Travel day… with 2 kids

It would seem that I didn’t post yesterday and I hope you will forgive me for that. Yesterday was a travel day. We headed up to New England for a wedding this weekend. It was also the first time traveling with both kids. The Little Man is an experienced traveller by now. Far more than I was at his age. Yesterday’s flight marked his 15th time on a airplane (by my count) and so it was old school to him. But we also had the Little Miss and lots of luggage and that added to the complications.

Confusion started the night before. We were trying to figure out what time to leave the next day and I was basing my estimate on the fact that we were leaving out of Dulles airport, about 25 minutes from our house. When I went to check the status of the flight, I noticed that the outgoing flight was out of National airport and not Dulles. I had a momentary panic: I thought perhaps I’d booked us out of one airport and returning to another. But it turns our National airport was our airport both ways. I had just completely forgotten about it. That meant we didn’t have to rush quite as much because we live only 15 minutes from National.

We took a lot of stuff with us. A garment bag, containing my suit and Kelly’s dress. A suitcase packed to the gills with the rest of our clothes and clothes for both kids. We had 2 strollers and a car seat for the Little Miss. We each had a backpack and Kelly also carried a diaper bag.1 We left the house at 9:45am and made it through security to our gate by 10:40, about an hour before our flight was scheduled to board.

The Little Man was very excited to get on the plane. He was nearly coming out of his skin. Once on board the plane, he was excited to find that he had his own seat and had a TV all to himself. (We were flying JetBlue.) While the other passengers were boarding, he kept asking: “Flying yet, Daddy?” and I’d tell him not yet, we had to wait for everyone to get on board. He promptly expressed his excitement by falling asleep before we were even on the runway and sleeping through almost the entire flight (55 minutes wheels-up to wheels-down).

We arrived at Boston Logan to cold, rainy, windy weather. Very nasty stuff. We claimed our luggage and then grabbed the shuttle to Hertz, where my car was fortunately parked in a place protected from the rain. It didn’t have the car seat I’d ordered and I had to go to the office to get one. We got the car seats installed and then tried to leave but the car wouldn’t go, no matter what I did. Turns out the car started by pushing a button–which I did–but I did not realize you needed to have your foot on the brake while pushing the button. Eventually, with some assistance, I got the car properly started.

The GPS said 1 hour 20 minutes to Newport, Rhode Island, which would have put our arrival at 4pm. With the nasty weather and traffic in the Boston area, we didn’t get to the hotel until about 4:40pm. We parked, checked-in, and then I brought up the luggage, after which we headed for the hotel restaurant. Kelly and I were hungry, not having eaten for most of the day.

The hotel is right on the water and the restaurant has an excellent view of the boats, none of which we could see because of the rain and wind and gloom. Still, it was nice to sit in restaurant and wind down. I ordred a “Pirate’s Punch” which had enough alcohol in it to calm me down. I had New England clam chowder and some clam cakes, which were really clam balls and not at all like the clam cakes served in shells the way I remember them. But the chowder was good, and so was the jerk chicken sandwich.

After dinner, I had to brave the weather to run to the grocery store. I could have driven but with the drinks at dinner and being tired, I thought walking would be safer. The rain had stopped. It was cold and windy but I walked quickly and the store was only a mile away. Coming out of the store, however, it was pouring again and I had no choice but to walk back to the hotel in the dark, cold, driving rain. I was soaking wet when I got back and stripped down and took a hot shower.

Not much later, we all turned in for the night. The Little Man slept with me an the Little Miss slept with Kelly. We all slept soundly.

The weather today is still cold, but sunny and clear. We’ve already been out to see some of the mansions of Newport this morning, and are going to visit my old neighborhood shortly. Expect another post later today.

  1. In all of this, something is bound to get forgotten. And indeed, it wasn’t until we were on the airplane that I realized I hadn’t packed a tie.

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