Sunday, June 14, 2009

The art of vacationing - with children

We made it!

Vacation is already off to a great start.

(Oh, and in case you're wondering, YES we brought our laptop along on our vacation. My husband said it is because he needs to be able to tend to his farm on Farm Town. Sad.)

The first day actually went much better than I had expected. We were out the door at about 6:30am. Brandon's parents took us to the airport so that we didn't have to leave our van in a parking lot all week. Very nice of them!
It took a little bit longer to check in then we thought it would. Did you know that you have to PAY to check luggage now? Wonderful economy. They only had two of our kids listed in the system and tried to tell us we could only check 2 carseats instead of three. It turns out, the baby wasn't listed because we didn't buy a ticket for her, so once Brandon complained enough, that problem was taken care of.
Security went very smoothly. They now have a "family" line for security, which is a fantastic idea. They were very helpful and understanding to us, and we made it through in record time.
Before long, we were on the plane. I had packed a bag for each of the kids to keep them busy. Mostly snacks, toys and coloring books. It seemed to do the trick pretty well. I fed the baby as we were taking off, and she slept for the first hour or so of the flight. We played the "go see the lavatory" game several times with the big kids, and passed the baby back and forth quite a bit too. She did have a diaper mess that I was obligated to take care of. All the stewardeses were very nice and helpful.
We got to Chicago around lunch time. I had packed us a lunch, so we found a place to sit and eat, and then, we took the kids to play at the children's "museam".
It really was more of a giant playground that was airport themed. There was a big "airplane" that they could play in. They could pretend to fly it, fuel it, and even load the packages. There was also a control tower, cargo, and lots more. It was fun and kept the kids busy for quite a while.
Then, we had to walk to the other side of the airport to catch our flight to Richmond. I learned that there is a huge difference in reactions you get when you have a happy baby as opposed to an UNhappy one. When my baby was being cute and smiley, I got lots of "oh, what a cute baby" comments. But, when she started screaming as we were waiting to board, I was getting dirty looks from every direction. I could read on their faces "I hope you're not bringing THAT on the same plane as ME." How rude. ;p
I knew that she was hungry, but I didn't want to feed her until I could sit down on the plane. And once again, she fell asleep right before takeoff.
Once again, the kids were very good. I really like flying United. They have headsets that you can plug right into your armrest and listen to a variety of music channels. One of the channels was kids music, and Zander enjoyed listening to that almost the whole flight.
We arrived in Richmond a little after 9pm. My parents had gotten there several hours earlier, so they had seen some of the sites already. They met us at the airport, and we headed down the road to our resort just outside of Harrisonburg.
The drive was not very fun. The baby cried. The. Whole. Two. Hours.
We all pretty much collapsed when we arrived.
Today we just spent relaxing and recovering. We went to church and explored a little bit. It is beautiful here! It is very green. There are lots and lots of trees. We found a little museam that is only open on Sunday afternoons and is FREE. It was actually Stonewall Jackson's headquarters during the Cival War. It was interesting.
We have lots to see and do for the next few days. I'm hopeing that I can figure out how to get my baby to enjoy riding in the car more. So far, she's screamed every time. I think that maybe it's because I've been sitting next to her and she's not used to that. If she can see me, she thinks I should be holding her. We'll see if it works to change seats.
I might post some pictures tomorrow!


hillari said...

Sounds fun so far. I'm glad your plane ride went smoothly. I can just imagine the dirty looks people were giving you. :)


Yay, you survived the plane ride! Hopefully it goes just as smoothly on the way home! Sounds like a beautiful place to visit. Have fun!!