So we set off this week on our first (ever) family vacation. The day included three airports, seven TSA agent, a frightened rental car company employee, two small children, a confused airline employee, a sedated husband and a partridge in a pear tree (just kidding, no birds were harmed during our travel.) We made it to South Dakota!
Twenty-two hours after I left my house, I crawled into bed exhausted. Utterly, indescribably, exhausted. Vacations aren’t for moms, in case you were wondering. Vacations are where moms pretend they are having fun while they give their children the opportunities to see and do amazing new things, like visit Mt. Rushmore and have tantrums in Wall Drug.
First of all packing for 4 people is MUCH more challenging than packing for one. Especially when you discover that eight of the twelve brand new pairs of undies you got your son are missing. (Seriously, I went to pack and he only had 4 pairs. …this is why you start packing at least two days before!) After solving the underoo crisis I still managed to forget toothbrushes. We bought new ones, and told the kids they were souvenirs from South Dakota. (Parenting WIN!)
Luckily where we are staying has a washer and dryer, so I didn’t have to pack a whole week’s worth of clothing. Two large duffles, three backpacks, and a purse were enough to juggle. Made the kids carry their booster seats-much to their dismay! Thankfully only had to carry our gear to the curb where TSA met us and took over the duffles and one of the backpacks. (Bless them!)
Ticketing and security were un-eventful, with the airline being shockingly efficient for 0400! Security sent us through the front of the line, which still took us forever removing belts and shoes, and laptops and liquids…
I am amused by the fact that other travelers stare at us. Surrounded by a pack of TSA agents, they can’t seem to determine if we are terrorists or VIP’s. It can be humorous to watch their faces as we go by, not sure if they should run or ask for an autograph.
Upon arrival in Rapid City (which has the best TSA guys evaaaar!) we checked out our rental car. The nice girl at the ticket counter was very helpful until she noticed the pack of agents surrounding us, then she got nervous and flustered, as if she couldn’t decide whether or not she should ask why we were being escorted off the property by security. It all worked out in the end and we drove off in our new Ford Escape for the week.
Our leased vacation home from Black Hills Executive Lodging is unbelievably elegant! (another post to come on that!) There was even a lovely fruit basket waiting for my famished children when we checked in. The ladies who manage it are also extremely helpful, offering insider tips for visiting the area.
Off on more adventures today, with a boy who is adamant that he does NOT want to wear pants (or shorts), and the charming British man that lives in the GPS I rented.