Heading West

 We're actually getting pretty good at the road trip thing, despite my little iPhone movie trailer that I posted yesterday.  This was our third trip to Colorado with the boys since February, so they are getting it down.  It was our first time going for vacation though.  The other times were for my grandpa.  So we really wanted to enjoy ourselves and make this trip fun.

Yeah...  expectations.

 Chris and I love Santa Fe.  It's one of our favorite cities.  We had never taken the boys with us, only gone by ourselves.  This trip we decided to take a little detour and spend a night there.  We had no delusions that this would be the same kind of Santa Fe trip that we had taken in the past.  Not the Santa Fe of our youth.  Not the Santa Fe of young love, strolling through art galleries holding hands, delicious alfresco meals and romantic late night dance floors.  We expected there to be seasoned 11 years of marriage love.  Holding chubby toddler hands, walking past and not daring to go in to art galleries.  Delicious alfresco meals...  with plastic cups of lemonade and plates of corn dogs and french fries on the table.  Chris and I knew this trip to Santa Fe would be different.  But we didn't know that it would suck quite so much.
Because there are six of us now, getting a hotel room is a bit of a challenge.  No, not a challenge.  Just horrible.  Terrible.  Awful.  Because one of our children is Harry.  And he is a serious pain to share a room with in the very best of circumstances.  

No.  Really.

The kid just doesn't need as much sleep as normal humans.  Getting to sleep is a challenge for him.  And if it's a challenge for him, it's a challenge for everyone.  Because he will try and wrestle with your head while singing the Winnie the Pooh theme.  And then cry because you hurt his feelings when you make him get off.  Then he's awake at the crack of dawn.  An inch from your nose.  Whispering loudly for applesauce.

I think Chris and I are also a little traumatized from the last time we stayed in a hotel with the four boys...  Last summer when Jude was four months old and we were on our way to Florida.  You know...  That time when Lucas insisted on bringing his entire collection of Zoobook magazines cross country, temporarily lost one issue in the hotel parking lot...  which of course brought on an enormous meltdown, and then Max snuck six apple juice boxes in the back of the van, ate only a chocolate chip cookie for dinner...  Then threw up all over Chris's bare chest and Lucas's special blankets in the middle of the night... and I spent 2:00-4:00 am in the hotel laundry room whilst Lucas sobbed quietly on his pull out sofa bed until his blankets were clean.  And then was up every two hours with an infant.  You know.  That time.  Yeah.  Chris and I are a little scarred.

So... instead of a hotel in Santa Fe, we got a little condo.  Two bedrooms.  With doors.  They can puke all over themselves in the privacy of their own room and we never have to know a thing about it.  Perfect.  The condos are situated on a steep hill, so there's lots of of sidewalk and steps in the complex.  And of course our unit was in the center, far from the parking lot.  And of course, Lucas must bring the comfort of home with him on road trips.  Not his 46 issues of Zoobook magazines, this time.  Only his two blankets (of course); pillow pet; stuffed gorilla (which is as large as the three year old); stuffed beagle (also as large as the three year old); stuffed panda (reasonably sized, thank you very much.); stuffed rabbit; and stuffed parrot.  These are his father, mother and sisters respectively, and Lucas cannot travel without them.  Oh, and three animal encyclopedias, four back issues of Williams Sonoma catalogues and two cupcake cookbooks.  Let's not forget about that little bit of light reading.  (And in case you're curious, yes.  Yes, we DO take ALLLLL of this with us every time we stay anywhere overnight.  Yes.)  

It took the whole family several trips up and down the steep, and windy steps of the condominium complex just to carry all of Lucas's entourage.  Max was carrying the gorilla (Lucas's father, remember.) which is almost as big as he is.  He was struggling a bit, having a difficult time navigating the steps while looking over the gorilla's fur.  An older gentleman was out of his patio watching our little parade.  "Wow!  You guys sure have a lot of stuff!"  We politely smile in return.  "You guys moving in?"  Another gracious smile.  Then to Max as he's carrying the gorilla, "That sure is a big monkey!"  To which Max replied, because he is awesome, "Yes.  But I believe in myself.  And if you believe in yourself you can do anything."

That's right, Max.

When we finally got all of Lucas's nighttime necessities into the condo, we walked down our hill (our very steep hill) to the town center to find dinner.  Santa Fe is always lively, in a quaint art town kind of way, but this evening was an exception.  So crowded.  There was apparently a big event in Santa Fe that weekend, one that we were neither expecting or invited to.  (rude.)  Could not find a table anywhere.  Hungry.  Tired.  Cranky.  The boys were holding up pretty well though.  I, on the other hand was barely able to contain my fury.  I'm a ticking time bomb of rage on a good day, like the Hulk ready to flip out and smash at any moment.  Really.  All the time.  But this was testing my resolve.  How dare my beloved city not have a table outside on a lovely patio somewhere for me and my freshly washed, travel weary, sweet faced offspring?  

The first restaurant we went to...  the beautiful patio was full.  And to accommodate a table for six seemed to be a real hardship on the hostess.  "I'll have to push two tables together."  the bemused woman said confusedly to Chris.  He waited.  For a while.  Then leaned in and politely said, "Then push two tables together."  Thirty minutes later the tables were pushed together and the restaurant was filling up with attractive, well dressed childless people.  And Jude was not cool with being put in a high chair after 8 hours in the car.  If it took thirty minutes for them to push two tables together, how long will it take fro them to bring french fries and plastic cups of lemonade???  Not a good fit...  So we left.  

Three tries later, we ended up at a rooftop pizza place on the other side of the Paseo.  45 minute wait.   ummm...  no.  I will kill you all.  But Max did follow a waitress into the kitchen to chat.  "Did you know that pizza is my favorite food?  I only like pepperoni."  Then we got stuck in the basement because of a broken elevator (seriously?  yes.  seriously.).  At last we found a table at a little diner off of the square and sat down to eat at 9:00.  Then walked up the steep hill to our condo.  In the dark.  With no street lights.  And four small boys.

Screw you, Santa Fe.  Screw you and your quaint narrow, poorly lit  no sidewalk streets.

But nobody puked on Chris.  So, a win all things considered.

The next morning we were not sad to have Santa Crapface Fe in our rear view mirror.  Ya know...  an hour after we had packed the van with Lucas's nighttime necessities.  After that.

When we got to Colorado, we stopped at a pretty rest stop.  Put my camera on a rock and let Harry hold the remote.  And Max got to hold some sticks.  Everybody's happy.

 photo joyful-sig_zps350c7fb1.jpg

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