We took our first "real" vacation as a family last week -- "real" meaning we scheduled time off work, instead of rearranging weekend days; we had to organize things like finding a kennel for Gorm and stopping the mail; and we rented a car (Dodge Charger, aw yeah) and got up at 3 in the morning to drive 16 hours with two kids in the car WOO HOO!
Oh, and one of the kids was up at 10:30 the night before with a fever of 103, so I took her to urgent care and we didn't get back home until 1. Because it's not really a good family road trip unless someone gets sick the night before you leave.
Turns out Maia just had a bad ear infection, so after some Tylenol and antibiotic, we were able to hit the road.
We spent almost a week at Fort Robinson, Nebraska, with my parents, my grandparents, Matt's parents, my sister and her family, her mother-in-law, and several friends of my parents. It was great fun. There was horseback riding, swimming, fishing, hiking, lying around and reading, good conversation, and aimless driving. Matt and I took a day trip to Sidney, where some of my first memories were formed. We went to Agate Fossil Beds National Monument, which is an absolute jewel of a place. John and I took a trail ride; Maia rode a pony. Maia learned to blow bubbles in the water, and John went off the diving board. It was a perfect vacation.
As we were driving out, John stretched and said grandly: "I feel like a tourist, drivin' along in this cool car, slumped down reading Treasure Island and listening to this hippie music and three-year-old Maia holding a medical-doctor bear." Ha! The "hippie music" was the White Stripes' "Get Behind Me Satan" (would the White Stripes be as good if Meg White could actually drum? Discuss), and the "medical-doctor bear" was the little toy they gave her in urgent care to make her feel better.
Coming back, as we were trying to pass someone on a backroad and Matt was muttering about old people driving, John said, "Sometimes when you pass an old person you have to be careful because they can turn really quick and pull a dagger on you."
Well, OK then.
Some other funny things happened on this trip; we'll see if I get to them. In any case, we're back.