We recently took a trip out west to Colorado to enjoy skiing the beautiful Rocky Mountains. They’re a favorite place of mine to visit and stare at since it looks like a postcard every way you turn. I was so excited to take our son because well, it’s Colorado and a vacation with the family!
Our travels bring a list of things I can share with you. This is not a blog about “travel tips” per say, but more of a relation to not sweating the small stuff. At the time, they weren’t small, but looking back on them as I write this, they were.
I plan. We’ve determined that in other blogs I have written. This past year I have become much more lax in that regard and simply am learning to go with the flow of things the best I can without being hypersensitive to planning every single detail because realistically, it was messing with my anxiety and I could not continue to live like that.
Well, that caused some turmoil for our tip. Whoops.
Let’s start at the beginning. My best friend met us to take us to the airport and drop us off with all of our luggage. I stuffed my rear end in the back seat with my kid and all our crap while we drove out. I was so confident we had all that we needed for this trip and we were ready to go.
Meanwhile, I was panicking inside since the night before because of all these mask rules still and my son is 2 years old, meaning he’s legally required to wear one in airports. This was also a 4-hour flight for us and I was concerned about how well he would do.
We had practiced wearing a mask at home the week before and talked about how we would wear it. He is a great kid when we give him prep time for anything. If we don’t spring anything on him, he’s game for it!
We hop out of the car at the curbside check in and begin to gather out stuff. That’s when my husband and I realize we forgot my son’s winter jacket. In the middle of January, on our way to Colorado for a ski trip. I forgot his winter coat.
We had both assumed the other had grabbed it on our way out of the house. He was dressed in a t shirt and a warm zip up sweatshirt for the flight as we did for ourselves too. He wasn’t naked.
It gets better.
As I begin to check us in curbside, the employee asks, “how old is he?” I tell him he is two. Panic comes over his face for us. My dumbass failed to understand he rules of the “magic of 2” for flights. He was required to have a seat and my understanding was that he could still be a lap kid on the flight.
That whole “go with the flow” attitude just bit me in the ass. I booked these tickets months ago assuming it was all ready to go!
My poor husband was already stressed about the coat, and I see his face shift from calm to “oh, shit” as I watched him peel his layers off from sweating. I was now sweating and panicking even more inside, hiding it from him and my son trying to keep things calm like I have control of the situation.
Fast forward a touch and we had the kindest employee inside at the ticket counter help us. He was able to book him a ticket and match our price, so we were not gauged for an honest mistake. I am so very thankful for his patience and kindness in that moment! He was a dad himself and was so understanding with us. I’ll be forever thankful for his calmness and helping us out at that moment!
Now we get into line for the security checkpoint. My son is rocking his cute dinosaur mask like a champ. As we get closer my husband and I pull out our boarding passes and our IDs. My husband freaks out looking for his driver’s license. *face palm*
Here is where some of my overprepared-ness did come into play! I always pack our passports for travel in fear of needing them. I looked at him and told him calmy, “I have the passports, it’s fine.”
He continues to freak out on where his ID is. Finally, he finds it. Somehow, he tucked it in behind another card that he has never put it behind before. Either way, it was all good.
We are three for three on issues and not even to our terminal. However, that was the end of them!
A refreshing moment while all of this was happening was when a mom and her young son were ahead of us. My son and hers became quick friends over what he was watching on the tablet. It was a cute and quick friendship that helped them both go through security easily. They were also on our flight when we had passed her and she offered me a kind, “good luck!” for the flight.
We survived the airport and flight with no major issues at all. In fact, he did amazing on the flight! The best part of the day was when we arrived at my friend’s home and enjoyed a beer after that anxiety driven day, celebrating that we made it.
Now I have no real fun stories during the week in Colorado to offer. The trip was great. We all enjoyed our time out there making memories and skiing the beautiful mountains. We had even purchased a new coat my son absolutely loves at Walmart that he’ll probably fit into next winter.
The next story again comes during the travel part!
We had packed up with my parents in their rental car and stuffed all of us into it to begin our excursion back to Denver for our flight. My son had his chocolate milk and asked to watch his tablet. It was a 2 hour drive, so no problem!
Well, we have a tablet holder in our car at home that holds it to the headrest, so he is looking up at it and not down. Apparently, he gets car sick looking down. We never knew until this drive.
Picture this, the back seat was me, my mom and my son in that order in the car. As I’m talking to her, looking at her in the direction of my kid, I see everything unfold in slow motion.
Vomit projects from him and goes everywhere. He has not spit up since he was an infant. Honest.
He begins to freak out because it scared him. My husband was driving and he is trying to find a safe place to pull over on the highway. My mom and I begin looking all over the tightly packed car for anything to help us begin cleaning up. I’m hopping out of the car as he is still coming to a stop to get to the other side to begin consoling my kid.
Here is where I wish we had video surveillance of the situation unfold.
My dad was not sure what to do or where to go as we all began to scramble. I had only asked him to open all the windows because I started gagging from the smell of rotten milk puke. My husband quickly finds new clothes in the trunk for my son. My mom is pulling out wet wipes to begin cleaning up. I am unclipping my son and getting him out of the car. We stripped him as quickly as we could and put new clothes on him.
We must have gone through a half pack of wet wipes cleaning the car. To boot, this was a rental. It was everywhere!
In a matter of less than 10 minutes, we had this whole situation under control. I had placed my son in the front passenger seat for a few minutes too while my mom and I had finished finding what we could to clean up the rest. Realistically, there is only so much you can do on the side of a highway, in a rental car, with wet wipes to clean a car.
I had to sit next to him the rest of our drive so he would remain calm because he was pretty scared from what had happened. I mean, I dislike puking more than anything and it hasn’t happened to him in a long while! But we made it without any other issues. We found a great restaurant in Denver to enjoy lunch at and all settle again.
Our flight home was uneventful but perfect for our little guy. We made it home safely and all in one piece!
The moral to this entire blog is simply that, shit happens. Planning or not, you have to roll with the punches thrown at you as a parent. I’m not even telling you to remain calm because well, I didn’t for that last event on our trip and yet we made it out fine!
They’re all memories in our minds that we can finally laugh about. Every moment is not the best but, they’re moments we make it through!
If they didn’t happen, our vacation wouldn’t have been nearly as eventful! I wouldn’t have anything to tell you other that was worth of being told in this blog. It would have sounded like an Instagram post of perfect pictures not showing the reality of traveling on a family vacation!
What fun is that?!