Home Sweet Home

The kids and I went to Grandma’s house in Missouri a few days after our return from paradise. After chilling by turquoise Caribbean ocean waters, you may think that the kids would feel a little let down by a trip to Missouri. But you would be wrong. Because:

1. This is a bakery in Missouri:
Candy
Why, yes, that is an entire aisle of bulk candy. On sale. The “bakery” had sugary versions of things that should not be candy, including candied veggie fries, gummy fried eggs, sour bone-shaped candy, and chocolate life-sized fish. My son is a blur in that picture because his pancreas is trying to jump out of his body.

2. This is what happens when you go fishing in Missouri:
Catfish2
That is a toddler-sized, barking catfish that was 2 feet long and weighed 30 pounds. For all you city folk, catfish do not live on land or fall from the sky. OH no. I caught that thing from a lake with a line, a pole, and a whole truckload of gumption. In all my years on the East Coast, I have never caught a catfish like that. I have also never tried, but that is really not the point.

3. These are some wardrobe choices in Missouri:
Wiener Dog
Missouri summers can be brutal. When it is 104 degrees with 4,000% humidity, wearing clothing of any kind is awful — why not wear something hilarious? That way, the people walking by (who are likely experiencing heat exhaustion, and may be slipping in to some sort of diabetic coma after grabbing breakfast at the “bakery”) can get a little chuckle on their way to the ER.

4. And finally, there is really good ice cream everywhere in Missouri. And our super awesome Grandma took us to all the best ice cream spots.
Central Dairy

On the plane heading home, the kids said they liked Grandma’s house better than the Caribbean. And once Grandma stocks up on some rum punch and has an ocean view, I will totally agree with them.

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I Believe I Can Fly

I took a little blogging break. Did you miss me? Well, I am sorry, but I did not miss you, because this was happening. TO ME:
DSC_0922

And this:
DSC_1076
And a little of this:
DSC_0946

We were in the Caribbean and it was perfect. My kids snorkeled in the ocean, the hubz and I fell off paddleboards paddleboarded, and we crammed about forty years of sun exposure into ten amazing days. We also enjoyed the local drinks cuisine. Here is a picture of my husband telling some local men how much rum punch I drank at lunch one day:
RumPunch

Our travel day home was not perfect, though. I’m talking mechanical problems, a missed connection, a screwed up re-booking, and getting home after midnight with two delirious kids. Which got me to thinking: you know all those tips and suggestions people give you for flying with kids? Like, “Bring earplugs for the people seated next to you on the plane while traveling with your infant.” And, “Take the red-eye so your kid will sleep.” And, “Buy these overpriced and difficult-to-use gadgets and you’ll be able to change your baby’s diaper in an airplane bathroom with only your mind.” Well, those are completely useless. Here is the only list you will ever need.

Mama, Esq.’s Tips for Flying With Kids
1. When planning your trip, ask yourself: who will watch the kids while I go on this trip without them?
2. If you are definitely going to fly with your kids, then go have a drink and get the fuck ready.
3. Seriously, just fly by yourself and meet everyone at your final destination. Preferably after you’ve had a chance to explore the local spas.
4. OK, so let’s do this thing. Wait, you said you’re planning on bringing one bag? Well aren’t you precious. Just go ahead and make it eight, and budget around $400 for baggage fees.
5. Do not let your plane’s mechanical problems make you miss your connecting flight, because that is totally under your control.
6. When your travel day does not go as planned, try going balls-out crazy at everyone around you. I’m talking yelling, and making empty threats, and foaming at the mouth, and tossing papers around. This helpful tip was provided by the angry man in front of me in the re-booking line.
7. If an airline representative dismissively tells you to file a formal complaint with the airline “to help make his life easier,” remember: it is probably better to choke down your anger and get an ulcer than to explain to your 4-year-old why mommy dropped an F-bomb at a pleasant-sounding stranger. Probably.
8. When you realize an hour later that the same airline representative screwed up your re-booking, just go ahead and drop that F-bomb. It’s probably better your kids hear it from you first than from some little punk at preschool. Probably.
9. Don’t forget to enjoy the magical wonder of flight with your children. You may want to celebrate this magical wonder with several cocktails and/or an Ambien.

Safe travels!