With another trip to California under our belts, the last week has been on the arduous side - and obviously the last thing on my list has been blogging. Now that we're back in NYC, I'm anxious to return to semi-regular posting.
By way of catching up: We flew to LA on Valentines Day (via Philadelphia - I know, because it's SO on the way! Can someone tell me why trips with connecting flights always cost less but end up flying you further and on more planes?) It was during this leg of our journey that I discovered that when traveling from coast to coast with a baby, one should always fly direct so as to avoid layovers. Usually layovers involve several things that are good to skip: running to gate with baby, waiting at gate with baby, extra takeoffs and landings with baby.
When we arrived at LAX we discovered reason #2 to avoid the out-of-the-way connecting flights: sometimes, somewhere along the way, if the airline decides that one of your planes is too heavy they can just ditch your checked luggage at a random airport! The way that this brilliant scheme works out is that you arrive at your final destination and none of the employees there have any idea where your bag is. It is not "in the system." One of the most exciting aspects of traveling cross-country with an infant is having your suitcase full of all your stuff LOST. Just lovely. And I assure you, those airline people were just falling over themselves to make this regrettable situation right. Ha ha ha ha ha ha. (Oh, I'm sorry, it's just that that line is the funniest thing I've ever typed!)
Leaving the airport sans bag was depressing, let me tell you. But by the time we picked up the rental car and fastened poor Kiddo into the dreaded car seat those worries seemed like a distant memory. You see, Kiddo has a nemesis and that nemesis is the car seat. He hates it. Usually he's very brave and goes in without much ado but after a short while he decides that his confinement is akin to torture and no amount of soothing, cajoling, singing, entertaining by yours truly will turn that freight train of sadness around. In the past we've always just pulled the car over if it gets too hard for him and I'll nurse him and hold him until he's calm and we can try again. But on this particular evening we were in LA, dealing with insane rush hour LA traffic, and we were completely exhausted, and with every fiber of our beings we just wanted to get to our destination. And so we powered through the relentless tears, with me holding the Kiddo's hand, and stroking his little tear-strewn cheek, and assuring him that everything would be alright. After what seemed like forever (but was probably only five minutes) he fell asleep. Pathetically, the rest of the drive was punctuated by heartbreaking post-sob hiccups and gasps.
Finally we arrived at our destination, which was our friends house in West Hollywood. T and C go waaaaay back and we were looking forward to a couple of days of reminiscing about T's dad and the old days at Living Stage. Famished, we devoured a delicious meal and after visiting for a while retired to the guest air mattress. (One thing about not having your suitcase is that you can just flop down on the bed fully dressed without having to brush or floss or wash your face! Who would want to bother with such trifles after a long travel day anyway?)
Cut to: two hours later. I awake, consumed by a sudden wave of nausea. I rush to the bathroom and thus begins a night of experiences that are best left undescribed. Suffice it to say that I have never been sicker. About an hour into my um, shall we say, puke party, T came down with the same symptoms. It was kind of amazing. I would return from the bathroom, collapse onto the bed, use my one molecule of energy to start nursing the rooting Kiddo, and T would jump up to take his turn praying to the porcelain goddess. Repeat. All night. The festivities were interrupted at 4:30 am with the arrival of our suitcase (the delivery guy actually had the nerve to ring the doorbell at that hour, can you believe!) Despite the aggravation, never before has a toothbrush been so eagerly reclaimed.
So, the night was pure misery. The Kiddo however, thank God, was fine. So fine that come daybreak he seemed to have extra reserves of energy. As if I had had Red Bull coming out of my boobs all night. There we were, both of us parents completely incapacitated by the stomach bug of the century, with our eight-month-old frolicking gaily about the room - and of course heading at breakneck crawling speed straight for all the Objects of Danger: electrical cords and outlets, breakable glass curios, audio-video equipment. It was at this juncture that I decided to make use of the giant TV in the room. I actually called out weakly to C, "C, can you turn on this giant TV so I can stick my child in front of it?" And hence, my ideals were disposed with as quickly as my dinner.
We spent all day Friday in much the same condition. So weak, so sick, so helpless-feeling. Meanwhile T was doubly depressed because he had so looked forward to spending time with C and using the visit as a way to look back and remember the good times with his dad. Now we had to stay as far away from our hosts as possible for fear of spreading our cooties. Bless C's heart, he babysat the Kiddo that afternoon so we could get some rest.
By Saturday morning we were regaining our strength, but it was time to leave (we had planned to meet T's brother, sister and stepmother in La Jolla that afternoon for the ceremony). Summoning all our energy we loaded ourselves back into the car and headed out of LA. In a delightful twist (thank you, Universe, for throwing us a bone!) the Kiddo slept almost the entire 3.5 hour trip and all car seat meltdowns were averted.
The ceremony was perfect and simple and beautiful and very healing. The tide was coming in and waves were as high as I've ever seen them - positively breathtaking. Together, we watched the sunset.
Over the next couple of days our health fluctuated, but essentially T and I were inching back to normality. We had all but decided that our sickness must have been some kind of food poisoning until...the Kiddo got sick.
It was horrible, but thank goodness it was short-lived. He basically spent one night with the same exact symptoms we had had and then he bounced back.
By Monday morning I was about as bedraggled as I've ever felt. The desire to be home was overpowering. The desire to fly direct was overpowering. And so my dear husband booked a new (direct!) return flight on a different airline and we chalked the loss up to experience. The next day we came home.
I've never been so happy to see it!