I woke up early today due to the fact that I had to; it was time for us to depart the great city of San Diego. For old-time’s sake I went to the coffee shop and ordered a small coffee then made my final walk back to the house. I won’t lie; I cried like a baby the whole time. It wasn’t because I was going to miss my morning walk to the coffee shop; it was because the coffee was so hot that I burned the entirety of my mouth – it really hurt.
I managed to gather myself before I entered the house again and then set about doing all of the fun things that need to be done before a big trip: watching my wife pack, asking her if she had remembered to pack my souvenirs (a couple of baseball caps and a stainless-steel growler), attempting to get some of the other family members to bring down the suitcases (they were really heavy, and I still needed to drink my coffee), etc. It was exhausting!
Once my wife was finished with packing, getting the suitcases in the car and herding the kids towards the car, we said our fond farewells to the rest of the family, got in the car and drove away pointing and laughing at them because we knew they would have to clean the house before they left.
My laughter quickly turned back to tears, however, once I realized that I still needed to get gas, drop my wife, kids and 367 bags at the airport, drive to the rental car place (just outside of Portland, ME) catch a flight back to the San Diego airport, get bags checked and get through security in time to miss our flight.
Luckily I was able to accomplish all of this in time but it took jumping into a shorter security screening line that, as luck would have it, was a pre-screened line. I have no idea what this meant but it sure was nice to not have to take our shoes off, remove the laptop, offer our first-born to the security gods and perform jumping jacks in the full-body scanner. I’m sure that it wasn’t the right thing to do but it was an innocent mistake and helped us get to our flight on time which, in the end, was probably a good thing for San Diego. The city hates to see grown men cry three times in one day.
After two uneventful flights we made it back to Portland. Upon retrieving most, if not all, of our bags and a few others’ bags I set off to catch a shuttle back to Portland, ME to pick up our car (parking is much cheaper in Maine) and then drove back to Portland, OR to pick up my family and a few other people that were, for some, reason, still attached to their bags. On the drive home the kids regaled us with screams and demands to know when we were going to go back to San Diego. Since I couldn’t make the threat of “turning the car around” because, if I did in fact, have to turn the car around I would have cried (I’m telling you that coffee was really hot!) I, instead, dropped everyone off at the light-rail station and pointed and laughed at them as I drove I away. My wife pointed back; just with a different finger.
Now that we are all home safe-and-sound and are no longer pointing fingers at each other, I’ve had no time reflect on the entirety of our family vacation and it’s possible that I never will. Either way, without need for reflection, I can unduly say that it was a nice week in San Diego and very pleasant to spend time with family for a week. I know that my wife and kids enjoyed the trip and I hope the rest of the families did as well. If not, I’m sure it wasn’t my fault (except for the dirty diaper I hid under my father in-law’s bed as a present for his birthday).