I finally have some time and energy to write about the trip--you know, the one to the east coast that I have been all angsty about for the past 3 months.
Short Rundown: We survived. Would have preferred to stay in a hotel. It was exhausting. We got a little time to ourselves on the beach, which we should have extended. J did pretty good on the trip. I'm glad I'm an only child.
We got up at 2am on a Tuesday to start our vacation because our flight departed at 5am. Weirdly enough, all three of us woke up naturally by 1:45am (I have told you that I'm an insomniac and my daughter is a poor sleeper, right?). I thought this was a good omen for the trip because J is a beast if you wake her up. J who wakes up naturally is much more pleasant, and she was.
The plane trip to the east coast had a layover in Denver. All went okay except that J started to get really tired an hour before we got to Philly and fell asleep and we had to wake her up when we landed. (I've told you about her being a beast when woken, right?) So she was cranky, S's luggage got lost, getting the rental car turned out to be a bizarre ordeal even though I had already reserved and paid for it - I think we were all tired and fried. Then we had to navigate our way to the aunt's house in 5pm traffic.
The aunt we stayed with is nice. She's in her 70s. More importantly, she's low-key except for her penchant for Fox News (what is up with all of S's family being obsessed with that stupid channel?!).
Wednesday we went to the natural science museum in Philly; the aunt didn't want to go. Navigated the roads semi-successfully, was outraged at the cost of parking ($26 for a few hours!!!), J had a blast. Came back to the house, ate dinner with S's aunt, tried to unsuccessfully sleep.
As a side note, I didn't sleep more than 3 hours a night while we were on the east coast. S didn't sleep well either. J slept just fine.
Thursday S's aunt took us to her condo at the shore. We took 2 cars there because she was coming back the same day while we were staying the night. On Friday we went to the beach and walked the boardwalk. We were debating spending Friday night at the condo, but for some reason we thought we should go back to his aunt's house.
(BAD DECISION!) And that's when Pleasant Part I of the vacation turns into OMG! Let's Go Home! Part II of the vacation.
Disclaimer: I am an only child, and I've never really minded that fact. I've never lamented for a big family. I know that if I had siblings, the chances that I'd like them are 50/50. Even if I did like them most of the time, we'd probably still squabble - over property, attention, different ways of doing things, etc. If my sibling(s) had been younger, I probably would have been a caretaker, at least in some respects.
Second Disclaimer: I don't have the need for a lot of family togetherness and neither does the family I was raised in. We were the type to see each other once a year for a few hours. "Hi, let's eat a meal together and chit chat for a while, and then I'll go to my house and you go to your house, and see you again next year - or, if that doesn't work out, see ya next decade." I don't really get everyone coming from far and wide (i.e., the middle of the Pacific Ocean) for a birthday party near Philly that lasts for a few hours AND all sleeping together in the same house. There were 8 of us in a 2 bedroom house.
Remember I had wanted to avoid S's parents joining us on this trip? SURPRISE - his mom and sister made a surprise appearance on that Friday night. 3 aunts, his mom, his sister plus J and me - S must have LOVED being bossed around by so many women.
Saturday, the day of the aunt's birthday party, was hell. The birthday party itself was at an Italian restaurant, 6 courses, I have never eaten so much in my life. The party was nice. But the party was only 2 hours. The rest of the time was preparing for the party with all of these women and fussing over stuff and generally doing things I'm not good at or don't like to do. After the party was another party at the aunt's house with 12 more people. More fussing. S's sister was irritating the heck out of me with all her competitiveness. She can make anything competitive, even when you're not doing or saying ANYthing.
His mom and sister left Sunday morning. One additional aunt hung around. Sunday afternoon was my scheduled date with friends. That went great, but I was tired after - the past two days had exceeded my socialization allotment.
Monday we basically hung around with the two aunts. I did some work. We packed. We had a 6pm flight, which is very late to travel east --> west. The flight back was so much longer, but it went okay. It was hard for J to wind down to go to sleep. We arrived home at 2am west coast time (5am east coast).
I got up at 7:30am to go to work on Tuesday.
And there you have it. NotAVacation is over. Operation Real Vacation is being planned for 2014.