First Flight

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I told you how I surprised Michael with a trip to Charleston as his 30th birthday gift. What I didn't tell you was that I sprung it on him last minute!

After work last night, we were able to briefly celebrate his birthday with a quick crockpot meal and a store-bought (and still delicious!) cookie cake. Nora and I sang to him before she went to bed and Michael and I began the hours of packing and preparation for our trip.

Around midnight, as we were just wrapping things up and getting ready to FINALLY go to bed (with the alarm set for 6:00 a.m.), Nora woke up with horrible congestion and a terrible, hacking cough that she hadn't had when she went to bed at 7:00. Lovely timing, right? After trying unsuccessfully to get her back to sleep in her crib, I ended up bringing her into bed with us and it STILL took me forever to get her back to sleep. Once she finally was sleeping, she was still terribly restless, which = no sleep for anybody.

When the alarm went off (all too soon) at 6:00, I actually called the on-call line at our pediatrician's office because I was so concerned about Nora's cough. The nurse listened to Nora over the phone and said that it sounded like it could possibly be croup, so she suggested that we sit Nora in a steamy bathroom for 20 minutes. So, Nora spent 20 minutes playing in her bouncy seat in the bathroom with the door closed while Michael and I moved about the house, getting all of the last-minute stuff ready to go.

It was not the best way to start off our day of travel, that's for sure.

Soon, we were on our way, and although clearly sick, Nora was in pretty good spirits.

Aside from the MASSIVE AMOUNTS OF STUFF required for traveling with a baby, we didn't have too much trouble in the airport. The only thing that was truly a monstrous pain in the ass was getting ourselves (and all of our shit) through airport security. I think we used like 12 of those plastic bins. I definitely felt sorry for the poor schmucks who were caught behind us in line.

The great thing about this trip is that it is a great trial run for future trips with Nora. We've never traveled with a baby before now, so it's good to get some experience under our belts before we tackle some bigger trips. Today, we had two flights (Buffalo to D.C. --> D.C. to Charleston), and it was perfect because neither of them were much longer than an hour.

We didn't quite know what to expect out of Nora, but simply put... she could not have done better.

I nursed her and used the pacifier during take-offs and landings, and she never seemed to be bothered in the slightest. She slept for at least part of both flights, ate during them, and sat quietly. Good girl!

At one point, she even had the giggles...
I don't think it gets any better than those laughs. Ohmygoodness.

Upon landing in Charleston, we were patting ourselves (and Nora!) on the back and celebrating our first successful set of flights as a family of three.

Oh, and can I just say... I freaking love the Charleston airport. It was nice and small, easy to navigate, and everything was SO QUICK. Our baggage (the only thing we checked was Nora's car seat bag) was waiting for us before we even arrived at baggage claim, and there were no lines at the rental car counter. We were able to pick up our rental car without having to take a stupid shuttle and we WALKED from there right outside to the parking lot where we got in and drove off. Oh, and our assigned rental? A Toyota Prius. SCORE.

Nora was happy to be traveling via ground transportation again.

We made a few pit stops at Food Lion and Walmart and headed to check in at our hotel (we're staying at the Hampton Inn in the Historic District). Once in our room, we were trying to figure out where to head to dinner while we relaxed for a few minutes... but little did Michael know that I had another surprise up my sleeve.

Shortly after our arrival, there was a knock at the door to our room. Michael went to answer it to find a 20-month-old boy standing on the other side. That boy belongs to our good friends, Lynsay and Dave! They and their son, Gavin, are joining us for the weekend, as they drove down from where they live in Charlotte, North Carolina. And we're actually in adjoining rooms, too. Wheeee! Michael was, once again, shocked.

After getting them settled in, we quickly headed down to King Street to find a place to eat, since we were nearing the kids' bedtime. (For the record, all of the adults were already zonked, too.) We ended up settling on The Kickin' Chicken, which was actually really good. It was a casual place with typical American fare--burgers, sandwiches, and of course, chicken. I had chicken fingers (a rare selection for me) and I really enjoyed them.

We're calling it a night early (Nora and Gavin are both sleeping, and we're not far behind) so we are ready to get up with the kids sun tomorrow morning and get a good start on the day.


Nicole February 14, 2011 at 9:25 PM  

The thing I hate most about traveling with LO is the security-oh my gosh-you don't have enough hands or bins for stuff-it sucks!

MB February 14, 2011 at 9:44 PM  

mmmmm, Kickin' Chicken. I cannot believe I didn't rec that place. I'm so glad you found it though!

Stephanie February 15, 2011 at 7:59 AM  

Hi Heather - just curious what infant carrier you're using in your pictures with Nora and whether you recommend it? I'm looking for something new for our second baby (due very soon!) and didn't care for the Peanut Shell sling or the Moby I used with my first daughter.

Heather February 15, 2011 at 8:05 AM  

Stephanie--It's an Ergo Sport. We love it so far, so yes, I would recommend it. It's nice because you can use it for a long time--it handles quite a bit of weight (I want to say like 30 lbs.?) and you can actually wear it "backwards" to carry the child on your back as well. The only disadvantage that I can see with it is that you cannot carry the baby facing outward. They have to be carried facing in toward your body. Anyway, it's been great for us, I hope Nora continues to like being in it for a long time to come!

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