When we got to the hotel after 9:00, the man at the front desk said the 5:00 AM shuttle was full so we could take the 4:30 or 5:30. We did not want a mad dash to the airport, so we went with the 4:30 option. (I was having flashbacks as I remembered Mr. E having to drive us to the airport, rush back and catch the shuttle during our last international adventure.) The front desk employee said, “So, then. A wake up call at 3:30?” Through gritted teeth, I said, “Yes, please.” He was so stinking cheerful about it.
We got to the room at 9:40. I told the kids that they had 20 minutes to be in bed. Mr. Everything said to forget that. He said they had 10 minutes. Then, we agreed that if they were ready in 10 minutes, we would be thrilled and if they were ready in 20, we’d let them live to see another day. At 10:10, they were ready, and at that point, Mr. E and I started our editing for the day.
As I sat quietly in the dark corner typing, the Goose began to whine. “That’s too loud!” “The clicking is driving me crazy!” By 10:30, she had finally stopped whining after many threats from us and had fallen asleep, sprawled across the bed that I was supposed to share with her. (For our sanity’s sake, we decided that, just for the night, the boys would be in one bed and the girls would be in the other. Otherwise, the fighting would never end.) By 10:45, I had given up on the work and had decided that I would just do it while sitting at the airport at 5:00 the next morning. I went to brush my teeth and came back to find the Beetle face down on the carpet. I told him to get up right then before I beat him (Oh, maybe I should sugar coat that… I nicely and kindly asked him to get up, precious, and go back to bed.) He then huffed and puffed and got back in the bed while mumbling something about sleeping on a board. I told him to suck it up and deal with it. (I’m such a kind and loving mother.) By this point, I was oh-so-looking forward to 3:30 Monday morning.
As promised, the wake up call came at 3:30. I stumbled into the bathroom to take a shower. I thought a hot shower would at least help me open my eyes. What I didn’t know was that the only shower available was lukewarm, and that it would open my eyes even more than a hot one would.
By the time I came out, Mr. Everything looked like he was ready to injure someone. Apparently, the Goose had already cried twice. The Beetle was saying he might as well stay home. Mr. E was wild eye and ready to pounce. I asked what was wrong, and the Beetle informed me that he had swimmer’s ear and his whole trip was ruined. Only my child can get swimmer’s ear from going swimming twice. After pointing out that he could spare the dramatics, I immediately shifted into “Nurse Mom, RN” mode and began brainstorming on how to get rid of swimmer’s ear without antibiotic drops. Mr. E said there would be rubbing alcohol available at the airport, but I insisted that he needed to go to the store. He was really happy about this, as you can imagine. A few minutes later and after I had huffed and said I would just do it myself, Mr. E and the Beetle were headed out the door. They had precisely 20 minutes to find a store, find the supplies and get back. His list was: swimmer’s ear drops, apple cider vinegar, cotton balls and a travel-sized thing of hair mousse (Hey, I figured as long as he was going…).
The Beetle and Mr. E made it back just in time to get downstairs with our luggage, and we were on our way to the airport. The shuttle driver did not speak English, which prevented the whole awkward-chatting thing we usually have to do with the driver on the way to anywhere. He did understand when I asked if there was a business card with the hotel’s phone number on it. At that point, he had the lights in the van on and was swerving on the road while looking for a card. I told him that he could wait until we got there, but he didn’t understand me. He gave me directions for how and who to call when we get back into the country, but I have no idea what he said. Hopefully, we won’t have to walk.
By the way, the Goose has been telling me that she doesn’t like her nickname. She says that Sean from the TV show “Psych” has the same nickname from his mom, and she doesn’t want to be mistaken for a boy, as if that’s a possibility. After the night I had of trying to sleep beside her in her fitful state, I offered to change her nickname to “Flail-erella.” She cried about that.
By the time we found our gate, the Goose had cried 5 times. She moves slowly anyway, but when she is tired, she would lose a footrace to a two-toed sloth. She kept crying that we were leaving her. “No, my precious child,” I sweetly said,” We aren’t leaving you. You just aren’t keeping up.” (Or something to that effect.) When they called for passengers to start getting on the plane, the Goose had trash to throw away. I pointed to a trash can, and she headed that way. We started slowly walking toward the area of the gate. It was just across the floor. We weren’t out of sight, and the terminal was not crowded. She freaked out and said we had left her. I really should get her involved in a drama club. Maybe at another time, I would have been sympathetic, but I’m not very nurturing on 4 hours of interrupted sleep. (Scratch that. I’m not ever nurturing.)
Mr. E, bless his soul, kindly offered to sit between the kids on the first 50 minute flight to Miami. I told him what a wonderful husband he was, and for some reason, he just rolled his eyes. Then, halfway through the flight, I realized that he might have just tricked me into sitting between them on the 3 hour flight to Antigua. I had no intention of letting that happen. Fool me once, shame on you…You know the rest.
In Miami, we had a 3 hour layover. Have you ever been in an airport with a teen and a preteen for 3 hours? It’s loads of fun. Why, I didn’t even feel like I needed a vacation by the time we left. I will say that the Miami airport was surprisingly free of weirdos. I was disappointed. I wanted something good to write about.
We got on the plane for Antigua, and I weakly offered to sit in the middle seat. Mr. E saw right through it and took his position as head-referee. I guess that’s my payment for writing 2 beastly reports for the vacation my family is about to have. You see, while they are watching TV and relaxing each night, I will be writing about how hot the eggs were at breakfast and how many minutes it took for the water sports guy to greet us. My vacation won’t be quite as relaxing as theirs, so I should at least have a peaceful seat on the plane. (I’m justifying why I should not feel guilty for always sticking my wonderful husband between the two beasts. Just convincing myself here, people…)
After a 3 hour flight, we landed safely in Antigua. (Pronounced “Antig-uh,” as I have now been informed three times by my daughter. Apparently, I’ve been saying it wrong.) Then, we headed to spend 7 nights and 8 glorious days having our needs met promptly and cheerfully by attentive and knowledgeable staff members. (Just practicing for my report.) I must say that I am tremendously blessed to have this opportunity, and I can’t wait to see what the week holds in store for us. I hope the weather’s great, but even if it’s not, who cares? I’m in Antig-uh. -Al