Sunday, December 27, 2009

traveling with kids

I am taking a rare Internet break now that the kids are in bed to do a bit of blogging. We are still in Nevada visiting family. I probably shouldn't be broadcasting this on the Internet in case anyone out there is casing my house trying to decide if we are home or not. If you are, in fact, thieves interested in breaking and entering the Pancake home, just know there is absolutely nothing worth stealing. Seriously. I am wearing my engagement ring, so that rules out jewelry, and our TV is so small you will probably pity us when you see it. Don't waste your energy. We don't even own cell phones. What kind of people don't own cell phones? Think about it.

And I doubt anyone but me and a few die-hard Jane Austen fans and admirers of Colin Firth (and really, aren't most red-blooded American women, and come to think of it, most homosexual men, Colin Firth admirers?) would think my A&E version of Pride and Prejudice is really worth that much..... And dudes, don't even think about touching my new August Wilson Century Cycle. That was a birthday present, which I haven't even had a chance to read.

But if you do happen to decide to break in, would you mind taking the turkey out of the freezer and sticking it in the fridge? And how about unloading the dishwasher? Thanks. That will make cooking much easier when I get back.

Sorry for the digression.

So. We are in Nevada, which means we traveled thousands of miles from Illinois all the way to the western part of the country. With three kids. During the busiest travel season of the year. And we flew out of O'Hare, one of the biggest airports in the country. It was insane. We actually took 4 modes of transportation just on Saturday in our journey to Las Vegas. First, we drove to Chicago, some three hours from home. The next day, we drove to O'Hare. Once we got to the parking lot, we had to take a shuttle bus which dropped us off at the train, which we took to the airport.

With three kids. And a stroller. And three backpacks, two booster seats, one carseat and a big purse. And three carry-on duffle bags. Oh, and did I mention three kids?

Yeah, you can imagine how horrible it was to be behind our little army at security, right? Where they had to use some instrument to make sure it was actually formula in Tommy's bottle instead of explosives.

I can tell FAA security officials this much: I don't care how crazy some terrorist might be, how fanatical and suicidal and determined to participate in a jihad they might be, I don't think ANYONE would be crazy enough to bring along three kids, a stroller, three backpacks, two booster seats, a car seat and three duffel bags to do it. Though I suppose dragging that load all over the country could theoretically drive someone to do something crazy. Especially if that someone happened to be PMSing and slightly sleep-deprived.

Ahem. I'm just saying.

Actually, though the trip was hectic and quite stressful, it went rather smoothly. And the kids? Well, the kids were downright hysterical at points. On the bus, they had the cool-looking twenty-something bus driver laughing at their enthusiasm. Danny kept squealing, "Whoohooo!!! We are going faster now!" and "This is Super-dee-duper!" while Charlotte talked about the upcoming airplane ride, which would go "way high up in the sky!"

On the train, Charlotte exclaimed loudly enough for everyone to hear her, "This ride is really fun!" I foolishly mentioned to the kids that by journey's end, we would have taken every form of transportation except boats. Which is when Danny pointed out that we had yet to fly in a rocket ship or a helicopter. Nor had we ridden an elephant, a giraffe or a cow.

And let's not forget baby Tommy here. In the hours we spent in the airport, he charmed no less than a dozen people, including an elderly Asian couple who he kept crawling over to at our terminal. He repeatedly pulled himself up on their pant legs and babbled to them. Then, there was the U.S. Air employee who spent a good ten minutes making him laugh and smile.

When we finally got close to Las Vegas, the kids enjoyed looking at all the lights. Danny pointed to the Stratosphere Hotel and declared, "Look! It's the North Pole! We are going to the North Pole where Santa lives!" And nothing has yet convinced him that Vegas is probably the antithesis of Santa's winter wonderland home. Danny is still possessed of the certainty that Santa resides somewhere in the Nevada mountains, which only made it that much easier for him to deliver our gifts.

Viva Las Vegas!!!


Stacy (the Random Cool Chick) said...

You are a brave, brave soul traveling by air this time of year with 3 kids! :)

I love that Danny thought the Stratosphere signified the North Pole!

When are you cooking the turkey? I wouldn't want to put it in the fridge too early... ;)

Have a safe trip home! :)

lonestar said...

What, no rocketship or elephant rides on this trip? lol :)

Seriously, ya'll are *brave* and I'm glad the trip went smoothly (as much as possible). One of these days we'll work up the nerve to attempt a plane trip with the whole family, but not just yet :).

Glad to hear ya'll are having fun, and who knows, maybe Santa keeps a vacation home in the Nevada mountains just to make his deliveries there a little easier? ;)

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Mrsbear said...

Holy Cow (which I'd like to point out, you still haven't ridden across the country...) Seriously, that must've taken quite a bit of courage, especially considering the amount of switch ups you had to endure, I hope most of it was filled with sweet moments like the ones you mentioned. We drove from Miami to Tennessee a few years back, and most of it involved whining and screaming and me riding in a van 16 hours with my neck craned almost completely around. If you get visited by dishwasher burglars, send them over to my house, I could use some help. ;)

Ginny Marie said...

We survived a six hour car ride over our Christmas from Chicago to Des Moines and back again, which translates to much longer with kids! That sounds like a walk in the park compared to your travels this Christmas!

I found your blog through Mrs Bear...and I'm glad I did! :)

Sarah said...

I have no doubt that Santa goes to Vegas on the 26th---and what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.

You are brave, but more importantly, you and Bil are outstanding parents. I hope you took a moment to pat yourselves on the back :)

a Tonggu Momma said...

All I can picture at the moment is contestants from the Amazing Race, but with young children and baby paraphernalia in tow. Thankfully, you survived it. *grin* Happy New Years to you and yours!

Anonymous said...

=) This whole post had me smiling. You know, I don't steal things...I don't want anything we didn't rightfully earn the money to pay for...but if for some reason I did break into your house, I'd be happy to put the turkey in your fridge, empty your dishwasher...but I'd be mighty tempted to steal your Pride and Prejudice DVDs. =) They are the only things I want that I really don't need right now and they've been on my birthday list for the past three years...but husbands just don't "get" the whole Pride and Prejudice thing, soooo I'm still waiting. Where did you say you live?! =D Just kidding! I hope you have a wonderful trip!!!