Florida is supposed to be fun…right?May 31, 2011 at 9:56 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
Two hours into our drive down to Orlando, Liam set the tone for the whole trip, vomiting up breakfast all over himself. James hastily pulled to the side of the highway and we mopped him up as best we could. The only clothes we had handy were his swim trunks and swim shirt. We spent the next five hours with the windows down, breezing through a drive-thru for lunch, and making record time to our first stop at the Econolodge in Florence, SC. Liam mostly slept and watched cartoons on the DVD player we set up in the backseat. Blessed device! We soaked the carseat cover in the tub and hung it to dry (per the care instructions), walked over to the closest restaurant for dinner, and watched Liam like Mt. Vesuvius ready to expode. Thankfully whatever ailed him that morning had passed. Though our room made me a bit nauseated — peeling paint, pieces of ceiling literally falling into the tub, and me the hyper-active mom trying to keep Liam from getting into the corners of the room and touching…ick. Needless to say, we’ll be resting somewhere else on our return trip.
The next morning, with a dry and relatively stench-free carseat, we set off for the second leg of our trip. Unlike the day before, we started right in on the cartoons, and Liam kept quiet for seven blessed hours, except to ask us for more cartoons. My excitement grew as I spotted palm trees. Palm trees! I’ve been dreaming of them for months. James swears he saw an alligator on the side of the highway. Palm trees and alligators, oh my!
Our room at the La Quinta Inn in Lake Mary was quite nice, and James spent the evening driving us around to his old haunts — his old house, old middle school and high school. And for being in the car for two days straight, we marveled at how well-behaved Liam was being. He played with drawers and doors in our room, set out his trains and played on his own, and even went to bed at a decent hour. Little did we know he was saving all his bad behavior for our first day of house hunting.
Oh. My. God. I mean, I know taking a two year old around to look at houses is probably inviting disaster. But my kid is so good most of the time. Some of the time. Except for today. Ugh.
Plus, because of the holiday we had a hard time getting many appointments made today, so we only saw two houses. And both houses were disappointing. The first was a little small and run down, though I really liked the neighborhood. James didn’t think much of it, and he was concerned about his commute. The second house was near the University of Central Florida, and after walking over broken glass on the sidewalk in front of the house, and getting a frantic wave and “way to go!” from the neighbors across the street when they inquired if we were thinking of renting there, we got the distinct feeling that this house was usually rented to students. That, and we had to share our tour of the house with about five kids who were wanting to room there. Together. Sheesh.
Back at the hotel we scoured craigslist to schedule a few more appointments for Wednesday, chowing on Krystal burgers at my insistance. (I’d never eaten there before and wanted to try it. James said it was like White Castle. Not entirely unpleasant, but not something I’d eat again, either, lol.) Normally this would take an hour, tops. But of course Liam, after wailing in the car practically the whole time we drove to our appointments, wailed some more in the hotel room. So we had to take turns placated him while trying to call people and search listings. I even took him down to the pool for a bit, which he did enjoy. But James and I have been cranky as hell today, snapping at the poor lil’ guy at every turn. It’s been rough on all of us.
We’re hoping tomorrow will be better. The plan is to see three or four more places, and hopefully one of those will work out for us. We’d really like to spend Thursday doing something fun — probably SeaWorld, which we think Liam will enjoy more than Disney World — and then start back home on Friday. But we’re prepared to stay longer if we need to. Despite this enormous undertaking, I am liking the homes and neighborhoods we’ve seen. It all feels very spread out, but we’ve been trying to avoid the toll roads by taking surface streets, so it’s been taking us a long time to drive between neighborhoods. I think I’ll feel better once we find a house to rent and I can get a better sense of my surroundings. Right now it just seems like endless strip malls and highways. And palm trees, of course. Gotta love the palm trees.