Holy holidays, Batman. I’m exhausted.
We had the privilege of spending the holidays with my mom and then down in Florida with Adam’s family, which was a blast. The drive down was easy, if a bit long (roughly 12-13 hours with all our stops), and Ethan handled it beautifully. We tried driving overnight on Christmas so that we wouldn’t mess with Ethan’s schedule too much, which worked pretty well. He woke up a few times, but overall he stayed right around his normal waking time. He also got to experience his first Cracker Barrel biscuit, which is always a treat.
We got to visit Islands of Adventure, which means I was hands-flappingly excited about seeing Hogwarts. No, seriously. I thought my in-laws were going to disown me if I didn’t calm down. Ethan really seemed to enjoy the parks – he’s at the age where even though he can’t really go on rides (save carousels and trains and the like), he loves looking at the spectacle. The Dr. Seuss section of the park was perfect for him – lots of crazy music and zany Seuss-y stuff to look at. I was impressed with how well Ethan handled the parks in general – they can be so unpredictable and loud that I was concerned about whether he would be able to nap. I didn’t take into account the fact that the constant buzz is easy to get used to, so he had a particularly excitable live-action white noise machine at his disposal.
I turned 25 while we were there, and my siblings-in-law threw me a little party! It was the sweetest thing. They completely surprised me! There were gifts (a necklace with my name on it – a rare find – the DVD of Benny & Joon which I have never seen before, and Hufflepuff souvenirs!), red velvet cupcakes, and pink champagne with crazy straws in it. I was so touched! That night, we went to my sister-in-law’s rehearsal dinner. Margaret is Adam’s second-oldest sibling and is such a sweetheart. I wish we got to see her and her husband more often. The rehearsal dinner was great, with an abundance of Greek food and our first chance to introduce Ethan to his paternal great-grandparents!
On the day of the wedding, I got to give a short reading by Remy Charlip and dance the night away with my little member of the Rat Pack:
The wedding was absolutely lovely. Margaret and Scott hired an Irish band and served an abundance of the best barbecue I have ever had. Hands down. Sorry, Uncle Don, but you’ve got serious competition (so I think you should make me some of yours. You know, so I can compare and double-check). I wish I had taken more pictures at the wedding, but I was so busy cramming as many miniature bananas foster boats into my mouth as I could that I sort of forgot about the camera. Ethan stayed up the entire time, only conking out near the tail end of the celebrations – we danced him out!
We visited Sea World the next day, which was a really great experience. I had wanted to go there ever since I was a little girl, so I was having the time of my life. By the way, Manta is an amazing roller coaster – a bit terrifying and disorienting, but the concept of the ride is just so clever. The real standout at Sea World is, obviously, the shows - I SAW SHAMU, Y’ALL. My childhood came rushing back to me and, yes, I cried like the sap I am. The Shamu show itself is quite hippie-dippie-kumbaya-we-are-the-world, but I lap that stuff up.
New Year’s Eve was low-key. So low-key that I didn’t actually make it to midnight. I’m such a mom. We played Apples to Apples, had a bit of champagne, and called it a night! We decided not to drive overnight again, so we just left first thing in the morning. The drive home was uneventful and it was so good to get home. It worked wonders for our morale to get a break from everything and just relax in a new environment, but we were happy to get back and sleep in our own bed again.
Now that we’re home again, we have to get back to business: the business of finding Adam (and possibly me) a new job. It should be a combination of interesting and utterly terrifying. Fortunately, we have Tiny Hulk Baby to see us through.