Monday, October 13, 2008

Meet Me in St. Louis

Our trip up to St. Louis this weekend was, how shall I put it? ... "interesting".

We had a great time visiting and playing with family, our hotel was quite comfortable, and Isabella LOVED The Backyardigans Live show. So what made this trip so "interesting", you ask. Well, for one the fact that it was an overnight trip.

Do you realize how much you have to pack for kids? Even if it is for just one night? Formula, bottles, rice cereal, baby food, diapers, overnight diapers for Sam, overnight Pull-Ups for Isabella, medicine, Pack n' Play, stroller, snacks for the ride, clothes, shoes, toys, lovies, blankies, books, DVDs, a portable potty,... and on and on and on. Just to give you a visual of what our car looked like before we left:
And just a friendly reminder,... this is all for just ONE night!

What used to take us five hours (before children), is now a six and a half hour trip. Once we finally made it there we visited and had lunch with Nana and Papa and then we all traveled further north to see Aunt Liz and her family for dinner. Isabella got to play quite a bit with her cousin Daniel, which she thoroughly enjoyed.

By the time we made it to the hotel, we were all exhausted! After Scott made sure we were all settled in, he went back to his parent's house for more conversation while the kids and I instantly crashed.
Here they are playing in our hotel room on Sunday morning.

After having breakfast and lunch at Nana and Papa's on Sunday, we headed off to downtown St. Louis for our most anticipated show.

As you can imagine Isabella was besides herself with excitement. She just couldn't believe we were finally going to see the one show she's been asking to see for months. The show was at the Fabulous Fox Theater. The only other time we've been to the Fox was to see Robin Williams years ago when we lived there. Yeah, I'd say the crowd was quite a bit different this time around.

So we're making our way into the theater and the ticket collector keeps looking back and forth between us and the three tickets I handed her. I finally say: "Ma'am, there's just three tickets. He's only 6 months old." She says: "Every person needs a ticket." And in my most confident, I've done my research tone I reply: "Well, the site where we purchased the tickets stated that one year of age and younger are free as long as they're on an adult's lap. He's only six months old, he can barely sit on his own." Unimpressed, she replies: "It doesn't matter, every person needs a ticket." She then yelled out to someone who told her it was OK for us to have only three tickets. Well, thank goodness. I mean, where were they going to seat him? And who would have held him upright on his seat if he would have gotten his own ticket/seat?

We found our seats, which were pretty good, sat down and I immediately took this picture:
Yes, this is nothing but the stage.

Right away a lady usher was hovering over me informing me that absolutely no pictures are allowed. I looked at her in disbelief and then looked around me where I was stunned to see a sea of flashes that looked like fireworks on the fourth of July. Then I proceeded to look back at her and said: "Are you SERIOUS?" To which she replied: "I know many people are taking pictures, but we are trying our hardest to stop everyone from doing it." Not wanting to drag out our little exchange any longer, I put my camera in my purse and said: "Right, good luck with that!"

So by now I'm thinking: What next? Anyway, we sat and enjoyed the first half of the show without any additional incidents. During intermission I went and got us some popcorn, cotton candy and sodas to enjoy during the second half. Nobody was as happy as Isabella was; she was ALL about that cotton candy.

We all had a great time: Isabella was totally mesmerized throughout the entire show and Sam was actually really good, which totally shocked us. To our surprise he even watched a lot of it quietly.

Does this look like a happy girl or what?

Oohh, busted! Young man, where is your ticket stub?

Now you may or may not know this about me, but I tend to be a rule follower. Well,... maybe except for speed limits, but that's besides the point. But I am also a proud mama who very much enjoys scrapbooking our memories. So at the end of the show I quickly pulled out the camera and took this here picture:
Here they are: The Backyardigans.
Tyrone, Pablo, Uniqua, Austin and Tasha.

Seriously, how else am I supposed to scrapbook this event? With just the ticket stub? I think not. Besides, this if for my daughter's future,... so there. I'm sure these two pictures aren't going to slow down their tickets sales any.

Now it's time to get back on the road and go homeward bound. This is where I pick back up on the "interesting" aspects of our very short, yet so very long trip.

In hindsight, I probably should not have jacked Isabella up on sugar (yeah, remember the cotton candy she devoured?) before confining her to her car seat for our 5 hour (minimum) drive home. To say she had a number of MAJOR meltdowns is me putting it quite nicely. Lucky for us during this dreadful portion of our trip, Sam was able to sleep quite peacefully.

Sam on the other hand, decided he had had enough about an hour and a half outside of Memphis. During this time we stopped once so that I could sit in the back and feed him a bottle but as long as he was still in his car seat, there was absolutely nothing in that car that would soothe him. So you guessed it, for the last hour and a half of our trip he was screaming like a banshee.

Actually, in all honesty, even I cried during our trip back home. I'm surprised Scott didn't just jump out of the running car during any one of these instances.

We finally made it home by 10:00 pm. Isabella apparently saved the biggest meltdown/tantrum for last, but luckily by about 10:30 pm we were all passed out.

In closing: we're ecstatic to be home, we are going nowhere today, and there is a really good chance that we will NEVER take an overnight trip like this again (unless we absolutely have to). If Scott cannot take time off work, then we will go during a long weekend.


Lynn B. said...

I know how you feel....totally! Every time we go to Nebraksa (which pre-children took us 7 hours) now takes us 9 hours. It's GREAT lemme tell ya. Every time we drive home from our week long trip (yes...that's right...a whole week... to make it worth it) I end up screaming saying I am never ever never going to make that trip again! We have so much stuff packed in the van, that we actually had to buy a of those things that sit on the get all of our stuff home! Ah, joy.

Liz Butler said...

Oh, Lynn! At this point in time and after this weekend a 9 hour trip sounds like pure torture. My heart goes out to you.

The Indiana trip we took earlier this year was longer, but easier because Sam was so young so all he did was sleep for most of the way.

I can't help but think that if we would have been there a little longer they might not have been as traumatized over the confinement. It was too much in just two days.

Maybe it'll get easier, but for right now I'm pretty sure we'll be anchored in Memphis, at least for a little while.

Anonymous said...

All I can say is..I'm sorry..reading what you wrote I could practically "hear" the kids screaming and I almost started crying myself!!! ~Yaira