First, always have everything packed the night before. I figured that I'd pack my carry-on in the morning since I was taking my computer and camera. To my surprise, my camera bag is far too big to fit in a carry-on. Que panic attack. If you didn't already know, my camera is my second child. I'm not joking, she really is my baby. Putting her in checked baggage was the last thing I wanted to do. I packed her in there pretty well, cushioned with as much as possible. Luckily, she made it safely. I haven't inspected all my lenses yet, but everything looks to be okay. My checked baggage only made weight by 4 pounds. I suppose it was a blessing in disguise, since I had even more weight in that bag before I had to rearrange for my camera.
Next, plan for extra time. We only made it to the airport with enough time for me to wash out Miss A's bottle, go pee, and go through security. I waited in line for a minute or two while people got on the plane. Also, at our layover... I had to wait about 15 minutes after I got off the plane to get my stroller back. We landed in Concourse E, and had to make it to Concourse B... in five minutes. For those of you who haven't been to Charlotte before, here's a map:
The top right is where we landed, and the bottom left is where we took off from. There's also two levels, so we had to find an elevator. It was crazy busy. Again, luck was on our side, and my flight was leaving a few minutes later than planned so we made it in time to board when we were supposed to.
The third lesson I learned was that toddlers will never do what you want them to do. I had high hopes that Miss A would watch Despicable Me on the iPad for the first flight and half of the second. Nope. She was far too busy giving her reflection on the iPad's screen kisses and rocking back and forth trying to hide from it.
On our first flight, the woman next to us slept and ignored us the whole flight. It made things a little more difficult since I was desperately trying to keep Miss A quiet. She got pretty fussy mid-flight, and started crying/yelling. The people across the aisle helped to entertain her, which I appreciated greatly. Even though we had a window seat, we didn't have a window. I know she was bored and wanted to explore. These were the challenges that I anticipated.
The second flight went more smoothly than the first. It was about 30 minutes longer, but we had a wonderful woman next to us. She helped entertain Miss A when she started to fuss, and even gave us a protein bar that A kept grabbing out of her bag. This woman was kind of a life saver. I let A snack quite a bit on the second flight. I had packed some gold fish, yogurt puffs, and pretzels. I also had a cup of juice and a cup of water that helped a ton with her ears popping.
We actually had a window that time, so she was able to look out and see the clouds. Even though she didn't find it particularly interesting, it was something different. She almost fell asleep for the last 20 minutes of our second flight, but that's when we started our descent into Detroit so her ears started popping again.
Take-off and landing were definitely the worst parts. I knew that the altitude changes would be the worst part. I did give her Tylenol before we left since she's cut a total of five teeth in the last two weeks. Her poor little mouth is still so swollen.
Everyone was pretty impressed and infatuated with our little girl. I got lots of comments like "She's so cute!" and "Are you traveling to a pageant?" She is definitely not shy with strangers. She literally leaped into the nice woman's lap on or second flight. She was telling everyone hello and bye-bye as we entered and left the plane. Even I was impressed by how calm she remained with all of the new surroundings.
The only other thing I had issues with was juggling all of our luggage. Thank God my mom was able to meet us inside the airport to help with watching Miss A while I got my bags. I'll definitely update on how our next flight goes. On another note, Miss A is still completely knocked out (over two hours later than when she normally wakes up). I guess traveling was as exhausting for her as it was for me!
God Bless ♥ V