Planes, Trains and Automobiles

We're back from our visit to San Francisco for Kevin's cousin's wedding. What a great trip and what an amazing child we are blessed with. Alex was absolutely perfect. We keep saying to each other that we have very little to do with this. We are simply lucky to have such a happy, good-natured little boy. At one point during the weekend, Kevin's Uncle Don said,

"Does that baby ever cry?"

Kevin and I smiled at each other and gave silent thanks for our good fortune.

You must understand that Kevin and I are avid travelers. Our friends and family laugh at us because we are always on the go. Since becoming parents, our travel schedule has changed but not necessarily slowed. Every trip has become a learning experience. Things to try again and parenting ideas that go right out the window. Below find the top ten things I learned on this trip:

1. Nursing T-shirts are so handy for Miss Modest the Milk Machine (a.k.a. Me). You could probably replicate the shirt with a tank top layered under a t-shirt. Anyway you look at it, it's nice to not have your belly hanging out while you're feeding in public places.

2. The maximum capacity for a Cooper Mini is as follows: 1 large suitcase, 1 wheelie bag, 1 diaper bag, 1 Pack-N-Play, 1 carseat, collapsible stroller, 1 baby and 3 adults full of Cajun food. It was seriously a clown car. Many thanks to Erin for packing us into her car for the ride to the BART station.

3. Never forget the baby nail clippers when traveling. I didn't realize how often I cut Alex's nails at home. He looks like he had a street fight with an alley cat. And lost.

4. Add at least an extra half-hour to any travel itinerary to get up and down in all of the elevators. The stroller is a wonderful thing, but it hinders the ability to do stairs. Ever notice that the elevators are tucked 1/2 mile away from the escalators or stairs. We had to do some serious searching a few times.

5. New mom swimming suits (modest 1-piece racing style suits) produce seriously white cleavage when your dress is lower than your tan line. Oops...forgot to check that out before getting in the pool.

6. Trail magic exists in even the most urban of settings. See the next blog entry for an explanation of this one.

7. One very soft, 2'x 2' blanket is the most versatile and important travel item for parents of an infant. Nap time can be anywhere; a great tent for nursing coverage; ground cover for that shady spot at the pool; protection from the arctic winds of airplane A/C.

8. Public transportation (the BART) in San Francisco (or anywhere else for that matter) is the best. Straight to the airport with no traffic to worry about. Just leave early enough to avoid the weekday commuters and stake out the necessary real estate for all your crap (see entry #2 for the full list).

9. Hotel room A/C is the best white noise machine ever. Alex slept better on this trip than he does at home. It could also be that we were running him all over the place and he was simply exhausted at night.

10. A crying baby is the best way to avoid excessive cab fares hiked up by cabbies who take advantage of the "out of towners" and take the scenic route. Alex was squirmy and tired of being on the plane, in the stroller and in the car seat. Cabbies don't like being trapped with cranky kids. It was the most direct cab ride from SFO to downtown San Francisco that I've ever taken.

All in all, we couldn't have asked for a better trip.

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