We are finally back from sunny skies, palm trees, drinks poolside livin' la vida Gaydy to no sunshine, no palm trees, no drinks and no friggen pool.
That was pretty much our reaction this morning when we woke up and unpacked. Tis is life I suppose. In any event, I assume you've all been keeping up with our social media accounts to see our daily photos from our Florida family vacation. However, let me be the bearer of sarcastic rhetoric and fill you in on our "road trip" to and from Florida!
Before I venture into our lovely road trip down to Florida, let me just briefly discuss the packing situation. It's Florida, it's hot every day. There's not much you need other than some shorts, underwear, a bathing suit and maybe a few nice things for a fancy dinner out. Right? Nope, not the women in this house. I had all my clothes in a tiny section of a large suitcase, which, the other half was filled to the top by my wife and another small suitcase for her "options". The girls came downstairs with a large suitcase and four other bags. One bag contained shoes, the other contained toiletries, the other bag contained makeup and I'm not even sure what the other bag contained. Our living room looked like this:
So this was me at 4:45 a.m. attempting to pack the car:
Once I managed to get all the shit inside the back of the car, and by manage I mean shoving shit into any possible openings I could find and ramming my shoulder into the door just for it to shut, we were off! Now driving to Florida isn't so bad UNTIL you hit Virginia. We'll get to Virginia in a few, but first let's talk about the first 2-3 hours of driving. So here we are road tripping it and the girls decide that they want to control the music. No problem, I could use a little "git' er' going" music at 5am. What do they start playing.... DISNEY MUSIC PLAYLIST.
I figured okay we are going to Disney so let's get in the Disney mood. So everyone was singing along and then all of a sudden the girls feel asleep and disney songs from Mary Poppins came on and it just kept playing on repeat and I was finally like:
Listen, there's only so much Disney music that can get you through a drive like that and Mary Friggen Poppins is not it! As if that wasn't bad enough, take a guess who decided to come with us? No guesses...? Let me not leave you all hanging on this one. Our dog Gia was headed to her own little vacation at Disney's pet resort! Yep a friggen dog got to stay in a resort inside Disney. We'll circle back to that later on, lets get back to our drive. We decided to stop over in South Carolina, because let's face it, after driving through Virginia and North Carolina, you're just about ready to open the door and throw yourself out onto I-95. For real once you finally get out of Virginia and then realize how long North Carolina is you're like nah fuck this this I'm done and be like:
Don't lie.. you know anyone that drives down to Florida with kids and a dog wants to do just that. Between the food breaks, the bathroom breaks, the "stay on your side" yelling and the "what State are we in yet" it doesn't seem like a bad plan after all! After 9 hours of driving we get to the hotel in South Carolina. Nothing exciting happened here except that we ate amazing burgers and I fell asleep at 7p.m.
Back up at the crack of dawn and on the road for another 6 hours. So I'll skip straight to the part we we drop Gia off at her pet hotel! Now my wife booked the pet hotel, so I had no idea what was going on until we get there and the person is itemizing all of the things that Gia will be doing while in Disney. So I hear this, "okay, Miss Gia Marie is schedule for individual cuddle and play time, as well as reading time. We have doggy ice cream scheduled for Wednesday and she gets potty walks three-four times a day." My face at the exact moment the person finished itemizing the list of Gia's vacation:
Doggy ice cream, individual cuddle and play time okay fine, she's alone and with people she doesn't know. I get it, but how the FUCK you gonna sit and read to a damn dog?! Is everyone in Disney hopped up on some kind of magical sniffing dust?! This damn dog has the life! Ain't nobody reading to me! Damn shame!
My wife is telling me all the way from the Pet Hotel to the Villa how we need to go visit Gia in two or three days so she isn't sad. At that exact moment, our daughter Bianca says, "Pluto goes to visit the dogs!" Me:
I'm on vacation, the dog is staying inside Disney, getting friggen apple ice cream, cuddle time, play time, walks, story time and visits from Pluto, she ain't gonna miss us! Visit the dog.. pssh!
We had amazing weather every day, so every day we spent time by the pool, spending time with mom and dad and the kids. We went to a character breakfast with Lilo and Stitch and Magic Kingdom because it's Disney and it's a must. Tammy couldn't do a lot of walking with her neck and only being 8 months post surgery, so she rented a scooter for the park. First of all that thing is dangerous. I took it for a spin while Tammy was in the restaurant with the family and damn near drove that thing through a gate. I thought I was all cool zipping by people using the little horn then bam right into a gate.
The girls and I hit every single roller coaster with the exception of a few while Anthony stayed with Tammy. We did get to go on some rides as a family, like Pirates of the Caribbean and It's a Small World. Speaking of.. It's a Small World, THAT should not be a ride. It's pure torture for adults sitting in a boat that literally goes 2 mph listening to the same song on repeat. You kind of want to drown yourself in the two feet of water that the boat is in. We went on the Haunted Mansion ride, which is fun if you're me and scare the hell out of your 9 year old. I had to push Tammy in a wheelchair throughout the line because it was a 35 minute wait and she can't stand that long. I'm not even going to lie, I did not miss my calling as a nurse or a CNA. I was clipping people's ankles left and right with that chair. I'm seeing people hopping on one leg holding their ankle and I'm like, "ah shit sorry, you're good, you're good, walk it off!"
The rest of the time was spent by the pool during the day, dinner out with the family and either in Old Town or Disney Springs just enjoying family time.
Now there's nothing worse than you're vacation coming to end but knowing you have two days of driving ahead of you, you begin to hate life again. First stop after we leave the villa was to the Pet Resort to pick up the spoiled ass dog. Then we hit the road and attempt to make it to the same hotel in South Carolina without any delays. Wishful thinking. We're about 45 minutes into the drive and my wife keeps looking over at me. So I glance back and smile and then she looks over at me again and I smile again. This went on for about 5 minutes until I finally asked her what the problem was. Wanna know what her problem was? She had to pee! We aren't even an hour into our 6 hour drive and she has to pee! Naturally my reaction is this:
Off of I-95 we go! I made every single person get out even the damn dog and made them all go to the bathroom! We all get back in the car and back on I-95 we go. Three hours into our six hour drive and I start hearing, "so what do you want to eat?" Nothing.. how about NOTHING! How about we keep driving until we get to the hotel and you can order as much food as you all want! Better yet, how about you all go to sleep and I'll wake you up when we pull into the parking lot of the hotel. Of course the common questions started again, "how long until we get there?" "Stay on your side", "Stop touching my blanket", "its too cold in here" "its too hot in here", "I'm starting to get hangry", "You think Gia needs to be walked" and "I have to pee" The whole way to South Carolina I'm like:
Six and half hours later, maybe even seven hours later we get to the hotel and I laid on the bed and watched the soccer game while the wife and kids ordered food. We wake up, get ready and head down to the breakfast only to realize that we completely MISSED the breakfast, which meant one thing. You all know what that one thing is? It meant that we weren't jumping right onto I-95 and putting a dent into our 10 and a half hour drive right away because we had had to find food!
After we stopped and got breakfast we were back on the road. I managed to drive a total of four hours before my eyes started to get heavy. My wife is like "hunny sing with me, it will help keep you awake!" Sing.... that's what you want me to do? You want me to sing......
She agreed to drive for about an hour so that I could sleep a little and be refreshed to drive the rest of the way. So I wake up thinking she made it out of Virginia only to realize that she made it half way through. Let's talk about this shall we? I realize that Virginia is for lovers and all that fancy shit, but why does it have to be so damn long! We passed four friggen welcome centers in Virginia. FOUR.. you know why, because you spend almost 4 hours driving through the damn state you forget where the hell you are! Thank you baby Jesus for the welcome centers to remind me that I'm still in friggen Virginia.
Oh let's talk about how while I'm sleeping Gia decides to piss on my leg because you know Miss Gia got so use to her friggen "potty walks" three to four times a day down at Disney's Best Friggen Friends' Resort that she forgot how to bark. That's it.. I'm awake, might as well drive now!
Naturally driving home wouldn't be any fun if we didn't hit gridlock traffic every fifteen minutes. At this point Anthony starts complaining that his head hurts and his stomach hurts and without warning he is now throwing up in a bag. At this point, I'm sitting in traffic like this:
Meanwhile my wife and daughters are singing like its carpool karaoke like:
Making memories that's what we're all about here! Needless to say Anthony felt better and we managed to break through the traffic. As I'm coasting along Anthony asks if he can dump the water from his water bottle out of the window and pee in it so we didn't have to stop. How sweet. No, we're not stopping at a rest stop, you're going to do what every kid does when their parents want to get out of a car after driving long distances and pee off the side of a highway.
Back on the road we go. Now here I am making up some major time and we're just about to enter downtown Philadelphia when Anthony yells, "PULL OVER NOW!" So I ask him what's wrong and and he says, "I'm going to throw up again!" Of course this happens right as I'm in the left lane and have to make it across four lanes of traffic to the right shoulder. Alessandra starts making gagging sounds because naturally I couldn't get to the right quick enough and he throws up on her blanket but managed to make half of it into a bag. I pull over and Anthony is hunched over the side of the shoulder in socks throwing up. While I'm standing on the shoulder with a bag of vomit in one hand and a blanket with vomit in the other like:
I calmly get back in the car, turn around and tell Anthony to go to sleep, look at my wife and say, "next year, we're friggen flying!"