Saturday, July 12, 2014

Ian's first plane flight and our Mississippi Visit - Day 1

Who's ready for a trip?
Theresa and I have taken a few car trips with Ian. Even a few long ones like a 7 hour drive to Yosemite. Today though we're stepping it up. Ian is going to be taking his very first plane flight ever. We're taking a week off work to go to Mississippi to see my Grandma and other family then we're headed to Missouri to see Theresa's Grandma.

Nice that he's starting the day off in a good mood. Let's hope it continues on the plane!

Long car rides always seem to put him to sleep. Continuing our travel light philosophy we're doing only carry-on luggage. Ian is going to be a lap-baby so that's only 2 overhead storage bags and 2 under the seat bags. Not bad for a week trip away. We still had to stop at the Southwest ticket counter to get Ian a boarding verification document. That was new for us.

Security wasn't bad and before long we were headed to the gate. We'll be gate checking the stroller and car-seat. Theresa had read that Southwest sells large bags for gate checking items that are nicer than many of the name-brand items and only $15 each. We got to the gate and asked about buying a couple bags and were told they were only sold at the ticket counter. Grr. I headed back outside to the ticket counter, picked up 2 gate check bags, got back through security, and joined Theresa before it was time to board.

Even though we checked in the within seconds of it being open, we still got the middle of the B boarding group. Guess we're going to be using family boarding for the very first time right after the A group.

Hanging out on the jet-bridge waiting to board. We asked a couple Southwest agents how full the flight was. Everyone told us it was a completely full flight and every seat would be taken. Yes Ian is a lap baby but it'd be really nice to have an open seat.

T bought Ian these earmuffs to help with the noise of the plane. He wore them for all of a couple minutes and then they went back into the suitcase for the entire rest of the trip.

That whole "every seat will be taken" line, completely not true! The doors closed and we've got an empty middle seat! Awesome!

Ian was curious to watch as we got pushed back and taxied out to the runway.

Down the runway and off we go! Up until this point Ian has only traveled in California.

Our main concern was whether Ian was going to turn into one of "those babies" in the plane and scream bloody murder. Theresa kept a bottle in his mouth and he was chewing on his teethers and he had no problem with the ascent. We put him in the seat between us and of course he likes playing with the bottle more than any of the toys we brought.

No crying babies here!

Most of the ride was spent going back and forth between the two of us, always making sure he had something to chew on to keep his ears popping.

Eventually he got tired and fell asleep for a long hour and a half nap. He woke up a little before landing. When the pressure started changing in the cabin he moaned for 2-3 minutes but was never very loud.

We landed and taxied to the gate. Once we stood up we received many compliments on Ian's behavior with some people who weren't even aware there was a baby nearby.

We flew into New Orleans, so Ian gets to check Louisiana off his list.

And who is waiting for us when we get off the plane? It's Gram!

Did you know there's free beads at the welcoming booth after you arrive?

It was a little bit of a walk to the rental car agency especially in the heat, but we eventually got our SUV and started the drive to Mississippi.

But first, we're hungry! What better place to go than Popeye's Louisiana Kitchen. I love how they have jazz music playing outside.

Mmm. Spicy fried chicken, peppery mashed potatoes and biscuits with strawberry jelly. Delicious.

Lunch/Dinner was delicious and one thing I really noticed was how friendly people were. I was just sitting at our table feeding Ian when another guy from another table asked if I liked basketball and then we talked about that and the World Cup for 5 minutes. Complete stranger just striking up a conversation with another stranger.

Heading back outside, we saw a dog in a car and walked over to get a closer look.

I guess Ian hasn't really seen a dog close up before because he was just amazed by it. He had his mouth hanging open just staring at this puppy running back and forth beside the window.

One more quick stop to get a few supplies we didn't pack. Ian's first Walmart.

While walking around we made another friend.

Looking for snacks. He looks comfortable.

He's a very happy little guy who must really like Dr. Thunder.

One thing I couldn't leave without trying was the Strawberry flavored Icee. It really reminded me of Crush Strawberry soda. Yummy!

Back on the road again and there's the Mississippi state line.

Crossing one more state off Ian's travel list.

Ian sat in the back seat with Gram while T and I were in the front. Gram pulled out a brand new toy that kept Ian's attention for a while. It took a little while for him to figure it out, but eventually he learned how to make it squeak. He was trying so hard grabbing all over that toy and grunting.

After a couple hours on the road, we made it to our first stop. My Aunt Donna and Uncle Gary's house near Jackson. Aunt Donna pulled out lots of fun toys to play with.

Sitting with Uncle Gary.

We put a couple toys on the rug and then put Ian down on the other side of the rug just to see which toy he liked better. He ended up crawling between both toys and straight to Aunt Donna.

Using his new ability to pull himself up, got Aunt Donna to pick him up. That was another thing we were wondering about, how would he do meeting all these strangers. Turns out it was no problem. As long as he was being held, he seemed to be okay with whoever.

After a little over an hour there T, Ian and I left to go to the hotel we were staying at. T's allergic to most animals and who knows what Ian's schedule is going to be overnight in a new place.

Let me tell you, Ian did not like the hotel crib. He was reaching through the bars trying to grab things, grabbing the sides and standing up, and was just too excited to sleep. It was a very eventful day though and he's been a very good boy. We'll cut him a little slack.

Tomorrow, it's more Mississippi and visiting family. We'll continue there next.

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