Tuesday, October 13, 2009

We're baaa-ack!

Okay... so it's been a few months. I warned you that I was really bad at keeping up with this whole blogging thing! Last week, we hit an important milestone... our first vacation as a family! Austin, Tyler, Jeff, and I (along with my mom) headed off to Aspen to enjoy the cool, crisp weather.

While, overall, we had a fantastic time, a few lessons have also been learned through some unanticipated trials and tribulations.

First of all, we discovered that adding just two small toddlers to your travel mix actually quadruples the amount of luggage you will end up taking along. Not sure how that happened!

We also learned that after you think you've packed enough snacky things to get you and the kids to your destination, you should go back and add some more. In our case, we did bring plenty of snacks for the kids to eat throughout our 3 hours of flight time.

Unfortunately, that 3-hour flight time turned into about 7 hours! As we neared hour 5 or so, other passengers on our crowded little puddle jumper started complimenting us on how well-behaved the little guys were being. I felt the need to be honest and explained that it was only due to the large number of snacks we had equipped ourselves with - but that, sadly, we had just reached the end of our supply. A bag of Cheerios immediately flew up in our direction from some fellow passengers sitting in the back of the plane eager to assist in our plight. :)

Once we finally arrived, we headed to our condos in the snow (yes, it was snowing - cooooool! - although it would have been even better if it was sticking too!) Then, after settling in, my mom and I walked to the local grocery store to stock up on some food for the week.

This is where I learned my next lesson - strollers are useful for so much more than just pushing little kids around!

We took along the two empty strollers to use for lugging our groceries back to the place. As I checked out with my order, the cashier asked where the baby was... I could have had so much fun with that if I hadn't been so exhausted from the day's travel... "Baby? What baby? Oh SH**! I forgot the baby!!!"

Anyway, I did, at least, take care to at least make sure the beer was properly strapped in before heading back.

Of course, no vacation is complete until someone gets sick, right?

So, Tyler was more than happy to oblige by getting a case of the oh-so-contagious Swine Flu... All those things I assumed could safely be left behind in Texas soon became part of my next shopping trip - to the local pharmacy... Tylenol, Ibuprofen, thermometer, etc... Fun.

By the next day, he was in such scary bad shape that we actually located a doctor in Aspen to have him checked out (which is how we discovered what he had). As soon as Tyler's flu test came back "positive", the doctor politely suggested we wait outside for Austin's results to come back (I had him tested as a precaution). And by outside, I mean OUTSIDE! At least it was a nice day...

Miraculously, Austin's test results were negative... so, next was off to pick up the Tamiflu for both (and some antibiotics for the ear infection Tyler had also picked up).

Happily, the worst of the flu was short-lived and Tyler's fever was significantly better the next day, and he was in much better spirits. The doctor assured us that, as long as avoided enclosed or crowded spaces, Tyler could at least go outside with us and walk around.

So, at least we had two great days or so to enjoy Aspen. It truly is a beautiful place... We also found a great park right behind the condos that Austin and Tyler had a blast with!

Friday night, our final evening in town, we took my mom out to dinner at a little Italian restaurant.

The food was excellent (and certainly better than the pizza and McDonald's we were eating during the swine flu peak) - but I think the happiest of all was Austin, who had the opportunity to try his first plate of gnocchi. In fact, he didn't just "try" the gnocchi - he devoured it, before our food even arrived! We definitely have a gnocchi-monster on our hands now!

On Saturday, it was time to venture home. This time, our puddle jumper made it's short trip successfully as planned - but our second flight was cancelled because United Airlines had determined that the plane we were supposed to take "could not sustain flight". Um.... yeah... Just a little too much honesty there, if you ask me!

After a chaotic hour or two, we were safely booked on the next and last flight scheduled to leave Denver that night, and arrived home to our two very ecstatic furboys around midnight...

I know... not my most exciting blog post - more like a rattling off of our schedule. But, for family that couldn't join us, I figured it might give you at least a little peek into our first family adventure. And for a first adventure, it really was an ideal situation. We had our own unit, with my mom next door (built-in babysitter!!). And that unit came complete with a separate bed for Tyler, a porta-crib for Austin, and a kitchenette for all of us to enjoy - along with a DVD player, which is really helpful when you have a sick, lethargic toddler to entertain.

I won't even elaborate on how cool it was to have that private jacuzzi on the balcony!

To see more pictures from our trip, click here.

That's it for tonight... time for bed. But, I'll try to post again soon. After all, it's always a little easier to write more entertaining posts when you don't have to spend the entire time playing "catch up"!