The terminal at Miami drove Flar nuts -- one huge room with bags sitting near signs indicating decks. Flar went off to find a porter while we found the bags. This was made simple by my set of matching lavendar bags (purchased at Target with a gift card from canuckgirl last year for Christmas, thanks!). While Flar was being frustrated by the length of the line for the porters, the boys and I figured out that we had enough rolling bags to carry the rest. So I called Flar over, and we found our way to the customs officers. We had already cleared immigration in St. Thomas, and we were well under our shopping limit for customs. From there, we proceeded across to the limo parking, to wait for Flar to come with the car.
Traffic was incredibly disorganized, but Flar finally got back to us, and then he and Critter performed the miracle of getting all of our luggage to fit in the truck. Partly by agreeing that we would not be shifting drivers into the backseat, which left Tigger and I free to create our own little nests. Mine evolved throughout the journey, so that by the time we got home, I had room for only one foot in the footwell at a time.
Flar drove out of the congested Miami area, and then Critter drove after we ate lunch at Taco Bell. We had dinner at a Cracker Barrell just outside Valdosta, and then stopped for the night at the same Marriott where we stayed on the way down. It was only 8pm by the time we arrived, but I was down for the count. When I realized how early it was, I decided to take a bubble bath before bed. Critter helped Tigger download a bunch of games for his laptop (how Tigger had decided to spend a good chunk of his Christmas money), Flar read, and Critter stayed up playing games. Even Tigger was asleep by 11, though, and Flar couldn't wake him to watch the ball drop at midnight.
Monday, Flar drove to the I-Hop for breakfast, but Critter took the first shift of driving. He drove all the way from Valdosta to the Fuddrucker's in NE Atlanta. Then Flar drove the rest of the way home. Our drivetime was a mixture beween music playing quietly when Tigger was playing on his laptop and I was reading; and conversation when Tigger's laptop battery was low. Flar told stories about his trips with his family when he was a kid and various stories from college; Tigger and Critter took turns making up stories; I got Flar to talk about all manner of things by asking questions (what's a debenture, that sort of thing); and we even played a round-robin story telling game.
The drive on Monday felt endless. We were on the road from 9am to 10pm, including stops at I-Hop, Fuddrucker's, a few convenience stops, and a final stop at Fazoli's before we got home. My cold progressed south as we proceeded north. By the time we got home, I had convinced myself to call the doctor in the morning.
On the whole, we had a very successful family vacation for Christmas. We got to do lots of fun stuff and we had lots of together time.