"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes-and ships-and sealing-wax-
Of cabbages-and kings-
And why the sea is boiling hot-
And whether pigs have wings."

- The Walrus and the Carpenter by Lewis Carrol
(From Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, 1872)

Monday, February 14, 2011

There and Back Again

Getting on the plane.
I'll start this blog with a blanket apology to all of my friends in the Washington, DC Metro area.

I'm sorry.

Rumors are true, I was in town this past weekend.  I was in stealth mode and aside from family, I didn't see anyone.  There was just no way to pack it all in.  But I still love you.  All of you.  I do.

Moving on.

Uncle Jim, Cousin Molly & Abbey
Abbey and I took our first trip together to one of my favorite cities ever - and a very special place for her father and I given it's where we met, fell in love, and got married.  We traveled to Washington, DC to meet Uncle Jim, Aunt Val, and cousins Kelsey, Nathaniel and Molly.  We were also celebrating my big brother's milestone 40th birthday.  It was a special trip all around.

One thing was certainly missing.  At the last minute, a pile of work was dumped on Scott and he found himself in a difficult situation and unable to come with us.  We were sad.  I was angry.  Not angry so much at the hubs - not his fault, and he felt horrible - but angry with his employer.  But I quickly got over it when I remembered how rarely this kind of thing happens, and how comfortable we live thanks to said employer.  We'll let this one slide.  But it does suck all around that Abbey's Daddy missed her first trip.  Huge bummer.

Fortunately for Mommy (brave, brave Mommy) Abigail was the *perfect* baby all weekend.  She did not cry on the plane.  She did not cry in the car.  She did not cry near or far.  In fact the only real tears came at the end of brunch on our last day in town, and that was out of shear exhaustion and lasted all of maybe two minutes.  Thank you, sweet daughter, for behaving yourself.

...is she becoming a Caps Fan?
This trip also restored my faith in humanity.  Even though I made every effort to pack exceptionally light.  And I mean Exceptionally.  Babies still come with a lot of gear.  We had a backpack containing everything for the two of us (clothes, 2 oz toiletries since we didn't check bags, baby blankets, toys, breast pump accessories, and a lot of diapers), plus Abbey's diaper bag, 20 ounces of breast milk, a stroller and a car seat.  Getting it all through security on my own was tricky.  But both coming and going, there were kind fellow travelers - probably parents who had been there - who helped me along.  In particular, the folks at Denver's airport were so kind, offering a warm smile and a pat on the shoulder while saying, "take your time, dear.  It's not a race."  Thank you.  Seriously.

But mostly, the four star helper on this trip came in the form of an angelic flight attendant from Ireland.  How I wish I knew your name.  She hooked us up.  Extra pillows.  Free snacks for a nursing mom.  Two huge bottles of water (dude breast feeding on a plane makes one thirstier than the Sahara).  She held Abbey and walked her up and down the aisle so I could use the bathroom in peace.  She carried the diaper bag.  She set up the stroller when we arrived in DC.  She was wonderful.  So, United Airlines - whoever this flight attendant is who was on the plane from Denver to DC leaving Friday at 11.30 am.  She's a keeper. 

On the plane coming home.
By far the best part of the trip, however, was spending some quality time with the family.  Abbey's cousin Molly is deeply in love with baby Abigail.  Aunt Val was a trooper and watched Abbey for an afternoon while my brother and I enjoyed ourselves at a Caps game.  I rode in his Porsche.  Definitely a highlight.  We were out and about, the schedule was jostled, but Abbey just rolled with it, with bright wide eyes taking it all in.  And on the trip home, we both crashed out together on the plane.  While I'm not exactly eager to do it again anytime soon, the whirlwind trip was certainly a memorable success.

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