Monday, October 27, 2008

San Francisco or Bust

Alternatively titled: "Team Stimey Doesn't Do Anything Quietly. Or Without Puking."

My whole family is here in San Francisco for my sister's wedding to her partner on Tuesday. We are so happy to be here and have already had a chance to catch up with many good friends in the day and a half that we have been here. We're only here for a couple days, so our schedule is packed full of social visits.

I'm sure you'll hear more about that in the future (although I'm not guaranteeing anything), but right now I really have to get something off my chest. That something is cross-country travel with Team Stimey.

Prepare yourself.

Things that happened before we boarded our flight out of Baltimore at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday:

• Alex dropped me, the little dudes, and a hell of a lot of bags and car seats at the terminal while he parked the car. Sam almost immediately puked into a garbage can.

• While crossing the road, our luggage fell off the cart. Luggage and kids were everywhere. No one helped. I mentally cursed out Alex. (Totally unjustifiably, but it made me feel better.)

• We checked in and were standing in the security line, a little worried about the time, when a guy in an airport shirt walked up to us and says, "These kids can't fly..." at which point I just about started sobbing, when the guy finished up with, "without these," and handed us coloring books and crayons. We laughed and thanked him, but I'm still a little bitter about the psychological damage.

• Because Quinn was still wearing his pajamas (and mad about it), Alex pulled out his clothes to take him to the bathroom to change him. Quinn whipped off his clothes in about 14 seconds flat and exposed his bare ass to our fellow Baltimore to Cleveland traveling companions.

• Sam was still not feeling well, so Alex took him to the bathroom. Unable to abandon Quinn and our carry-ons, I watched helplessly as Jack started to puke bile all over the floor of the gate area. I semi-futilely tried to catch the bile in a handful of wipes as our fellow passengers started trying to book flights to Florida instead of Cleveland.

• I fed the kids Doritos for breakfast.

Things that happened on our first flight:

Plane karma hit Alex hard. I'll set the scene for you:

I don't know when the vomiting started because I was busy chatting with Quinn about Thomas the Tank Engine, but start it did. At some point, Alex ran out of airsickness bags and had to borrow one of mine. Both Sam and Jack puked. I think Jack may only have puked once, but Sam puked over and over.

And Sam's vomit looked suspiciously like Doritos.

I got a good look at it, because a fair amount hit the backpack and the sandal-clad foot of the lady sitting behind him. At first she didn't know what had happened. I think she thought Sam spilled a drink or something. But sometime after Alex frantically made me give him my wipes to start cleaning her up, she realized what had really transpired.

I have to say, she was remarkably cool about the whole thing.

After the cleanup, I noticed that she still had a little chunk on her foot, but I didn't know what to say. When is "Excuse me, but some of my son's Doritos and innards are still on your foot," appropriate?

And then the layover...

We were walking up the jetway when Sam started clutching at his mouth. I missed the drama because I was dragging Jack, Quinn, and our luggage as I chased Alex through the terminal. I lost sight of him and was wondering what to do when he came bursting out of the men's bathroom and said, "Go buy Sam a shirt!"

So then I dragged Jack, Quinn, and our luggage to a little shop where I bought Sam an expensive brown tee-shirt that said something about rock music. Quinn took advantage of me by grabbing a king-size Twix bar and asking if he could have it. Seriously, I probably would have bought him an iPod at that point.

Jack, Quinn, our luggage, and I walked back to the bathroom to find Sam and Alex. Quinn held up his Twix bar to every passerby he could find, asking, "Is this your favorite?"

Things that happened on our second, last, and very long flight to San Francisco:

• Sam puked.

• Jack puked.

• Quinn and I played and napped.

• Quinn did spend several minutes crying and beating the shit out of me when I was trying to force him to go to sleep.

• Once Quinn did fall asleep, I tried to move over to the window seat to give the woman next to me some space. Unfortunately the kid seated behind us was vigorously kicking the seat over and over. I did not feel I had a leg to stand on to ask his mother to control him, so I spent Quinn's nap shifting from one seat to another.

• When Quinn woke up and I put him back in his seat, he noticed the kicking. And he did not care for it. "He's kicking my seat!" he exclaimed several times. "EXCUSE ME! You're kicking my seat!" he also exclaimed.

• Sam threw up again.

San Francisco. Oh, thank God, San Francisco. Or Millbrae. That's Close Enough.

We finally landed, got off the plane, and miraculously bumped into my mom (whose plane landed a half hour before ours) at baggage claim.

Then we drove 0.1 miles from the airport to Millbrae, where our moderately priced (but very nice) hotel is located. According to the hotel's sign, they are the closest lodging and parking to the airport.

I believe them because this is the view from our room window:

The great thing about being so close to the airport is that on Wednesday morning, we can look out our window, see if our plane is at the gate, and then saunter on over to board. The other great thing about it is that I can make fun of Alex for the rest of his life about booking this hotel.

And that is the end of the first half of the first day of our trip to California.


  1. Dear lord. I'm so exhausted reading this, I'm ready to go back to bed.

    I hope the story has a happy/happier ending/continuation (i.e. no puking during the wedding).

    My huz's sister and partner just got hitched in SF too.

  2. That's an AWFUL lot of vomit. I think you should get a vomit stay for the rest of the year.

    And, Quinn? That kid is hilarious.

  3. Yikes- I think the mistake would have been the Doritos for breakfast (which I totally would have done too) :P

    I hope the remainder of the trip is vomit free. Hopefully Alex doesn't switch spots with you on the return trip.

  4. I'm sending you a medal. I would have thrown my luggage at the colouring book guy before he said "without these colouring..." and don't ever EVER tell Sam he could have scored that iPod during the tshirt incident.

    I wish you safe and silent and spewless journey home.

  5. Oh, that is just IT. My husband's been interviewing for a job in St. Louis (we live in Charlotte and my whole family is here.) There's no friggin' way I'm going along with moving there because I am not getting on a plane with my 4-year-old and 18-month-old boys. I could totally see this happening to us.

  6. Wow. May I suggest plain toast, no butter before boarding your flight home. (In other words, you could blame it all on the Doritos.)

  7. Oh my god! The last two paragraphs of the layover are my favorite part! I would totally buy all of my children ipods in that situation. And "is this your favorite?" Hilarious.

  8. Oh.My.Goodness! No way would I have survived this. May you have lots of wine and NO VOMIT on the rest of the trip!

  9. my lord, woman. bless your heart.

    i was considering taking my 3 kids to san fran where hubby has a conference next month, but i think it's safe to say that would be a BAD idea.

    all i can say is: in-flight mini-bar.

  10. Oh my god, I need a nap after reading that! I'm sure that all your trip bad luck is used up now. Fingers crossed that it's smooth sailing from here on out!

  11. OMG, I'm rolling with laughter! Only you can make vomit that funny!!

    I'm sorry you had such a rough flight...enjoy your trip!

  12. Oh. dear. God. I'm in awe that you aren't so drunk you can still type. Because it would take me a whole lot of tequila to recover from that trip. Hope the rest of it is smooooooth.

  13. Wow. That's a lot of puke.

    Hey, if you end up down near Palo Alto let me know! I'd love to see you guys! (I'll be the one in the Hazmat suit.)

  14. Um. I miss you? Hope the second half of the first day improves.

    Hugs and happiness to your sisters! What a wonderful day that will be!


    Note to self: stop reading Stimey's blog over lunch.

  15. Oh my goodness. SO much puking. But you sound so calm about it all! How is that?

    I hope this means the rest of your trip will be smooth sailing, and no more puking.

  16. Oy. That doesn't sound like any fun at all.

    But the hotel? Don't the kids love it? Like, can't they just sit there and watch planes all day?

  17. Oh Stimey - I laughed so hard my stomach hurts. What an awesome break to my day during naptime. I swear I remember reading about another trip of yours that involved kids puking.

  18. I hope the puking has stopped and the fun (for the five of you, not just for Stimeyland readers) has started!!

  19. Oh yuck! Congrats to your sister! Hope the puking has ended. :) See ya when you get back (if y'all are not contagious!)

  20. By the way, thought you could use a little giggle. B tried to drown Daisy, the gerbil, with a cup of water while she was visiting this weekend. Had to go to the school and buy new bedding lest we be known as the family who gave Daisy pnemonia! She survived the weekend!

  21. Dorito puke must really stink. God bless the shoe lady with the chunk. Her plane karma should put her next to George Clooney next flight.

    I'm with Kate; "Is this your favorite?" is hysterical...and I can totally see it.

  22. I'm rather fond of the "EXCUSE ME!!! You're kicking my seat!!" I mean, he DID say excuse me!

    Hope Sam feels better.

  23. Oh, dear, sweet Jesus, HOW did you survive that?!?! You should have 'accidentally' spilled a few bags of barf over the seat onto that kid. That mother should have been shaken.

    I hope the barfing has stopped!!!!

  24. Eeeew....Doritos for breakfast?? Dude, those are, like, for the midnight munchies, man! ;-)

    But, seriously, one word:

  25. Holy crap, how did you survive all that puking?? Was it all motion sickness or illness??

  26. Ha ha!!!! You deserve another vacation after this one!

    I just came from SF last week. I know exactly where those hotels are. Too funny!!! And what a view ;-)

  27. First of all congratulations to your sister and her partner. Let's hope everybody votes NO on proposition 8 who lives in CA so that their marriage will never be questioned.

    Sounds like you need to write a travel book. A picture book for kids with flaps of kids barfing. Our Danny would love that! Hope your trip home is uneventful! -Monica

  28. oh my go_.

    You are a trooper!

    Here's thinking good thoughts that your flight(s) back is a good one :)

    I think I need to have another wine party just for you :)

  29. So next time you'll give them fruit loops right?

  30. Oh my. The trip only had to go up (as opposed to upCHUCK) from there!

    Can't wait to hear the happy part of the journey.

    Congrats to the happy couple!

  31. And to think I'm over here whining about cleaning diarrhea out of a Britax car seat.

    Man, count your blessings. That's all I can say.

  32. WOW. Here I am whining about the vomiting here and at least it was done at home.

    You poor buggers.

  33. Just hoping things improve for you all!
    Never a dull moement in Stimeyland!

  34. That is just brutal. I have no idea how you managed it. I guess you just had to...but ewww.

  35. Featured on Good Mom/Bad Mom on the Houston Chronicle:

  36. When we went back for my BIL's wedding (which, it is required by law that I mention, did not last 6 months!) my 4 kids and husband all came down with a stomach virus and vomited for the whole 5 days we were there. My SIL had some kind of magic pills and she gave them to us so that everyone would be well for the actual wedding.

    On the flight home, her three girls started vomiting. And she had given us all her magic non vomit pills.


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