Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Feliz Cumpleaños Genevieve!

Genevieve was super excited the morning of her birthday.  I was super nervous.  Inviting guests that you don't know very well (in a foreign country) to a party is a bit of a gamble.  
You go through all the steps to prepare, all the while wondering 'will they come?'

Genevieve had high expectations, and was already thanking me for throwing her such a great party...before anyone had even shown up.

  The party was at 2:00, and the pizza was to be delivered at 2:00.
At 2:15 neither had arrived and I was getting nervous. This felt all too familiar.  

At 2:25, even Genevieve was starting to look doubtful.
Thankfully, at 2:30 the first guests arrived.  The others trickled in between 2:30-3:00.  
I know this is how it works here, but I'll never get used to it. 

4 of the 6 girls she invited came and a few siblings stayed for the party as well.  One of the mom's stayed  that I know from last time and she was a huge help.  She speaks a little english, I speak a little spanish, and we do our best to communicate asking for Genevieve to translate when need be.

When the pizzas hadn't arrived by 3:00, I had no way to contact the pizza place.  I had no phone number, and I couldn't leave the party to go to the restaurant.  Thankfully Fressia (the other mom) had the number and called on her cell phone for me.
The pizza place....FORGOT.
They delivered the pizzas about 20 minutes later.

I hadn't planned any organized games or activities for the party.  However one of the girls showed up with a bag of clothes and a very fun pool game in mind.
They called it "5 pieces of clothing" (at least thats how Genevieve translated it)

There were 2 teams with 3 players each.  At one end of the pool 2 kids were each wearing 5 articles of clothing.  At the other end you had 2 swimmers that were the carriers.  They swam to the person in clothing, took one piece off and put it on themselves and swam it back to the other side.  The team to get all 5 pieces of clothing to the other side of the pool won!  It was very funny to watch and they had a blast doing it. 

Even though I couldn't understand anything, I could tell that it was a nice group of girls.  

The kids first sang the spanish birthday song they sing in Costa Rica, then Dane, Zeke and I followed up with the traditional one we sing at home.
 This is one happy girl.
And this is one happy mamacita.
 Genevieve was on a high the rest of the night telling me this was one of her top 2 birthday parties.
I was pretty happy too.
And exhausted.  :)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Pee, a babysitter and getting screwed at the doctor

It was an eventful day.  It started nice and early at 2:00am.  There was pee.  And showers.  And stripping the bed and remaking the bed using some of the sheets from my own bed .  Because this was 3 days in a row people and we were a bit short on bed linens at this point.  Thank the Lord in heaven for the tablecloth idea because if I had another soaked mattress to deal I think I would have cracked.  I mean really cracked.

I have no predictions for tonight.  I don't know why this is happening or how to make it stop.  My global prayer effort didn't work so maybe I'm supposed to learn something from this.  I would like to learn it very fast and get on with life thankyouverymuch.

I got a babysitter! I have needed to do some work for our business, and getting interrupted every 10 seconds when you're entering billing information is a recipe for disaster.  Also, the internet is intermittent (as in I have to lift my laptop up to my bedroom window every time I need a page to load), so I needed to go somewhere with a better connection.  So I hired a girl (somewhere between the age of 16 and 32 - I have no idea) to watch the boys for 2 hours this afternoon while Genevieve was in school.  She speaks no english.  I pretty much handed her my most prized possessions, gave her a couple bucks, and hoped she'd return them at the agreed upon time.  And she did!  I know some of you are wondering what a babysitter in CR costs.  She is charging me $4/hour.  I actually think it's a little high, but the person who referred her was translating for me when I met her and acted like it was a fair price.

I was pretty excited to go spend some alone time doing something really exciting like...work.  It's all relative.  I just needed somewhere that I could get an iced coffee and a good internet connection.  My first stop - Cafecito had coffee but their internet was down.  My next stop was a coffee house called Mateo's.  They had internet, but the coffee maker was down.  By my third stop - Gusto Beach, I got my coffee and internet but 30 minutes of my time was gone.  But the view was amazing.  Not a bad office at all.

When the boys were brought back to me Dane was really complaining about his ear.  This was ear infection #2.  I was getting worried that he was getting back to back infections and that the drops the farmacia had sold me weren't strong enough.  So after G got out of school we all went for a visit to Dr Freddy, the only doctor in town.

His office was nice, he spoke great english and he even came out and greeted us when we walked in the door (eve though he was seeing another patient).  I quickly realized he didn't appear to have a receptionist. He told us he would be back to get us in 7 minutes.

We got to the exam room and Dr Freddy checked Dan'es ears and confirmed he had a double ear infection.  He then felt his neck and said one of his lymph nodes were swollen.  Next he pulled up google images for "ear anatomy" "ear infections" and finally "ear infection + lymph node".  He explained to me how ear infections work and how it's all connected.  Really basic stuff but he seemed to want to draw this whole thing out.  He then asked if I was traveling by myself and offered to have the pharmacy deliver the prescriptions to his office (right then) so I wouldn't have to drag the kids around to get them.  This was really silly because we pass the pharmacy 18 times a day.  You pass everything 18 times a day in a town this size.  The pharmacy delivered the meds in about 4 minutes (which goes to show you how close it is).  I then realized he had ordered the exact same meds I had already been giving Dane plus a pain reliever.  Seriously?

He wrote down the quantity and the frequency on each bottle and then quizzed me on each one to make sure I had it down.  I obliged by reading back to him the words he had written in plain english on each box.  Yay, I passed!

Then he showed me the calculator with the numbers 130 on it.  My mind raced.  Well it couldn't be 130 colones, because thats like a quarter.  As I'm trying to figure out if he means 13,000 colones (approximately $25)  he says "130 dollars".

I die.  But I don't show it.  In shock I hand over an obscene amount of money to a man who just spent 15 seconds looking into my sons ears and giving me the same meds I've already been giving him for a week.  For those of you who have good insurance with low co-pays and have no idea what an office visit in the US costs, this was high.  Kaiser charges $85 for an office visit.   To put it into perspective a little more, the average Costa Rican wage is $2-$3/hour.  The Tico's are not paying $130 for an office visit.

At first I was just shocked.  Then I was sad that I had to part with all that money.  But now I'm just pissed.  I fully get that I'm not going to be charged the local price.  I'm okay with that.  But I was gouged.

My bad for not asking what the visit would cost before going into the exam room.  But not in my wildest dreams did I think it would be anywhere near $130.  My guesstimate was about $45.  I was basing that number on information someone told me 2 years ago.  I had met someone who went to Dr Freddy for something simple and the visit cost $40.

There is nothing I can do about it now.  He wanted me to bring Dane back on Saturday morning so he could take a look at the progress (no charge for the follow-up - he assured me).  I honestly don't think I can stomach going back to him, "free" or not.

Dr Freddy is the only doctor in town, and is taking full advantage of that fact.

As a side-note he told me to not let the kids go swimming in the pool anymore, just the ocean - "it's cleaner".  Yah, right.  I have bought some ear plugs that they will be using, and I made up a solution of 1 part vinegar to 1 part rubbing alcohol that I will be dropping in their ears after each swim.  They love the water and it would be torture to not let them swim here.  Although I am starting to wonder if our pool is not contaminated in some way.  I wish I had someone here who could check the chemicals!

We had some more rain/thunder/lightening this evening.  I'm really enjoying these evening storms, I just hope they stay in the evenings and don't mess up our fun during the day.

And here's praying for a dry night.  Pretty please?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Not such a glamorous day

It involved pee and scrubbing and laundry and all that fun stuff.

Zeke, who has been accident-free for many months, has had 3 accidents in the last 2 weeks. After the first time he peed the bed (Genevieve's bed), Luke and I did our best to scrub it with the all purpose cleaner we had and requested new sheets from the office.  The bed still faintly smelled like pee afterwards.  (Don't worry, I've since scrubbed it some more).  The second time he peed was 2 nights ago in MY bed.  I decided to tell the office and let them handle it.  I don't know exactly what they did but I did see my mattress propped on top of a roof getting some sun, and when I climbed into it that night I didn't smell anything.  Then last night, yes the very next night, he peed in Dane's bed.  I went to bed praying and woke up praying that he wouldn't/didn't pee the bed.  He told me he didn't, and I sang a little praise of hallelujah, got him dressed for school and sent him on his way.  However, I came home to Genevieve telling me her room smelled like pee (they all share 1 room, and Zeke drifts amongst all the beds).

Sure enough, there was pee.  I COULD NOT tell the office he peed in yet another bed.  I was mortified.
My best guess is that Zeke isn't drinking enough during the day and is making up for it in the evenings.  And even though I have him go to the bathroom at least twice before bed, it just doesn't matter.  Trying to remedy this.

So I googled how to get pee out of mattresses.  Most places claim you need baking soda, vinegar, a spray bottle, clean towels, and a vacuum.  So I went traipsing around town looking for the various items.  I was only able to get the vinegar (Pali market) and spray bottle (hardware store), and we had some unused bath towels at home.  I out-sourced the sheets to be laundered, and got to work.  Spray-spray-spray, scrub-scrub-scrub, and put the fan on to air dry.  I think I got it pretty clean, but I'm going to try to find the baking soda tomorrow.  I asked around and found out what it's called and a few places to look.

As I saw him finishing off his glass of water at dinner tonight I started to panic.  I just couldn't keep doing this.  I considered buying a twin air mattress for him to sleep on..and I still might if need be.
For now, I sacrificed one of the disposable plastic tablecloths that I brought down for his birthday party.  I put it on the mattress under the sheet.  I'm hoping this doesn't cause the boys to sweat profusely during the night.  And yes, Dane welcomed him into his bed again.  According to Zeke "Dane like's pee".  Boys are weird.

Now please join me in praying for a DRY night.  This mamacita can only take so much.  Things that are fairly easy to deal with at home just aren't here.


Beyond the pee, everything else is chugging along.  Genevieve and Zeke both had good days at school.
The walk to and from Zeke's preschool is kicking my butt.  It's a a lot closer than the last place we stayed, but I still get over-heated everyday.  In fact yesterday I stopped by a store to buy a notebook on the way home and I felt like I was going to pass out.  I guess I looked like it too because the ladies working there had me sit in a chair and started fanning me.  One of them pulled out a little bottle of something and put it under my nose - I think it might have been rubbing alcohol.  I'm trying to stay better hydrated and even brought a water mister with me today.  It's not far enough to justify a taxi, but just far enough to really work me over in this heat.

We're trying to get birthday invitations out to some of Genevieve's classmates tomorrow for a party on Sunday.  Not much notice but she only started making friends yesterday so what could we do.

Okay, off to bed for me.
Everybody now...."please don't pee.  please don't pee.  please don't pee"

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Genevieve's first day of school

Successfully dropped Zeke off to school for day #2, and had a relaxing morning with G & D.  We had breakfast/lunch at the bakery, and then Genevieve headed off to her first day of school which started at noon. She left early to try to walk with her friend Amanda.

The boys and I lounged in the pool most of the afternoon.  At 4:00 I went to the school to meet her at dismissal.  I found that dismissal time is a soft 4:00.  At about 4:20 the class was finally released.  Genevieve greeted me with "are we going to walk home together, because I wanted to walk with my friends".  Ouch :)

I grilled her when she came home and found she had a great day.  She said that most of the girls in the class said they remembered her from 2 years ago, and she was already making new (old) friends.  She said they do A LOT of writing in class, and parts of it were boring, but they got TWO! recesses in just a 4 hour school day.

Hoping she continues to like it after the novelty wears off.

Monday, June 18, 2012

The hardest day

I knew it was coming, and I knew it would be hard, but I forgot how hard.  Luke went home this morning. Actually he started his journey home this morning but he is probably not landing at SFO for another couple hours.

The shuttle came to pick him up at 9:00am and Zeke and I jumped in with him so they could drop us at Zeke's preschool - just a little out of the way.  We said our goodbyes there.

Surprisingly, Zeke's drop-off went off smashingly.  He jumped right into the song/dance his classmates were doing.  Completely shocking that there was no drama if you know Zeke.  I don't know if I wrote about it last time, but he cried and screamed and tantrumed everyday at drop-off for a solid week.  It was ug

I walked home and hung out with Genevieve and Dane.  Genevieve has been begging to go to school here, so I took her to speak with the principal (they call Directór) about attending.  She did a wonderful job talking with the director.  She starts tomorrow at noon.

Dane surfed a bit today, and then we all spent the rest of the afternoon at the pool and hanging around our villa.  I let myself miss Luke and be mopey for just today.  Tomorrow, no more sulking.

The nights are the hardest without him.  It's lonely to not have another adult, and all the sounds make me a little more tense than usual.  Each day will get easier I'm sure.  But right now is when I start second guessing the sanity of being here by myself with 3 kids. Daylight always makes things better so I look forward to getting my first night without him over with.

And with that...buenos noches.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Fathers Day

Also, the day I realized I'm a total wimp.

We decided to take the kayak tour to Isla Chora which you can see from Playa Samara.  We met the guide at the beach at 8:00am so we could go out when the tide was low and there would be a beach on the island.  At high tide the beach disappears.

We loaded up in 3 kayaks - Luke/Zeke, me/Genevieve, and the guide/Dane.  It was a little crazy heading out into the breaking waves.  The guide (who spoke NO english) and his friend (who spoke some decent english) pushed us up and over the wave-break.

Then we started paddling.  Oh my word was that a work out.  I was using muscles I didn't even know I had.  I was giving it my all and I was still significantly slower than Luke and the guide.

We finally got over to the island  (maybe 45 minutes of paddling?) and you had to come into the island just right with the current and wave break.  The guide was gesturing and trying to help me get set up and I was trying to do what he told me to do, but I unexpectedly caught a big wave that launched us up onto the beach! It was a wild ride that I would have enjoyed more if I didn't think I had done something horribly wrong that was going to end horribly bad.  There was a group of about 30 kayakers already on the tiny island that were watching it all take place.  Genevieve and I yelling might have had something to do with that.  When it was over Genevieve exclaimed "that was awesome!"  Luke and Zeke came ashore with a lot less dramatics.

Unfortunately the waters at the island were pretty rough and not good for snorkeling.  Still, Dane wanted to go so Luke and the guide took him.  They saw some starfish and a few other fish.  Genevieve, Zeke and I looked in the tide pools and explored the tiny island.  At the end we had a snack of pineapple and bananas and got to see a whole bunch of iguanas come down the rocks for the scraps.  The kids loved seeing the ugly prehistoric looking creatures up close.

The tide was starting to come in so we got back in the kayaks to head back.  This is really where I realized what a wimp I am.  I was seriously struggling.  My hands were cramping, my arms were on fire and I felt like I wasn't even moving.  About half way back I started to feel nauseous.  Pathetic.

As we were coming into shore I started to get worried.  The waves were really big (for kayaks) and I had already seen quite a few people flip their kayaks at this part of the adventure.  Did I mention that Zeke was riding with me at this point?  I was really nervous about flipping with him.  Through a lot of ambiguous hand signals we finally figured out the guide was taking his kayak (with Genevieve) in and was coming back to help us.  He (and now his helper too) swam out to help us time our paddling with the waves, making sure we came in on the small waves.  I was soooo relieved.

Even though it was strenuous we all had a great little adventure.  I, however, will not be kayaking anytime again soon.  I took my first nap in a loooong time today.

We finished off the evening by going to the restaurant Rancho de la Playa which was recommended by a few locals.  It did not disappoint.  The food was delicious, reasonable priced and the atmosphere was nice.  It even had a ping pong table to entertain the kids.

Speaking of atmosphere, it should be noted that every single restaurant here is in an open-air building.  I cannot think of one single one with 4 walls and A/C.  I will try to start taking more pictures because they are beautiful with the thatched roofs and twinkling lights.

I think Luke enjoyed his Fathers Day.  We definitely enjoyed celebrating him.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


More beach, more surfing, blah blah blah.

Eddy from Villas Kalimba came and found us at the beach today and told us Roberto was cooking one of his famous italian dinners tonight.  We had told Roberto to let us know when he was cooking.  So we told him to plan on 2 for tonight.

It was so nice to have dinner just the 2 of us.  We showed up and the rancho looked beautful with billowy curtains and white lights.  There was just one other family dining there.

We had the most amazingly delicious 5 course italian meal made by Roberto.  I don't even know if I can describe everything it was so intricate.  He used many ingredients straight from Italy.  I absolutely stuffed myself. Truthfully, I was full after the second course, but what's a girl to do when the food just keeps coming?

When we were finished and finally asked for the check we got the sweet surprise that Roberto made us dinner as a gift.  I have kept in touch with him for these past 2 years, and he has become a true friend.  I was so touched by his generosity tonight.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Monsoon

We have had a week of gorgeous weather.  Sunny, not too humid, and just really comfortable.  The rainy season was not looking too rainy.  And then last night made up for it.  I’m not sure of the exact definition of “monsoon” but I think it was pretty close.  The crackle of the lightening lit up the sky, the KABOOM of the thunder rattled our bones, and the water, oh the water, it came down in buckets for hours upon hours.  It was intense.

The lightening and thunder eventually moved on but it continued to rain all day today.  Lots of Uno was played, books read, and Spanish cartoons on the tube.   I now realize I didn’t pack enough rainy day activities.   I had a little pile of games set aside but they were put in the camper for spring break and never made it back to my Costa Rica packing pile.  Huge bummer.  At about noon I decided to check out a few local store to see what the had in terms of games and activities, but all the shops were closed.  I guess they all close for almuerzo (lunch) but I didn’t remember that from our last trip. 

I had planned on using the computer to do some child-led learning while here, but not having the internet consistently at our villa has put a damper on that.   Like last night when we came upon the howler monkeys the kids had a bunch of questions about them.  I would have loved to come back and googled around with them to find out the answers.  But, maybe it’s a good thing to be a little more disconnected and deliberate with the computer.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Haircuts and monkeys

We started off the morning getting medicine for Dane as he has an ear infection.  I have no idea what I'm giving him but hope it clears up soon.  Keeping an ear dry with a pool and ocean as our main sources of entertainment is no small feat.

Luke took Genevieve & Dane to the beach and I took Zeke to visit his preschool today.  He has been really anxious to go visit and even start.  Very surprising for the boy who hates new things.  True, he has been there, but it’s been 2 years.  I can’t really figure out what he remembers and what he doesn’t.  He said he remembers the school and his teacher Miss Hazel, but he wasn’t too convincing. 

Luke wanted to get a haircut and Zeke needed one too, so off we went to find the hairdresser that the locals use (opposed to the one in town with gringo prices).  Luke left with Zeke a little earlier than the rest of us.  We ended up way behind them as we spotted a bunch of howler monkeys on the side of the road and the kids wanted to stay and watch them for a bit.  They were quite close to us so we had a really good view.  They loved the baby monkeys holding onto their mama’s.  After a bit, we went on to find the hair place.

We were following directions from the receptionist where we are living.  I CANNOT BELIEVE WE FOUND THE PLACE.  It was outside of town in a residential area of dirt roads with no street signs.  (Actually the whole country lacks street signs).  There are a couple restaurants out there to use as landmarks, but STILL.  There was no sign on the establishment at all.  When I finally found it I just knew there was no way Luke and Zeke had found it.  But I was wrong.  They were mid-cut when we got there.  I think the cuts were $6/each (I think we still got the gringo price, but better than the prices in town).

It was getting close to dinner so we decided to find a local “soda” called Pablitos that a lot of the locals talk about that was in the general area.  The ambience was rustic and the food was great.  The kids had to do some translating for us while there and I just love the look of surprise on the locals when they start speaking Spanish.  I get a little rush of satisfaction.  We finished off the night with some ice cream cones which always makes the kids happy. 

I just saw a gecko run across the kitchen ceiling.  Dane is my resident gecko capturer and he’s at the pool.  They always end up in my bedroom which totally creeps me out.  Gag.

Monday, June 11, 2012

No internet so the days are running together

The internet has been down so I haven't been blogging, thus all my days are running together.  I'll just give the highlights.

Going without A/C has not been bad at all.  I think it has even helped us acclimate to the weather better as we're aren't going from cold to hot constantly.  The weather has been very mild and we have had no rain yet which is surprising.

We have spent countless hours at the beach, the kids never tire of it.  Genevieve got back out in the water with Didier and regained her confidence.  They are both LOVING the surfing.

We went to the bakery we used to always visit and where Zeke had a fan named Linda.  Not only did she remember him (and us) she went bananas for Zeke.  He of course gave her the stink eye and was being the little pill that he is.  But that is exactly how she remembered him so he didn't disappoint.  We have gone there a few times already and she does her best to get hugs and kisses every time.

Genevieve played with Amanda the other day and it was wonderful to hear her spanish flowing freely.  Then Dane played with her brother Dario and his spanish was flowing just as much.  I think he is even less inhibited to use his spanish.

Genevieve is begging to go to school, but we still haven't decided what to do.

Dane is once again getting eaten alive by the mosquitos so I bought him a bed net.  Hoping it helps!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

We tried

We attempted to go to church this morning, but it wasn't meant to be.  We caught wind of an english service being held at the Patio Colonial (shopping center), but we went and waited and nobody showed up.  I later got in touch with the people running it and found they are out of the country for 2 weeks.
Oh well, we tried.

Off to the beach!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Surf Lessons again

Genevieve and Dane took surf lessons on our last trip and they had a blast.  Unfortunately Dane got bonked below his eye one of his first times out without an instructor and he declared he was done.  Genevieve however was hooked and did lot's of surfing for the remainder of our stay.

We decided to go to the same surf school (C&C's) and hire the same instructor (Didier) because he did such a great job last time.  He took them a bit further with these lessons, teaching them about waxing the board, how to make sure the leash is not damaged, etc.  G & D both did great out in the water, getting up on the first waves they tried.  But after about a half an hour Genevieve came back in because she was scared she was going to get hurt.  This time Dane was the one hooked.

We tried convincing Genevieve to get back out there, but to no avail.  Didier is adamant that he wants to get her back out there, so hopefully he will have more success convincing her.

The kids met a little girl from Nebraska a couple days ago and we have seen her family on the beach and have enjoyed getting to know them.

Did I mention Samara is a ghost town right now?  It is the slow season, but it is seriously DEAD here.  Much slower than June 2010.  It's really strange feeling.

Dinner at Pizza Paraiso.  Our friend Daniela's fiance(?) owns the place. - It was delicious.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Day 2

The kids didn't get to sleep until close to midnight (EST) last night, and we all had to be up by 7:30 to check in by 9:00, for our 10:55 flight to Liberia, Costa Rica.  Everything went well (with the usual whining and complaining that accompany traveling with 3 kids).

We arrived in Liberia to a much improved airport.  2 year ago you got off the plane via a set of stairs at the end of the runaway and went through customs and everything in an open-air building.  There was a roof but no walls.  This time we got off into one those little tunnel things that led us right into an enclosed building with air conditioning.  The airport was very nice, but I do kind of miss the old "rustic" one.

In customs, of course they decided that we were the ones that needs all 10 of our bags searched.  Lucky us!    The customs agent didn't speak english so we brought Genevieve over to him to translate.  She was very shy at first so Dane tried to help out too.  The agent was more interested in talking to the kids and finding out about where they were learning their spanish than the contents of our bags.  Genevieve is nervous that her spanish isn't good enough, and doesn't realize that most people are impressed with the amount she knows.

Our driver was waiting for us with his sign "Ami Taylor" :) and loaded up our 10 bags.  We had a little bit of rain at the airport and a few minutes more on the drive to Samara.

We stopped in Nicoya to do a little grocery shopping, and then arrived in Samara around 4:00.  We unloaded our bags into our villa and headed toward the beach to get something to eat and play.  On this one outing we ran into almost everyone we know in town. Just down the road G & D's friends mom recognized us and we said hello.  Then Genevieve's friend Amanda saw her in the distance and called to her.  Their greeting was very cute.  Genevieve wasn't prepared for the cheek kissing that they do here. Then we saw the owner of Villas Kalimba (where we lived in 2010).  At dinner, Didier - the kids surf instructor from last time walked past us and said hello.  Then we saw Eddy - the groundskeeper of VK riding his bike.  Lastly we saw Daniela the receptionist from VK on the main street.  I saw other people I recognized but don't know very well.  It was all pretty amusing and reminded me how small Samara is.

We are back in the villa getting settled for the night.  Fans are running as we are attempting to live here without A/C to save some money.  We'll see how it goes!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Day 1

After some last minute packing in the morning we picked up Genevieve & Dane from school to head to the airport.  Right when we pulled into SFO I realized I forgot my stroller.  Yes, an almost 5 year old really is too big for a stroller, but we do a lot of walking in Sámara and his preschool is a long hot walk away.  Zeke doesn't like to walk and makes it pretty miserable for everyone so I went into a bit of a panic at forgetting the stroller.  There really wasn't time for anyone to bring it to me, so that was that.

We had an uneventful flight to Miami and checked into the Miami airport hotel at 9:30 EST (6:30 PST).

I have done this before, so why I am I having those "what the heck am I doing?" feelings again?