I’m Leavin’ On A Jet Plane

Special Wisconsin Edition

I suppose that traveling on a plane for the first time and hanging out with some long-time friends for the evening before arriving at your destination 16 hours after you started is reason not to do a posting…right? 

Yesterday started early, like 5:15 early. Our flight was supposed to leave at 10:15am and we had decided to get to the airport 3 hours early…just to be safe that we had enough time to make it through everything comfortably since we were traveling with three for the first time. By the way…a baby sure has a lot of luggage for being a baby. A bag to himself. A stroller to himself. A car seat to himself. Seriously, I don’t even get all of that for myself. When we were packing and at the airport, it seemed like we were first time travelers for all over again (trust me, we have traveled enough not to be inexperienced). Everything seemed strange, different, and new. Many of you might be thinking (and I ran the numbers myself) that all of those hours might have made it an idea to drive…but if you add up all of the hours of travel (not the time that we spent with friends), it still would have only put us at Valentine, Nebraska. And trust me, we have spent a night there before, there isn’t much to do or see in Valentine, Nebraska (except for the fact that the gas pumps at the Shell station in town have TVs in them).

Back to the story: we left the house as planned at 6:15, got to the airport parking lot as planned at 7:15 and took the shuttle to the terminal. Ticket check-in went relatively fine, and we headed off to security. Once there, we saw a pretty long line that put our mood in a little of a damper…but not to worry! The line actually moved pretty quickly. We were standing in line both feeling pretty good about how everything had gone to this point…when all of a sudden we realized that we had forgotten the base to the car seat in the car (the base is what attaches to the car, and you can take the car seat out without taking the base out…for ease and simplicity). We made some quick decisions and came to the conclusion that Ahna would take Ezra through security and I would quickly go back to the car and grab the base. This isn’t how we planned on addressing security for the first time with Ezra. 

I left the two of them in line as the approached the screening machines and started to run to the other side of the main terminal to catch the shuttle back to the lot. Just as I approached the bus (and still running), it pulled away. 20+ minutes later, the next bus came. Needless to explain further, the whole trip back to the car was a series of one bad luck after another…amounting to more than 1 hour to get the job done and back through security…maybe there were also a few choice words spoken to whoever might have been within 50 feet (or so) of me. While I was dealing with all of that, Ahna was dealing with security and a lack of help by anyone as she went through. The actual process wasn’t all that bad…except that she only had two hands – which were holding Ezra. One note to parents out there: petroleum jelly, and butt cream (of any sort) counts towards that ridiculous 3-1-1 rule…hope that you have an understanding screening agent – which Ahna had. One note to the people out there: help someone who needs it even though they are in security. We know that there is a lot of stigma attached to what happens once in those boundaries, but it will be okay if you help someone flip a car seat or push some stuff through the machines….and don’t think that I don’t need to listen to this advice as well, I was probably that person who wouldn’t help for the last couple of years. Lesson learned.

All of that excitement resulted is us joining each other only about 30 minutes before we needed to board the plane – just enough time to scarf down some food, use the restroom, change Ezra, and grab a snack for the flight. We did board the plane with the early crowd and gate-checked the stroller and car seat. One more note: (our car seat snaps into the stroller), they will return anything with wheels to the gate when you get off, but not the bag with the car seat in it…meaning that we couldn’t use the stroller for anything but carrying some bags once we got off of the plane. 

The plane ride was good and bad. The good? Ezra was amazing. He was his normal content self for most of the flight – except for when we has hungry, then he fed and was content again. The decent was a little worse than the ascent, but some sucking on a bottle kept him doing well. The bad? The flight itself was really bumpy on takeoff and landing, making it somewhat difficult for Ezra to stay asleep. Once we reached Minneapolis, we met up with Dave and grabbed or luggage before heading out towards Rochester (MN, home of the Mayo Clinic).

Dave is taking a class in the cities this weekend, so it worked out that he could get us from the airport and take us down to Rochester where Mary Jo would meet up with us and drive us the rest of the way to West Salem. Just to our advantage, some great friends of ours recently moved to Rochester and we were able to meet them at their house for dinner. Gina, Dave, and Zach lived in Omaha for the last couple of years and about a month ago moved up to Rochester for work. It has been two years since we have seen them, and since Zach is now 2.5 years old…it was awesome to meet him again. We enjoyed pizza, beers, and fort building with Zach. We had a wonderful visit with Gina and Dave and were saddened when we had to leave to finish the trip to West Salem. The good news is that they are coming down here on Saturday (more on that later) and we will get to see them twice in just a couple of days. 

We arrived last night at about 10:30 and made ourselves at home…which, of course, is still home for Ahna. Ezra and Ahna did great last night learning a new place to sleep and feed. The weather here is much better than expected, with highs in the lower 80’s, a nice breeze, and pretty low humidity (for the midwest). Who would have thought that we would be seeking refuge from the summer in Colorado by coming to the upper-midwest? 

Here are some pictures from yesterday:

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