On Travel

Rebecca and I have always enjoyed traveling, and we’re doing our best to expose Catherine to as much of it as possible. Since she was born, we’ve taken several road trips, some trips by boat, and one trip on an airplane. Tomorrow, we’re leaving on a trip to Colorado, so travel is foremost on my mind.

We’re going to be traveling by airplane, with a flight connecting from Boston to Chicago to Colorado Springs. Our previous plane trip was a direct flight from Boston to Columbus. Catherine did pretty well on that flight, sleeping for a good chunk of the middle. There were a few times that she woke up, but Rebecca was wearing her in a sling, and was able to nurse her back to sleep. For the time that she was awake, she seemed to enjoy herself. She liked playing peekaboo with the people in the rows behind her, and luckily they all seemed to like her and to be up for the game. This time around, we’re traveling in the evening, so we’ll be dealing with her less-jovial time of the day. Also, she’s much more active now, so I imagine that it will be frustrating to be confined to our laps for the duration of the trip. Hopefully with a combination of distraction, playtime, and some sleep and nursing, we’ll make it through our connecting flights with a minimum of fuss. We’ve also hidden away a few of her favorite toys, which we can hold in reserve to pull out during the flight if necessary.

We’re trying to pack smartly for this trip. One topic of discussion was whether to bring the Pack ‘n’ Play with us. On car trips, it’s not a big deal to load it in the trunk and cart it into a hotel or house as necessary, but for a trip that involves walking around an airport and lugging things for greater distances, it’s not as appealing. When we flew out to Ohio for Easter, we didn’t bring the Pack ‘n’ Play, because my parents had arranged to borrow one, and they had it set up at their house for us. Rebecca’s parents have a Pack ‘n’ Play already at both their house in Townsend and their cottage in Oak Bluffs, so we don’t need to bring it there. For this Colorado trip, we did a bit of research. I called the hotel and asked about the cribs they had advertised on their website. Were they the death-trap type I’d heard so much about in investigative reports on the news? No, the front desk person reported, they were brand new, just purchased a couple of months ago, and only a few had even been used. They weren’t metal or wood, she said, but some sort of plastic. That was the best description she could give me, so I’m assuming that they’re comparable to a Pack ‘n’ Play. With that information in hand, we decided that we will be leaving our own Pack ‘n’ Play at home. That will make it easier for loading, unloading, and checking of baggage.

We’ve got plenty of other things to cart, anyway. We’ll have a suitcase, garment bag, a couple of carry-on bags, the baby backpack, and a rolling case to hold our car seat, not to mention a squirming one-year-old! We opted to bring our own car seat, since our other alternative would be to pay for a car seat rental while out in Colorado.

If Rebecca and I were traveling by ourselves, we’d plan each day chock full of activities, with quick breaks for meals. With Catherine, we need to include some downtime in the schedule since, unlike adults, she doesn’t have the mental constitution to push through an entire day of sightseeing. So we’ll probably head back to the hotel in the middle of each day for some R&R. Other than that, we plan on taking her with us just about everywhere!

We know that Catherine probably won’t have many memories of this trip, and we’re not really planning the trip for her benefit. But we do hope that trekking around with Mom and Dad will leave a lasting impression on her, and anything we can do to make the experience more comfortable and enjoyable for her will be well worth it. We’re bring some good binoculars so she can see everything. Hopefully this will be just one more in what will become a long line of fun travels for our family!

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