Travel Time

So, somebody (Mom) asked a bit petulantly (Mom) when I'd hurry up and post a new blog post (Mom), as she IS my most reliable reader.

Oh, things have been BUSY. We had an enormous and successful annual conference in Chicago about 2 weeks ago. Chris flew out toward the end and we enjoyed an extra few days, exploring the city. And by "exploring the city" I really mean "eating our way through the city."

A pretty good food scene out there.

Chris and I firmly believe that these short trips (last year was Nashville) have really benefited our sanity and marriage. Kids just take take take, and so does work. You need an annual refuel. Date nights are CRUCIAL but so infrequent that you feel like you have to maximize each second, which you DO, because a sitter is on the clock. But with a short trip you can do crazy things like linger in bed with coffee and a book, or take an afternoon nap. Having a fat amount of time to do whatever you want is spectacular.

I liked Chicago fine, though it's not on my list of favorite cities (it might be for Chris, though). The weather was pretty meh, but we had a really great time. Which just goes to prove that it almost doesn't matter where you go for your no-kids-allowed trip, so long as THERE ARE NO KIDS.

After Chicago, I spent a few days at home, catching up on laundry and work, and then left once again, this time flying to South Dakota with the girls and my mom. It was a tad crowded, seeing as how we were jammed in the hunting lodge above my dad's shop. My folks' house is not quite done.

My dad's approach to decorating in the lodge.
After an 1.5-hour drive from the Opp homestead to Aberdeen (their place is OUT THERE), I helped my folks pick out flooring, which will be lovely, and rolled my eyes at my mom's indifference to the pretty slabs of granite I pointed out. Suffice it to say, we (oops, they) have not yet chosen granite.

The dirt road leading up to my folks' property. "Wow. That's REMOTE," Chris said. Indeed.
The house is going to be a traditional farm house, high on a knoll and overlooking the prairie. Well, traditional except for the giant two-car garage. Window seats, rustic finishes, porches, in-floor heating (because Dakota winters = 40 degrees below zero---charming place for retirement, no?), and so on.

My morning walk . . .
The girls drove (yes, DROVE) Papa's 4-wheeler, played in dirt, and fished. 

Charlotte and Lorelei enjoyed a lot of unstructured time to just play, get dirty, be imaginative, goof off, and think up ways to fill their days. Because, um, there was really nowhere to go to entertain them. They had to invent their own fun. And they did. It involved a lot more wrestling than you might expect for two little girls, but also an amazing amount of creativity. 

I traveled home with both girls, solo. They did great, except for Lorelei's announcement IN THE BOARDING LINE of "I have to poop!" We slipped out of line and RAN to the bathroom and she sat and sat on her porcelain throne for ages, grunting and refusing to get off until she had performed. Meanwhile, Charlotte was near tears and freaking out that we would miss our flight. We were in Minneapolis, having already finished our first short flight from Aberdeen. "We're checked in," I told Charlotte with WAY more confidence than I felt. "We're fine."

Still, Lorelei would not budge. At what point would Delta close the door? I contemplated just pulling her off the toilet and making a run for it, but what if she couldn't hold it during the taxi, take-off, etc.? I never prayed so hard for a child to crap in my life.

FINALLY, Lorelei did her deed. I cleaned her up and chose to waste 30 more seconds washing hands (because, AIRPORT BATHROOM) and we ran ran ran back to the gate. Not a soul was in the boarding area. "It's okay!" the Delta attendant cried out as she saw us running toward her.

"Are we too late?" I asked breathlessly, boiling under stress and carry-on luggage.

"No," she said. "We knew you had a long trek from the other terminal to get here." Ha, I thought. That hustled trek from Terminal A to Terminal D with two small children was a freaking piece of cake compared to the saga of Lorelei's Minnesota Poop. But Delta had held the door.

It was a completely full flight, and we were the last three people on the plane. But we made it. As I texted Chris the ordeal, I added, "I'M TOTALLY BUYING A DRINK ON THIS FLIGHT."

He responded, "Buy two."

(I'll update with books in a different post. Let's just get this one posted, eh?)


Popular Posts