A Trip to Denver: Close Family Style

We recently made a trip to Denver, Colorado to witness my brother-in-law get married to an awesome girl. While I really don't want to say that the trip was awful, it certainly didn't go according to plans. Of course, we've come to terms that nothing we ever do goes according to plans.

Putting in a new sink faucet? That'll be six trips to Home Depot for parts.
Installing new floors and want to do it in the three weeks that you have off from work? That'll be five weeks (although the quarter round still isn't painted...four years later).
Changing out the brakes on my car? That'll be four hours and a few choice words to get that one stubborn part off the car.
Got a new quilting frame and you're super stoked about using it? That'll be a month until the company sends you the correct bolt that keeps the platform from bouncing causing your thread to break every three seconds.
Going to take an anniversary trip to St. Augustine? That'll be torrential rains that they haven't seen in years and only one $20 umbrella left in town.

So...you get the idea, yes?

While I'd love to say that we planned out all the details beforehand...we didn't. We ordered our plane tickets, booked a rental car, and reserved the hotel room about three to four weeks before the actual trip. That night ended with me telling Ryan, "You know what? I'm stressed out, you're not helping, so I'm going to bed. You figure the rest out." Wife of the year, right? We finished packing the night before, and my mom picked us up early on Thursday morning for our flight. On the way to the airport she said, "You know, I think packing is the worst part of a trip. It's awful. Y'all just think...the worst part is over!" (really, I think she was just trying to calm us (read: Ryan) down) Ryan then said, "Nope...no...I think the worst is yet to come."

Doom, Doom, DOOM!!!

Our flight out of PC was a little delayed, but not too terribly bad. Lane did fairly well. He was super intrigued with the tray (up, down, up, down, up, down) and only kicked the seat in front of us a little bit. We flew to Atlanta and had to speed walk to grab a sandwich and make it to our next flight. I hate doing this. I hate flying and in order to keep from freaking out I usually have to psych myself up for it, calm down, and pray. Seriously, I do some serious pleading with God on planes. My prayers sound something like a third grader's..."Please God. Please. Please, please, please. Get us there safely. Keep that pilot alert. Please make it smooth. Please keep me safe. Please keep the birds away." We ran up to board the Atlanta plane with our two airport deli sandwiches (whopping total of $18...with no drink or chips). As we're walking down the aisle, I see our two seats and see the pregnant girl sitting in the aisle seat. She makes eye contact with me and I say, "Yep...you're the lucky one." She was awesome, though. She played with Lane, let him throw his backpack puppy all over the place, laughed at him, and never had a bad comment. Even when he was sick of that plane and wanted to let everyone know. Even when the plane was landing in stupid-crazy windy conditions and she and I were both getting motion sick...she cringed with me. Wherever you are...girl, you're going to be a great mom.

We land in Denver, finally get off the plane, find our luggage, and make it to the rental car place. We get out to the car lot and because they're running short of the mid sized vehicles like we reserved, we get a free upgrade to a pickup...almost exactly what Ryan drives at home, only newer. Awesomeness. We hop in and head for our hotel. We're here. We've made it. It's going to be an awesome trip.

We wake up at 11:30 to Lane puking in his crib.

Apparently we weren't thinking when we gave Lane his antibiotic on a half empty stomach and it's really throwing him for a loop. We get him up, change his clothes, and ask the front desk for a clean sheet. After 20 minutes, he pukes again. I end up sitting in the bathroom on a small cooler lent by Ryan's aunt and uncle. Lane continues throwing up about every 15-20 minutes. Once there's nothing left, he dry heaves, and cries and cries, and cries. At one point he gets his chin and nose stuck on the paper cup I've given him to throw up in...which results in more crying (and me giggling a little bit because it reminds me of a puppy with a cup stuck on its face). My poor baby. More pleading prayers start up and after two hours, the throwing up stops and we wait another 30 minutes to make sure. Around 1:30 we crawl back to bed...at which time I tell Ryan, "I'm really glad we had that cooler...but my butt's cold from sitting on it for an hour."

Friday we get up and take it easy. Lane gets to coughing and throws up all over my bed (yes...my bed. Since we booked the room so late, all the rooms with king size beds were taken and they only had a room with two doubles...and since we're so used to the king size bed at home, it's just better for everyone involved if we each sleep in a bed. Trust me on this.). We eat the free breakfast and discover that this hotel has an unnatural gift at making all the 'hot items' turn cold within 3.6 seconds. The 'hot buffet' contains cold hash browns and lukewarm sausage. The coffee comes out steaming but is cold by the time you stir in your creamer. By the second day, Ryan makes a waffle, runs to the table, and starts spreading butter on it. Then I hear, "Dang. It's already cold." If you think I'm exaggerating...you're wrong. On the up-side, it becomes great conversation over breakfast each morning. After visiting with all the family that's made it down already, Ryan and I head to Target for laundry detergent...because I'm not all that keen on smelling puke-y clothes for a week.

That afternoon we go to the Denver Zoo. We walk right up to the lion exhibit and the male is trying to 'play' with the female (if you get what I mean...har har har). She swats him off and walks away (I hear ya, girl. I hear ya.). The male then stands there and roars 10-15 times. Now let me tell you, I realize I haven't been to a zoo in years, but hearing that lion roar was seriously impressive. I held Lane up so he could see and hear it. I asked him, "What is that lion saying?" He roars for me. The lion would roar, then Lane would roar. Honestly? Best moment of the day. We continue to make our rounds in the zoo. This place is huge. We were only there for the afternoon and only saw about a third of it...but it was awesome. Lane was engaged for only parts of it, but Ryan and I were completely taken away with everything. It really made me realize how creative God was when he created all the animals. No wonder He rested on the seventh day! I'd be wiped out, too!

Saturday we pretty much just hang out and let everyone finish the wedding details. We head to the mall and walk around for a while. That evening we have the rehearsal dinner at this nifty Italian buffet place. Only...it's not a typical 'Chow Time' buffet. The food is amazing and they cook it all right there where it's served. It's also the night of the Homecoming dance. We notice this right away when we see all the young girls wearing dresses that they've apparently had since they were playing with dolls. My to-be SIL says, "You know...when I was in high school, I wore long dresses. I mean...long ones. At least past my butt." (Don't you just love her?) We stuff ourselves with all the wonderfully rich food and head back to the hotel.

I wake up the next morning (WEDDING DAY) with nausea approximately equal to morning sickness. I know I'm not pregnant (no comments!) so I begin more pleading prayers that this isn't a stomach bug. Thankfully, it is only due to the rich, buttery food from the night before. We'd planned on going to this huge flea market and while I really feel awful, I decide to go in hopes that the fresh air will do me good.

It doesn't.

I forgot about the funnel cake and corn dog booths.

After nap time, Ryan begins to get dressed for the wedding. The wedding is at 7:00 and he needs to be downstairs by 4:45 to head to the wedding ceremony location. He leaves and I get myself and Lane dressed and ready. While changing his diaper, he pees all over my bed and sheets. (There's something about my bed...) We head to the ceremony and I make sure to plan out an escape path in case Lane starts 'protesting' during the ceremony. Because it's so cold (did I mention that we arrived when it was 70 degrees and woke up the next morning to 31 degrees and RAIN?!?!?!) my awesome to-be SIL decides to move the wedding indoors. Bless. Her. Soul.

The ceremony starts, the bridesmaids walk down, my SIL walks down, and we all pray. And Lane decides he's tired of sitting in my lap. I try to tell him to be quiet and he tells me to stick it. At least...that's what I translated. I grab him and his bottle and make a beeline for our escape route. We sit in the lobby where he sucks down the bottle, throws it down, flips over on me, and goes to sleep.

It's then I realize that he's running a fever.

The wedding ceremony is soon over and Ryan comes out to check on us. We soon decide that Lane probably needs some meds and sleep. He's had drainage for a few days, but it's getting progressively worse (and green). So picture it...I'm in a great looking purple dress (I have to admit...I did find a great dress) and tall shoes (taller than I have worn since a particular friend's wedding...you know who you are) pushing a sick boy in a buggy through a Super Target in search of items to fix our 'emergency situation'. We get to the room, change into sweats, and celebrate the wedding by sharing a True Moo and a box of Kix for supper. Mom of the Year, yes?

The next morning Lane's fever is gone and he's feeling just as spunky as can be. We hang out at the hotel, hit a few stores to pass time, and begin packing for our trip home.

Tuesday morning we get up and drop off the truck and make it to the airport. They test Lane's bottle (while he's screaming for it) and his Benadryl. And I have to say, the TSA guys are really very nice about everything. I forgot about two cokes in my bag and he had to pull them out. I kept apologizing about the drinks and he assured me it was no big deal and that I had enough on my mind with Lane. It's so funny how you're not doing anything wrong and yet you're so afraid that they'll think you're doing something wrong so you almost become Chunk from the Goonies and pour out your life story in hopes of proving yourself innocent even though you really are innocent from the get-go.

We make it to our gate and soon learn the flight is delayed. Ryan starts freaking. I tell him to calm down, that everything's going to be fine, and it will all work out just fine.

Then they say the flight's been cancelled.

See, we purposefully booked our flight times to coincide with Lane's normal nap times. Instead, Lane and I ride the moving walkway while Ryan works to get us home. He finally flags me over and says, "We aren't getting home today." The lady explains that they can put us in a room tonight and we can fly out tomorrow or we can fly to Atlanta this afternoon and try to get a seat on a flight to PC...but all the flights are already full, so there's really no guarantee. After scratching our heads we ask her to try Fort Walton airport. There are two seats left. The flight lands at 9:15 pm. Lovely.

We finally get out of Denver at 2:15 pm (only took six trips back and forth on the moving walkway to get Lane to sleep) and Lane sleeps most of the way. Little do I realize that his diaper is leaking ALL OVER US and when he wakes up, he SCREAMS for the entire descent. We arrive in Atlanta, find our gate, hit every shop we see looking for baby clothes (we valet checked our carry-on that contained Lane's extra clothes...DOH!)...and find none. I finally decide that I don't care about the stares and strip him of his pee-pee clothes and put on his little jacket. He walks around in his socks, tennis shoes, and a sweat jacket. I catch a business-y man looking at Lane and then at me and I tell him in an 'I might just lose on you, buddy' kind of tone, "Don't ask. And don't judge. It's hasn't been a great day." He smiles and says, "Don't worry...I've been there." Bless him.

We get on the plane (what my mom would call a puddle jumper) and Lane starts screaming (and yeah...screaming). He doesn't stop until we're off the plane in Fort Walton. I apologize to everyone on the plane. Some of them are super nice and tell me not to worry about it...others just walk by massaging their temples. Ryan finds our luggage, but apparently the baggage claim folks are taking part in Energy Conservation Month and as soon as the last piece of luggage (ours) hits the belt, they turn it off. Ryan's standing there with a 'seriously?' look on his face. My parents show up to get us and we head for the house.

It's 9:45 pm.

We're about 20 minutes from the house and Lane decides he's had enough and starts crying. He cries the whole way home, into the house, through the clothing change, and even through the bottle pour. We finally put him in the crib and he balls up and...sighs...and then goes to sleep.

It's 11:30, we say thanks and goodbye to my parents, and turn around to survey our living room. It looks like it threw up a trip to the vacation buffet and we don't even care. We try to find the mail that came while we were gone and realize that we have two packages that also arrived.

One is the box of diapers I order every month from Amazon.

The other is the portable DVD player we ordered for our trip.


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