Friday, January 4, 2013

When Things Go Differently Than Planned, or How I Spent Our Christmas Vacation

No road trip is complete without a few mishaps or, rather, opportunities to tell a fine story someday. What vacation would be interesting without discovering a foot in a river while canoeing, finding the last open road home through a major winter storm, going out in the ocean during a storm in a dugout boat, or getting sick or injured while in another country? Vacations are life on steroids. Everything is felt more acutely, the good and the bad. This trip was no exception.

We planned to spend Christmas with Grandson at home and leave a couple of days later for Oregon. Unfortunately, Grandson got the stomach flu and we weren't able to see him. But on the day we had planned to travel, and also the whole week we were there, the weather cooperated. If we had planned to leave earlier, we would have had to contend with snow on the passes. Instead, we had clear roads.

The youngest kids behaved beautifully at times, but they also had meltdowns. I had meltdowns. I couldn't visit old friends and one of my nieces because Ms. D and Mr. I were so dysregulated. But on the other hand, I was able to slow down and enjoy the quiet of the berry farm.

I also got to have a nice dinner with my mom, visit with Hubby's family, and see one of my sisters at her work. My sister is a hair artist. She colored and cut my hair like no one has ever been able to do. I love it! The kids love having their hair done too, though Mr. I did get a bit bored near the end.

The kids managed to ditch us at the zoo, but we found them just in time to see the new baby elephant before they closed the doors for the day. Baby Lily was adorable, all three hundred pounds of her! She loved to run this way and that to play, and then back to her mom for a bit. She was quite attached to her mother, coming back for reassurance and then off to explore the world. If only my younger kids were that well adjusted!

We were all too tired on New Year's Eve to celebrate and the kids needed some down time to decompress after the zoo. But Hubby's sister and her family came the next day to the farm. We set off fireworks a day late, but they were just as good. Mr. I had even more fun, since he was able to drive the tractor, with a few people riding on the back, after dark to the back field.

I missed out on going to the mountains to play in the snow, because two certain young people decided to be at their worst behavior the night before we were to go. But the snow fell one morning at the farm. I was able to catch snowflakes with my tongue. Ms. D's friend and one of my daughters in law were able to see snow falling for the first time in their lives. Yes, there are people from California who only have seen snow on the ground in the mountains! This is so strange to me, a Midwestern raised girl!

 We were also able to stop on the pass on the way home. I ran up and sled down the hills like a little kid.

One of our daughters put a foot through our bathroom ceiling just before we left, while getting some suitcases for the kids in the attic. She fortunately didn't hurt herself, and the bathroom ceiling needed some work anyway. This just made it a priority. Today, Hubby got the drywall supplies out, we went to the lumber store for what we didn't have, and he went right to work. He's pretty good at it! I also get a good excuse for painting the room a different color!

So even though a few things didn't go as planned, we really had a good vacation. I think some people would have been upset about some of the things that happened. It really was difficult at times, and we had to be pretty flexible. But the good outweighed the bad by far. It was good to connect as a family, rest, talk, play some card games, eat too much food, and slow things down. And if nothing else, we'll have a few stories to tell each other someday.

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