Monday, March 2, 2009

We're Baaack!

The whole LIAYF staff has returned safe and in one piece from our trip to San Francisco. Rumors of our demise were greatly exaggerated!

My son and wife have given me renewed confidence in our ability as a family unit to weather change and stressful situations and emerge from them smelling like a rose. Ok, Luke didn't exactly finish up the vacation smelling like a rose, or anything remotely floral, but that's a story for another paragraph.

We left for the extended weekend wondering and a bit nervous about how Lukas would react to sleeping in unfamiliar surroundings. We scheduled the first leg of the flight to correspond to his nap schedule and this worked like a charm. As soon as the plane lifted off, Lukas turned his head to look out the window, then promptly fell asleep for the duation of the flight! Sleeping in the hotel rooms? Not problem either as his sleeping schedule was spot on for the first three days and we had a great time visiting San Francisco, riding the trolleys, seeing the waterfront, and going to the aquarium at Golden Gate Park with Mrs. LIAYF's family.

That's not to say everything went perfectly. I caught the stomach flu and spent much of Saturday night purging my system of everything I had eaten for the last week. The vacation had gone so well with Lukas' sleep, so I tried very hard not to wake anyone up as I lay in misery first on the hotel bedroom floor, then finally on the bathroom floor at 3 a.m. To her credit, Mrs. LIAYF came to my rescue with water, comfort and lots of soothing. We worked well as a team on too little sleep to keep Lukas entertained and happy the next day, and thank goodness neither my son nor wife caught the nasty bug. (BTW - I felt better, though very weak, for the last day of our trip).

While the visit was good, our day of departure was semi-hellish. Mrs. LIAYF and I will have to take credit for this however as we, in our infinite wisdom, scheduled a 10:30 p.m flight home. We did this to maximize our vacation time and with the false hope that Lukas would fall asleep and stay that way during all the transitions with the car rental, airport security, boarding, off loading, baggage claim, shuttle to off-site parking, and unloading at home.

Yes, that was seriously wishful thinking because he wouldn't nap on Sunday. So, we ended up with a 20 month old who from 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. the next day, had a grand total of maybe 3 hours sleep. Needless to say, he was not a happy child. Lesson learned.

The 2:30 a.m. bedtime did result in a later morning wake-up at 8:30 a.m. Monday which gave Mrs. LIAYF and I a chance to catch up a bit too. However, we woke to the an epic diaper explosion the likes of which have never been witnessed before in this household. To put it bluntly, there was sh*t everywhere. Think of this scene from Slumdog Millionaire and you have a sense of what we were dealing with.

Now though, we are much wiser to pitfalls of air travel with a toddler. All in all, the trip was a great sucess. It was great to see family, and San Francisco left us wanting to return soon. I plan on posting about our experiences there over on once I am able to dig myself out from under the pile of work that now awaits me.

Despite all that, it's very nice to be home.


Anonymous said...

Welcome back!

This reminds me of the first plane trip with my son. Him and I flew from San Diego to the Bahamas. Overnight. He didn't sleep AT ALL. He read the Emergency card OVER and OVER and OVER. And of course, the next day, when we got there, he wanted to play in the pools and the beach and run, run, run!

SciFi Dad said...

Just a word of advice: vacation stories with toddlers usually involve the CHILD puking and not sleeping.

Also? Sleeping through airport security? Seriously?

Martin said...

Okay, that clip...didn't do me any favours!

Anonymous said...

Welcome back! Families either come together or run aapart while on a vacation together. It is a good sign that you guys are still talking to each other. For us, it is all about having to share a bathroom for a whole week. Nothing test love more than that!!!

Jason Roth said...

Welcome back. We miss our once frequent trips to SFO. We flew there with Z-Dub a lot and with no major issues. It was fun. Now it's more challenging with a three year old and a three month old.

By the way, the crap thing...yuck!

Momo Fali said...

You are so brave!

We drove to Virginia in August and left at 3:00 a.m. so the kids would sleep for four of the first 10 hours. It worked better than that. They slept from 3:00 until 6:00, then they were so tired from waking up earlier than usual that they took a long nap in the afternoon. Now I know for a fact it wouldn't have worked if we hadn't been traveling in a car. Thanks for the tip!

James (SeattleDad) said...

@Super Mega Dad - Thanks. Ahh, the perils of travel. Seems like it is much easier for the little ones to recover than it is for us to.

@Scifi - I know, I know. I think we were halucinating when we booked the flight.

@Xbox - I thought that was the funniest scene I had seen in a while.

@MTAE - Bathrooms aren't really an issue yet for us. The Mrs. and I didn't fight or snip at each other the whole time, even when stressed. It was very nice.

@Vegasdad - Yeah, it was an impressive city. I want to go back again soon and see more. Too short a trip.

@Momo Fali - I dread a long car ride with a little one almost as much as a long flight. Sounds like I'm the one getting the tip though. Thanks for stopping by.

Anonymous said...

The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco. I froze my butt off when I visited last July.

Whit said...

Mocha Twain took my comment!

James (SeattleDad) said...

@Mocha Dad - It was actually quite pleasent when we were there. Luck of the draw.

@Whit - I was thinking of you when I read it.

Anonymous said...

when i was little we drove from FL to TN just about every summer. we always left in the middle of the night so the kids (3 at that time) would all sleep for a good part of the journey. my mom for some ungodly reason decided that she was tired of the "i gotta go pee" line so she even packed a porta potty in the back of the van so she wouldn't have to stop so often!! now a days all you need for a long car trip is snacks and a portable dvd player and you're set.