Monday, October 19, 2009

Is it still a vacation if you brought a 4-year-old along?

Day three of the vacation! The flights out to Oklahoma were mostly uneventful. The most challenging part was hauling two suitcases, a car seat, and a carry-on, a feat which is not possible in one trip. Several times I had to abandon one suitcase momentarily - I feared the Homeland Security or TSA people would haul me off in handcuffs at any moment. We needed to catch the shuttle from the long-term parking to the terminal, and I thought maybe the shuttle bus driver would help me with the luggage. She was on the phone (and showed no signs of getting off), so a fellow traveler took pity on me. The kid's Spongebob carry-on is a duffel bag on wheels, so she gamely pulled it across parking lots and airports.

I only yelled at her twice. She had the window seat and could not stop pulling the shade up and then slamming it down. I threatened her with time-out, though I really don't think an airplane has any time-out corners to speak of. I think she knew that as well.

When we got to Oklahoma City, I rented a luggage cart and headed to the rental car counter. By then, I had decided to see about an upgrade. I had reserved a compact car, but I realized there was no way my sister and I could fit three car seats in the back of a compact car if we wanted to go somewhere. The guy was very friendly and called out to the lot to see what was available. I heard him say something about a "Grand Marquis" and my heart sank a little. Then the lot reported that "the red one is dirty." "Whew, dodged that bullet!" I thought to myself. Then the agent turned back to me, "Okay, we have a white Mercury Grand Marquis for you." I smiled wanly and thanked him. Great, an old lady car.

On a side note, there was a middle-aged couple pitching a small fit at the rental car counter. They wanted to pay for their rental car in cash. I don't know if they didn't have a credit card or just didn't want to use one for some reason, but I was baffled either way. I couldn't believe they expected Enterprise to hand over a car without guaranteeing it with a credit card. Enterprise couldn't believe it either, which is why they politely said, "Try Avis." After they left (carless), I asked the rental agent if that happens a lot and he said, "Sometimes. You wouldn't think people would carry on in an airport, but they do. They cry, they stomp their feet, you name it."

I hauled the luggage cart out to the lot to pick up the oldladymobile. It is a brand new car with only 2,000 miles. It is the equivalent of driving an aircraft carrier. Now, you may be thinking, "What is she getting all hoity-toity about? She drives a mini-van." Well, a mini-van actually handles better, believe it or not. And the fact that it's white just adds insult to injury. When I got on the highway, my car was perceived just as I knew it would be. When other drivers spot this white behemoth, they will pass it even it the Grand Marquis is doing Warp 3. The assumption is that the driver is a member of the AARP and she must be passed. Oy, my pride.

The kid and I arrived at my mom's house about an hour later. A proceeded to chase my mom's multitude of cats around the house. My mom also has four chickens, Clark, Carol, Renee, and Vincent. The ladies lay eggs about the size of a large walnut. I'm not sure if they will get bigger over time or if my mom will always need 17 of them in order to make herself an omelet.

The three of us went shopping for groceries and other supplies, whereupon the kid quickly conned her Meemaw into purchasing a Strawberry Shortcake playset. I'll tell ya, that woman was not so putty-like thirty years ago. I had to throw tantrums the old-fashioned way just to get a bag of M&M's at the check-out.

On Sunday we drove to a hotel to attend my nephew's first birthday party. A had fun playing with her cousins. She is less jealous of them than she was last year. The very first time she met her two-year-old cousin, she threw all of his toys down the stairs. Ah, cousinly love. Today, we are headed to my sister's house, AKA "Dammit Farms."


My nephew, doing unspeakable things to baked goods.

2 comments:

Rachel said...

Hey old lady! You crack me up! MIss ya, have fun with your mom and sis. Please tell sis the boys are beautiful and tell them I said hi. Oddly, my captcha is matur.

Laurel said...

I know all about the boat that is a Grand Marquis. My husband has a '96 and I hate even pulling it out of the driveway to park on the street. It's so huge I keep missing the curb! But Chubs fits in the backseat a lot better than in my Corolla.