Friday, August 1, 2008

Our Summer Vacation

The girls are officially international travelers! Not an easy feat might we add. Who would have thought you needed passports for babies. We obviously didn't.

We traveled to Aruba to visit with family and friends (over 20 people this trip) and although we eventually made it, there was a lot of drama (initially anyway). Our first delayed flight from Seattle took us to Dulles Airport near DC where we planned to spend one night. No big deal as we are accustomed to airline delays. As the flight crew curtly requested passengers to find their seats we ended up delayed due to no air we sat at the gate with a full plane of people, it got hot and the girls got naked (not entirely but down to the diaper). The flight went well and the girls were awesome. We felt fully prepared for our early morning flight to Aruba!

We show up at the airport with mounds of luggage in tow to wait only a few minutes in the Premier line. We get to the kiosk and Brian finds himself requiring the assistance of a desk representative. The desk representative reviews our documentation and believes that we need passports for the girls, so she proceeds to check with her manager. She returns stating that passports are necessary for us to continue. Brian tries to impress upon them that when we purchased the tickets, the person assured him passports were unnecessary. The conversation escalates, leads no where, and we stand there dumbfounded for 10 minutes. The manager at the desk suggests that we go to the government passport agency in DC to get passports in less than 24 hours....yeah...right!

Well, with no other option Brian rents a vehicle, books another night at the hotel, changes the flights to the very next day and with the help of a lot of our east coast friends we obtain phone numbers and addresses and all the info we need to get us started on our mission....PASSPORTS!!!. Long story short - it is possible to get a passport in less than 24 hours, it's not fun or inexpensive, but possible.

BONUS - since we were staying in town for a full evening we were able to meet up with the girls Aunt Dina! It turned out she works merely 5 minutes from the airport. Very good indeed.

Next Day - back to the airport with hopes of Aruba revitalized. We check in with passports for everyone and sail through security to our gate.

But wait! Where is the ticket for Samantha (the one lap child)...uhhh what? We made it all the way to the gate and now we find that we need another ticket. So Brian and Lauren (our summer nanny) went to a ticket counter (multiple gates away) as the plane continued to board. With two people left to board we still don't have a ticket. My stomach tumbles and I wait. I think to myself, I will do whatever it takes to ensure that the door to the plane does not close. Thank goodness Lauren and B are on their way back with ticket in hand. Relief!

BUT WAIT ONE MORE TIME.... as Lauren is walking in front of me I notice that something is not right. I say "Lauren where is your purse" (a big blue momma of a purse). She turns in terror and exclaims OMG! As I wait one minute, two minutes and now a lifetime - I imagine a crying 19 year old with no passport to get us to Aruba. Luckily, she finds the purse that was still sitting at the ticket counter. Unbelievable!

Finally we make it to our destination of Aruba - the happy island.

We manage to escape additional drama until dinner time. We had all gathered 20+ people, at Champion's, the pub connected to one of the hotels. Everyone is catching up and enjoying themselves as we wait for a table. Just as they finish getting a table set up and are on their way to let us know, a water pipe bursts in the pub. Water is spewing directly above our table of 20! More water pipes begin to bust and the power fails. My girl Jaime pounds her beer and we scatter to the lobby. We ate Pizza Hut that night.

Our relaxing vacation officially begins - we spend days at the pool, eating and drinking with all our friends and family for 6 days. Michaela and Samantha love, love, love the water and seem to be delighted by almost everything, especially being held and adored by so many. Michaela took to everyone - even Larry. Samantha spent most of her time infatuated with Brad.

We arrive back to Seattle at a disheartening 4:00am but it was all worth it. We loved visiting and relaxing by the pool in 90 degree weather and a swift breeze. Who could ask for more?

Developmental Updates:

Michaela can now clap her hands, wave "Hello" and "Bye Bye", and give you her toy on command. As of 7/31/08 she weighs 17pounds.

Samantha loves to climb everything, she can stay in a pool for days, wants to walk so badly and started clapping her hands with closed fists. She also got her first two teeth within days of each other. One tooth stated the day we left for vacation and within a week the second one was popping through. The great thing about Samantha is that she never had a change in temperament. As of 7/31/08 she weighs 14.3 pounds.

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