Funny how things turn out… just as I put up a post about how Mommy B had finished her Master’s work and that she’d have more time on her hands, a month goes by without hearing from us. Well, a lot has happened in that time, including our annual pilgrimage back to Ohio to see Mommy B’s family.
A few months ago, Mommy B and I decided it was high time we took the kids to Ohio when it wasn’t snowing for a change. So as a way to take a “summer vacation” to celebrate Mommy B’s graduation, we decided we would book a flight for the whole family over the Labor Day weekend. It was to be our first airplane ride as an entire family – even though Alli had technically ridden on one when she was not even a year old yet.
One of the disadvantages of flying out of Charleston is that you almost always have to connect through another city to get anywhere. As I began my search online for flights, I was not liking what I was seeing. Hour flight to Charlotte, 2 hour layover, 2 hour flight to Dayton… Hour and a half to Baltimore, hour and a half layover, another hour to Columbus. You get the idea. Not to mention that no matter where we flew into, we’d still have another hour or more driving to Findlay. Once I added everything up, we would be traveling almost as long flying there as if we just packed up and drove it straight through! However, I was determined to make it work in between nap times and all that jazz. I kept searching and searching, and finally came across a direct flight from Charleston to Detroit, which is actually the same distance from Findlay than the other airports. The price for each ticket was about the same – and flight time was only 2 hours. And to sweeten the deal even more, each flight was early enough that we’d reach our destination just in time for naps. Umm, yes and yes… I’ll purchase now, thanks!
The flight to Ohio couldn’t have gone any better. It was early on a Wednesday morning which meant the flight was barely half-full – and we weren’t the only ones on it with small children. The kiddos were so excited to go to the airport in their pajamas, and were even patient going through security. They got to watch as their stuffed animals went through the X-ray scanner, then magically appeared on the other side. I purposefully selected the 4 seats at the back of the plane for both trips, so we let everyone else board first. We figured the least amount of time the kids would be confined to a small space, the better. They loved running down the gangway, and even got to wave to the pilots as we boarded. They loved looking out the window as we took off, seeing the ground zip by then watched in awe as we ascended through the clouds. It was a very cool experience for Mommy B and I – watching them take it all in for the first time. They were absolute angels for the whole ride, thank the lord. We brought lots of snacks and things for them to do in their seats, and before we knew it we were descending into Detroit. We met Grandma C out front and began the trip back to Mommy B’s home town.
After naps that afternoon, we took both kids to the Hancock County Fair. Now, for those of youse not from a small rural town, the County Fair is THE event of the year. I’ve heard Mommy B talk about going to the fair since we started dating 11 years ago, but we had never been in town when it was occurring. So we spent that afternoon hauling the kids around in a wagon as they got to see horses, cows, pigs, hens, roosters, chickens, pet bunny rabbits (after which Alli said she needed one), ate Elephant Ears, rode ponies, sat on tractors, and rode some carnival-type rides. Mommy B even showed off her hidden talent at the Cane Game. If you have to ask what that is, you’re not alone. The kids had a blast, and by the end of the day were totally wiped out. So much so that they didn’t even care about sharing a bedroom!
The next day, we took them back up the road to the Toledo Zoo. This time, Uncle Tom and Grandma Great came with us. We again spent the day looking at animals and goofing around on the play sets. That evening, Grandma and Grandpa Great put the kids to bed for us while Mommy B and I went out for the evening. We spent some time out with Grandma C, then met up with Grandpa Ron for some adult drinks. We warned him that we’d be bringing the kids over the next day to go swimming, just so he’d be ready for the little tornado headed his way! It was good to get out on our own for a little bit and see some family and friends. And the weather was absolutely perfect – as it usually is for about 2 weeks out of the year up there.
On Friday, we went over to Grandpa Ron’s house to let the kiddos swim. They had never been to Ohio when it was warm enough to swim, so we were hoping this would be something fun for them to do. And boy, was it ever! After playing for a little while, Mommy B headed to Dayton to meet up with her best friend Jamie. I spent the rest of the afternoon splashing in the pond with the kids and riding them around on the tractor. After dinner it was more quality time wrestling in the living room with Grandpa Ron. They had such a fun time – lots of giggles and laughs had by all. By the time I got them home and in bed, they were wiped out once again.
Saturday was spent hanging out with family. Everyone came over to Grandma C’s house to play with the kids and have a good ol’ fashioned family cookout. The kids had fun spraying the hose at passers-by, and splashing around in two small baby pools we had filled up for them. Everyone got their turn playing with them and getting soaked by their little squirt guns. Mommy B and I took turns taking pictures in between scarfing some delicious corn on the cob. I love you South Carolina, but you just can’t compare to Ohio’s corn. The kids loved seeing everyone and loved all the attention from family members… it warmed my heart to see them smile so much.
Sunday was spent relaxing and a couple more visits from friends, followed by lots of laundry and packing everything up for the trip home. We made one more stop at the County Fair, at which point Aiden decided he wanted to ride the ponies too. The next morning we made the trek back up to Detroit and made the 2-hour flight back to Charleston. That was after Mommy B’s hand got swabbed and she was flagged by security. So there I was, standing in the middle of Detroit International Airport security lines with all our bags and two kids who wanted to know why Mommy had to go with security and they couldn’t go with her. Off she went into the private room for an extra pat down and for TSA to rummage through her bags. Good thing too, they almost let a terrorist onto the plane armed with a debit card and coloring books!
I knew we were really headed home when the pilot came over the speakers and said, “Local time is 9:50am in Charleston and it’s currently 90 degrees. We should be there in just under two hours.” 90 degrees already, eh? Yeah, it was only September 1st. The kids were a little less impressed with the flight home, but still did amazing. We made it home safe and the kids immediately jumped into bed to take a nap. It had been a fun trip, and they were excited to get back into their own house and back into their own beds. Things couldn’t have worked out any better, which was shocking given the last few times we’ve flown anywhere.
Except for a few minor meltdowns here and there (what 2-3 year-olds don’t?) the kids did wonderfully the entire trip. And I was glad that I was able to give Mommy B some much-needed family time that she’s been wanting for a while now. It was such a good decision to go up when we did, as I mentioned the weather could not have been any better. It enabled us to take the kids out and do more fun things with them, as opposed to being cooped up in the house because it’s 20 degrees outside in December.Now that our trip is over, it’s time to focus on ourselves more. Spend more time with the kids, and do some things around the house that we’ve been wanting to do since we moved in. The weather will (eventually) be getting colder here, so what better time to make some improvements to the house we’re working on calling a home. It was good to spend some time away to remind ourselves what’s really important in our lives – and that’s the people that are in it.