Friday, May 21, 2010

Vacation Part 1: Half the Battle is just getting all your stuff there....

So here begins the long documentation of our mini-vacation to Kansas!

We had a 2:40 direct flight from Nashville to Kansas City on Saturday, so that gave us plenty of time to sleep in, finish packing all the last minutes, get Lilli down for a nap, drop Pippin off, for us to have some lunch, wake her up and head to the airport around noon!

The whole logistics of just getting our stuff from our car to the long term shuttle and into the airport was my biggest stress. I can't BELIEVE I don't have a pic of all our stuff, but there were no free hands for camera snapping and I know Brent got one later on our return trip so I'll save it for then. Just picture the three of us, plus one large suitcase and one small suitcase, along with one medium size duffel, a stroller, Pack n Play, carseat, two backpacks and a small bag for Lilli. Ummm.....yeah. And the only way we could fly all that luggage free was Southwest. We lucked out on the shuttle - as we were unloading the car we saw one coming and I ran ahead with Lilli on my hip and stopped the guy, who happened to have a luggage "handler" on board who ran out to help Brent, so that ended up pretty stress free, and once we got into the airport we dumped most of that as we checked in. We handed out a LOT of tip money on this trip for the employees who helped us!

Once we got all through security (which of course took longer since sippy cups have to have special Xrays, etc) Lilli was in HEAVEN! She LOVES airplanes and (naturally) this place is full of them. The Nashville airport has tons of windows and she'd run up to each one and stare at the airplanes. Just walking through the terminal took us forever, but that was fine because we had time to kill!One of her other faves right now is helping push the stroller. She most certainly doesn't want to be confined to it, but she's always eager to help push it, which works well and keeps her moving in the preferred direction and safe from being trampled!

The Nashville airport has been undergoing a ton of renovations the last few years, and it is looking SO nice these days! There's a ton of good places to eat in there now, and it's just so much brighter and "user friendly". She LOVED these cartoon "under construction" signs and literally had to stop at each one we passed.
We stopped at the Wendy's inside and had some chicken nuggies, and then headed towards our gate. To our absolute delight there was a new children's playground directly across from our gate! She LOVED it and it really helped burn some energy and kept her completely occupied. It had several little slides and by the end of our time she could climb the steps and slide completely on our own. The improvements at the airport have been wonderful!
Finally it was our turn to board and this is when I just hate Southwest. Kids don't get to board first anymore, we're after all the Business Select A's which is so frustrating. We got a seat towards the back, and they quickly tried to board us all as thunderstorms were moving in.
We had a very bumpy flight out of Nashville and the storms stretched most of the way. We had a very short snack service and it got extremely bumpy landing and they were never able to get our trash. Lilli did great on the plane, we read books and had snacks and she eventually got so sleepy from the bumpy ride that she fell asleep as we started descending. It was a rough landing and you could kind of feel the plane slide as we touched down and I had to really hang onto Lilli!
But as you can see she was PASSED OUT! This was the first time she has slept in public that I can remember for ages. She just doesn't nap in our laps or the stroller anymore, she's just way too alert.
But she was OUT! She didn't wake up as we landed or de-planed, and as we waited for our stroller to be brought out of the items checked at the gate we had her picture made with the pilot. She completely stayed asleep until we got down to baggage claim.
And it was absolutely pouring down rain in Kansas City as we rode the shuttle to get our rental car and start our adventure.
But we had made it - State #44 - Kansas!

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