Day 1: Saturday, July 17, 2010Two Comedians and a Super Mom
When explaining over the past few months what we'd be doing for our summer vacation – an RV trip around the Midwest and a blog to tell all our friends and family about it – we usually got the following 3 responses:
Like Chevy Chase?
Like Robin Williams?
Like Kelle Hampton? (Blogging Super Mom)
So maybe our vacation idea isn't original – but so far the trip has been anything but ordinary.
First, we had planned to leave 3 days ago – on Wednesday. On Monday we simultaneously learned that the RV was “inoperable in it's current condition” and that sweet little Andrew was, once again, running a fever. This followed by some disgusting episodes of more baby sickness followed by ER followed by being admitted to the the hospital brought plans to a screeching halt.
Friday morning Mr. Andrew had surgery to have ear tubes put in and was sent home with a clean bill of health. So, the massive last-minute packing and repeat Wal Mart/Whole Foods trips began. When you buy $67 dollars worth of nitrate-free bacon and hot dogs at Whole Foods you BETTER be going on a camping trip – because otherwise you have nothing else to tell the cashier to explain yourself.
“Sarasota, you promise dazzling attractions but you don't deliver.”
The biggest challenge seems to be how to contain/entertain a 17-month-old while driving all day. We fear that a few more days into this trip just the site of the word “Britax” is going to send Andrew into a full on melt-down. Enter “side trips.” Never else have we paid such close attention to billboards and exit signs – possibly with the promise of a park or a botanical garden or, could it be.... a winery?
The first stop ended up being a nice family park in Sarasota. We pulled up, had some lunch, and made a bee line for the park to burn some energy.
Select pictures have been omitted due to the apparent meeting of the Le Leche League in the “Toddler 2-5 Section” – prompting Mark to exclaim excitedly “I'm not 6 hours into this vacation and I've already seen someone else's nipple!” Our luck wasn't any better in the “Child 5-10 Area” – as a 5 year old had no shame in marching right up to us and informing us that we were putting our baby in danger by having him play in the big boy area.
More driving lead us just north of Gainesville to the Travelers Campground in Aluchula, FL. Here, among beautiful trees and lots and lots of horses, we were frantically informed by a man wearing a white headband/sweatband that our “little girl can't go in the pool if she ain't potty trained.” First, our kid was covered head to toe in blue. Second, April had been promising this baby a pool for the last 6 hours of our trip. So, she explained.... “Oh, yes sir – he's potty trained. These are just swim diapers – I thought you required them. He can just go in his underwear if you like?” Of course we don't actually own any baby underwear yet but the gestures to the diaper bag and the look of “You better just do what she says, buddy” coming from Mark seemed to shut him up. Unbelievably, he actually sat at the side of the pool and watched us the whole time... even invited his wife out to take a look at the couple that dared to take their baby in the family campground pool. Upon leaving he said “I knows y'all thinks it's no big deal, but the state rides my ass like a cowboy to prevent disease. Do you know how much disease is all around us?” Perhaps he was talking about the sign in his campground office that read “3 Critter Dinner - $10.99”
Back in the safety of our Winnebago we enjoyed playing with Andrew and not having any emails to return or gym classes to run off to. Watching Mark and Andrew play off each other could entertain anyone – as Drew uses all his new favorite phrases (“Okey Dokey Dokey,” “Itsy Bitsy,” “Go BuBye,” “Almost”) and Dad tries to teach him all sorts of new ones. And April may just have some “Super Mom” emerging – because sometimes that's what it takes to get your kid past the diaper guard at the campground pool. Seems we are 2 comedians and a Super Mom after all...