We had been planning our trip to my high school reunion for quite some time now. From the day I told Kate that we were actually going to stay in a hotel with a heated indoor pool, she had been counting down the days. Also, as this was our longest road trip to date with the kids, we tried to prepare them for the long car ride. We know them well as when we head to camp to see Paula's parents (a thirty minute ride), they are asking if we are there yet in the first five minutes.
The morning finally came and the van was packed up with food, snacks and drinks within easy reach. Thomas had his blanket and Kate had her Dolly, we were ready to roll. Earlier this year, the nearest bridge over to New York from Vermont had been intentionally collapsed, due to old age, so we took the new temporary ferry over. The kids (us too) were excited (nope, it doesn't take much) to take the the boat across Lake Champlain. We timed it right and as we drove up, the ferry was ready. The ferry started and we were off. Paula said quite innocently, "Is that where we are headed?" pointing to a spot about three hundred yards away. I said, yes, that's where we're going and almost before I finished the sentence, we were in New York. If we didn't have the car, I'm thinking we all could have swam across but it was fun while it lasted.
Once across, we had promised that they could watch a movie. We had borrow my friend Todd's portable DVD player for the trip, but he told me it was a bit finicky. He was right, of course, as it worked well for about an hour, then quit. I proceeded to grab my laptop and placed it (with a bungee cord) atop an upside down milk crate I had grabbed from the garage before we left. They were thrilled, as well they should. They not only got to watch four hours of movies on the way over, but four more hours on the way back, AND it just happened to be Harry Potter weekend on ABC Family network (which we don't get at home). Thomas and Paula were beyond thrilled as they absolutely love Harry. Thomas even watched cartoons thru the window into the exercise room from the indoor swimming pool. Where he gets this behavior, I'm not sure. Okay, he's just like me, satisfied?
We had a great weekend, between my high school reunion, which I'll save for another discussion as I'm still a bit shell-shocked over it being the thirty-fifth year since we graduated.
We got to visit with my nephew, Jamie, and his wife, Jodi, and their kids. Their boys are three and one so as Paula and I watched them, we remembered what is was like for us about five years earlier. I told Jamie that it would getting easier soon. He had that same tired, sand-in-your-eyes look that I had for years. Our kids now fix their meals from time to time and basically dress themselves just like real human beings. My sister, Lois (called Aunt Lodee by Thomas and Kate) also joined in all the fun.
Trying to see as many people as possible is exhausting, but we did our best. Promising ourselves to enjoy the hotel with full breakfast, indoor heated pool, and flat-screen TV with full cable, we did. Even the drive through the Adirondacks was enjoyable as we stopped near a lake in Speculator on the way back, and walked around a short nature trail.
It's good to get away and good to get back. Kate couldn't wait to get to the hotel and it's indoor heated pool but as I tucked her into bed that night, Kate said to me how glad she was to be home. The sign of a good vacation is to fully enjoy getting away and even more so, being happy to be back home in your own bed again.