Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Up, Up and Away!

This past weekend was Ada's first plane ride since being out of the womb. I've been nervous all week and not really looking forward to traveling with an infant since I don't enjoy the whole process of flying all that much to begin with. Surprisingly, it wasn't that bad. It wasn't good, but it wasn't so bad that I'm never doing it again, bad.

Unlike our long trip to Germany via Ireland with a sprint through the airport to catch a connecting flight in June while I was 3 months pregnant and very unhappy about flying... this trip was about a 2 to 3 hour flight from Chicago to Boston. Not bad. But...then we had an hour and a half drive to our final destination of Brooklyn, Connecticut.

The flight there wasn't too bad. We took off 20 minutes early (shocking, I know!) and were able to pack light as Rick's sister is totally awesome and was able to borrow a crib, car seat, toys, blankets, etc so that we didn't have to pack much. I took Ada in her Ergo carrier and that was easy. We also left on a Saturday night with a 6:55 Departure. It turns out NOBODY flies on Saturday nights this time of year so there were no lines. Okay, maybe I waited behind Rick in line at the security check but then I decided he had too much crap (keys, money, wallet, watch, shoes, belt, etc.) that I'd be better off in the other line. I took off my shoes, threw my purse in the x-ray bin and walked through with Ada attached to me. So easy. Then we did have to hike to our gate since it was on the other end of the state it seemed, but we got there in time to eat the dinner we brought with us, change her into footie pajamas for the trip, and change her diaper one last time.

The flight was uneventful, thankfully. We arrived. Heather and Matt were there to pick us up and all was well until they lost the car in the parking garage. 20 minutes later, after a long walk up and down aisle after aisle, Matt finally realised we were one floor above the car, but in the right section. We loaded up the stuff. Ada passed out almost instantly. And we started the journey to the farm. We had a minor blip with the toll booth exit and detoured for a minute but finally arrived and nestled into our beds right around midnight.

Rise and Shine! Baby wakes up early and it doesn't matter if you didn't get much sleep because it's time to go see the horses and play on the farm. In the two days we were there, we got way more than just quality time with Aunt Heather and Uncle Matt. We saw horses, cows, baby cows -- that scared Ada when they mooed--hay being baled, really big (Ginormous actually) horses, the pet cemetery on the farm, the local ice cream shop--yum, hot waffle cones fresh off the iron-- and Matt's friend Sam's 101 year old grandma who was out picking weeds! I learned that I need a whole new vocabulary and my own Carhart overalls in order to really fit in. And a highlight of the trip were the resident deer in the front yard. Momma and two babies who came to visit each day for the freshly fallen nuts from the trees. All good things.

Then the trip home. Well, let's just say today was tough. We got up at 3 am our time and got home about 11 am. That makes for a long day with a fussy little miss. It was a great time to drive in Boston but a crappy time to get a baby to nap and not want to play and be entertained on the plane. Highlight: We saw The John Kerry at the airport --and almost ran into him as he came out of the book store. Very cool. He was flying to Milwaukee.

Oh, and Heather and Matt are awesome. They are doing great. Their home is adorable. Enormous compared to our little box in the city. They have 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a basement after all. And the farm is soooo quiet. Nothing like the city. You stand on the front porch and hear nothing but your heart beat and the red squirrels in the leaves ten feet in front of you. Crazy how quiet it is. You don't really have to look both ways before crossing the street because you can hear any car coming for at least a football field away, if not two.
I've decided it needs to be an annual or almost-annual retreat and that next time we'll stay longer and eat more yummy food, and we'll keep Ada to a more strict schedule as she did break down do to the lack of structure.

Moral of the story: Traveling with little ones is manageable assuming they aren't sick, you aren't sick, you travel light, and you don't have a bunch of crab apples on your plane who are all ticked off that your kid won't shut up. Just ignore them.

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