Taking several people on a family vaca is a daunting task to say the least. My wife planned our trip. She coordinated it with her sisters who helped her siblings figure out where to go, what to show us, and how to make it a comfortable trip for all. She dropped the ball on ordering extra transportation. A rookie mistake Lol Since that was the only bad thing that happened the entire week she still gets an A+ and we were all very impressed with her vacation planning skills.

On Thursday night we packed up everything that hadn’t been packed. I told the girls 3 bags each, NO MORE! I took 2 bags for myself and 2 bags each for my boys. We still didn’t wear all the things I had packed for them. Keep in mind we were shopping like crazy and kept laundering, then wearing our new clothes so that helped. We had our flight info from our chartered flight. That was the best part and probably my smartest move. I knew getting all of us on time for a commercial flight would be bad. Or having my boys stuck on a commercial flight for 8 hours would be bad for everyone else. I ordered a 50 passenger plane for the week and told everyone the back 2 rows are for us, ya’ll can have any other seats. I needed room so that we could do things with the boys because I knew they would not sleep the whole way. We even had that conversation of flying in at night on purpose so that they might sleep but I changed my mind a month prior to the trip. They need to learn these things because we are a traveling family. I also need to learn since 99% I’m the pilot and I don’t get the experience of what my boys are doing while I’m in the cockpit.

On Friday morning the flight was supposed to leave at 10am. My wife made that non-negotiable. She even sent out a Group text saying if you are NOT AT THE AIRPORT AT 9am for check in YOU ARE NOT GETTING ON THAT (Bad word) Flight, No excuses!!! <— She added the 3 !, not me. I love her hard-ass side when it’s not unleashed on me Lol Now keep in mind the departure time she picked changed 3 times. I was expecting people to show up late. It didn’t happen and thank goodness. Everyone was there and waiting for us. We arrived at 8:30 at the meeting spot before we were shuttled off to the airport. Shuttles, she should have ordered us some shuttles for when we arrived. She didn’t.

The flight was smooth. The pilot had me come up so we could talk a little. I was a little freaked out because I don’t like being a passenger on any plane. I like to be in control of the flight. He was a very, very experienced ex-commercial pilot who had retired young and has his own business now flying families, bands, groups anywhere for a hefty price. His plane was awesome. I want one Lol Of course I do. My wife just looked at me. We are trying to “downsize” my lifestyle. She thinks that would humble me a little more and that I need that. I say Go Big or Go Home! I was raised in Texas so the bigger the better!

8 and a half hours later we are walking off the plane and into Dublin Airport. Dublin Airport is not bad. I had a few friends warn me about customs and how they usher you all over to the self check-in stuff to make it easier but we had no issues. We got going and immediately everyone wanted to go buy something. I asked and Terminal 1 has better shops so we all flanked that way to get some souvenirs. I didn’t want to, but the shopping half of our group made us go that way. I forgot to mention the security part of flying into Dublin is a breeze. We didn’t have any problems which surprised me. Everyone bought a few little things to start off. My father in law was itching to get to a Pub and I wasn’t excited at all to hear that. We got out front and I asked my wife where the shuttles were. Uh oh! She said she thought the place I rented for all of us would have sent some. Noooooooooooo, they send some if I request that. I didn’t request it because YOU WERE supposed to get us shuttles from the airport. She just looked at me like I was dumb and this was about to be all of my fault so I went and got us shuttles. We had to stand there for 30 minutes but that’s fine. It wasn’t that big of a deal. On the way to our seaside house rental (It turned out to really just be apartments) we saw all kinds of really cool places. I’m always amazed at how each country is set up so differently. Of course there’s about 20 Starbucks in Dublin, Ireland (Sure, why not) so my nannies asked if we could stop. I didn’t even have to say it, my mother-in-law said No Lol She’s my new favorite.

We finally arrived just in time because Heston had a meltdown in the driveway. He was all done. My poor little guys had been cooped up for the last hour and just wanted to get out and walk around. The house manager greeted us and then presented me with a basket of stuff. I still haven’t opened it yet. I’m pretty sure by the time I get back home the nosey nannies will have ransacked it anyway to see what was in it. He showed us inside and told us how the setup was. In each of the “rentals” (They were apartments) you can sleep 6 people. I took the top floor for my wife and kids. The rental right next to us we put the nannies and only one complained about that. Then my wife started telling everyone to go pick which one they wanted. We knew each one would sleep 6 people so we pretty much just put families all together and the ones that had more than 6 people (Which would be almost all of them Lol) we had requested extra beds. I told them we would figure it out even if I had to go buy stuff. I wanted everyone in a bed because we were going to be out most of the days and we all needed a good night’s rest. How naive I was at the beginning of this trip. I just laugh thinking about that now.

Everyone got situated and it was time to go hunt for food. I had packed my boys enough food for 3 days just in case we had an issue. I had been lugging it all around in my backpack and we only had to dip into it once on the way to the rentals. Everyone had sandwiches for a snack until we could call the restaurant and make sure our reservation was still on hold. It was so my wife told everyone to go get ready we were going out. I told my nannies to crash my boys so they picked Heather to stay behind and get them ready for bed. At this point the time change was really screwing with them and I just wanted them to get settled in. Heather was not wanting to go out with all of us anyway. She wanted to chill she said. She has a slight anxiety disorder that flairs up when she’s overwhelmed and she told me later on that’s why she volunteered. She said she really enjoyed getting the boys down then walking around the place. She said the view was amazing and couldn’t wait to see it in the morning with the sunlight.

My mother-in-law made contact with the first round of Irish relatives to let them know we had made it. She gave them our address so they could meet up with us in the morning. She told them what restaurant we were going to and also asked what Pub we could go to afterwards. I told my wife I wanted to go check on the boys after supper and she agreed. She said her brothers would babysit everyone anyway so we could be off duty for the night.

Guess what restaurant doesn’t take American Express credit cards Lol The one we went to! I had to pay cash which was fine and thank goodness I had it on me. I wasn’t going to take it out of my bag because I really didn’t think I would need it. At the last-minute my wife said take some cash please, you never know. I listen to my wife so I did as I was told and thank goodness because she was right.

Guess what DID TAKE Amex Lol The Pub my father-in-law wanted to go to. You know how I know that? Because I was called a wee little man (Yes he really used an Irish phrase on me) to get me to go to the Pub and have a pint. After dinner we found ourselves at The Porterhouse Pub. It’s centrally located and near the restaurant we ate at. It also became the place we could find my father-in-law any night he went missing. How he continued to get himself over there is still a mystery.

Irish food, hmmmmm. It’s very meaty which doesn’t work out for me however the way they cook the vegetables, alright. That was tasty. I learned a lot about Irish food and learned it’s not all just meat and potatoes. They have some very delicious local things and I did go off vegan to take a few bites of things because I honestly wanted to know what it was, how it tasted, and to experience it.

Oh yeah, and guess who showed up at the Pub with most of us? Lol The Irish relatives. A few of them at least. It was a holy reunion and there were real genuine tears. It has been a few years since they have all seen each other and my wife made sure to introduce me to all of them. Great, great guys. Honestly, her relatives couldn’t have been nicer. And so funny. They had us all cracking up. They served as our guides the entire week and I did try to give them some money for all of their help which they laughed at and said “We don’t do that kind of thing here” and “Happy to help”.

We got home at Midnight Dublin time which meant I had been up for too many hours and we all just crashed when we got home.

Day 1 recap over with. I am going to go grab something to eat.

Right now my wife and I are in Las Vegas at Lindsay’s house. We will be here all week. It’s a vacation but during the days Lindsay and I will be at the office having meetings because I’m starting to turn things over to her. She will be taking over most things on January 1st and we really need to get started on this process. Everyone is sleeping but my body wakes me up at 5:30am no matter what I do.

Lindsay’s house is awesome. She has bought more new cars. This place belongs in a music video. She has bought more guns now too. That part I could live without. We were supposed to come this morning instead but I felt great and my wife said lets go, so we left yesterday. It’s only a 4 hour flight and I knew I could handle it. Sitting for 8 hours coming back from overseas just made me antsy to get in the pilot seat and go somewhere.

My boys are in Chicago and will be at the lake house all week. Their birth mom and birth grandma are in town for their visit. We had this planned out for a while. I do like to give them privacy with the boys because my little cousin told me it just feels awkward with me around. All 3 of my nannies are at the lake house with them for the week and I hired a chef. I want everyone to have a good time. My buddy Cam is also stopping in to make sure all of the ladies are doing okay and he promised to invite them to his restaurant a few times to feed them. I know my boys will be fine and I pray they both have a great time. They are growing up so much in between her visits and it’s really important to me to always keep that door open to her. I constantly ask her to move to Chicago to be closer and she says it’s just too hard. Plus she’s still in college and wants to finish up there. Having an open adoption has worked out great. We have had a few hurt feelings along the way but I’m always happy to compromise the best that I’m capable. My wife is okay with the open adoption part but always has a lot of questions about why I leave and let them come stay. She is confused by it. It’s because there is a bond that I will never have with the boys like their birth mom has. They need to know who she is just as she is without me telling them things. They need to understand she gave them me. She picked me and she really didn’t have to. They need to know their whole lives that adoption is a great gift of love and they should be very proud to be able to know their birth parents. Their birth dad didn’t want to come this trip but he is asking for more photos which is great. He also can come see them but ONLY if I’m there. I know that’s backwards but my agreement is with her, not him. I barely know the kid and will be happy to host him and his parents anytime. Just not when I’m out-of-town. I explained my feelings on that and he didn’t have a problem with it. I also told him only up to 3 days because after that, it’s an interruption to our schedule. He has certain moral rights to see the boys but he also can’t use his time to get it in his head he can take them from me. My adoption attorney cautioned me on some of the cases she has come through and some birth dads regret signing over rights and try to sue. I would crush him if that ever came out of his mouth and he would be thrown out on the street in 2 seconds Lol No way can anyone take my boys away. We all agreed and it has worked out perfectly (For me). I guess the boys too. At this point they don’t know any better. All they know is that everyone that sees them loves them a lot and are very happy to get time with them. My boys! Mine!

Enough of that. I’m hungry. I hope she has some fresh fruit, I’m really wanting an apple or an orange right now.

I will be posting Day 2 later on. Hope everyone had a great 4th. We did. I will get to that soon! Love ya’ll!

I’m back!

 

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