Tag Archive | travel

I feel like I’m not wearing undies

(but I am…)  But I DON’T have a functional cell phone!!!  Saturday I got a new iPhone (the 6 human not giant size) so my old phone was deactivated from the network.  I should have been able to easily back up my old phone to the PC then put that backup onto the new phone but somehow the new phone won’t acknowledge my ipassword.  Annoying.

 

I ordered a case online so I am kinda ok that it isn’t fully functional yet.  Case is supposed to arrive today *go Prime!* and for most of my day, my old phone is just fine.  I can read e-mail and look things up and text my family and I don’t really make all that many phone calls usually.  The down side is that I don’t have a phone in my pocket and in the world of not wifi I have nada.

 

Today I had a playdate at a friends house I had never been to.  No phone.  No GPS.  I have functioned without a smart phone for most of my life so I should be able to handle this….  I looked up the address and mapped it and wrote down on a piece of paper the address, directions and even the street right before her street plus mileage for the big section.  Then I went out the door with a grocery list and my directions just like it was 2002. Oh wait, in 2002 I had a phone at least… I could call if I got lost.  I went out the door like it was 1999!

I went into walmart and it was a gray day.  I left walmart and it was snowing dinnerplates!  Not too bad (yet) so I decided to just go for it.  I put all visions of accidents out of my head and drove.  On the long stretch instead of glancing at my phone, I was glancing at my odometer counting miles – good to know distracted driving isn’t new.  I got there no problem but the whole time I felt like I was missing something critical.

Reverse trip was much easier since the mini blizzard passed and it was still slushy on the road I was much more calm.  Home again and I’m waiting waiting waiting on that case so I can call and trouble shoot my phone and get it into the game.

So odd that for 19 years I didn’t have a phone.  For the next 10 I had a dumb phone.  I’ve only been a smart phone user for 5 years but now I feel naked without it.  I could definitely get used to being out of touch, I am just fine navigating with a regular map or remembering things but life is easier and better when that is a choice not the only reality.

I may blame the snow for not going out again, but, its really my lack of safety net that will keep me safe inside my wifi zone~

IMG_3760

So glad we went to the playdate anyway – frost your own cookie!

 

3 things thursday 2/5

Three things Thursday!

1. We have planned the trip to Fl.  We are going to have lunch with Superman in Metropolis and dinner with rockets in Huntsville and Sleeping in Montgomery…  The trip there will be a mini vacation.

IMG_3734

 

#2 The first Cream Egg of the season.  yum.

 

IMG_3733

#3

Fiona is practicing counting and she calls these things ‘spiky bugs’.  Who here has actually seen a TV that looks like this?  Not me…  well, I think there was one in the attic when I was little.  Attention; makers of flash cards, nobody that needs flashcards have any idea what these are (nor rotary dial phones) update your graphics please.  It does make me smile what her brain comes up with in absence of experience or information.

IMG_3712

 

The inspiration to list three fun things on Thursday by Nerd the Brain #threethingstursday

I’m planin a road trip!

My sister generously gave me her timeshare.  Kinda like giving someone an oil painting; now you need to frame it ;)  She had already pre chosen the place in FL and put it on dates we could go (Niamh’s school break) but all other details were up to me.

I have not been on a vacation that was not going to my parents, going to a wedding, or going to an SCA event in 10 years.  Usually we combo them all and go to visit my parents at an SCA event, or, a wedding.  Anyway this was exciting and scary got downright daunting when the work-monster required 110% of Lars’s time.  He is neck deep in a massive project that like all massive corporate projects is spinning one way and then the other but the bottom line is there was basically no chance he could come.  So this problem just dark clouded in my brain for a few weeks.

My #1 plan was ‘bring my mom!’ but that was foiled because she is going to Hawaii to see the sister who gave us the timeshare.  #2 plan was my other sister who has a son the same age as Fiona, but, she works in my parents family business so she is in charge of everything while they are gone #3 plan was Miss Math but her vacation weeks don’t line up.  Should I go solo?  Vacations are supposed to be fun…  So I ask Facebook and Facebook delivered.  What was a problem yesterday is now a fun thing I’m looking forward to.  A friend here and her son, the same age as Niamh, are delighted to go!  Bonus, with another adult from here we can drive, so the depressing $400 per person airplane tickets are now in my rearview mirror.  Driving will take 3x but we will have a car there, we can bring more than I can cram into a carry on, and, we have the opportunity to see some fun things on the way.

Now we need suggestions of things to see ‘on the way’ from MN to FL.  We need to work out details of when we leave but the kids have Friday off, check in is 4pm on Saturday so just driving those 2 days we would make it fine.  If we leave Thursday we have time for more fun on the way.

I love when things work out!

normal? What is that?

I am finally on a something of a ‘normal’ day – house guest delivered to the airport and Lars back to work.  However pushing myself to actually work out during kids swim lessons (right now) is proving too much, so, I guess, I’m not ‘quite’ back yet…

Daddy+ vacation was totally different from JustGirls vacation.  Adding in his BFF, who is Niamh’s Godfather, was like mixing in a random good yet chaotic element to our world.  We rolled with it and had a ton of fun but it was tiring fun with lots of late nights playing games and then I was the one to greet the sun with #3.  I did get some naps in and that is why there was less blog than average because in the sleep v blog  equation sleep had to win a few times.  The kids are rebounding too from the excitement and changes for over a month and today I ended up bailing out on a Como Zoo trip 20 min after I got there because they were more than I cared to handle.  They were tired, I was tired, mapquest led me astray, parking was horrible and when they were just walking the line of pushing buttons in the crowded zoo I decided it was time to retreat  tactfully change direction before there was a real meltdown from any of us.  Recognizing when mommy needs a timeout is a real thing too!

Afternoon progressed much better, 2 of 3 napped out in the car and stayed that way until 3.  Husband produced food and attention for me during his lunch and everything was going well leading into swim lessons.  Still going fine as far as I know for them, for me I’ve read my book in peace for 30 min and then did a few money housekeeping things and now I blog rather than work out and clean.  I’ve been blitzing the house zone by zone reclaiming it from the frat level of clean (a nice frat; engineers not lacross players if you know what I mean) but it still a job to get done while also parenting and visiting and hostessing.

 

I’m looking forward to getting back on the bandwagon of Moms club and all the things I know and love here but I can’t help but miss the grove I got into in NY.  Good thing I can facetime and keep in the mix!  My girlfriends today asked me where I like better and that isn’t something I can even answer.  Here I have a house, friends, knowledge of the area and cool stuff to do, memberships to clubs and parks….  There I have my parents, my sister, my extended family, the big beach, and the limo equivalent of a boat (owned, maintained and skippered by dad but I get to take rides).  Focusing on what I miss does nobody any favors so I’m happy to be here and I’m happy to have been there for a month.

 

I hope to also get back on the blogging bandwagon.  I even got a concerned em from a reader asking if things were ok.  Yes, totally fine, I’m ready to bet back to boring, innodating, entertaining you all with summer midwest fun and excitement with a sprinkle of political, social, and crafting thoughts.  We have no significant plans for the foreseeable future,  I would love a weekend away with just Lars but finding someone to watch the three will be the trick.  People might visit, we will go to nearby attractions, summer will roll into fall and I hope to keep being happy with today as it happens.

Vacation part II; Daddy edition

We got back and dove right into…. MORE VACATION.  Lars took the balance of the week of and, for once, work has actually been good the past few days so he actually has been able to be with us.  The catnip-like draw of his long lost BFF is a little like standing in the shadow of the empire state building but he did tell me that “we have all our lives together” so that is comforting even after not seeing him for a MONTH.  Anyway….

 

Konrad and the girls got a crash course in each other in the car on the way.  He got mistaken for their dad plenty of times and he got to enjoy the compliments from strangers that make the behavior feel just a bit better because *someone* thinks they are darling.  They are all playing a game right now and ‘oh darn’ it is only a 4 person game so I have 15 min for the blog land.  We have been keeping very busy and the mere fact that Lars is active and available plus a houseguest means that our normal routine is not just out the window it is 50 miles away.  On the bright side, Fiona decided to sleep until 8am this morning!  That is probably a reaction to a few late nights and finally getting over this beauty.


July14-005

I tagged this “babyfightclub’ on instagram but it was just a bug bite and 3 days later you can hardly tell.  I did feel compelled to tell every person looking critically at her that it was a bite and not some gross contagious disease since we did take her to the mall of america the day after it ‘bloomed’.  Everyone loves the mall and I think Konrad was possibly even impressed by the park.  We ate overpriced underwhelming food (per normal) but otherwise it was a very nice afternoon.

July14-004 July14-003 July14-002

Yesterday we had a semi normal day and in the evening we went up to our friends house and did the fireworks we got in WI.  They were really GREAT fireworks and I have to remember next year that the one named HOT HOT HOT was particularly great.  All the kids loved the sparklers and it was very fun to see the surly teenager turn back into an energetic little boy when he got to play with sparklers (and even a roman candle under penalty of death).  Fiona clapped and cheered and loved it all and left the evening saying “wireworks go BOOM!” (she has no F in her speech yet… she says her name is Mona)

July14-001

baby and bottle rockets…. what could go wrong?

July14 IMG_3031

Today we braved the 90% humidity to play in the Tamarack Nature park (stick park) and I always find it funny that places like that are crowded on the week days but nearly empty on weekends.  I don’t know if everyone is going up north or working parents just don’t know its around but there were maybe 4 families there total.  I didn’t get any pictures unfortunately but Zoe has found her grove as a rock climber and Konrad described one of her climbs as “holding onto texture”.  Since my parents met because of rock climbing I think it is in my genes so I take full credit.  I’ll be sorry when I get texted a selfie from a colorado mt titled “trails are for sissies’ and see nothing but clouds below my middle born – but lets not borrow trouble….

 

We are totally unplanned and that is a little bit cringe worthy for me but it works overall.  So far things have fallen into place and I trust the next three days will too.  Ok, the game is over and dinner is calling so that is the update from me; still on vacation… or staycation… but adding a daddy to the mix does make it better :)

A review of travel

At this point in my life I feel like I’ve traveled quite a bit – domestic and international, alone and with 1, 2, and 3 kids (with and wo husband) and a variety of different scenarios in general.  All that said I think I have a fair expectation of what is normal, good, and bad in travel and yesterday I ran through a freak streak of  ‘great’ on multiple spots.

 

First a rewind to the first day there.  Our plan was to rent a midsize sedan so the 3 kids could fit in the back seat figuring we were never going more then 5 miles around town and if we did go further my sister had a minivan and one of ours could hop in with her.  When I got to the rental place they had no cars….. um… that is your WHOLE JOB?  I was not impressed.  I was also polite and it paid off because they did have a mini van just in and clean and would I be willing to take that?  Oh… I suppose… at the same rate of course.  So I got a very nice upgrade for the inconvenience.  I call that a win in travel land and I also secured that we could return it at a different airport – double win.  However the REALLY IMPRESSIVE part was upon returning our rental car to the depot at JFK we pull into the return lanes and I get out to flag down the man to ask if it is a shuttle or a tram to the airport (makes a difference in how we handle the stroller) and he took one look in the car and said “Miss, we are just going to drive you over, get on back in”.  They checked us in, gave us a receipt, and then I got in the back and we were chauffeured over to our terminal by the rental agent.  I kinda felt like I should hug him because you hug the person who drops you off at the door.  We decided on a $10 tip in lieu of hug.  So I must notably note that in my 15 years of adult travel this was the absolute best surprise service I have ever encountered.  Kudos to Hertz at JFK. That ride saved us probably 30min at least.

Our driver! (for 5 min)

The next notable comparison is between Delta and SunCountry.  I’ve flown both a few times in the past 6 months and while Delta has the name, SunCountry has a better handle on service.  Last trip with Fiona I nearly missed the flight even though I was 2 hours early because of the epic and ever present line at the Delta counter.  SunCountry is in the “General middle east/Indian” area of the terminal (Egyptair, Elal, Emirates, Kuwait Air, Air india, Pakistan international etc)  area so there is 99% more security but also it is incredibly efficient and made to move a ton of people quickly.  This is a big deal, the other side of the Delta terminal on Delta they have their ‘own’ security but it is only 3 machines, maybe 4 and the Middle East section has like 50.  On top of there being so many lanes we get tapped for pre check and that makes it even more fast.  We were in and out in under 5 min on the security lines.  SunCountry also ‘gate’ checked our carryon’s right there so we had just our back packs.  I’ve asked to check our carry on bags at every agent desk for years and this is the first time they did it and they actually even offered!

 

So between little to no traffic, the ride from the rental, the speed of check in lines and security we were at our gate 2 hours early….  That has its pro’s and cons but I really don’t like stress rushing with 3 kids so I’ll take it.  We brought subway since we know the kids eat it and had a nice dinner at the gate in the big chairs with the charging spots.

 

The flight itself was fine, take off and landing on time and even a tad early.  The guy in front of us had serious issues like he was a junkie coming down from something but harmless overall.  Lars and I discussed the merits of this very late flight (9pm take off) and I’m not sure we would seek it out again because the kids didn’t sleep but they were decent on the plane but at the end of the rope at midnight when we landed…  There is no decompression time with this because we were all up and at it this morning with school and work and grocery etc.  There is no perfect flight I don’t think but this particular travel experience had some very very nice perks and for that I am happy with the the choices we made.