Baby Flyer and I went to Massachusetts last week for a family visit. It was just the two of us on the trip, so I had to brush up on my ‘flying alone with baby’ skills, but all went pretty well considering. I’ve come to realize that while flying with our baby-turning-toddler is definitely different from our old flights, it can be pretty fun nonetheless. It’s definitely more active, but she can be a pretty great travel companion. Plus, it’s honestly surprising how kind other travelers can be when you’re doing your best to entertain a baby through a flight. Baby Flyer has made her share of ‘in-flight friends’ already.
We were supposed to leave to fly home Tuesday, but in anticipation of what’s turned out to be the biggest winter storm of the year, American Airlines emailed me at the end of last week offering to waive the (usually significant) change fee if I changed our flight in advance to avoid flying on the day the storm was predicted.
Though adjusting plans is never simple, I’m so glad I changed early when there were still plenty of options and seats available, because our flight was understandably cancelled. Since my original flight was already confirmed in first class, I really didn’t want to be a victim of post-storm overbooking, and stuck in the back of the plane in a middle seat with a busy toddler on my lap. So, I jumped at the opportunity to change early. We’re now set to fly back to LA on Friday. The whole process of changing our ticket was actually incredibly easy. It’s all done online now when there’s a weather emergency. No waiting on hold! You log in to your American Airlines account, find your ticket record, and then you can search for and see the available options. Our new ticket ended up being $1.87 cheaper so we now have a $1.87 credit.
So, that taken care of, we could get back to enjoying our time away, and settle in to wait for the snow. However, this same climate we were now enjoying tends to highlight how much I’ve (surprisingly) gotten used to not having this be our normal. Baby Flyer loves being outside! Unless it’s pouring rain, getting some fresh air is part of our everyday routine. Since she was born, I’ve appreciated our mild winters SO much more. I keep saying I would have to learn how to be a parent of a young child in a cold climate.
It’s not just me either, I’m pretty sure Baby Flyer has gotten pretty spoiled with our typically nice weather. Case in point- one afternoon we bundled Baby Flyer up for a short walk on a beautiful new handicap accessible trail. It ended up being particularly windy that day and we had to cut our walk even shorter. Even though only part of her face was sticking out, I’m not sure she enjoyed the wind all that much.
When we were flying in last week, I was surprised to see no snow on the ground. This is Western Massachusetts at the end of Winter. I was expecting at least brown crusty snow, and instead was greeted by grass and bare trees. The week before we got here, they had unseasonably warm temperatures and all the snow melted.
So, when I learned that a big snowstorm was predicted, I was pretty excited! It was just what I was craving. As crazy as it sounds, I was actually looking forward to shoveling (and grateful that I was here to help my parents do it). And this snowstorm did not disappoint!
All in all, we got about a foot of fresh powdery snow! There was plenty of playing, and yes, shoveling to satisfy my itching for a good workout after being in the house too long.
We were lucky enough to be able to borrow a snow suit for Baby Flyer since we all were pretty excited to take her outside for her first real snow day. Once the snow wasn’t quite as heavy, we took her out and she LOVED it! She kept trying to step on top of the snow, like she does with stairs (she loves stairs lately). She didn’t want to come in but we were worried her feet would get chilly since she only had on a pair of sneakers. The next day, we borrowed a pair of boots for her. I couldn’t wait for us to go outside.
Baby Flyer was pretty fascinated with the snow in general, even from inside. She liked standing on the back of the couch looking out the window and watching it fall. She seemed so intrigued. The first time she looked out the front door, she seemed so puzzled and took a good long look. It really reminds you how much we take our own understanding of the world for granted when you see her mind working on a new experience like this. These are the moments where I really appreciate being able to travel and show her different parts of the country and the world.
All in all, we are making the most of our longer trip. The town was pretty quiet on Tuesday with most places closed. We stayed home all day, since the roads were pretty snowy. Today though, regular life is resuming as people dig themselves and their cars out. I even ventured out for a 5 mile run this morning. It was slow and slippery (not surprisingly). There were snow banks I had to leap over, but it was perfect- sunny and barely any wind.
In the end it was a fun adventure, and a longer trip than anticipated. We definitely made the best of it, and Baby Flyer got her first real snow day! Now we’re headed back to LA for a week or so before a trip to Seattle. We’re pretty sure we’re in for some authentic rainstorms up there, but hopefully nothing this dramatic!
~CR & Baby Flyer