Melt Down and Take Off
Our flight to Florida was on Tuesday, July 31st. Prior to leaving for the airport I had a slight nervous breakdown. I'm OK now.
The morning started off so calmly. Most of the packing was done. Zoe was keeping herself nicely busy while I was finishing our organizing. We were getting picked up by Zoe's Grandpa at 12:30 (after he picked up Aunt Pru) for our ride to the airport, and by 11:15 everything was ready to go except the very last minute stuff (sippy cups, snack supplies, diaper change, etc.).
I decided to run out to get lunch. We were back at 12:15 and I started our last minute stuff. Calm was still surrounding us. It was too good to be true.
I decided I would take a minute to e-mail Grandpa our return flight info so I wouldn't have to worry about doing it from Florida. I went to the diaper bag pocket where I had put our flight information, my passport, and Zoe's birth certificate the night before (so I knew RIGHT WHERE IT WAS!).
It was GONE!!!
I froze for a moment trying to think of what I may have done with it. I thought a million thoughts in seconds. I could reprint our flight info. I could fly with my driver's license. Did we have a 2nd birth certificate? Where would it be? Where the heck did I put the stuff??????? Did I put it back by the desk? (I ran around the kitchen/desk/dining room) Did it fall out of the bag in the car? (I ran outside and searched the car and driveway) I took a moment to assure a screaming Zoe that "I am not leaving, I just went to the car, stop crying, stop stop stop". Did it fall out when we were having lunch? (oh no, oh no, oh no) Did Nick move it? (I called him at work and left a frantic message) Did someone take it? (wait a minute... Zoe... nicely busy... quiet... letting me pack all on my own) I ran to the small recycle bin where she had been "sorting mail". There at the very bottom, under a weeks worth of paper stuff... our flight info still neatly folded containing Zoe's birth certificate and my passport. BREATH, BREATH, BREATH.
Grandpa and Aunt Pru showed up. I had planned on being totally ready to just hop in the car... but of course at this point I haven't done my last minute stuff. In minutes I rushed around collecting sippy cups, and ice packs, and cheese sticks. Rush rush rush. I don't think I calmed down until we were at the gate sitting and waiting for the pre-boarding call. The adrenalin rush was insane.
We were easily checked in for our flight. Bags checked. Security was a breeze. Aunt Pru waited by the gate as Zoe and I walked off a little energy before boarding the plane. We slowly overcame the frantic feelings.
Zoe clicked a picture of Aunt Pru (my grandfather's sister). Not bad for a 2 year old taking a photo, huh?
We had perfect weather to take off. I took this picture mainly because Jet Blue is having a little contest and are giving away round trip tickets to 10 people. You take a picture out the window (anytime during your flight) and make a note of where you are (they have a TV on the back of every headrest... and one station keeps a Google map of where your plane is). You e-mail them the photo. Worth a try right? (The only real problem I have with entering this photo... the plane in the air is Continental... not Jet Blue. oh well)
This was the first time we had to buy Zoe a seat. She's flown quite a few times already... but not with her own purchased seat. We've either held her on our laps... or lucked out and had an empty seat in our row for her car seat. This time... she was old enough to require an actual ticket. I was a little worried about her actually staying in the seat belt (and I refused to lug the heavy car seat with us) so I bought one of the new FAA approved CARES toddler harnesses (child aviation restraint system). It wasn't cheap... but it was so worth it. The harness (combined with the portable DVD player) made the flight a dream. (highly recommended if you travel a lot!)
You can see Zoe was quite comfy. She even took a (very short and interrupted by a pilot announcement after just 10 minutes... grrrr) snooze.
So, we made it to Orlando with no problems (well... no problems other than my melt down/panic attack/loss of flight paperwork). We were picked up at the airport by Zoe's Grammy and PopPop (my parents). All of our luggage made it. No toddler tantrums. Just lovely.
We settled in at Grammy and PopPop's brand new house. It is absolutely gorgeous. The house is beautiful. The neighborhood/development is lovely. The view of the pond behind their house is wonderful. The community pool is 2 minutes down the street and is like a resort pool. The only complaint... the house is too big. Just walking around the kitchen was exhausting. Are you allowed to complain about a kitchen being too big? I don't think so... but there needs to be at least something wrong. It cannot be perfect. So... the kitchen is just much too big. After walking around to get breakfast each day I was wiped out. I found the house layout online... but I don't think it shows just how spacious it all is. (their house is actually the reverse of the layout shown though... if you just imagine a mirror image... you've got their layout.)
Next up... our new friends... the frogs.