We flew to Reagan airport in Washington, about a 2.5 hour drive from the beach. We decided that it would be unwise to attempt to both fly and drive on the same day, so we spent the night in a hotel by the airport. Because we were just staying there one night and didn't want to make it a huge production, we decided not to do an overnight feed for Lemon. That may have been an error, since the excitement of travel plus the 1500 calorie shortfall basically made him a complete wreck the next day. We started driving fairly early the next morning, as did approximately everyone else on the Eastern seaboard. Traffic was pretty intense, extending our 2.5 hour drive to 5 hours. Of course, the great benefit of traveling in a car for 5 hours with two kids is that at any given point in time, one of the two will have enough energy and rage to be screaming. Lime slept for the first part of the drive, while Lemon took the lead on vocals. When Lemon finally passed out, Lime immediately woke up, began weeping, and intermittently yelling "Home! Home!"
It was all worth it once we got there, though, because Lime had never seen the ocean before, and when we finally got to the beach he could not believe his eyes. Lemon was also thrilled. Plus, Uncle Jared and Auntie Lauren were there. We got all our various equipment set up in the beach house and tried to settle into something resembling a vacation routine. Manual PT went surprisingly well, which is good given that I don't think we had the physical capacity to transport the vest in addition to all the other myriad supplies that we needed to bring with us.. Lemon was generally very cooperative, and his lingering cough actually completely dried up on the trip, making us think that it was allergies after all. We brought Cayston with us but we didn't end up using it.
Lemon and Lime had a great time getting to know their cousins, and I was so glad to finally be reunited with my extended family after a brief 3 year absence. With all the various shenanigans in our lives, I think I've missed two weddings, a funeral, a Thanksgiving, a family reunion that I organized, and numerous other smaller occasions besides. So it was wonderful to have a week with no particular plans to just soak up being reunited with some dear people that I've known my entire life.
At home, we have a pretty strict rule that if a night of tube feeding "doesn't go well," the next night we only attempt one carton of formula instead of the usual three, and then build back up to three over the subsequent nights. Because we were on vacation, and because everyone else who was stricken by the plague only had one "bad" night, we forgot our usual rules and went ahead with three cartons again the next night. This proved to be a significant strategic error. More laundry. Amazingly, Lemon was his usual energetic self during the days, with no hint that anything had been amiss at night.
Fortunately, everyone was more or less in working order for the journey home. There was no traffic, so we zipped inland in one swoop and spent a day exploring the Air and Space museum, where by exploring I mean that Lemon and Papa Bear looked at exhibits while I frantically tried to keep Lime from injuring himself or disappearing into a crowd. Finally it was time to fly home, and here we are.
Amazingly, today is Lime's second birthday. I can hardly believe that he is two, although he clearly read in the child development book that he is supposed to be having a verbal explosion around now and learned at least 20 new words on our trip. We had a nice party for him with our family while we were at the beach, so we just did a quiet celebration for him here tonight. His sunny little personality has gotten me through many dark times in the years since he was born, and I can't imagine our family without him. Happy birthday, little buddy. Here's hoping we'll be celebrating with cake by the ocean again next year.