We’ve just come back from a quick trip to a nearby coast: a little bit of a family get-together, a little bit of couple time, and a whole lot of beach. Overall it was a “success”, meaning it was a true get-away, a real escape, albeit brief. There were definitely moments that now, looking back, are laughable; though at the time, well… Not so much.

We had rented two adjoining rooms at a small, informal family resort near-ish to the beach. The reviews were very positive, and all said things like, “Best bet for your low budget!” and “Great place for kids to run around!” It featured a pool, a hot tub, and a poolside bar. For us, on short notice, with our entourage, and our kids, it sounded great.

We had me, hubby, babygirl and babyboy, my mom, my elderly grandmother, and for one night, my aunt. I had specifically reserved ground floor rooms, as Grandma walks with a cane and doesn’t do stairs well. At check-in, we left her in the car until we could figure out where was the best place to park so she would have the shortest walk. I asked the very busy desk clerk this very question, and she very clearly directed us to one side of the resort, telling us to enter through the “breakfast room” and walk down a hallway to our rooms.

So we went back to the cars and re-parked and entered the hotel through what appeared to be the “breakfast room.” We had the whole gang, grandma laboring in the summer heat with her cane, plus us carrying numerous bags, and two toddlers wired up after a two-hour car ride.

And we walked…. down long, dank, dark hallways, past the laundry rooms, some utility closets, and to a dead end…

Have you ever seen “This Is Spinal Tap?” Except instead of “Helloooo Cleveland!” there was me becoming more and more frustrated and angry: “I’m going to get that @#$% clerk and make her come guide us to where we need to go,” I muttered… Hubby and Babyboy did some reconnaissance and we ended up back at the lobby and re-directed (by the very flustered and contrite desk clerk) in a much more logical manner to our rooms.

The clerk ended up making up for her lack of directional sense later on… After a late lobster dinner on the outdoor patio, with the kids running circles around the lawns getting eaten alive by mosquitoes (but having a good time) we settled in for bedtime. We had done the baths, the books, the milkie cups, and were just cuddling our last cuddles. I had babygirl on my lap on one bed, and hubby was reading boks to babyboy on the other bed.
Babygirl all of a sudden giggled and hopped off of my lap to roll around on the large soft bed. She loves that,to roll around on a soft bed… She always scares the crap out of me that she’ll roll right off, but she never had.

Until right then. She just rolled right to the edge and sat up, and it seemed that she would be fine, but then, she just tipped right over backwards and hit the floor with the back of her head. CONK.

And she CRIED. Man, she screamed. Which is good, because obviously she hadn’t done any real damage. But when she screams, she invariably pukes. And she had had a whole adult-sized strawberry shortcake and a bottle of warm milk.

I was holding her and trying to comfort her when she spewed. All down my front and her front and all in a pool on the nice clean bed. She kept crying and puking until it was all out.

Meantime, babyboy was watching the whole episode in quiet horror. First, seeing her fall and hit her head and cry; then, seeing (and smelling) her puke. Now, lately he’s been doing this sympathetic puking thing. It’s happened once before that as she was wretching, he suddenly started heaving and then BLAAH! Two messes.

Well, that’s what he did. He made a gagging wrteching noice and then HE puked on the other bed. Hubby had run for towles and ended up tossing me one while he tried to catch the rest of babyboy’s puke. Hubby finally called Nana next door and asked her to take babyboy for awhile, so we could try to deal with the main disaster.

I was totally stuck. I was literally sitting in a puddle of pink curdled milk baby vomit, feeling it drip down the neck of my pajamas and soak through to my underwear. Of all of the baby-gross things I have contended with, it topped them all. Plus, it was all over her, and she was exhausted, and rubbing her eyes, which got puke in her eyes, and she started crying again.

Somehow hubby helped me peel of hers and my clothes, threw down more towels, and I carried her to the bath, and climbed in with her. Somehow we managed to bathe the puke out of her hair, with her howling… and I handed her off and got myself clean. We rolled all the god-awful soiled bedding and towels into a huge linen jelly-roll of sorts, and I called the front desk.

It was the same harried clerk, and she was eager to make up for her previous unintended unhelpfulness… She showed up with several large laundry bags, for our stuff as well as the hotel’s, and air freshener spray. She collected all the pukey linens and brought us new ones. She didn’t seem grossed out at all, though the room reeked.

And she was super-apologetic that the hotel didn’t have a laundry for guests. Meaning, we were going to have to keep our nasty pukey pajamas in that beg until we got home…

Finally, we were clean and the room smelled reasonably tolerable. We fetched babyboy, who was happily watching Bob the Builder on Nana’s laptop and none too psyched to come back to our boring room. Babygirl passed out on her dada’s shoulder and we were able to lay her down in the pack n play.

That night I was up many times checking on her. I kept thinking, maybe she really did hurt her head and that was why she was vomiting.. But she was fine, either hugging her fuzzy kitty or splayed out, baby-snoring, peaceful. She woke up like nothing had happened.

AND, in an act that qualifies her for sainthood, my aunt, who lives nerby, offered to take the bag of our disgusting pukey laundry and wash it at her house… Which, we let her, and she did, and we owe her BIG TIME. MEGA points for auntie.

The rest of the trip was less eventful; dragging beach gear from the car and over the hot sand to a perfect spot, then trying to find bathrooms; Sunburns; Hermit crabs; Sand dollars; all varieties of lobster meals; lots of local beer; sand in uncomfortable places; showers like heaven; that ocean air.

We’re already planning our next trip….