took the kids. We were delayed for about twenty minutes on the runway, but thankfully it was only a twenty minute adventure.

I am liking the whole idea of looking at life as an adventure. I laughed more than usual. I am trying to tell myself to look at Lillian's room as an adventure right now. She just cut her bean bag open with some scissors. At least it wasn't her hair or brother she cut.


Genna said...

Wow! That sure was an adventure! Glad you're all home safe and sound.

shmaynor said...

Oh, my. What a story. And you write it with such grace and poise. I'm glad the adventure was one to remember.