February 29, 2012

Watch out for my rack....

Well now that I've got your attention, 
I'd like to fill you in on the wonderful adventure I just enjoyed/endured/experienced.

For most,
I know you were tuning in to FB to see all of the posts and pictures.
They really told the story well
and so I'm just going to post them chronologically here again.

Now to introduce the expedition...

My lovely sister Andrea has been living across the country from her hubby.
They are both amazing actors and are trying to live their dreams...
Including family life and professional success.
Trying to do what's best for their future together, 
They've lived apart temporarily.

cue the joyous reunion music

But not any more.

She and my mom were supposed to make the trek themselves.
BUT when Andrea threw out her back 4 days before take-off,
they were in need of some reinforcement.

So I joined the party.

This is on the airport tram.  Hello Florida!
So they picked me up and we literally hit the road right away.
That is *after* we found a place for my bag in the car.

About 90 minutes into our drive the luggage rack flew off the top of the car.
There was a lot of wind and luckily the items blew right off the road.
It was truly a blessing.
Andrea was a tough chica as she said "good-bye" to the items that we couldn't possibly fit into the car.
Xander was... well... unaffected.

The journey continued across the panhandle of Florida.
We pitched camp that night in Mobile, Alabama where our main goal
was helping the Little Man unwind.
You have no idea what 9 hours in a car can do to an 18-month-old.
Unless... of course.... you do.
In that case, I'm sure you can sympathize.

After a good night's rest, we were able to manage some smiles as we started Day 2.
We needed to make it to Houston where we were spending the night with some family friends.
That was 3 states away.
Brace yourself.

Alabama was pretty uneventful.
Mississippi was the same.
(with the exception of a slight peanut scare)
But by the time we got to Louisiana,
we HAD to get out of the car.
Lucky for us,
we were right in the middle of the
"Largest Swamp in the Western Hemisphere."
Can anyone say Par-tay?
It was Mardi Gras weekend
and this was as "WiLd" as we got.
You don't want to know what he had to do to get these babies!
Close to the end of that day
Xander had his first "meltdown."
Andrea reluctantly veered from his mostly organic diet
and was able to pacify him with some powered donuts.
Can you say baby heaven?
We paid for it later when we cleaned up his chair,
but it made for a happy baby and that was what mattered the most.
We got into Houston and Xander was so happy to have friends to run with.
We were just happy to be out of the car.

Day 3 was long.
And it felt even longer because we were in ONE STATE for the entire day.
Knowing that before hand,
we planned for a long lunch break in San Antonio.
My mom has always wanted to do the River Walk.
We've heard it is so beautiful and fun and it definitely didn't let us down.
And believe you me...
I will remember the Alamo.
And if any of you are wondering....
YES - Xander is wearing a child leash.
It's the only way to keep this little guy from running in the streets.
After our break,
We pushed our way to Van Horn, Texas where we called it a day.
Xan-man during our nightly ritual of wrestling.
It helped BOTH of us get all the wiggles out.
Now on to Day 4.
Cursed Day 4.
I should have known that Texas had it coming for us when my mom "messed with Texas"
that morning at breakfast.
Who can resist that beautiful waffle?
Let me preface it with saying the night before my mom and I had noticed the
"check tire pressure" light come on.
We figured that we'd check the tires in the morning when we gassed up.
Through divine inspiration,
my mom decided to look at the tires before we pulled out of the parking lot.
And that's when we saw it....
That dreadful FLAT TIRE.
So we did what any strong woman would do....
We took a picture.

Then we unpacked the car to get to the spare.
A kind hotel maintenance man came to rescue the damsels in distress
because the Little Man we were traveling with was a little too distracted by the wide open spaces.
Can you blame the kid?
Besides the wind, it was a beautiful day outside.
After packing the car about 3 more times,
we drove very carefully on the spare to El Paso, 120 miles away,
where we replaced both of the back tires.
ate at McDonald's.
Hey... It was the only place where Xan-man could run free.
And in basically no time,
(except a 5-hour delay and 2 more packing jobs later)
we were on the road again.
It had been a long day already,
and we still had a long way to go.

We made it.
To Wellton, Arizona at least.
This is Xander in what looks like a crib our hotel stole from a Russian orphanage.
But he didn't care at all.
Just when we had lost almost all hope of ever reaching San Diego,
we realized that Wellton was only 2 hours and 45 mins from our final destination.
And that put massive smiles on our faces.
Well, everyone but Xander.
He just wanted to watch "Cars" again.
And who blames him?
It's a great movie.

The last few hours were pretty uneventful.
Mom squeezed in a few more hours of beauty sleep.
Xander made it through another showing of his movie.
And Andrea and I belted out a few more show tunes.
Day 5 was a good day.
Not just because we ended our journey.
Not just because we all survived a week on the road.
Not just because Xander didn't have any meltdowns that day.
A lot had to do with this.
It was a good day.
And a good trip/adventure/journey.

Thanks for letting me tag along sister.

Love much,

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