Category Archives: air travel

The Awesome Day (A List!)

Riley and I are in Boston to see my folks and go to my cousin’s wedding in New Hampshire this weekend.

Why Riley?  I made an executive decision to take one child with me on this weekend adventure.  You see, I’ve been at 39,00 feet with a lunatic child before and I saw no reason to increase the odds of that happening again.  That, and I’m lazy. Two kids on a plane is lot more work than one kid on a plane.  After careful consideration, Mike and I decided that six-year-old Dylan would appreciate a special weekend with Daddy more than four-year-old Riley would appreciate a weekend without his Mama.  Thus, Riley became my travel buddy (even though he’s is the lunatic I referred to earlier in this paragraph).

About a half hour before boarding the plane, I texted Mike that Riley was doing awesome at the airport.   Mike’s reply was something like, “That’s great but wait until you’re in the air for an hour.”  He was most likely right, but I refused to give in to pessimism, especially when our time at the airport was going so swimmingly.  That, and what other choice did I have?

I’m happy to report that it was a great, uneventful, tantrum-less flight.  In fact, the entire day was awesome.  Here’s why:

1. Travelling with kids is like traveling with first class tickets.  There was a HUGE line for security when we checked our bag in Ft. Lauderdale, and because of my trophy toddler, we bypassed all of the madness for the family line, which had absolutely no wait.  The Mama in line behind me and I joked that our kids made us VIP travelers.  True dat!

2. Airport bathrooms are, well, airport bathrooms.  BUT, Riley didn’t touch anything he wasn’t supposed to, and he quite enjoyed the automatic flush.  “How did it know?” he asked me.

3. Finding these magnets – made for one another – at the terminal kiosk made me smile.

magnets

(I didn’t buy them.)

4. Kids are money pits, especially at airports, but Riley’s airport shopping spree made him happy, which helped make our flight great, uneventful, and tantrum-less.

shopping

Shopaholic Mini!  The surfboard key chain is for Dylan and the bedazzled flip flop key chain is for Daddy.  Ha!

5. Dora on board!

dora

Happy Riley.

6. Dunks!

dunks

Happy Mama.

7. Two bags of animal cookies plus four Rice Krispies treats = great, uneventful, and tantrum-less flight.

8. As it turns out, one of my children might actually look like me.  (A little bit, right?)

babypictures

(That’s me on the left.  Thanks for the super-duper bowl haircut, Mom!)

9. #Boston Strong.  It feels good to be here and to see my parents and spend some one-on-one time with Riley.  That, and it’s not too cold for my Floridian blood and everything is blooming.  It’s bee-u-tiful.

10. I got a voice message from my endocrinologist that the nodule in my thyroid – the one with all of the damn, stupid, pink princess baby, f–king “concerning” attributes – the one that’s been consuming me and causing loads of crazy ass anxiety and stress – is BENIGN!  My doctor called while we were in the air, so when we landed and I took my phone off of airplane mode, her glorious message was waiting for me.

Ah.  Deep breath.  Now there’s plenty of room in my head to worry about something else.

See, it was an awesome day.

p.s. Thank you for all of your kind words and concern about my stupid thyroid.

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Automobiles, Trains, and Planes

Yesterday, we reversed our journey.

3:30 a.m. PST

I woke up a half hour before my alarm was set (travel anxiety-induced insomnia is one of my special talents) and discovered Riley, who was sleeping with me (yes, with me), had peed in the bed.  It wasn’t a big deal (we brought mattress protectors with us), but at 3:30 a.m., his accident felt like bad omen and an “unlucky” way to start what was going to be a very long day.

5:00 a.m. PST

The drive to the airport was uneventful, and the foggy and misty Golden Gate Bridge was pretty cool, but there’s nothing more unpleasant than the nausea one feels when their body desperately wants to be asleep.  The rental car return was a cinch, except we pulled in at the end of a line of about fifteen cars, and as a result, we had a very long walk to the AirTrain shuttle carrying/rolling the following:

  • Two suitcases
  • Four carry-on bags
  • One box with a computer monitor inside (with a handle, thank God).
  • Riley

You don’t need to be a mathematician to know that we were f—ked.  We had a long talk with the boys the night before about teamwork and everyone carrying their own bag at the airport and blah blah, but poor little Riley was a hot mess.  Props to Dylan for rolling his backpack all the way from the rental car drop off garage, on the shuttle to the terminal, down and up and up and down four elevators, through the bag check line and security, and all the way to the gate.  That trek was quite possibly the most exhausting 30 minutes Mike and I have ever spent as parents.

6:15 a.m. PST

Dylan, to anyone who would listen, including perfect strangers:  “Do you have donuts here?”  (They didn’t.)

7:05 a.m. PST

Riley, rather loudly to everyone at Gate 53: “Mommy, I peed!”  (In the toilet, thank God.)

7:35 a.m. PST

Dylan, who was frustrated at how slow everyone was moving down the aisle as we boarded the plane: “Excuse me, can you walk faster?”

39,000 feet above the great state of Oklahoma

The boys were blissfully asleep and I was blissfully reading my book, yet I had a bad feeling (another unique talent of mine).  I leaned over to Mike and said, “I’m so glad they’re asleep, but I’m terrified of what will happen when they wake up.”

Cue turbulence.  Cue “ding!” and illuminate the seat belt sign.  Cue the lovely (until that moment) flight attendant who said the boys had to have their seatbelts on.  Now.  Even though they were asleep…and quiet!  Cue the unhappy, tired, and irrational three-year-old boy who Did. Not. Want. His. Seatbelt. On.

Twenty minutes later

Riley’s meltdown ended as abruptly as it began.  I casually apologized to the people sitting nearby and hoped they all thought my diabolical child was adorable again.  (Cue sparkle in Riley’s big, blue eyes.)  Mike also calmed down from his own “moment” when he insisted that I tell Riley we’d never take him to California again if he didn’t stop crying (like he cared at that moment?) and to cover his mouth (i.e. smother him with a sweater.)  Oy.

Surprisingly, I was a grateful Mama that we were at 39,000 feet when shit hit the fan, because if Riley had acted that way on the ground before take off, I’m pretty sure we would’ve been escorted off the plane to the sound of applause by all the other passengers.  (And I would’ve immediately tweeted Anderson Cooper and Lisa Belkin!)

Five minutes later

Cue “aftershock” meltdown.  Riley started crying again about wanting to sleep on my lap again.  “Go ahead,” I said, but he didn’t approve of the pillow I made for him with my sweater.  After an extensive back and forth (him crying/whining and me speaking firmly through gritted teeth and teary eyes), I asked yelled, “What do you want from me?”  His response was, “A pillow shaped like a diamond.”  A pillow shaped like a diamond?  Like on a cruise ship when they make origami ducks and frogs out of bath towels?  He was nuts, and even though I wanted to cry because I had to survive three more hours of his nonsense, I laughed.  And laughed and laughed.  Through his tears, Riley laughed a little bit, too.  I think he knew he was teetering on the edge on insanity (just like his Mama).  A pillow shaped like a diamond.  Ha!

3:00 p.m. – 4:25 p.m. EST

The only thing worse than “Squinkies On A Plane” (which, by the way, we avoided) is sitting next to two busy boys who are sick and tired of sitting quietly on an airplane and knowing there’s still an hour and half left until the plane lands.

7:50 a.m. PST – 4:25 p.m. EST by the numbers

It just so happened that the entertainment system on our flight was broken so there was zero (free) satellite TV…for roughly five and a half hours.  In total, we took two naps (halleluiah), had one major meltdown (boo), went to the bathroom seven times, lost (and then found) two Color Wonder markers, drank one glass of wine, and walked through our front door – home sweet home – around 6:00 p.m. EST.

9:00 p.m. – 10:15 p.m. EST

Bedtime, with two small children delirious with fatigue and stuck on west coast time, was a bitch.  As usual.

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