If you are primarily interested in the short-short version of this recap, which will be at least four parts in total, then let me tell you this: We had a good time, and then we came home. If you would like more details but don't want to read all these stinkin' words, then allow me to refer you to my Twitter feed, where I pretty much live-tweeted my vacation, because I am a giant dork who sold her soul to Apple in exchange for a VERY COOL TOY. In my defense, though, said VERY COOL TOY also provides DIRECTIONS, which is more than I can say for my husband most of the time. Whatever. I ♥ my iPhone. So sue me.
Before I get to the good stuff, I will tell you this much: although scheduling a flight with a toddler at 6:55 in the morning is not the absolute dumbest thing I have done as a parent, it is right up there. G and I got up at 3:30 AM, after not sleeping well the night before -- can't speak for him, but I can never sleep the night before vacation. Never could. I get too excited. At least we attempted to compensate by staying up late Monday so we could go to bed early on Tuesday. It didn't work out perfectly, but it wasn't a complete disaster.
We got Cupcake up at 4:30 AM, and headed out the door at 4:45 AM. Our plan was for her to sleep in the car. Nope. She saw the moon out the window, and that was the end of it. "Moon, Mommy!" "Daddy, truck!" Singing and dancing and clapping along to the radio. Cupcake is relentlessly cheerful, even at the asscrack of dawn. It would be completely obnoxious if she weren't so damned cute.
Due to the fact that G and I are practically never on time for anything, ever, no matter how well we try to plan, we got to the economy parking lot at 5:30 AM, and just missed a bus to the terminal. Fortunately Philly's airport buses run pretty often, so we made it to the terminal and to the TSA checkpoint by 6:00 or so. Somehow, we managed to schlep one suitcase, one toddler backpack, a car seat, a diaper bag, and two extra "junk" bags, plus all our coats and shoes and a sippy cup, through security in time. We made it to our gate literally just as the end of Group A was boarding.
NOTE TO SELF: ALWAYS LEAVE THE HOUSE AN HOUR EARLIER THAN YOU THINK YOU NEED TO FOR A FLIGHT. WHY DO YOU DO THIS EVERY SINGLE TIME? ARE YOU NEW? WERE YOU DROPPED ON YOUR HEAD AS A CHILD? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?
The flight was mostly uneventful. G entertained the baby, and I watched "Gossip Girl" clips on my iPod. (Did you know Ed Westwick, who plays Chuck Bass, is British? I did not. He is much sexier when he talks in his real accent.) Cupcake ate one fruit-and-cereal bar, one lunch pack of mini Fig Newtons, and one fruit snack bar that tastes like a Fruit Roll Up all squooshed together and eaten in one bite, only this brand was allegedly made with real fruit. I only snuck a teensy bite. You know, for quality assurance purposes.
So we get to Fort Lauderdale. Change Cupcake out of her pajamas and into shorts and her "Little Miss Sunshine" sweatshirt that I got at Target for $4. Four bucks for a jacket! I ♥ Target. While G is getting the rental car, I finally comb Cupcake's hair. Did you know that 2½ hours on an airplane + heat + humidity = GIANT BABY AFRO? Now you do. Her hair had its own gravity for a while. It was pretty phenomenal. And then ...
Yeah, we let Cupcake drive, and it turns into a TMZ photo op. Whatever. At least she kept her pants on, which is more than I can say for Paris Hilton or Britney Spears or Lindsey Lohan. We booked her for DWA: driving while adorable. Sentence: extra cookies and snuggles and 3½ hours in the car seat while we drive to the Keys.
Almost done, pinky swears, because let me tell you -- it's a lovely drive from Fort Lauderdale to the Keys, and easy, but looooooooooooooooooong. 190 miles or so, and a lot of it is on Route 1, which has stoplights and stuff. It's kind of a "fast long drive," if you know what I mean. I spent the entire time admiring the water and the busted-up broken-down bridges and the copious amounts of pelican poop. Once you get to Key Largo, you are surrounded by the water and you can smell the salt spray and hear the gulls and watch all the little old men fishing off of ancient bridges, and isn't that what vacation is supposed to be about?
So: Wednesday was a travel day. We got to our hotel, waited to check in, checked in, went to Denny's for dinner, went to bed, the end. And I loved every boring minute, even the point at which G realized that he didn't pack a bathing suit. To go on vacation. At the beach. Hahaha. No, I am not kidding.