Monday, 9 June 2008

It did have epic proportions, this moving cross country all by myself with the four children. I must acknowledge here that my parents were a ton of help in sending me off to the airport, with all three very over sized bags plus two stuffed car seat cases. The dogs were taken care of, the children fed and bathed, I was made up and ready to go. So we left a very windy Spring/Fall day in Utah, and started our journey. We flew Jetblue, boy were they helpful!!! They forgave me a couple of pounds my bag was overweight; they overlook a bag of toiletries I had packed in my carry-on by mistake (complete with eyebrow plucker, shampoo and all), they helped me through security … My children are seasoned travelers, and they were amazing. Even El Cangri took his shoes off before I said anything, and was a total angel. My little Chubbers, being the vivacious toddler she is, just wanted to run. Thank goodness for the stroller and my heaven sent baby sling. I just love it! The first leg of the trip was painless. Except that when we had almost made it to our destination, El Cangri complained of a stomachache, and I immediately gave him the little white bag, and he threw up in it. He didn’t even soiled his shirt (he was so worried he had gotten dirty!), and nobody knew he had been sick. When we deplaned and gave the flight attendant the bag, he was so surprised he hadn’t even noticed when he was only sitting behind us the whole trip! 

While we waited for our next flight, the red eye that would take us to papa, we had a sandwich that to our surprise was very good. It seemed that my Cangri’s problem was airsickness and not a bug, and I was so grateful for that. We ended up waiting 4 hours instead of three because our flight was delayed. But we watched “Alvin and the Chipmunks” on my computer, and the 3 kids had their Nintendo DS’s to keep them entertained, and books! We read also. On the plane we had a row with a ton of legroom. We were on row 2 (we didn’t have to pay extra!), and Princess and Gorgeoous were on the row across the hall from Cangri, Chubbers and me. A young guy sat beside Gorgeous, and I could tell he was so nervous? worried? because he kept trying to make small talk with my son. Gorgeous kept looking at me and rolling his eyes. I had to laugh when the flight attendant started doing the safety demonstration before take-off, and the guy handed Gorgeous the safety leaflet. Gorgeous just stared at it; the guy took it back and put it away. Hahahaha!!!!!! Another guy sat beside Cangri and me. Cangri was in the middle, and I held Chubbers. I can’t feel my arms today. That baby kept moving restlessly because she’s not used to sleeping in my arms. And every time I fell asleep, my arms would give out. So I had to fight to stay awake so I wouldn’t drop my baby. I also wanted to keep an eye on the kids, and Cangri kept wanting to hug and get a hold of the guy sitting beside him. Both men, were so gracious about sitting beside us, and my children were very well behaved. 
We arrived; Gorgeous helped me with my rolling bag, and Princess carried her own rolling bag and El Cangri’s backpack. He said “es pesada!” (it’s heavy!). It only contained his playmobile and Nintendo. 
At the luggage claim carousel, we met papa. The older kids run to him, and El Cangri kept running around them to find a spot he could get a hold of papa. Then Jeff picked him up, and even when he had to put down El Cangri, our little boy kept clutching his leg. He was not going to let go! My Chubbers kept squealing for papa to hold her. He did and she kissed him over and over while she chanted, “Who loves papa? ME!!!!!!” 
We all rested at the apartment which was so dirty! But I didn’t have the energy to start right away. I finally got up a couple of hours later, and we went shopping. It was Puerto Rico all over again. Cleaning supplies, vacuum cleaner (yes, no vacuum cleaner after 2 months in the apartment), and food. We made the unavoidable trip to Wal-Mart, and then we went to the grocery store, Wengman?, I don’t recall the name. But I loved that store!!!!!! The produce section was incredible. They had a section for mushrooms, with a ton of variety, olives of every kind, fruits and vegetables from all over the world. They even had malanga and yucca! A whole display of only feta cheese. Delicious fresh bread, all kinds of hispanic foods (by Hispanic read Puerto Rican), and believe it or not … yerba mate!!!! Organic to boot. I had brought my own, but it wasn’t the kind we like but it was the only one I had at the moment. So I bought yerba which is delicious, I’m drinking mate right now, and a rotisserie chicken and tons of fresh real food. 
We came back to the apartment, and I made pesto pasta and salad with the chicken. We were all satisfied, and while the kids got wild and used their energy I got to work. It took me two hours, but I cleaned every part of this little apartment. Jeff said, “It looks like home.” And I know what he meant. Not the physical aspect; you can’t compare our 5000+ square feet home with this two bedroom place. But the place was clean, it smelled good, there was good food, and the kids were laughing in the background. This is what I do best; this is my passion in life. I can make a home for my husband and my children anywhere we are. We don’t have the toys, the space, the luxuries, but we are together. That is real happiness.  

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3 responses to “The Oddysey”

  1. Cristina says:


    I’m so glad you had a good and safe trip and are together with Jeff as a family

    Have fun and say hi to everybody

    With love your friend

  2. Stacy says:

    Wow sounds like an adventure! I am sure Jeff is soooooo glad to have you all there! I always scrub the apartment down the day I get there, and the day I leave! I feel bad leaving everytime, because I know nick appreciates my help while I am there.

    The Metro is really easy to take. It does take longer to get to DC (about a half hour). The day passes are about $7.50. If you get a day pass then you can get on and off as you like, so you don’t have to walk so much. I have never driven to DC, so I am not sure how easy parking is, but the Metro stops are pretty close to most everything. The only things that are far a way from the metro are the Lincoln memorial, and the white house, but completely walkable. The wives and I did it with two 18 month olds in stroller. there is so much grassy area around the monument, and the National Mall (that is wear all of the museums are) that the kids can run around. Heather Huling (Keith’s wife) is from DC, so she is an expert at the Metro and places to see.

    I have plans to come out there when they move, so I can help Nick so he doesn’t have to worry about packing and unpacking. So hopefully I will be there for a few days while you are there.

    Have fun with your whole family together finally!

  3. Sherri E. says:

    Wegman’s is AWESOME. Before gas got so expensive I drove in from Manassas every week to do my shopping there. Now it’s more like once a month. 🙁

Yamile Saied Mendez

Yamile (sha-MEE-lay) Saied Méndez is a fútbol-obsessed Argentine-American, Picture Book, Middle Grade, and Young Adult author.

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