Monday, August 25, 2014

A Crazy Drive, part 2


Just when you thought I was crazy driving 3 sweetboys to Buffalo all by myself; we took 2 days to get there! When last we left off, we woke up Saturday morning in Conneaut, OH on our way to Buffalo.   

Frankly, this made Christopher very happy.  The hotel had a breakfast...and they served his favorite food, a bagel with cream cheese.  Sam tried oatmeal, but apparently, the hotel didn't make it as good as Daddy.  So he didn't eat much.  That was ok, I'd packed bananas in the car, and thought we'd be fine.  We were on the road by 9:30.  I was quite proud of us.  

For the first stretch, I wanted the boys to not use screens right off.  
According to my calculations, we only had about 3 hours to go.  That felt good.  I didn't realize we were only 10 minutes from the Pennsylvania border when we'd called it quits the night before.  

Only 20 minuts into our trip, Sam said he had to go potty.  Just when I was debating having him try the Pee Cup, he told me that wasn't the kind of stop he had to make.  So you know That was going to be a 15 minute stop.  By that time we were nearing Erie and I knew there was a Chick Fil A there, so Chris and Jake could play while Sam pooped.   Well, then they saw a McDonald's with a Playplace!  They voted for McD's over Chick Fil-A.  I caved, I couldn't argue, but I would've preferred a 2nd breakfast at Chick Fil-A.  Instead they were telling me how hungry they were, so I got hash browns for them.  By the time they arrived, Sam was done.  But I still let them play for half an hour.   

They even talked Jacob into climbing up the Thing.  
Jacob can go up stairs, especially padded ones.  But once he got up there, he freaked out.  Luckily, he had big brother who just picked him up under the arms, and started down where I could grab him.  So much easier than the days when Chris was that age, and I couldn't get up to get him.  God Bless Big Brothers!  

As we drove past Erie, we could see Lake Erie.  
This prompted the worst battle of the day.  I tried to teach Christopher the names of the Great Lakes. 
I tried to teach him about HOMES, so he could remember the names of the Lakes.  But that wasn't working either.  Oh, he was so frustrated at having to learn something new on a trip.   But I was like, you need to remember that you drove past Lake Erie.  This will most likely be the Last Time we take this trip.  He objected highly.  And I Thanked God for Teachers.  

We did pretty decently on time, except for that first stop, so that we arrived in Buffalo in just enough time to find the Buffalo airport to pick up Lisa and Eric.  They landed within an hour and a half of each other.  So Eric killed some time, and so did we in a cell lot until Lisa arrived.   Neither of them had gotten much sleep, and both had various entertaining adventures to tell us about as we drove on to the hotel.   But by the time we got to the hotel, we realized Everyone was ready for lunch.  

So we blew past the hotel, and went straight to Ted's for hot dogs!  We were staying at the same hotel we had stayed at when we came up for Grandma Pat's funeral.  Hard to believe that was 3 whole years ago.  

So we went to Ted's.  
We were all Hungry, and they make the best hot dogs!   
Their level of char is perfect.  And the Ted's hot sauce.  We brought home 6 jars last time, and still have a couple left.  It's good and spicy and wonderful on hot dogs.  As I was standing there, their onion rings started calling to me too.  And of course, the Loganberry...
I guess we were hungry. 

Loganberry is a drink that they serve in Western New York.  It is a berry, a cross between a blackberry and a raspberry, invented and grown in California.  But Crystal Beach is a local a soda company, and they used to sell the soda, beach side and in Saratoga Springs, so it's a Western NY favorite, oh, and the syrup.  And Ted's makes Loganberry milkshakes.  Yeah Baby! 

Turns out my Baby likes loganberry milkshakes as much as his Mommy.  He got a lick and couldn't wait to try more.  

So we filled up, and took the edge off, and tried to take our weary travelers back to the hotel, and tried to take a nap.  But it didn't work out so well.   The hotel was a hot mess.  First, we got into a room right across from my sister, and we were getting settled.  I went to the bathroom, and when I was washing my hands, the toilet overflowed, sputtering all over the backs of my ankles.  Really?!  Ew, gross.  So I called down to the operator, and they said they'd move us, and probably 10 minutes later, a nice man showed up with one of those luggage pushcarts, and we took our stuff and moved around the corner.   So we trudged down.  And the boys took the ipad into the corner and were watching something.  Eric decided to take a shower to chisel off all the travel grime.  I had an hour in which to try to catch a couple Zzz's and get Jake to do the same.  So I was trying to nurse him into oblivion.  Suddenly, I hear jiggling at the door, and people noises, and Eric says Hello?!  
Apparently, while Eric was finishing up in the bathroom, a family was trying to get into our room.  And their keys worked!  And they got an eye full of Eric in a towel!  I called to the desk to complain.  Ooops!  They forgot to put into the computer that they moved us.  Really . Ugh.  Oh so by the way, since I'd called down for a rollaway bed for the boys, I wanted to make sure and request that again, so we had it before bedtime.  But the gal tells me No.  Now, wait one cotton picking minute.  Say what?!  She says, I don't know who told you that you could have a rollaway, but in a room with 2 queens, you don't get a rollaway, it's a fire hazard.  Then Why did they reserve it as that to my father, and let him pay for it!?!  Oh, I was livid.  So, I was not my most ladylike.  Honestly, I was so tired, and angry, (because clearly I was getting NO NAP now!) I swore at her.  Now, you all know me, I don't swear at staff anywhere....unless they try to screw with me.  Which they were.  I didn't realize my colorful metaphors were winning, until the lady told me, you don't have swear at me ma'am.  I said You are Right.  I should go, and think about whether or not we are leaving this hotel.  We're in town for a funeral, and the rest of our family is here, we'll need to discuss this.  
Well, I was so upset at myself for getting so upset.  I just put myself into timeout, well, as much as I could surrounded by yahoos.  Chris volunteered to sleep on the floor.  He said, Mommy, you can just put a lot of blankets on the floor and I'll sleep there.  And Sam was like, I will too!  They were so sweet, it nearly made me cry.  (See, I needed a nap.)  So I called down for a passel of blankets, and it was the same gal.  So I apologized for swearing.  And she said she understood, and apologized profusely for all the things that had happened since we'd arrived at the hotel.  And then she told us that we'd all get free breakfast vouchers.  OK.  Not exactly making up for my anger, but free breaky for the fam was a nice perk.  Don't think I'll be going back to the Holiday Inn Amhurst, NY again though. 

So we met my Dad in the lobby for dinner, and the only thing I cared about was Wine.  My stepgrandmother was already creating drama, because as we came to say, Suzy's funeral was clearly all about her. Just give me wine!   I was tired of being stressed out.  And I was Really Tired of Driving.  My sister and I split a bottle of Reisling, for Suz, she liked the sweet wines like I do.  Since this was not going to be the kind of funeral where there would be a viewing, we opted to have more of a wake.  We went to this Italian restaurant with some MB's family who were already in town.  And we laughed.  And we drank wine.  And actually, it was Good.  Good food, good company, and just being with others who knew and loved Suz like we did was what we needed.