We ALL survived our very first ride on an airplane, with our sanity intact and without being placed on the No Fly List. One of us was even named a Junior Officer with the TSA Security Team. I'll give you hints: it was the same person who insisted on reading the Safety Regulations before take-off on each of the four legs of our journey.
The same person who was the only person on the plane listening intently to the Flight Attendant's How To Buckle Your Seatbelt mini-lesson. The same person who, despite having a nervous tummy prior to boarding for the first time, announced after landing, "When I grow up, I'm going to fly an airplane." That Evan is going to be one busy grown-up.
The boys did so great. Max took several well-timed naps, much to the delight of our seatmates, and was adorable and charming when awake, much to the delight of the Flight Attendants.
Evan was a very interested passenger during take-offs and landings
(while Mommy feigned happiness and relaxation while gripping the armrests with white knuckles), and was content to play iPad games and watch videos during the flights.
It really was a very smooth and easy trip.
And when we got there: We were in FLORIDA!
For one last gasp of summer before trading in our sandals and beach towels for sweatshirt jackets and giant pots of chrysanthemums (which now, I'm so ready for, by the way). It was such a great weekend. Besides getting to spend time with my grandmother, aka: Mom Mom, Great Mom Mom, and/or Peg the Great,
we managed to squeeze in beach time,
a visit to a local nature preserve/sea turtle research center,
an afternoon at the "Funnest Playground In The Whole Wide World" (complete with splash park, Science Museum, carousel, and of course, popsicles),
and evenings spent at Great Mom Mom's "Basement," which was the lobby of her condo and provided entertainment in the form of a treadmill, a piano, and a pool table.
It was a whirlwind of a trip, but a very worthwhile one....and one that I'm sure we'll be recreating as much as possible. After all, we woke up each morning to this:
Thanks to wonderful suggestions from friends, here were Our Airplane Travel must-haves:
lollipops or gummy candies (for take-off and landing, helps the ears pop), stickers, Color Wonder markers/drawing paper, lots of snacks, iPad videos and games. Favorite apps in our house are: Cut the Rope, Angry Birds, Starfall, Make a Word, Miss Spider, Aqueduct, Rush Hour, and Baby Writer HD. I won't list grown-up apps, because you won't have a chance to use them. We brought a lightweight stroller with us and checked it plane-side. It was great to have during layovers (to expedite travel between gates and as a napping spot) and was easy to stow and retrieve after the flight. We'll definitely bring it when we travel again.
And, everyone was right: there were nerves before the flight, but once we got on the plane (to the airport, really), Evan did great. He was excited and enjoying it, even. More so than I was, to be sure. I did alright....focusing on keeping the kids happy and occupied really did help distract me from my fears....most of the time.