Before saying anything else, I must give all the credit in the world to D for her involvement with this vacation. It took the patience of Job for her to deal with me as well as whining children the entire time without losing her cool. Not all of her ideas were winners during this escapade, but this whole thing wouldn't have even been possible if it wasn't for her persistence.
Having said that, her sister's inclusion on this trip was quite the experience, for a lack of better words. It was the first time I've gone on a cross-country trip with a teenager and not been a teenager myself. It wouldn't have been so bad if she wasn't at that boyfriend phase. Her borderline psychotic boyfriend called her cel phone at least once every hour to check on her whereabouts. As D pointed out, she spent more time talking to him during that trip than she did to us. All that could have been avoided if D would have made her leave the cel phone behind as I suggested.
Well this trip was definitely about the shorties. Everything we did was predicated on their anticipation of enjoyment. Last time, it was about half and half as D and I also enjoyed SeaWorld and Universal Studios. This time around, it was just a so-so factor for me as far as enjoyment. It would have been nice to do some things like Busch Gardens, Animal Kingdom or Kennedy Space Center.
We're still doing the Houston trip in the summer but most assuredly we will have better planning this time. We will have more time to save up with that trip so we can do the amusement park visits. Elijah and Mariah will also be coming so that will mean a more crowded ride down there. The plus side of that is with them coming, I will have more of a buffer for B's inevitable tantrums.
As she always does after a vacation in warm weather, D was once again whining about wanting to move to Orlando. I'm sure she'll do the same thing after we visit Houston. I have to always be the voice of reason and remind her that I won't be moving that far away from my family. Especially Elijah and Mariah. She complains that she can't take another Iowa winter, even though she was born and raised here. I remind her that I always say the same thing about one of B's infamous tantrums but if I can suck it up and fight thru that then she can do the same thing about Iowa's inclement weather.