Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Florida Review: There and Back Again

So many of you have asked me how our flights were, since I did make a big deal of the whole thing before we left. Instead of answering everyone individually - since I'm a busy lady, huh - I thought it would be best to write about the whole travel experience separately from the trip itself.

The flight there and the flight back (both on Jet Blue) couldn't have been more different in terms of how they felt, how busy things were, and how the Babby responded to the wholesale uprooting of her usual schedule, even if I did try to keep naptime naptime.

There: We flew out of Logan, which is an airport I usually avoid because it's big and scary and impersonal. Oh, and old and ugly. I like to fly out of Manchester, because it's small and cute and the people there are friendly, but in this case, it was easier for the BabbyDaddy to get us Logan, less likely that the Babby would fall asleep on the way there, and less expensive. She did, however, take a 20 minute power nap on the way from Sugar Magnolias in Gloucester to the airport, blah.

Logan, perhaps because it was a Thursday, was actually pretty quiet, and security was so dead that I had as much time as I wanted to put Babby down, fold stroller, get everything on the belt, etc., and then to repackage everything so we could get to the gate. Once the, we had time to spare, so we ate grapes, danced to muzack (seriously, the Babby loved it), and declared again and again "People!" That was all Babby; I'm not that excited by people.

Jet Blue pre-boards families, which is good because it meant not bopping people in the head with the car seat that already had a Babby in it. I mean, really, try walking down one of those tiny aisles with a car seat containing a Babby. I was super glad that no one was hanging their body parts out in the aisle. As others boarded, we read books. (I had many, many books and many, many toys in my bag. We read two books ad nauseum, and played with 0 toys, both ways.)

The flight there was uneventful except for the fact that the stupid power nap I mentioned above kept Paloma from napping at all on the flight. No reading or TV for moi! Unless you count reading Corduroy's Toys and Let's Count Animals 10000000 times. No crying, though we did get close a few times. And NO poop on the flight, thank goodness. I did try changing the Babby on the plane since she wasn't sleeping, and the "changing table" was laughably small. What didn't feel particularly small, thank goodness again, were the seats. On the way there, we were on a plane with two seats on either side, and the bucket and I together don't take up all that much room. I felt pretty comfy, all in all.

The verdict: Wish she'd slept. Security guys at Logan were great. The grapes from the concession were surprisingly awesome. Baggage people had NO idea how to unfold our Quinny Zapp once we were in Orlando.

Back Again: Going through security at Orlando was full of YUCK. I swear, no more Florida in the summertime or during school holidays. But we made it through. And as in Logan, we were allowed to keep Babby's liquids. They don't even swab test them anymore, so I guess toddler terrorists may become the next big thing. KIDDING! KIDDING!

Once we were in the gate area, though, my mood dropped because our flight was going to be delayed by an hour. And then more than an hour. Because of... rain. Rain. And naturally, as I'm staring at the board trying to will it to say early, the Babby fell asleep in her stroller. I was not having that, so I did what any desperate parent would do. I bought french fries, and like the clerk who sold them to me suggested, held them under Babby's nose. Heaven help me, this is a baby who loved a fry. I know, I know, I kept my kid awake in the airport with fries and a chocolate banana whey smoothie. Oh, well.

But my gambit worked! Because she slept on the plane. And it actually turned out that it was a good thing that there was a delay because the Babby dropped a huge dookie about 10 minutes before they started boarding. No poop on plane, I think after using the changing table the size of a stamp with a peep diaper, is a really, really, really good thing.

The most surprising thing about the flight home was that the baggage people at Logan were able to unfold our Quinny Zapp, which requires that the unfolder do three steps *in the proper order* before it will shrink down or expand to full size.

The Verdict: The "family/medical equipment line" in Orlando airport sucks balls in the summertime when everyone with kids in the entire country is either traveling to and from Disney World. Seriously, you do not need to use the family line if you have one seven year old child and no special gear. The whole point of the dang line is that so people like me with all sorts of stuff doesn't hold you up. But I did meet an angel, a mom of course, who took charge when I was having trouble with Babby and stroller and stuff. She put everything on the belt for me so I could wrangle Babby through the scanner, and then she picked up a trantruming Babby off the floor while I wrangled the stroller. Thank you, nameless angel mom!

And for comparison...

August 2009:

August 2010:

Now I just have to ask: How did my airport experience stack up against those had by any of you out there who have also been brave enough to fly solo with a toddler?


  1. There is no amount of money in the world to convince me to fly solo with Evelyn. It would literally have to be a matter of life and death.

  2. Ahahaha, indeed, I do not envy your experience. We were on a plane with a screamer. Literally 2-3 hours of straight screaming. Luckily, screamerbaby was at the front and we were in the back, otherwise I think Paloma would have started sympathy crying. SOMETHING IS WRONG! I MUST JOIN IN THE LAMENT!

  3. Tee hee. I flew to Orlando with Bella when she was 15 months. Flight was fine, but some other family took my gate checked backpack that had EVERYTHING for her in it. Airline wouldn't let me take their, identical carrier as that would have been 'theft'. I had to haul ass to the OTHER END of Atlanta (layover) with the toddler under my arm, found these poor people loading to leave, and I sear they thought I was crazy and needed to be arrested before they realized what I was sobbing about. I then had to go back through security which sucked ass. At the time Bella had her lovey all the time, and tried to crawl through the xray after it. Never again. Certainly not with two until B-Rex is much much older.

  4. I can't even imagine, Mira. Sucks that everything was in the carrier, but I have to say I'm surprised that the gate folk had anything to say about a carrier switch. I have never once been asked to present documentation when claiming a gate checked item - everyone just grabs their stuff in a crazy stroller/wheelchair/etc. free-for-all.


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