And it begins
Stage One- Preparation
Frazzled mommy packs belonging for 4 people whilst nagging the fifth person to pack for himself. Frazzled mommy and daddy get VERY little and non-restful sleep. Exhausted and frazzled mommy and daddy pack everyone and practically everything they own into the van and head out on the grand adventure.
Stage Two- Travel
Spend 3 hours in the non-air-conditioned van driving to nearest international airport.Listen to whining, screaming, crying, fighting etc. for said 3 hours.
View the lovely prairie skies.
Pray that the children fall asleep but that the driver doesn't.
Ignore non-sleeping non-quiet children by looking at more pretty clouds.
Notice, again, that the drive to the city is really too long.
Stop on the side of the road to let the boys pee. No, they weren't any bathrooms available. This is the middle of nowhere people. No cars even passed us during the peeing. Really. No one.
Olivia finally falls asleep... boys still awake. Therefore no silence.
The non-silence wakes the sleeping baby.
Frazzled Mommy continues to be ridiculed by eldest son.
Youngest offspring continues to look at frazzled Mommy like she is the meanest mommy in the whole world to force her to sit in the torture device known as the car seat.
Middle child tried to make frazzled parental units laugh.
Middle child gives up and resorts to joining his siblings in their whining.
Arrive at the hotel where frazzled parents spend and exceedingly exorbitant amount of money to spend less than a day in a not-entirely-clean room.
Feed exhausted offspring pizza.
Collapse exhausted in rented beds, after convincing hyper active children that they CAN in fact fall asleep without the stuff in their room at home, for an unbelievably short sleep.
Get up at 3:30 am to go to the airport.
Lather, rinse, repeat.