We're back from Philly. We.will.NEVER. fly with a toddler again. What a nightmare!
Dh and I got up and got the last minute stuff packed up. Woke the boys around 3:30am and were out the door around 4am. We had 2 suitcases, 2 carry-on and 2 car seats to lug between the 2 of us. Logan did help with the smallest wheeled carry on. We met my parents, sister, BIL and nephew at the airport so we did have some help once we got everything inside. If you don't know, Ian is an on-the-go toddler. He doesn't like to sit still for any length of time. Our first flight left at 6:24am to Memphis and he cried. Philly to Memphis- he cried before taking a short nap (I think- Friday I was so tired, it's kind of a blur). We make it to Philly, get on the shuttle to the rental car place and it takes a freakin half hour just to get our vans. Had to install 2 carseats and fix the straps on both since I forgot to set them beforehand. Britax seats do not fit well in a Dodge Caravan- FYI. Ian ended up FF for the trip bc it just didn't fit right RF. He cried everytime we put him in his seat too. Not sure if it was because he was tired or FF or uncomfortable. Anyway, we were tired so we just went to the hotel, settled in, ordered in and crashed. Yeah, did you think it would be that easy? Ian screamed bc he was tired and not in his bed. We all ended up crashing around 8pm after dinner and after we turned off all lights. Thank goodness for thick walls bc my sis was in the next room and didn't hear him. (Philly weather- overcast, drizzling, 48*)
Saturday we got up, went downstairs and ate at the breakfast buffet. Yum! I had eggs, bacon, hashbrowns and more bacon. LOL I love bacon and don't eat it often. I had like 6 pieces. Mmm. I did eat some fruit, milk and juice too so it wasn't a horrible breakfast. Our party was at 12- it was my grandparent's 65th anniversary. Wow! We went upstairs to start getting ready thinking we have about an hour and I get a call from my dad saying we have to be ready in 20min. Argh! Finally got ready and to the party where I got to see so many relatives- some I'd never met. Found out my grandfather had a sister! I guess he hasn't had much to do with her in many, many years. There were a lot of tributes to them and it was a really nice party. We had some family photos and I danced with my grandpa. He's 87 years old and has dementia. He LOVES to dance though and would dance all night. I don't think he had a clue who I was though unfortunately. It's very sad, he just had this blank smile on his face. It was like there was noone home. He had a lucid moment later that evening before we left which was nice. I found out some very neat history about him. I knew he had been in WWII and was a POW, but I didn't know a lot because he never talked about it. My uncle made a scrapbook of him and brought it to the party. It was letters he wrote while a POW, transcripts of him talking about it, newspaper clips, etc. He was in the Battle of the Bulge as part of a very green troop. They were getting hammered and decided to retreat so they blew up all their artillery and retreated only to be caught in an ambush. He was a POW for 3 months. There were war brochures in the scrapbook, pictures of the troops and even a bill to my grandmother for an overpayment for his pay (I guess). It was for $40 which was a lot of money back then. I'm hoping my uncle will make a copy of everything for me. He really needs to archive everything because those newspaper clippings won't last forever. Anyway, the party was nice, the boys both had a good time playing. Logan loved playing with all his cousins. I got many compliments on my weight loss. My grandmother (bless her) kept telling me how good I look and what a pretty face I had now (that I lost weight). LOL! After the party, we went back to the hotel to change and then over to my grandparent's house to visit for a short time. Then back to the hotel where Ian didn't want to sleep again. This time we didn't get to bed until closer to 11. (weather- 60 around noon, growing colder and very windy. 40s at night)
Sunday, we got up and went down to breakfast. We had that extra hour due to daylight savings time. Dh really wanted to see some of Philly before we left (and so did Ed my BIL) so we went out to Amish country and took a tour of an Amish home. The boys were bored of course until we got outside and saw animals and they could run around. Did you know there were Amish millionaires? Yep! Sounds crazy, but there are. They are always becoming more modern. They all have indoor plumbing, they don't use electricity but they do use air compressed appliances, propane appliances and even a gasoline powered iron. They do no work on Sundays- not even cooking. They go to church for 4 hours every other Sunday at someone's home and everyone is required to volunteer their home at least once a year. The only pictures in their homes are on calendars and you'll find many calendars. They don't believe in engraven images. We saw the dresses/clothes they wear. I couldn't believe that they wear straight pins in their clothes! Ouch! All their "aprons" they wear over their dresses are straight-pinned on, not sewn. We bought some real maple syrup but it never made it home- I'll get to that. After the Amish tour, we over to Valley Forge for a quick drive thru the park and a short walk thru of the main area. We had like 30min before we had to leave for the airport. VF is a beautiful area especially at this time of year. They leaves were changing and falling, the grass was still green and the little creeks were so pretty.We left there, dropped off our rental car (much quicker than getting one), and went over to the airport. Checked our baggage and went thru security. Ugh. I hate security. I know it's there for a reason, but it sucks. When you have 2 sets of hands, 2 kids, 2 carseats and 2 carry-ons plus you have to open bags, take off everyone's shoes, put everything on the conveyor, etc. -it SUCKS. Dh accidentally put our maple syrup in one of the carry-on bags and they noticed it on the x-ray. At least they are doing their job, right? We had 2 choices- take the bag downstairs and check it (was carrying our cameras and laptop- not something we wanted tossed in baggage), then go back thru the security or let them confiscate it, so we just let them have it. It was a $12 bottle! Dh was pissed. I think it was party just the hassle plus being tired and hungry. We had plenty of time until our flight so we ate lunch. After boarding, we sat at the jetway and on the tarmac for an hour! Thankfully Ian slept thru most of that leg. We were waiting for someone's bag that was taken off accidentally and then something called "saturation" (any idea Julie?- ask David). Our connecting flight was at 9:15central and we didn't arrive until 9pm. There was no way to catch that flight as Detroit's airport is HUGE. Luckily for us, our 2nd plane was delayed so we walked so fast thru the airport. We met an angel flight attendant who told us to grab the monorail to get to our gate faster. That's how big the airport is. We were going from A1 to A24 and needed a monorail! As soon as we got there, they were starting to board. I installed Ian's carseat RF hoping it would be more normal for him (it was RF in the Philly-Detroit flight too). He fussed, I played, he fussed, I bribed. We finally take off and the lady in front of him reclines her seat all the way back pushing him so far forward that he was more than upright and very uncomfy. I wanted to kick her seat so bad! I've never been so Mama Bearish. There's no reason she couldn't have moved over one seat- there was an empty seat next to her. I even asked her if she'd move over but all she did was sigh at me and move her seat. The FA asked me to switch him FF but once he was out of that seat, he wasn't going back in. It didn't matter who was holding him, he was done. It was meltdown city. I should have installed it FF in the first place and let him kick her seat. LOL We got home around 2am and everyone went to bed. Dh had to go to work this morning but he got a few hours sleep first (I had to make him). The boys woke me around 8am and we all took a nap this afternoon. We are all still tired though. I'll def be in bed early tonight. (Philly weather- 54* and WINDY, Tampa at 1am 64* and clear)
The architecture in the Philly area was beautiful. The churches and homes all melded together. It's not like here where everything is mismatched. Nearly everyone decorates for fall/Halloween with pumpkins everywhere (huge pumpkins!). Memphis- all we saw was the airport but there were Elvis sitings everywhere. LOL Not real people, but in all the shops. Detroit- I barely got a glimpse of it. The only thing I really remember is that there's this long walkway tunnel with this strange mood music and funky lighting that changes. All in all, it was a good trip but next time we go, we'll be driving!
Oh and even with all the eating I did (fried chicken, pizza, cheesecake, bacon LOL) I still lost nearly 2 lbs. Yay me!! :-D
I'm uploading pics but there over 275 of them so I'll link to them tomorrow or later tonight.
1 week ago