The sheer idea makes me completely anxiety ridden. From the laundry to the packing, to making sure my kids don’t get sick before we leave. Food shopping…who food shops before they go on vacation, right? It’s supposed to be a vacation! Well all you mommas know that if you don’t have a copious amount of snacks, activities and possible bribe toys, you may as well just stay at home, because traveling with two kids is NO JOKE. I pray for those who have more than two!

As much as I don’t want to do this, I have to rewind to the beginning of September, I know all of my Florida people will understand…IRMA. She totally killed my vibe and everyone else I was in contact with. Whether it was to get prepared, to stay or to go, or receiving message after message from your distant aunt urging you to flee the state, the stress level was sky high! So my husband and I made the call. We were going to take our 4-year-old and 1-year-old (on her first flight) to New York City, to get out of dodge, 2 days shy of what was said to be the storm of century. A catastrophic category-5 hurricane, coming right for us! After spending several hours not getting kicked out of travel sites and tons of prayers, I managed to get a flight out of Orlando (that’s about a 2 and a half hour drive from us). Enter “Mama Prep Mode.”

Laundry, laundry, laundry, who knew the next time we would be back, (although we had a flight out five days later…that never happened! Ha!), running to the store to stock up on food for travel and upon arrival, packing up clothes and toys, getting the dog to our moms (because they stayed put and did us an enormous solid). Oh and heaven forbid, I forget our babies that we sleep with at night! (Enter rolling eye emoji here).

Ok, we were all packed up and ready to rock. After not sleeping for 2 straight nights, eating half of the snacks we were supposed to take with us and being stood up by our shutter guy (Honey, you’re super cute on a ladder trying to put up a shutter with one hand. LOL). We were off! What was supposed to be 2 and a half hour drive turned into 4 (from what I hear we got lucky), we spent the night at our best bachelor friend’s house…Love you Uncle Tom! We happened to get the last bit of gas from a random gas station and parked illegally at the airport, because at that point who cared, the apocalypse was coming and we would be darned if we were going to miss that flight! Right?

Phew! We were on the plane! Of course the four of us had to split up. Baby with me, big boy with dad. As the boys had their feet up, headphones on and snacks in hand, the girls walked up to a 97-year-old lady with a breathing mask and a freaking cat underneath her seat, who made it very apparent she really shouldn’t be sitting next to any babies, because she was very old and had an oxygen mask. (NOT MAKING THIS UP!) After a two hour delay, thanks to thunderstorm and rain, tons of awkward complaints from the crazy cat lady (who thank goodness had enough oxygen in her tank and was assured several times we were on a full flight) and a baby who was most definitely a rock star for the most part, but had a few major meltdowns (thanks for the free cookies steward lady), we finally made it to the Big Apple. We had a welcome committee (thanks cousin Stevie) and an incredible family who took us into their home and did everything in their power to make us feel comfortable. To whom we owe an enormous debt and an incredible Florida family vacation to.

Although we forfeited our 7-year anniversary trip to Cali, it ended up being the best “mistake vacation” we ever had. It was a chance to see old friends and family, bring our kids to the very place we were engaged at, on my birthday 8-years ago, make some incredible memories and come back with one heck of a story to tell. Yes, flights were delayed and we ended up overstaying our welcome an extra two nights. We had a downed fence and a broken roof upon return, (flight was way better on the way back), but deep down we were saying our prayers about how very lucky we made out.

So, at the end of the day, I know it takes what seems like moving mountains to make those vacations that seem so daunting happen, but the moral of the story is to put your big girl panties on, put things into perspective and consider yourself lucky you have the option to do so!

-Briana D.

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