Sunday, August 19, 2012

Flying with a baby-Part deuce and one more

This flight, I was lucky enough to have two new things on our journey: a seat for the baby and my husband. This is Mike's first time flying with Lucy and I think the amount of stuff that we needed to bring with us surprised him. Of course we had a suitcase for all her diapers . Lucy has won out hands down when it comes to the ratio of volume of stuff needed to entertain one person vs. poundage. 

A couple of months ago I bought a Groupon for a limo service for a one way trip to the airport. As per usual, I didn't read the fine print and ran into a snag in my plan.  The Groupon was for a town car, and seeing as we had four suitcases, three carry-ons, a running stroller, and a pack-n-play, I ended up having to call them to exchange it for Groupon bucks. Oh well. I guess life of jet setting around the world with a baby should have started on a more practical note. So at 5:30 we departed good ole' Oakwood in the less exotic, but more reliable minivan.  It whisked us away at a reasonable and roomy family of three pace to Reagan, where we promptly called a porter to help us with our mountain of luggage.  Little known fact, curbside check-in is not possible with a bundle of joy. I need to do a little research on the age limit for checking bags on the outside, as opposed to the inside of a building. That rule doesn't seem arbitrary at all.  I'm sure the agents inside have some sort of advanced baby checking skills that I'm not aware of.  "Yep, thats a baby all right." I'm really glad American Airlines has gone above and beyond to provide this valuable training to it's employees. I don't know what we would have done without it. (Just for the record, I'm sure there is a reasonable answer. I just prefer complaining. It must be the high school teacher in me.)

However, we were lucky enough to land one of the savvier porters and were fast tracked through the check-in. Money well spent IMHO. Then we were off to security, where we again were ushered through because of our stroller and bambina. If you are traveling alone, I again highly recommend using a baby carrier through the airport, and if at all possible, bring a baby. I always get through security quickly with Lucy. Best 9 month investment in bypassing long airline lines I ever spent.  When you get to the actual You'll need to take it off at the security checkpoint, but then you can pop them back in and be off without the hassle of a stroller. 

Another great thing about having hubby with us is he is the designated pack mule. I just had the baby (in my Ergo carrier) and diaper bag. He had our running stroller, ( which we needed to bring because we are moving) two carry-ons, and her gigantic car seat. Which brings me to my next point. There are these amazing metal attachments that you can buy that turn your car seat(not infant car seat, but the toddler ones) into a rolling suitcase. We were going to get one, but I forgot. Typical me.  However, I think if you are going to do a lot of traveling with your baby, you should check out the standard width of an airplane aisle, and compare it with the seat's. I did not do that and I have a sneaking suspicion that ours is too wide. It seems like the perfect way to transport the seat into the airplane without simultaneously decapitating everyone sitting in aisle seats.  Poor suckers. 

Two hours later

Well, the trip is going well and I am pleased to report that the complimentary coffee tastes like watered down metal and the seats are as uncomfortable as I remember. But, at the end of the day the baby is sleeping soundly after a long needed poop, my husband is next to me enjoying the AA wifi, and I get to blog on my iPad and read from my Kindle Ap. Life is good.

Three days later

Oh how naive I was to write that last paragraph! After landing, we had an easy transition through customs and immigration (reverse order).  A friend of Mike's helped us with our bags, which was a god send. Traffic to the hotel was unreal.  I think the average American grossly underestimates how large Mexico City is. Upon arrival to our hotel, the first thing I wanted to do was contact my parents to let them know that we were safely tucked away in our hotel room.  Turning to Mike, I kindly asked him where he had placed my iPad. He then informed me that he had not placed my iPad anywhere because he had already checked the seat pockets and they were empty. Face palm. I had taken it out of the seat pocket and placed it on my seat, telling him to put it in the carry on bag that he was holding. 

After five minutes of repeating to myself that it was just a thing, and it didn't matter, Mike had called down to the concierge who had located it and it was being held for him in the AA office. The catch was he had to go right then and get it. Three hours later, Mike arrived in time for all of us to drag our butts out for a late dinner of some fine Mexican cuisine and then back to the hotel for a blissful night of sleep. Which was only interrupted three times by the bébé. 

For us, the Ergo carrier and Ergo baby backpack diaper bag have really streamlined our baby traveling. I'm very impressed with their products. This week, I'll do a review on my new splurge, the Beco Gemini carrier and compare it to my Ergo. 

Alright folks, buenos noches. If I spelled that wrong, please forgive me. My Spanish is not so bueno yet.