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« Seasick | Main | East Coast Trip: Part II »

w May 27, 2004

East Coast Trip: Part I

So as not to agitate my fan base (you know who you are), without further ado, the long-awaited shakedown of our East Coast Odyssey.

April 29th: Bean and I load up into my ever-helpful neighbor's car, leaving the dogs to the tender mercies of the dogsitter (wonderful person, plus the mail didn't back up in the box), and we comfortably made it to the airport with about an hour and a half to spare. Tried to curb check, but apparently there was an "issue" with our tickets. ??? A kind porter helped me schlep everything inside and we tried the self-checkin kiosk. No dice. To make a long story short, because our tickets included a trip to and from Toronto (albeit on a totally different airline), I was travelling "internationally"...and my name on my passport didn't match the name on my ticket. Note bene: my passport is still in my maiden name, and I just always show my driver's license at the same time. Have never had a problem. But trying to get to Cleveland on Continental? Whooee.
At any rate, I finally talked the agent into letting me on the plane, agreeing to accept that I might have a "big problem" in New York, yes yes yes...and we ditched the bags and the stroller and made our way to security (I had strapped Bean's carseat onto a collapsible luggage cart...worked like a dream). Reasonably painless, and we hiked allllll the way down to the end of the terminal...but had lots of time! Even with my argument at the counter.

This was the first effort at entertaining a toddler without annoying the hell out of other passengers, and we did just fine. Thank goodness for Cheerios and goldfish crackers and my keys.
The plane was PACKED...we were about halfway back, but I got her strapped in pretty quickly and easily, and had the good fortune to sit next to an understanding man who was actually willing to talk to me instead of just glowering at the horrible mother and her toddler that dared disrupt his flight. She did fine until about 1.5 hours out of Cleveland...she needed to sleep so badly, and absolutely refused to just crash in her carseat. Scream scream scream howl howl howl...Mommy is desperately singing, reading books, dangling toys, etc. And I had to go to the bathroom in the worst way. I finally gave up after about 35 minutes and thought, you know what? I can either torture other passengers for a few minutes, or I can wet the seat. It's a good thing planes are as ambiently loud as they are.

Well, she settled down a bit as we were landing, I was fighting back tears, dreading every other flight we had to endure -- spoilers ahead, but this was fortunately the worst flight. My sister and her boyfriend managed to meet us at the airport for about fifteen minutes during our layover, and that was really nice. The flight to Lexington was my first one on a regional jet, and I was pleasantly surprised at how comfortable it was. I saw the looks of terror on the faces of my fellow passengers when we got on, as they were all clearly single, urban, successful beautiful people headed to the Kentucky Derby, and were NOT pleased to have to listen to a 2 year old for an hour. Well, Bean charmed them all by blowing raspberries for AN HOUR. I was sort of impressed with her sustainability, to tell you the truth. But it was very, very, very nice to hand her over to Gene and get to eat a Stuckey's pecan roll on our drive to Louisville.
Stay tuned for the second installment...this was quite a trip.

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