I am still processing the insanity/inspiration/beauty/thrill that was my BlogHer 2006 experience. Until then? Why don’t I relay to you the awesome experience I had traveling across the country with and infant.
And by awesome? I mean that I may need intense therapy before I’ll ever take a plane trip with NikkiZ again.
FRIDAY: We got on the plane to Atlanta pretty easily. Between that and NikkiZ sleeping all the way to Atlanta, I was incubating a false sense of security about how the rest of the traveling would go. “This is easy!” After landing in Atlanta, we had to drag the baby, two laptop bags and two regular carry-on bags for about ninety miles to another concourse.It was then that I realized that an infant should totally count as a carry-on; if only but to keep morons like me from carrying two bags as well as an infant all over the country and back.
ME = MORON.
We ate lunch somewhere between the arrival gate and the departure gate. Paying way too much for way too little, of course. Lunch at an airport is not relaxing, especially when afterwards you find out that your already long hour-and-a-half layover was turning into a three hour layover. What do you do with a mobile infant during a long layover? You let them crawl around on the gross floor and contract god-only-knows what germs and eat who knows what crumbs all while you pop xanax and count the seconds until the plane boards.
You also say repeatedly to your life-saver of a son, “Why don’t you walk your sister around while Mommy drinks this beer?” You also may buy things like lotion from The Body Shop simply because it peaked your daughter’s interest for more than three seconds.
After an insanely long wait, and being hit with an incredibly aching back and shoulders from dragging my shit across the airport forever, we finally boarded and thank GOD, NikkiZ slept the entire flight.
SUNDAY: We left our rooms around 4:45am and drug our shit across the Hyatt complex because I’m too stubborn to ask for help, even from hotel staff. We left the hotel at 5am so I could try to get new seat assignments to get LilZ and I since we were actually about 15 rows apart. It was painfully early. The ticket lady when we checked our luggage pointed us in one direction to security. Because it was so damn early, I didn’t check the signs and just got in line at security. We made it all the way through security, even passed TWO people checking our boarding passes. Then? Some maintenance guy stopped us and pointed out we were on the wrong concourse.
I am such a dumbass.
We re-crossed the airport (dragging much lighter carry-ons this time) to the correct concourse and after we went through security, I realized there was no food past the security checkpoint. LilZ hadn’t eaten breakfast yet and in one hour we’d be getting on the plane for 4+ hours with no food in our bellies = EVIL. LilZ, being the best kid in the world just said, “It’s okay, Mom. I’m not really hungry.” I’m betting he knew my emotional stability was at risk so he was trying to keep me calm. Smart Kid.
I was feeling bad for starving my child but I couldn’t fret for long as I had to get in line to get our seats changed. As I was sitting in line there was a huge verbal war between two people on either side of where LilZ was sitting. He looked incredibly uncomfortable as I just mouthed to him, “I’m so sorry” for the nine hundredth time of the trip. I felt so bad for him and I think it was at that moment that he started considering finding another relatively sane looking woman in the concourse and offering to be her new son.
As I was in line, and the crowd for other seat requests was gathering behind me, NikkiZ decided to start screaming. Like – SCREAMING. The kind that made everyone give me dirty looks and scowls. I heard one person say, “Well, this ought to be a fun flight.” I wanted to shoot them in the face. Then, when the employees started making announcements over the loud speakers, no one could hear them over the screaming. He had to pause and spit out what he needed to say between her screams. It was AWESOME.
The computers were down, the lines were long, the crowd was rude, and I was on the verge of shooting myself. They finally took my boarding passes and promised to get our seats changed. As I was just about to burst into tears, Angela (a blog idol whose blog I’m sure you read) stopped me and asked if she could help in any way. Even though I considered handing her my screaming daughter and running for the hills, I declined her offer politely. However, the offer itself and the kindness it showed, rejuvenated me so I didn’t feel on the verge of an anxiety attack any longer. We eventually made it on the plane and I kept my boob in NikkiZ’s mouth the entire flight so she’s sleep – and she did. Much to the pleasure of the passengers of that same flight.
We were pleased to only have an hour layover at the Atlanta airport and planned to grab lunch to go to eat on the short flight home. HA! Can you guess what happened?
The hour turned into 3. Of course. And when we finally boarded the plane? We sat parked for another 45 minutes because of fueling issues. So, if we had rented a car when we landed from San Jose, we could have been home faster than flying.
So, the moral of the story? If I ever have to travel with NikkiZ but without MrZ again? I’m either hiring anyone someone to escort me or I’m shipping her with UPS. Depends on the time of year because I’m betting a box gets hot in the summertime.