Charleston Day 1

Since the birth of our second child CL late last year, we’ve put traveling on hold. It’s now time to brave hitting the road, this time with not one but two kids…eek!! We’ve enlisted my in laws BH and DH to join us on a trip to Charleston and Savannah. What we really did was ask them to come help us babysit the two girls. Our girls are actually only 13 months apart in age(I know, we’re crazy). RL was actually 3 months pregnant on our Japan/Hong Kong/Taiwan trip, and also pregnant on the SF/Napa trip before that as well.

The trip starts innocently enough with a ride in my mother in law’s minivan to the airport. It’s about 7am in the morning. Both girls are behaving well currently. Well, the little is super chill and calm, almost always well behaved. PL, the older one, on the other hand is way on the other side of the spectrum and has enough energy for 10 toddlers…Every stressful scenario that I can imagine on this trip involved PL in some way. I’ve already imagined the worst, and expect the worst while traveling with PL….

The sun just starting the peek out as we get close to the airport.

Super calm star child. Spent the entire ride just quietly talking to herself and…looking at the air vent.

Got to the airport with plenty of time to spare. In an effort to streamline our time in the airport, I made the decision to go all carry-on luggage. This means that RL and I had to fit our stuff and the stuff for the two girls into 2 carry-on luggage and 2 backpacks. RL and I managed to combine both of our stuff into one single carry-on, and half of one backpack. The rest of the luggage space was claimed by the two girls. They may be little, but they need more luggage than adults.


Score! Literally no line at the security!!! I was worried since we are flying out on a Monday morning, so I was worried that we’d hit the rush hour. Talked to the guy at security and he mentioned that the line is crazy from about 5am-7am. It’s almost 7:30, so it seems like we just missed the jam. Sweet.

It always takes longer to get through with kids since they are always having to do extra scans on milk, formula, baby food, and whatnot. Also, for some reason, RL’s TSA Pre check didn’t go through this time, even though I had entered her KTN while booking her tickets. So, she had to take off her shoes!! Lame!

Made it through security, time to get the breakfast of champions. PL has some pretty sweet pants.

Yup, as always, the Salt Lick breakfast tacos for breakfast at airport.

Super calm child has been asleep in her carrier. She’s so easy.

Meanwhile, PL has needed multiple people entertaining her just to keep her in place.

It’s time to walk around with her so other people can eat breakfast in peace.


Yum, bbq sauce goes perfectly with it.

It’s not like we enjoy looking at the planes, we are merely here to try to keep PL occupied. She saw the planes but was not impressed. All she wanted to do was ask us to open the windows so that we can presumably run onto the tarmac…


Is it time for a beer? Yes, yes it is. It’s only 9am, but it’s already stressful traveling with a super hyperactive child.



Meanwhile, still super cute and super calm. I had to drink my beer in multiple sittings since it couldn’t be taken out of the bar, so I had to shuttle back and forth to help RL and DH with the kids.

Here comes trouble. Super cute and super hyper.

Odd, they gave us two different sized glasses.


She wants to get her hands on everything because everything is a toy to her. She loves empty cups that the grown ups were holding.

Ah, love family priority boarding. Had all the overhead storage in the world still available for our carry-on. Nice.

The small storm before the big storm of when we actually take off. She was not interested in looking out the window. She was not interested in sitting on our laps. She was not interested in not kicking the seat in front of us. Sigh.

Let’s go!


So cute, so ticking time bomb.

DSC04357This whole time I kept on trying to get PL to look outside the window and tell her that we are flying. She was not impressed. We all took turns holding her to try to keep her in place and not fussing too much. It didn’t help that her ears were hurting from the pressure difference. Fortunately for us, this is just a short flight from Austin to Houston. It’s the next flight from Houston to Charleston that will take 2.5 hours that has me really worried about how to keep PL from completely losing it the entire time.

It was also around this time that RL started asking if anyone has seen her clutch purse…No, none of us have seen it. After searching all our bags, it was determined that RL must have left it behind at the departure gate during the frantic moments when we were all gathering our kids and bags to board the plane. SHIT!!! Her phone, ID, credit cards, and whatnot are all in her clutch….Fuck!!!! The worst part about this is that we are stuck on an airplane and can’t do anything about calling the airport to see if they can go find it for us. Ugh. Will she be able to board the next flight without her ID? Will she be able to board her return flights back to Austin at the end of the trip? What if she orders alcohol at a bar and they card her!!

Landed in Houston, and the only thing that’s on my mind is calling the airport in Austin and getting in contact with their lost and found department.

Finally off the plane, she’s happy…sort of.

Stressed about the lost purse, but finally able to do something about it. I spoke to lost and found and they said no one had turned in a purse. Shit. They said that they’ll send someone out to check at the gate that we were at. Minutes and more minutes pass by, finally I get the news that there was no purse to be found. Fuck again. I hang up the phone, and then see that I had a missed call and a voicemail. I had gotten the voicemail right after I powered my phone back on after landing, but just didn’t bother checking it since I was so eager to call lost and found. Well, guess what, it was United Airlines from Austin who had called, and they had found the purse. It was being kept with United Airlines instead of the airport lost and found, hence them not being able to locate the purse. YES!!!

RL was very excited that her purse was found. Faith in humanity since someone had turned in the purse and also kept all the cash inside it intact.

I had asked United if they could just send the purse on the next flight to Houston, since we were here for a 3 hour layover. However, their policy did not allow that because they didn’t want to be held responsible for being a carrier of someone’s purse since if anything goes missing during the transit, they don’t want to be blamed….The only way for us to get RL’s phone and ID back seems to be to have her sister drive back to the airport and overnight the phone to our hotel. I guess given the circumstances of losing a purse, this was the best case scenario.

All of our luggage sans clutch purse. Giant duffel contained CL’s carseat. It’s hard to haul all these things, plus two kids!

Coordinating with my sister in law about getting the phone and ID shipped to us. Relieved that the purse was found. Dodged the bullet!

Now that the purse has been found, it’s time to search for lunch, and most importantly, beers! Ugh, stress.

Taking a tram to our terminal.

Not impressed with the tram.


This will do for lunch.

Food from home since PL has severe allergies to nuts, another source of high stress while traveling with PL. After this meal, we will have to start feeding PL food that we get at restaurants, which we are always worried that it may be contaminated with nuts somehow. We always carry epipens and Benadryl with us everywhere we go.




Must drink some alcohol to calm the nerves.

PL’s food, looks like poop. It’s just Japanese sweet potatoes mixed with some egg yolk. Meal time is always a source of stress with PL. It’s hard to keep her sitting still even in her high chair with food and entertainment right in front of her.

More beers. It’s beer 3, and it’s not even noon yet.

Haha. While PL was walking around the airport treating it like a playground, she hid behind this giant pillar and popped a squat to poop.

Super calm and sweet. Our two kids cannot be more different as far as their energy level is concerned.

Now we wait for our flight. This is the waiting area for all the smaller jets.

Super calm. I spot a nose.

Time to board.

Don’t remember the last time I went on one of these type of gangway.

Tiny jet. It’s gonna be hell of a ride trying to keep PL entertained on this 2.5 hour leg…I am not looking forward to this.

Super small, only seats 3 across. Not only that, the storage bins above our seats only accommodate small bags, so even our carry-on luggage had to be gate checked.

Then there’s the seating fiasco…I had originally booked 2 seats in row 6 and 2 seats in row 7 so that we can all be close by and take turns taking care of the kids. Well, as we had our tickets scanned, the gate agent told us that she had moved two of our seats because two babies can’t sit on the same row since I had registered for both lap child on the same row…Ugh. So now we were split far apart, which means whenever we need to switch babies, we had to get out from our tiny seats and go up and down a tiny aisle. So, we sat down on our new assigned seats, but then asked couple people to switch with us so that we could be on back to back rows. The other travelers were nice enough to agree to switch seats, cool. Then as we were about to switch seats, the flight attendant came over and told us that we would all have to move instead to the rear of the plane because those are the only seats with the extra oxygen masks for the kids. WTF!! Why didn’t anyone tell me this originally when I had booked our seats!!

So, we all got moved all the way back to the very back next to the toilet. I said all, but that’s not true. Lucky BH was able to stay up behind at his original seat. So now we are a man down on handling PL…shit. By the way, we were the only ones on the entire plane dumb enough to want to travel with two kids…

Super calm still. But not for long once the pressure starts messing with her ears.

The other drawback to being in the very back and next to the restroom is that we also have the loud engine next to our ears…though, this may not be a bad thing because the loud white noise may help put the kids to sleep.

A miracle has happened!!! PL, as expected, was a terror as we took off and starting climbing to cruising altitude. Crying, kicking and everything else. It’s her usual nap time, but I didn’t think she would be able to fall asleep in our arms since she has only slept in her crib for the past year of her life…but somehow she fell asleep in grandma’s arms!!! I did not expect this to happen.

RL breastfeeding CL and putting her to sleep. I can’t believe this, both kids are asleep on the plane. We have peace and quiet!!

Well, sort of peace and quiet. We repositioned PL to lay across both of us, but now her head is putting my arm to sleep. Must reposition her somehow without waking her up….

Ahh, that’s better. Now sleeping on her pillow of rolled up sweater.

Even when you’ve got a calm child, traveling with them is still not easy. CL decided that it was a good time to poop. RL had to change her in the super tiny changing table in the restroom.

Miracle, still asleep. PL is so active that I never have a good chance to take a good look at her since she’s always going a million miles a minute. This is kind of sweet since she’s sleeping on my lap.


So cute and calm…but calm only while sleeping.

Grandma is two for two on this flight. She puts CL to sleep on her shoulder just like she did with PL. Amazing.

Our super narrow aisle on our small jet.

An hour and 20 minutes later, PL wakes up from her nap, and immediately goes back to berserk mode…Sigh. Overall, I can’t complain though since she did sleep during the majority of the flight. Gotta be thankful for that.

The plane is descending, and her ears are hurting. Poor thing. Even her favorite nursery rhyme videos isn’t helping much.


Come on come on, let’s land this thing. My kids are both bothered by their ears and crying!

Almost there!!

Feels like time is just dragging by with crying kids.

Finally, we’ve arrived in Charleston. Lots of military transport planes here.

Since everyone had to gate check our carry-on, we all waited in the gangway to claim our luggages.

Cool, our plane landed a little early, we’ve got some extra time before we need to catch our bus to take us into Charleston.

Everyone hits the restrooms, and I am on child duty.

Small airport, took us no time to exit.


At the bus stop. I was worried the entire time about our flight getting delayed. There’s an express bus that leaves on the hour every hour to downtown Charleston. If our flight at arrived on time, we would have roughly 30 minutes to get off the plane, claim our carry on and wait for the bus. If we had been delayed and missed the express bus, we would have had to take the regular bus which would have take us 50min instead of the 20min on the express. May not seem like a big deal to others, but having PL confined into another small space for extended period of time is at the bottom of what I would consider a good time.

I believe those are Boeing planes since they seem to share the same runways as the Charleston airport.

Here comes our bus. Cool.


Been traveling all day with two kids, exhausted.

Surprisingly enough, PL was happy on the bus while being strapped to her stroller.

CL still being calm and cute.

Nothing much to see on the way from the airport to downtown Charleston.

We’ve arrived! RL meant to ruin my shot.

Now, we walk a few blocks to our hotel.



One of the first things that I realized about Charleston is that there are a lot of bars. I am kind of surprised by that.

This place is called Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit. We called PL Cali as her nickname, she’s our hot little biscuit.


Lots of lounge bars in this part of town. Did not take Charleston for a party city for some reason.



Found our hotel!



So looking forward to arriving. It’s been a long travel day, roughly 12 hours from the moment I woke up this morning to checking in at hotel.

Still operating at an 11. I don’t know how she has so much energy. Aren’t her pants super fun and cool though? She points at them and says Raawwrr. How cute.

It’s almost the kids’ bedtime, so no time to waste. Must hurry out to get dinner.

Our pick for dinner. But, we took one peek inside, and decided it was too fancy and nice to have our kids potentially cry in there.

A few doors down, there’s a hamburger joint. This is better suited for kids.


Must have more beers. I think this is a lot of beers on a travel day, even for me.

Got her placemat down, and started her on cheerios. Starting to lose it in a crying fit in 3…2…1…

Yes, beer me again please. My child is throwing herself around in her high chair crying…

No, not this child. She’s still perfectly calm and happy.

Grill cheese for PL. She likes bread, she likes cheese. Let’s see if she likes them together.




We finally convinced her to give her grilled cheese a bite, she’s a fan. Cool.

While the food was delicious, our service here left much to be desired. Our server didn’t know what was on the beer menu, and told us that they didn’t have an amber beer. He asked the bartender who also said they didn’t have an amber beer. Then we took a closer look at the drinks menu, and saw that they did have an amber beer. Then when he brought out the amber beer, he had brought the wrong beer….sigh. Then he got the sides wrong for another order and so on and so on. He gets 15% instead of the usual 20%…but with his performance and lack of apology, I really should have given him 5%.

I am walking around with CL in the carrier to try to put her down to sleep. Both girls are overtired, it’s past their bedtime. We need to wrap this meal up and get back to our home base to put them to bed. PL has lost it already.

Safely back to our room! This is what $202 a night gets you in Charleston. It’s towards the far end of the popular tourist area, but it does offer one very important thing for us.

The living room is separated to the bedroom by a door. This means that we can put PL to sleep in her crib in the living room, and have CL sleep in her crib in our bedroom. This setup will make sleep time much easier for us.

The restroom, or rather the sanctuary. This will be the one area in our entire hotel room where we can keep the lights on after the kids go to bed. Look, it’s even got a table and a chair in there!!

DSC04508The giant living room. Loving all the space for PL to run around and climb on everything. Lights dimmed, it’s bedtime for the kids, and us soon after. We are exhausted, hopefully tomorrow will bring actual travel fun and less exhaustion.

To be continued at Charleston Day 2 Part 1.