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My beach trip with Jackson

>> Thursday, July 14, 2011

Back in the day, Mr. and I were total road warriors.  I've always been a traveler and love to be on the go. My dad used to work for the airlines, so we got to fly for free everywhere we went. It was nothing for me to leave high school and jump on a plane to LA or Hawaii for the weekend, hell I'd even fly home from college for lunch and be back for night class. I was very independent and could navigate my way through any airport or big city. Oh to be young and fly for free again!

The real world changes things.

Instead of jet setting to see the world - we bust our asses to keep our jobs, raise a family, and keep afloat. I can't say that we don't see the world, or travel often, I mean we just got back from St. John weeks ago. But, we don't exactly have the jump in the car and go lifestyle that we once had.

Having a baby changes things.

And I certainly don't have the independence or self-confidence that I had at 18 - but I got a little piece of my mojo back last weekend and it was amazing!

The background: My sister lives in St. Louis and is a teacher, so she has the summers off. My mom lives around the block from me in Louisiana. I see my mom almost daily, and she has made a promise to see my sister at least once every six weeks. This means that she travels up to St. Louis or flies them down here a lot. But, it's still not everyday and being 10+ hours away from each other just sucks.

Anyway, my mom wanted some one-on-one time with Megan and Amelia, so they planned a 10-day trip from St. Louis to Destin, FL and back home.  I'm not going to lie, I was bummed that we had to sit out this trip, but I totally understood why.  It was torture knowing that my sister and sweet niece were just six hours away and I wasn't going to see them...

My sister must have felt the same way - I love the bond we have now that we're older!

At 5:15PM on Thursday I got a text while I was still at work telling me that mom says come on if you bring one swimsuit and two dresses - the room is full and we'll have to share a bed.  Um, wait - what?!?

I about had a panic attack.  Of course, I wanted to go to the beach.  But, I have a job, and a husband, and I was going to clean the house... until my boss told me to go, my husband laughed and said that I had to go, and well the house has still yet to be cleaned... I packed Jackson and myself in one bag and Mr. loaded us into my car with enough snacks for a month, followed us to the gas station, filled up my car and put air in my tires.

And at 7:15PM on Thursday night, I was about to embark on a 6 hour car ride - with my toddler, all alone.  It was terrifying and thrilling all at the same time.

Jackson's DVD player broke about :30 seconds into the trip and he cried the entire way to the interstate.  He was pissed and wanted to watch Cars and this frazzled momma almost turned around and decided not to go.  But, before I knew it Jackson calmed down and we were counting the trucks on the highway.  We stopped in Baton Rouge for some coffee and changed Jackson's diaper before it was time for him to snooze the night away.

I'm normally a night owl, but I started to get a little sleepy around the halfway point.  Luckily, Stephanie called and the next hour and a half flew by! My coffee kicked in and I had my BFF on the phone.  And then I had to pee and there was no chance I could make it without stopping.  Jackson was sound asleep and I really wished I had my Mr, so much so that I seriously contemplated putting on one of Jackson's diapers... don't worry, I didn't.  We stopped and I carried Jackson into the quick stop, peed and got us in the car (with more coffee) without him even waking up! He did wake up when I started the car, but he chatted with me the rest of the drive to the beach.

We made it to the Sandestin Hilton at about 1:30 in the morning my sister came down to help us up to the room.  Jackson was so excited to see his Aumee, even though he asked where his Uncle Shorty was no less then 599, 876, 300 times:) It's been a long time since we've both traveled sans husbands!

The next 2.5 days were spent going on walks, eating and drinking by the pool, playing in the sand, holding my niece, "shwimmin" with my little fish, laughing and capturing melt.your.heart moments like these.

Jackson and I slept together on the pullout couch and even though the mattress sucked, waking up to his sugars and Amelia's baby snorts was just what I needed.  The weekend was simply amazing and Jackson was 100 times better then I hoped he'd be - even if he refused to smile for the camera!

Our drive back home took a little longer then going, but Jackson did great.  His new airplane was the best $26 I've ever spent, and $100 less then the DVD player that may or may not be on the side of the road somewhere between Florida and Louisiana;) He's still sleeping with the hard wooden plane every night!

Traveling with Jackson alone may sound like a silly accomplishment, but I feel like it was a huge momma milestone.  Watch out world, you never know where we'll end up next!


Colton's Mommy July 14, 2011 at 1:46 PM  

I love Destin. They are definitely the best beaches around. We lived there during elementary school and then again my senior year of high school when we moved back from New Orleans. Now I live about 3 hours away and I still have to go over about twice a year.

KJJ Houston July 14, 2011 at 2:35 PM  

yay so glad you made it safe and sound!! Looks like a blast and I love having a toddler that is at the age we can do this random type stuff with!! Makes having #2 a challenge when you are having so much fun!! PS- When are yall thinking about #2?

Amber July 14, 2011 at 7:44 PM  

Aren't you so glad that you went?! I think a trip alone is a HUGE accomplishment! My hubby and I are trying to figure out where we're going on our next trip and you're totally right, trips change (as does everything else) when a baby comes :).

Jennifer July 14, 2011 at 10:39 PM  

You are so lucky to have the experience of a trip with your mom and sis and the kiddos :) I am sl glad you decided to take the leap and go (and not turn around after the DVD broke..LOL). The memories and feeling of accomplishment were well worth it. Jackson and Amelia are both too precious :)

Jennifer July 19, 2011 at 6:26 PM  

Good job, Momma! I'm glad you made it there and back safely. It's wonderful that you took some time for yourself to do something that made you happy! Your road trip was definitely a big challenge going solo, and you managed it perfectly! I hope you all had a blast :)

Tim and Heather July 21, 2011 at 9:45 AM  

are you kidding me?!? I feel like it's a huge accomplishment when I get Graham and Kennedy to the grocery store/Target/fill-in-the-blank and it's a successful trip. I actually once made it to the mall by myself with them, and was exhausted by the time we got back home! (and that's just a 20 minute drive!) Great job, Momma. a 6-hour car drive by yourself with your little man was very brave and adventurous! :D And totally worth Amelia snuggles.

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