We took a much needed little vacation to Myrtle Beach. It was so wonderful to get away and just be a family.
The packing, oh my Lord, the packing! I packed forever. I can't believe the amount of stuff you need for such a little person. The stroller, pack-n-play, car seat, toys, etc. Having these at our destination was worth extra effort, but it took some mad packing skills and a well laid out plan on how to get it through the airport.
This was Tyler's 1st flight. Since he can be very loud when upset, I researched like crazy on all the ways to keep a toddler happy on a flight. We arrived very prepared and it paid off.
Prior to boarding, we let Tyler run around in a safe area to burn a bunch of energy. Our gate just happened to be next to the kiddie play area, how lucky was that!
We went back and forth on whether to purchase Tyler a seat or take advantage of the fly for free under 2 and have him sit on our lap. Since we were flying Southwest, which doesn't have assigned seating, we decided to forego the ticket and hope for an empty seat. Kerry called the airline the day before our departure to see if there was anything we needed for boarding Tyler. They said they require a copy of his birth certificate. Kerry looked at me and said, you have that right? Oh crap, double, triple crap!!! I never ordered his birth certificate!!! We were told he would not be able to board for free without the birth certificate and that we could purchase him a last minute not-so-cheap ticket. The next morning, the day we were to depart, Kerry ran downtown to vital records and luckily was able to get his birth certificate. Whew!!!
We boarded with Tyler's car seat. It folds in half, so we were prepared to store it in the overhead bin if we were not able to get him a seat. Kerry had this 27 lb beast on his back. He made the mistake of looking left and then looking right as he was walking down the aisle and about took out 2 passengers. Oh the dirty looks he got!
Lucky us, Tyler got his own seat and we got to use his car seat.
We told him he better enjoy forward-facing while he could as with the new research out on how much safer rear-facing is, we plan to keep him rear-facing in the car until his feet hit the rear window. ;-)
He did soooooo good on the flight! With the exception of nursing 2 or 3 times, he stayed in his car seat the entire flight. My udder cover was useless, he kicked and pulled at it the whole time he was nursing. He did not like something covering his head or blocking his view. Luckily the guy on the other side of the aisle was so into his laptop that he never noticed, and thankfully the flight attendant was female as I believe I accidentally flashed her a few times.
We had all kinds of snacks to keep him satisfied. We discovered he loved ice after he reached into my water and grabbed a cube and then begged for more. I didn't want to risk him choking, so Kerry was tasked with crunching up the ice for him. It was a full time job keeping him busy. We spent the entire flight handing him toys, snacks and reading to him. We were willing to do anything to keep him happy and that we did.
We had a few water incidents. One thing I wasn't prepared for was how a sippy cup handles cabin pressure. I flipped up the straw and water sprayed everywhere, mostly right in Tyler's face. It just kept coming out, so I hurried up and stuck it in my mouth. Of course that is when the flight attendant decided to see if there was anything we needed. I sat there red faced sucking on a sippy cup. It gave us all a good laugh.
The other water incident wasn't quite as funny. Ok, it was for me, but not so much for Kerry. Kerry had my cup of ice water and his coke sitting on his tray table. Tyler got a little squirmy and kicked his tray. Water and coke soaked Kerry, mostly right in the crotch area. He-he!
We were dead last getting off the plane. The flight attendant offered to help us we took so long. Getting the car seat back in its bag, packing up toys and snacks, etc all while keeping Tyler from running down the aisle was quite a feat. As we stepped off the plane, the attendant told us Tyler was her favorite baby passenger all year. Success!
We found favor with the car rental company. We paid for a standard car and when the agent saw all our luggage, he asked if we wanted to upgrade to a SUV. I declined as I didn't want to pay the difference. He smiled and handed us a key. When we arrived at our parking spot, there sat an SUV, at no extra charge. Thank you God for that agent, we would have never fit in that standard car.
After a trying 1.5 hr drive, with Tyler crying most of the way, we arrived at our destination. I'm so glad I let Kerry talk me into the oceanfront room!
Letting Tyler loose in the room was like letting out a wild animal. He was sooooo excited about the room. He squealed with excitement, was into everything, ran all over and then dumped out all the drawers that I had just neatly filled. By time we departed, we had completely rearranged the room. We had to get really creative with the baby proofing. We had chairs blocking drawers, furniture blocking off danger areas and our belts locking kitchen cabinets.
We spent our days at the beach. Tyler wasn't so sure about the sand, the first day he just stood in it frozen in place.
On the other hand, he loved the water and waves. Sometimes a little bit too much as he would run right in. He giggled hysterically every time the waves rolled passed him.
We finally got him to play in the sand, but he never was really impressed by it.
His plumber's butt was always giving us a good laugh!
Tyler enjoyed eating out, that is until HE was done eating. Then all he wanted to do was get down and run around. Kerry and I ended up taking turns following him around while the other ate. He's a very funny child and entertained many of the customers. They were all telling him bye and saying how much they were entertained when we left. Had we made him sit while we ate, I'm sure it would have ended very differently with a "thank God they're leaving!". One thing Tyler has taught me is to just go with the flow and make due. It sure is a lot less stressful that way.
The most enjoyable times we had was strolling down the beach with the water rolling over our feet. We rented a beach stroller that would roll in the wet sand. That was the best rental purchase ever.
Tyler was very fascinated with the birds. He chased them every chance he got.
We enjoyed watching the sun rise from our balcony.
We had fun making foot prints in the sand. Look at those little feet!
Tyler loved the lazy river. I think he would have been content to just float around the river all day.
A little more butt crack, lol!
No relaxing for mama at the pool, I was too busy stalking Tyler's every move, holding onto him as all he wanted to do was walk right off the edge of the pool.
I let him have one moment of victory in the shallow end, but not without hands engaged, ready to swoop him up.
He was an exhausted little boy by the end of each night. It never gets old watching him sleep. He looks so big in this photo!
We could not get this child to relax at all in his stroller! LOL
Tyler had a hay day in our new hotel room as well. He reprogrammed the electronic safe and a/c unit about a billion times. All evening and the following morning was dedicated to packing and preparing for the flight home.
At the airport, I was the lucky winner of a pat down. I got a nice dose of radiation in the full body scanner followed by an intrusive pat down. I had to stand with hands over my head while a female tsa agent put her hands down my pants and had me rotate in a complete circle. Geesh, I'm 5'1 with a baby on my hip, I looked so threatening! Kerry stood on the sidelines laughing.
Once at our gate, Tyler ran all over the place giggling out loud. He can be quite entertaining and he knows it. He pays attention to who laughs and who doesn't. He then makes several passes in front of those that laughed.
We had another successful flight back and once again, Tyler got his own seat. This time they made us sit him in the window seat, said it was required. Interesting since he sat in the seat between us on the 1st flight. This arrangement put all the entertaining on me. After the flight, Kerry said that was a piece of cake! Sure it was, all he did was read and play on his laptop. =)
During the flight, Kerry found a hard mass of white powder in his bag of peanuts that the airline had given him. He tasted it and it didn't taste sweet or salty, so not sure what it was. Just making small talk, he showed it to the flight attendant and asked if she ever sees those in the peanuts. She was shocked by it and thought he was messing with her at first. He handed it to her and said she was welcome to show it to the manufacturer if she wanted. She was curious to find out what it was, so she took the bag with her and said she was going to run it by the manufacturer to see what it was. Later she came up to Kerry and said, you're right, I tasted it too and it's not sweet or salty. Kerry and I looked at each other like, did she really just lick the same mass Kerry licked? LOL
Soon our flight came to an end. The landing was a little rough. We hit several big pockets of turbulence right before landing that shook the plane pretty good and gave your stomach the roller coaster effect. Tyler thought it was hilarious and burst out laughing. Nothing scares this child.
We were dead last getting off the plane once again. It was a surprising to find our entire flight of passengers standing in a long line as we walked off the plane. They had the door locked to the airport. Word had it that there was a security issue and they were locking down the airport. This was the day before 9-11, so wasn't that big of a surprise that they were being very cautious. All of a sudden several police and TSA agents came barreling down our gateway with very serious looks on their faces. At this point, I was getting a little nervous. I was standing in line while Kerry was by the plane door chit chatting with the attendants, so he got to hear all that was going on. All of a sudden I see the attendant pointing at Kerry saying "this is the guy". Kerry looks at me, bursts out laughing and yells, "hahahahaha, this is about the peanuts!!!" Long story short, the attendant had given the "rock" to management, stories got mixed up and next thing you know, they're shutting down the airport because word has it, a passenger on our flight had a suspicious white powder substance. Kerry laughed and said, "don't look at me, she gave me the peanuts!". A few minutes later, all was cleared up, the police were shaking their heads at how blown up this got and everyone was released. Later that evening, it was mentioned on the news. We laughed about this for days.
A few videos from our trip:
And this ends our vacation. What a great time!