Friday, July 11, 2008

Whew! What a Vacation!

Monday marked our ninth day away from home and our return from an ambitious family trip, involving driving and flying, and including the three beautiful states of Colorado, Oregon and Washington. We left Sunday morning, June 29th, drove to Colorado Springs to visit my family, drove up to Denver on Tuesday to catch a late-night flight to Portland with my sister and her family, spent 5 full days in the Oregon/Washington area visiting Casey's family, then met up with M and K again at the airport early Monday morning to fly back to Denver. We promptly drove to Colorado Springs to eat lunch and then started our almost-eight-hour drive home.


What prompted such a crazy whirlwind trip with a newborn? One thing mainly: Claire turns two this Monday. As of Monday, we will have to buy four--FOUR!--tickets to fly anywhere from now on. Needless to say, we expect this to be our last flying experience as a family for quite some time. At our current rate of having babies, it is almost out of the question that we will be able to keep up our yearly pilgrimage to the west coast.

So, why the extra fuss of driving all the way to Denver? Casey and I have flown with 2 children under two before--not exactly relaxing. Add another baby and a volitile toddler into the equation and we weren't about to kid ourselves. As much trouble as it was to drive to Denver, one thing made it totally worth it: HELP. My sister and her family were heading out to Portland to visit her husband's family and we jumped at the chance to fly along with them. Her children are older and my girls love "Auntie M" and her kin. Of course, the added fact that each ticket was $150-$200 cheaper than flying out of ABQ, as well as the sad thought that I'm not going to be driving up to visit my family by myself anytime soon made our decision final.

Casey thinks that the help was so valuable, it would be worth it even if we hadn't saved any money. There are fewer stressful "every-day" things than a screaming toddler in close(d!) quarters THAT BELONGS TO YOU. Thankfully, the trips (all of them) were without much incident. It was a completely satisfying and enjoyable trip, and very much worth all the trouble. That being said, WE DO NOT WANT TO DO IT AGAIN ANYTIME SOON. We are happlily home until Christmas (we think).

So much happened on our trip--so many momentous things--but I am too tired to expound at this moment. A few pictures will have to suffice.

Sunday: pit stop in Las Vegas, NM

Aunties M and Deb: M holding Haley, Deb holding Caiden. Upon arriving in the Springs, we went straight to a park to eat dinner and let the girls stretch their legs. The fam walked over and met us there.

Monday evening: under the trampoline at Papa and Nana's house with cousin Lydia

Tuesday night on the Denver airport trolley

Uncle Kev and cousin Isaac

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