Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Vacation part 2

So I left off when we had left Nanna's to head to Florida.  Again they had an open seat for Audrey on both flights so Audrey was able to have her own seat, which is always a blessing.  Landing in Atlanta was rough and I actually got motion sickness, which this round of trips was the first ever on a plane.  Except for the time I had food poisoning or something weird and had to fly but that is for another time.
Once we landed I had turned on my phone to find a text from my sister that she was already there waiting!  We were towards the back of the plane so we of course were stuck there forever before we got a chance to inboard.  We had such great visits with Collins side of the family already, and I was very excited to see mine.  Sure enough on our way off the escalators my sister was there waiting for hugs with a big smile on her face.  Audrey took right to Aunt Kimmy and in the car started mimicking her every move and sound from her car seat.  It was on this day the Audrey/Aunt Kimmy signature sound started.  WOOOOO HOOOOO!  We headed to her house and picked up the boys and headed to steak and shake.  It was so nice seeing her and the boys.  I can't remember the last time I had seen my nephews and they had certainly become tall and much older then I remembered :)
We had such a great time just hanging out and relaxing.  We went on a nature walk and a large tortoise that came walking right passed us.  Audrey yelled as she thought he was about to charge her, yet she still made sure to name him Guy!  We also went to a park where injured animals were sent until they could be sent back to the wild.  Unless of course they couldn't be sent back to the wild then the refugee would keep them and take care of them.  After the refugee we went and had lunch then headed to loggerhead.  Now this was the same type of thing, a refugee for sea turtles. I saw turtles so HUGE that I could hardly believe what I was seeing.  It was really cool.  Loggerhead was positioned right next to the Ocean so of course we had to take Audrey to her first Ocean.  At first she was horrified because the water was so cold, though she allowed Aunt Kimmy to continue dangling her feet.  Soon the girl was unstoppable.  Audrey would have ran into the Ocean by herself had we let her.  She became soaked in Ocean water and didn't want to leave.  She was a fan of the big blue, and we have a seashell from her very first visit.
Florida was beautiful as always but sadly after a few short days we had to board yet another plane.  The trip too the airport was interesting as it is only about a 15 minute drive but there was a terrible accident which slowed us down and forced my sister to have to drop us and run.  We made it to our gate 5 minutes prior to boarding.  It was a rush but we made it.  So off to Ohio we went!
Again the Atlanta landing was rough and again I thought I was going to be sick, I didn't lose it but I did have to keep putting drops of peppermint under my tongue.  We knew we would get in a little sooner than when my parents could, but after luggage and everything we figured it would have been pretty good timing.  Then we realized the plane landed almost 30 minutes early.  So by the time we got our luggage it was basically the time we would have originally landed and knew it could potentially be a long wait.  Then I saw the sign for the USO!  I didn't even know there was military in the area so this amazed me.  We wandered over and they welcomed us with arms wide opened.  It was so relaxing.  Audrey had tons of toys to play with and Collin and I had a tv with comfy reclining chairs and couches.  They of course also offered snacks and coffee!  Then the text came in that my parents were just around the corner!  We headed out and 5 minutes later the family had arrived.
Audrey again had gone straight to Grammy with no problems.  Our first stop Ihop!  Oh how I had missed that place.  I didn't want to go to sleep that night, I just wanted to stay up and talk.  But eventually mom and I were the only ones left so I gave in.  We had a great visit.  We went to a Lake Erie Monsters game, (the baby AVS), for military appreciation night, which was a blast.  Even after I ran into a 3 foot cement pillar and twisted my ankle on the way to the game.  I was  in a LOT of pain but knew we had to continue to the game.  Thank goodness I didn't do anything worse.
We also celebrated Audrey's second birthday in Bubble Guppies style.  I got to see so many people that I had not seen in a long time including a high school friend that I hadn't seen in years and a cousin who we figured it had been about 14 years since our last visit.  It was great, and it was once again confirmed how amazing our family is to all come together and how much Audrey is loved.
We also went to my grandmas for a night which was, as always wonderful.  We had a great big dinner that was much like an early Thanksgiving.  Then the next day my grandparents, two aunts and cousin went to Erie with us so I could get the much loved Chick-Fil-A!  It was a wonderful visit, except that on the way in, my grandma took a harsh fall, it was seriously one of those moments when everything around me froze and in slow motion I watched her fall to the ground but no matter what I did, there was nothing I could do fast enough to stop it.  I felt awful, we went there for me, and she took a tumble on the cement.  After she got up and became composed again, we got her some ice for the side of her head and she seemed to be ok, just a little sore.  The worst of it was needing to get new glasses.
We headed back to my parents that afternoon and had a relaxing night just hanging out and talking.  Tuesday morning came early and the day that I was dreading.  We packed up the night before and had to finish early in the morning.  My mom was babysitting so Audrey and I went to join her after lunch and Audrey got to play with a new friend.  Once her day was over we packed up and headed to Cleveland.  We got a suite with a full kitchen, table and chairs, living room with a fireplace and a Kind size bedroom.  Then upstairs was another bathroom and kind bed.  Matt took the pull out couch.  If anyone can make a hotel fun.... it was Matthew and I.  We played with a ball on he stairs for a long time laughing and hoping that no one was down stairs that would call in saying we were too loud.  Then he wanted to go find the gym and that was an adventure.  We walked around the premises for what seemed like forever until mom went in and rechecked directions.  The gym was in the Hotels second building, that looked nothing like the one we were staying in.  Matt had pointed it out awhile ago on our adventure but mom and I told him he was crazy and that, that building had to be a different Hotel.... joke was on us!  Once back we finally all gave in and called it a night.  4am came REALLY, REALLY early, and sure enough it was time to head to the airport.  Because of the time we had left my parents and Matt only had time to drop us off and say our good-byes.  Sometimes I think that is for the better because then there are not as many tears because it has to be quick, but then when I finally have time to process I think it hurts even more to have to say good-bye.
Audrey got another seat all the way back home.  It was an amazing, busy, vacation but a fantastic one!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Vacation part 1

I need to have a headset to talk directly to my blog page so that it doesn't take me so long to find the time to sit down and type.  We all made it back safely and all of our flights were fine... no crazy incident like last time, (see if you are unaware of that situation).  On our way from Houston to Tokyo though we did realize that we had a sick child on our hands.  Not the, I am sick and going to be lethargic and sleep the whole time, but more like I am irritated feeling and going to let you know about it, type of sick.  Audrey didn't sleep for more than 3 hours on the flight.  She did however sleep the 2 hours and 20 minutes from Tokyo to Seoul, in fact we all did.

Our visit was wonderful.  We got into PHX around 6pm and headed straight for the Hotel, however we had a heck of a time getting our rental car.  There was a bit of a line and it was not an easy transaction.  I must not of figured in the tax correctly because whenever I get a rental car I always set aside a card specifically for that and nothing else.  I was a dollar and some change off :(  So when getting ready to just use our bank account instead they informed Collin that any instate drivers license could only use a credit card.  Since Collin still has a AZ license he couldn't use the debit card.  So then we changed it so I would be the main driver, since I have a Colorado DL.  This of course entailed them going back through the entire system of input and deleting Collin's information and inserting mine.  After about another 20 minutes we had the keys.  We walked out to the rental cars and we were greeted with two gentlemen carrying bottles of water for us and walking us to our car.  After the initial inspection and again another lecture on the safety of buying additional insurance we were finally in the car.  Next stop was the hotel and once we got there it wasn't long before we were all asleep.  I thought we were in for some serious rest but Audrey had other plans and choose to wake up at 3am.  So her and I had an adventure walking around the hotel early in the morning, going into the hotel lobby and watching ABC's on the computer, going outside to run around some more and then playing on the steps leading from the first floor up to the top floor.  I even got her a bath and a little after 6 begged her to fall back asleep.  Somewhere around 630 we were both sleeping again.  The reason for our PHX visit was for my youngest step sons wedding.  The Mrs. had already been to Korea, but it was great to see her again. It was also great to finally meet my daughter in law from my oldest other step sons marriage.  I never know how I will be viewed because of being closer to their ages but I LOVE both of my daughter in laws.  The wedding was nice and although I missed the ceremony due to Audrey choosing to have a screaming fit 5 minutes prior to the beautiful bride walking down to meet her husband.  The wedding was very nice and the weekend was, well, frankly a whirlwind of events and to be honest most was a blur.  However, it was great for Collin to be able to spend so much time with his kids.  It really was the highlight for him.  The only thing I wish that had happened was I was hoping to see my step granddaughter.  I knew the boys wouldn't make it I just didn't know the little princess would not.
While there we got to stay with some very loving friends.  We had great conversation and an awesome time with them the whole way around.  I wish we could have spent more time with them but it was a very short weekend with the family and time was not on our side.  Sunday came and we had nothing to do and we discussed the zoo or something fun but when we woke up we quickly realized that the time zones had kicked in, and we were dragging.  So that Sunday we laid around, watched some football, a movie, napped, and just hung out.  Thank you friends for all your hospitality and helping out with Audrey.

Monday morning came and we were off to see Nana and Grandpa Bill.  Orbitz had sent me an email saying that our flight had changed to a 5 hour layover in Dallas and we would not get into Killeen until after 10pm at night.  This was very unexceptable so Collin spent easily an hour and a half on the phone getting it all worked out.  We finally got an early departure from Dallas and our ETA for Killeen was now just after 7.  This was better than the 10 but not as good as our origional flight.  Since Nana and Grandpa Bill wouldn't be able to pick us up that late I started searching for a rental car.  This worked out in the end much smoother, however, it was difficult getting the car at first.  Knowing that Killeen is so small I realized I should get the car as soon as possible.  When I called from the house, I was told by Enterprise that the only thing available was a van at $80 plus a day.  NOT HAPPENING.  So I tried to log on once we got the airport and search through USAA and Orbitz.  I couldn't connect in the PHX airport so waited until we got to Dallas.  Most of you know I stress easily and not having the car set in stone this close to arrival had my stress level up, but I knew in all reality everything would work out.  Once we were in Dallas and found our connecting flight I was able to get onto Orbitz, the USAA website was taking way too long to load, but Orbitz said they had compact cars all the way up to vans availible through Enterprise.  I thought this was slightly odd but went with the compact car anway.  After landing in Killeen we went to the rental area and checked in to get our car.  The guy looked at us puzzled and said, "We don't have any compacts available."  After a bit of discussion, we got the next size up and were on our way.  Advice for the futre.  They may tell you on the phone or on their website they are out of cars, but they always set aside cars for their partners like Orbitz!  An hour or so later we arrived at Nanna's house.
As always this is a warm and relaxing visit.  Nanna and Collin went to the store and she of course spoiled Audrey with new toys, and a day or two later we found Audrey's Anna trick or treat costume.  Being only a day or two away from Halloween, I didn't think we would still find one.  There were several Elsa's out there at the Church trunk or treat but only 1 Anna!  Audrey still doesn't understand the concept of trick or treating yet but in all honesty that is ok with me.  She will either start enjoying it in a year or two or she won't.   At Nanna and Bill's we found Duck Dynasty wine and of course HAD to try it.  It wasn't bad, I enjoyed mine and Collin said his was good as well.  Unfortunately Audrey still wasn't adjusted, I don't think we really were either and she was up several nights all night long.  Audrey was not the nice little princess she usually is.  On our last full day Nanna and I went and got our hair done, mine was a cut and straightened and Nanna was color.  It was Halloween and all the hairdressers were all dressed up.  Saturday came and by 5am we were awoken by a knock on our door.  My alarm never went off and Nanna came to the rescue.  We were soon off for an early flight to Florida.

Well Audrey has gotten awake so I guess I will finish telling you all about the last part of my trip later.  Time to get her some toast and try to call some family.  Hope you all are having a great week.  I will try to get the rest of the trip up before I go to bed tonight :)