The second that I found out that I was going to have a new niece... I knew that I would have to plan a trip to go meet the little munchkin. My nephew, Tanner, was also going to be born around the same time - so, my initial plan was going to be a road trip. First to D.C. to visit Tanner and then to Syracuse to visit Caroline.
It sounded like the perfect plan.
Until Tanner up and moved to Alaska.
And then I realized that there was no way I could make the road trip to Syracuse alone. Especially without a break.
So, a flight it was. And this may sound bizarre to you, but this was the first flight that I had ever booked and planned all by myself.
Yes, I'm 38 years old. Why do you ask?
I've travelled plenty... New York City, California, Texas, Hawaii, Mexico and just about every place in between. But my place of business or my Mom has always handled the arrangements. So, the whole process was new to me.
I was also discouraged that you have to pay extra to check a bag these days. When you are paying for the trip yourself, suddenly every penny becomes important. And for the first time EVER... I had to minimize my packing.
It was incredibly hard.
And sad. As I had to chose between taking my computer OR my camera. My camera is my prized possession and I wanted to make sure to get a lot of great shots of Caroline.... but with all the squishing and turbulence and toting around, I figured my computer would be the more durable choice.
If I had been able to check a bag - for free - then I would have been able to take my padded camera case.
Kev came to the rescue with a very nice point and shoot... however, it ended up just not being the same for me. Therefore, I have very few pictures of the week. And I didn't get a single one of me holding Caroline! Saddest thing ever! In fact, I hope you believe that I was even there. Because even though I have a great story to tell... I have no proof.
I was SO excited for this trip! And I decided that I would document my experiences throughout the travelling process. There is something about free wi-fi that makes me so happy. And something about using my computer in an airport that makes me feel like a cool person.
My flights were very uneventful. For the first time ever, I did not experience delays or cancellations or lost baggage ( because I was carrying it myself). I flew Delta. Out of Charlotte. With a layover at JFK in New York City.
I sat by the window (my favorite!) on every flight. I flew in the tiniest planes ( my favorite!) ever built.
I got free Biscoff cookies. I decided that I am in love with them.
I packed my lunch for the trip up. To ensure a healthy meal without having to pay ridiculous prices.
Peanut butter sandwich. Apple. Banana.
I ate the banana in public. Yes, I broke my own personal rule.
I ended up having to buy a $5.00 bottled water because I could not find a single place to fill my water bottle.
$5.00 for water is highway robbery!! (whatever that means)
I was chosen as a "person of interest" which meant that I had to:
1. Remove my shoes ( like every one else). But also remove my scarf and my cardigan.
2. Stand with my legs apart and my hands on my head while I was x-rayed aka my naughty bits were looked at. ( I was so glad that I wore nice underwear. And shaved)
3. My buttocks ( as the security officer called them) were rubbed down. My pockets were checked. My waist band was checked all the way around.
4. My hands were swabbed for bomb residue.
5. I was asked to recite the alphabet backwards.
Oh wait.... that last one happened at another time.
Regardless, it was quite the experience. One that I surprisingly enjoyed.
Like I always say.. " attention is attention, no matter how you get it"
I couldn't figure out how to actually use the free wi-fi. So, I didn't get to blog while I was hanging out at the airport.
I thought about meeting Caroline.
I teared up.
I got nervous that she would think I was weird.
I thought about how awesome it was that I was going to visit my brother and his new family.
I teared up again.
I got off the plane and started walking the wrong way resulting in an attendant having to yell and run after me.
Paying attention to my surroundings is NOT one of my strong points.
Especially when I about to experience one of the greatest moments in my life!
Dave picked me up wearing a Canadian tuxedo ( jean jacket + jeans) just because he knew it would make me laugh.
It did. A lot.
And it dried up my tears. And just made me SO happy to be there! In Syracuse, NY. About to meet this angel....
Even though this picture shows what Caroline really thought when she heard she was going to meet me.
My reputation precedes me.
My reputation of being weird. And crazy. And silly. And a story teller of nonsense.
**Spoiler Alert**...... In the end, I won her over!
It was probably my singing.
Up next.... My days with Caroline.