Following a week with my son, his almost-one-year-old daughter (a.k.a. my granddaughter) and dog, it was time to say goodbye. But this would not be a quick farewell. I was accompanying them on their trip home.
Mom missed this vacation week at the shore. She had to work. No one wanted Jason to make the nine+ hours trip home accompanied only by baby and dog. I volunteered to go along for the ride.
We left the house 9:30 a.m. Monday morning - naptime. Baby sleeps, dog sits quietly next to her in the back seat and Jason and I listen to podcasts (my son’s idea; I do not own an iPod or i-anything).
An hour later baby wakes and becomes restless. We pull into a rest stop and switch seats. Oliver (a.k.a. dog) jumps into the front passenger seat. I get in the back and entertain baby.
We stop at my sister’s for lunch. Baby plays and crawls around.
Afternoon naptime, about 3:30 p.m., everyone piles back in the car.
An hour later baby is once again awake and stirring. We pull into a rest stop. This time Dad gets in back, I get behind the wheel and Oliver gets the front passenger seat again. We drive another couple of hours.
Dinnertime! Restaurant stop. Baby enjoys dinner, a bottle and gets changed into PJs. Jason and I eat dinner. We climb back in the car.
Baby falls asleep and snoozes for the remainder of the trip, another three hours.
Our journey finally ends at 11:00 p.m. Nine hours of driving plus stops to care for baby and to feed adults, and father, daughter and dog reunite with Mom.
My itinerary includes a flight from Columbus OH to La Guardia airport (NYC), another flight from La Guardia to Philadelphia, and a one hour drive home. The one stop trip was the cheapest available – a nonstop flight was costlier.
Everything went smoothly. I was leery of traveling via La Guardia, remembered as an antiquated airport. But things are looking up. I landed at Terminal C, a bright, clean, new facility. I then walked over to a bus departing for terminal D, an even newer terminal. The walkway between terminals is under construction.
Terminal D pioneers the future for air travelers. There are a variety of small shops and food vendors and an ample supply of high tables outfitted with iPods and electrical outlets scattered throughout the terminal. Travelers can also sit at a bar or restaurant table, enjoy drinks and food and surf on their own computer or the iPods.
The flight from La Guardia to Philly is short – you can drive the route in a couple of hours. Well, not really, because of traffic. Crows can do it in that time. Planes too. Not cars.
I took a car service from the Philly airport back home. I could have taken two trains and a bus, but after two days of traveling, well, enough is enough.
I detoured to my favorite pizza etcetera store on my way home and bought some wings for dinner. I walked home, cut up some tomatoes and cucumbers, sat down with my computer, wings, veggies and dip and enjoyed. Or indulged might be a better word. Actually both.
So now all is quiet on the home front, at least temporarily. I am home alone for an evening. Hub is on a business trip and returns tomorrow.
I will spend some time helping the house recover from a week of family, friends and assorted others.
Friends arrive this weekend for a concert and kayaking.
The Colorado Crew descends in two and a half weeks.
I will enjoy the calm before the tumult begins – again.
And I cannot wait.