We had flown with Emersyn before, on our trip to Maine when she was 5 months old (which I never blogged about, bad blogger), but this was a whole different ballgame. First of all, the obvious, it was just me and E, no extra set of hands. Second, she's older, which means she doesn't sleep anywhere at anytime, and mobile now, which means she didn't understand why she couldn't get down from mama's lap and play.
We flew American Airlines, which lets you check a carseat AND stroller for free (I thought I'd only get to check one for free, so this was a lovely surprise), and then I paid to check my bag. On the way down there I gate checked my stroller, so I had it for our layover, and I also had a backpack filled with gear for Emersyn and me, my Ergo carrier, and Emersyn.
To start off with, our first plane was delayed, so I spent quite a bit more time in that airport than I would have normally, and I ended up needing to nurse her there and walked around with her in the carrier for awhile as well. She was due for her afternoon nap, but of course didn't sleep at all until we got to Dallas, at which point she fell asleep as we got off the plane until I got to our departing gate, and then she was awake again. We ate in the airport (thank goodness for babyled weaning- she had grilled chicken and steamed broccoli), and I got her changed into an overnight diaper and her jammies. I could have checked my stroller all the way through, as I didn't use it much at all in the terminal, since I was using the carrier and trying to get E to fall asleep on me. She did end up sleeping on the second flight, thank goodness. She handled the flights really well, but she did cry for about the last 10 minutes of each flight down there. Overall, not too shabby at all.
Day 2 we planned things a lot better around E's nap and we all headed to the beach. Rebecca was smart and packed a full sheet for us to hang out on, and this worked great with Emersyn, as she's at that stage than anything and everything goes in her mouth. I got some great shots of E on the beach (my one big request for the trip) and we just had fun watching her take it all in!
First feel of the ocean!
Day 3 was SeaWorld! E LOVED the dolphin show (as did her mama), and did great in her stroller while we explored the other exhibits. This was the most age appropriate theme park for E, but honestly I don't know that we would have paid the big bucks to go there even though we had a lot of fun. I just don't know that we could have justified the cost with the amount of time we spent there and kiddos at this age can't really do more than a few hours of anything. Thankfully, Rebecca was able to get us free passes, so it was a fun day!
Day 4 was Mama and Rebecca day as we hit up some shopping, and Emersyn was just along for the ride haha. She did great in her stroller again and we got in some last minute fun before heading to the airport.
Emersyn honestly did really well being somewhere other than her own house for 4 days, but I'm not going to lie, it can be hard being out of your own, childproofed environment for an extended time. However, it was definitely worth it to spend some much needed time with my friend.
Our return flights were fairly uneventful- I probably got to the airport way too early, as they allowed me to skip the line and immediately go thru security with Emersyn, but I understand this doesn't always happen. I checked everything this time around and just used our Ergo (which I could not have made the trip without). Emersyn didn't sleep at all on the plane, but she was pretty good during flights. Mama was just worn out from entertaining her and being completely trampled while she tried to explore from my lap.
It was a great trip, but it may be awhile before I attempt to travel alone with E again haha!