It was the best of times. It was the worst of times… Ah, but yes, it was our family vacation!

After a much needed, yet unexpected hiatus from the blogs, I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on our recent trip to Hawaii for Kris’ wedding. Based on well over 1,000 photos that’s taking me a week to upload to Flickr, it’s safe to say, we had a great time in the Aloha State. But like most family vacations, there was plenty of drama too.

The first drama of the trip happened even BEFORE we left for the airport. My brother John, whose connecting flight was strategically planned for Newark so he could fly WITH us to help out with the kid was delayed, thus debunking that whole plan. Go figure.

Since this was our third trip to Hawaii, but the first with a kid in tow, we were expecting it to be significantly different. I don’t know about you guys, but a vacation with little kids isn’t even “really” a vacation. Especially when a 10.5 hr. flight is involved. Oh, yeah, and a 6 hour time difference too.

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Back in the day, Jeff and I used to pop a few Tylenol PMs and voila, we’d be in Hawaii. This trip, uh, yeah…no matter how many toys and treats we brought along, we were still that family at times. At departure, since we sat in the very back row of the plane, it was LOUD, and of course there were tears. Lots of them. After a few minutes we were good. For the rest of the long flight while we chased daylight en route to paradise, Jeff and I were tasked with entertaining Jack while he was awake. We broke out a new set of Tech Decks (which, by the way say in BOLD print that they’re only for 9 years and up) and a new Thomas Train. The Tech Decks won out. For a good hour or so, we used the tray as a ramp over and over and OVER.

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After the novelty of the tiny skate boards wore out, another meltdown ensued AND it was just about the time for naptime–thank goodness.

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Thank goodness for the 2 hour nap and a little *ahem* help.

It always feels like the trip THERE is much longer, especially when it’s nonstop and you’re trying to get used to the time change all at once. But truly, it felt like that flight aged me a few years.

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But once we arrived, the gentle glow of sunset and the sweet breezes greeted us and we couldn’t have been more relieved. We arrived at around 6:00 pm local time, which meant midnight east coast time, but surprisingly, much thanks to his rolling PBS bookbag, Jack was juuuust fine.

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That is, until Kris and Jason picked us up from the airport and we had to tell Jack it was time to ride in his carseat again.

Oh sweet Jesus. The hysteria and cries of terror from this child was disturbing. Poor kid. Poor Kris and Jason for having to cart us around with a very unhappy Jack! It was enough to make us all want to drink. But really, I didn’t blame the poor kid for being so upset for not wanting to be in his carseat after that long ass flight. Kris and Jason were so kind and accommodating, EVEN through the crying.

But even through the crying and “stop looking at me” attitude from the kid, seeing my sweet cousin and anticipating her big day was well worth all that traveling. Oh, and those tears, too.

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Aloooooha, Hawaii. Get ready for my family.

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