Remember how last week I plowed through a seemingly endless […]
Remember how last week I plowed through a seemingly endless drive to Florida with the kids? And remember how seamless it was and how well-behaved both of them were? Well, I knew that I couldn’t strike gold twice, and as luck would have it, the drive back was pretty volatile. Let me back up.
Our week in Florida was nothing short of great. Anaïs got to spend some quality time with the grandparents while Akira and I made the rounds and visited with some of my old friends. I made a deliberate effort not to make a Facebook announcement that we would be in Tampa this time—it can be a little overwhelming when I make these trips down and try to see everyone in one fell swoop. So a lot of our days were spent having lazy playdates at the park or in the front yard or having some adult beverages at another girlfriend’s house while our kids played.
We stayed with my mom who lives about 45 minutes from Tampa, so the drive back and forth between her place and everywhere else I wanted to go was a little tedious. But we got used to it and made the most of it. My mom and stepdad were gracious hosts who made home-cooked meals as we talked over a few glasses of wine and caught up on life. Before I knew it, Friday had arrived which meant that Jesse was flying down to meet us!
The kids and I met him at the airport and grabbed lunch at one of my favorite old haunts in town. We ran into some friends, which was such a treat, before Jesse and I checked into another friend’s adorable AirBnB “tiny house” in Ybor City, the neighborhood I used to live in before moving to Atlanta. We then headed over to see Jesse’s brother and our sister-in-law. (Yes, the one I surprised for her baby sprinkle!)
Friday was action-packed as we headed back to my mom’s to drop both kids off for the night. That’s right—they both were sleeping over that night and the following night. Was I nervous to leave Akira for not one, but two nights? Absolutely. I was worried about how much milk I had left for him with my mom. I was hoping that because he’s starting to eat more solids, he would have enough. After all, Jesse and I had a date night planned at one of Tampa’s finest and oldest restaurants (with the world’s largest restaurant wine cellar, to boot!). We also wanted to grab cocktails afterwards and not have to worry about the kids. So I got dressed at my mom’s after nursing Akira to bed, and we were off.
Jesse and I had a lovely adults-only dinner. We walked 7th and 8th Avenues in Ybor City afterwards. We enjoyed a cocktail at a tiny bar, and we ended the night at a brewery. We got to sleep in the following morning before getting ready to go to our friends’ wedding. It was like another date night! We changed locales and checked into a fancy hotel, got dressed to the nines and watched two wonderful people make lifetime vows to each other before dancing the night away at the reception. It was an amazing kid-free two nights.
The next day, we were planning on heading back to Atlanta. That seven-hour drive was looming over our heads, but we knew that the only way back was through. After breakfast and coffee, my mom and stepdad met us at the hotel with both kids in tow to do the transfer. And as we were pulling up, Anaïs was throwing up on the driveway. She appeared to have caught the nasty stomach bug that was going around over the last week. Poor girl! Akira looked exhausted, and Anaïs just looked completely unhappy—I can’t blame her, really. We thanked my parents before saying our goodbyes and assessed the situation.
After a few hours of killing time seeing our friends and family for the last time and talking about it, we decided the best thing to do was to head back and if we needed to stop someplace overnight halfway through, we would. Armed with a receptacle for emergencies, Anaïs plowed through like a champ. Akira, on the other hand, was done with the drive. He wasn’t having any part of it. For the first half of the trip, he pretty much cried the entire time. He wasn’t hungry, he had a clean diaper, and he was ready for a nap. Yet, despite all of those stars aligning, he himself was just over it. And I completely understood. I got it. He just wanted to be home.
We finally pulled into our parking garage just shy of 1 a.m. We unloaded the car and got the kids tucked in their own beds. It was obvious Akira missed his crib. He sprawled out and cooed while his heavy eyes fell shut. Anaïs cuddled her lovies and had some water by her bed. And as I walked out of their bedroom, I let out a deep sigh. It was a long and wonderful week. But it sure felt awesome to be back in our own space again.