Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Yeah, so we’d finally arrived in Charleston (part II)

We’d used points to get a room at Springhill Suites, hoping that “suites” would imply enough living space to give the baby some room. Not so much. So each night one of us would try to rock her / calm her down while the other one hid in the bathroom / closet / etc. waiting. Or we’d sit in the dark room / lay on the bed and pretend to be asleep till she went down – which, at least in my case, inevitably led to me actually falling asleep and waking up at midnight or so to brush my teeth and take out my contacts. My husband looked at me one night in Savannah when we were lying in bed at 8:30 while it was still light out and we could hear kids playing in the pool outside and said – “you know, this is the 9 year old me nightmare - going to bed when it’s light out and you can hear kids playing. At 33, it’s kind of awesome!”

So yes, sadly, I’m old and boring. Falling asleep at 8:30 sounded great! Especially as we seemed to have set ourselves a 3 or 4 am wake up call – of the biological variety when the baby would start crying. At home, when this goes on a few nights, we’ll start to let her cry it out (she’s going to be finding her way out of that crib soon and I really don’t want to spend 3 hours walking her back to her bed each night till she gets the idea that she has to stay there. As an aside, I am making no progress against this goal.), but we worried about doing this in a hotel where she might wake up the whole place (with that siren going, they might think it was an air raid!). So my husband would get her and move to the couch (this was the part that made it a “suite”) with her for the next few hours – while she moved the length of his body in her fitful sleep. At the second hotel, the couch was not at all comfortable, so at 6, he walked over to me and unceremoniously said – “your turn!” – while he laid down to try to get some feeling back in his extremities after cutting off circulation on the lower vertebrae. So I stayed awake while my “sort of” sleeping daughter made her way up and down the length of me – taking a foot in the belly, an elbow in the neck, whatever! Just make this kid sleep! Yeah, by the last nights, we decided she couldn’t cry that long and it would be just fine – the walls were thick enough. And, shockingly, it turned out it was – her tears were short lived and she went back to sleep. Well, dang, if I’d known that…

Anyway, our first full day in Charleston we decided to go see Fort Sumter. We took the ferry out, listened to the tour and then were told we had about an hour on the island before the boat left, so get going. It’s actually a small island, but we really felt like we could use another 15-30 minutes (I’d say the monkey did NOT agree). I thought we could take whatever ferry back rather than being relegated to the one we came on, so we asked. Yes, but the next ferry coming was actually coming from a different place. We could get on that one, but it wouldn’t take us back to our car. Hmm…OK. The next one coming from our port would get us back about 3 hours later. So, uh, not 30 minutes then? We decided we could probably read about whatever was in the museum online. Also at the spot where you get the ferry (well, one of them, apparently) to Fort Sumter was the USS Yorktown (an aircraft carrier). The husband was VERY excited at the possibility of touring this! But we decided we’d tortured the baby enough for one day and we’d just come back the next (the 4th!) to see it. We had not yet pulled out of the parking lot when the baby fell asleep in her car seat – yeah, she was done.

Unfortunately we thought about it later and realized that aircraft carriers don’t really tend to be stroller friendly. In fact they involve a lot of climbing up ladders and through hatches – not something all that conducive to a toddler. (I told a friend of mine this and she said that we were clearly wimps as indigenous people in S. America climb the Andes with babies all the time (she doesn’t have kids – and also was kidding). I said that they probably had baby slings (the Mobie (sp?) I’ve drooled over) and we didn’t.)

Most of the rest of our time in Charleston was spent roaming around – a (self guided) walking tour and just checking the place out. We discovered the fountains that are designated as public pools and let the monkey go in in her diaper (no, it’s not a swim diaper, but it’s a fountain, not REALLY a pool anyway!), vowing to throw a swim diaper and her bathing suit in our bags for next time) while I got soaked hovering over her (which wasn’t half bad in 90 degrees either!).

Highlights beyond the fountain included a Mexican place with $3 margaritas for Momma... Hmm, having fond memories of Charleston as I go back to work now...

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