The last day of our stay in MA consisted of a lot of driving on my part, dropping J off at work, meeting up with old friends, a painful jaw, and fantastic food.
I dropped J off at his coworkers office in Westboro and took the kids to my old coworker and good friend Laurens salon in Fitchburg. I was smart and stopped at Target prior to stock up on sugary treats to make them behave while I caught up with her and got a trim. I must say I was incredibly proud of the boys. They were very well behaved and I couldn't stop praising them after we left. I miss Lauren and her daughter Stephanie dearly. It seems like both yesterday and a very long time that I was myself a stylist.
Picking up J from work we hung out with his coworkers for awhile, joked around, and watched as both Zavi and Ashe consumed chocolate protein bars nobody in their right mind would taste. All of us adults were impressed at their lack of taste buds.
My mom was gracious enough to babysit the boys and take them out for a night of fun while J and I hit up our favorite restaurant ever, Dali, in Somerville. We got to pretend for a few hours we had no kids, priceless in our books as it's very rare we get to shed our parent personae and don our adult personae. Unfortunately between leaving Lauren and then my lower jaw started to hurt like hell. I had no idea why, and it came on quickly. But by the time we got back to our hotel before leaving for dinner I was literally in tears. J wanted to cancel dinner but I refused, swallowed two Aleves, and hoped for the best. I refused to let pain stop me from enjoying the best Tapas in the country.
Once we fought traffic and found ourselves seated my pain was just a dull throb and we went to town picking out which Tapas to share. I downed 3/4 of a pitcher of freshly made Sangria, and we both went to heaven as we dined. Dalis is the only place I know of where each person silently knows that when one takes a bite of food, all conversation ends, the eyes close in delirium, and you savor that taste in your mouth for as long as possible. It took us 2 hours to finish 7 courses of Tapas.
Of course heading out to our car we saw we had a parking ticket, but J brushed it off and said it was well worth it. Stupid Boston parking.
Thursday night we loaded up the car, bi adieu to MA and drove as far as we could. We stopped between Baltimore and DC, much further than we anticipated, and started looking for an inexpensive hotel for my kids to destroy for the night. We found 2 options: La Quinta and Holiday Inn. J wanted to check out La Quinta first, but I adamantly refused when I saw a bunch of guys in the parking lot with a hibachi grill cooking up god knows what. Not that I have anything against hibachi grills, but I just didn't feel right staying at a place where grilling in the parking lot in front of the lobby was deemed acceptable. Fortunately Holiday Inn had great prices, no hibachi grilling in front of the lobby doors, and were friendly to loud, overtired, kids.
Yesterday morning we woke up at 7, enjoyed a buffet breakfast and hit the road to DC. We promised the kids a trip to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. Actually I was looking forward to it myself, the only reason we didn't purchase a one way plane ticket for Soren and I home. I had never been to the Smithsonian and I was not going to miss out!
We found a parking spot in front of (well really the back entrance of) the museum. There was a parking feed o meter that you could either use a credit card or coins. $2 an hour, 2 hours max. Of course the one we parked by wouldn't take credit cards of any kind. So we scrounged around the van looking for quarters and ended up with exactly 8. I figured in an hour we could exchange bills fr coins and repay but at that point in time we had to hurry inside and find the insect zoo where there was a demonstration of a tarantula feeding the boys refused to miss.
The feeding was actually pretty cool, despite my inherent hatred of spiders. After we perused all the different insects then headed to the bone exhibit. I could have spent a lot longer there, as for some warped reason I love looking at old skeletons and wondering about who the person was and what they did during their lifetime. But Soren was hungry, the boys were weirded out, and J needed to feed the meter. So we made our way to Ancient Greece and Egyptian area where I watched the boys fight over a computer while I nursed Soren. J came back 15 minutes later, saying something quickly about only finding $1.40 in change. I didn't realize it at the time but that explanation meant "Honey I didn't have enough for a full hour so I decided not to pay the meter at all". I found that out when we sat down for lunch and I asked how much time we had left on our meter. It was very hard for me not to flip out after our Boston parking ticket adventure. Smiling through clenched teeth I asked for some money, went up to the cashier and got some quarters. I left the boys perusing the Dinosaurs while I ran outside hoping for a relief in parking tickets. Unfortunately when I spied our van there was a pretty pink slip blowing gently in the breeze affixed to our windshield wipers. All I could think of was thank goodness we parked next to the IRS building and not the DEPT of Justice building as I let loose a string of obscenities. Fortunately no one was around (Lunch break in DC makes for quiet sidewalks).
Since the kids surrounded J when I got back I was unable to bitch him out for which he was thankfully appreciative. I noticed the rest of our trip he always kept one kid beside him so I couldn't lose my cool. Smart bastard.
Leaving the Museum we tried to see a few of the government buildings. We could not find the White House despite repeated attempts. We gave up when our nerves were getting frayed and kept finding ourselves on the same damn block. So we left DC and continued our drive.
Arriving home late at night after hours of screaming from Soren despite repeated pit stops to calm him down, we wearily entered our house quietly thanking our lucky stars to be home. The boys of course flipped out when they realized it was bedtime, but we calmly tucked them in, shut their doors, grabbed some coffee and put our headsets on so we couldn't hear them screaming for one more tv show. I kept worrying around my teeth, as my jaw had been throbbing since Friday and let out an expletive. Wouldn't you know it, although I thought I had gotten them in long ago, my wisdom teeth were erupting through my gums. Yes, I was teething. I guess better that than my theory of having clenched my jaw so tight during tantrums all week that I was in pain. Still, with no dental, this is just one more thing not needed on the list of things throughout the week.
And that, my friends, was our trip . We survived. barely, but we survived. In the end that's really all a mom can ask for. (Oh and we made it home without ANY trips to ER so we count ourselves beyond lucky!)