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….
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!
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…
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.
This 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!!
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!!!
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.