vacationing with two kids!

It’s been a while, but we went on a short vacation that required a plane trip. But this time with two kids! I’m too tired to come up with a clever way to say these things, so bullet points it is:

  • We went to Virginia Beach, which means flying into Norfolk, to which direct flights do not exist from Austin 😦 So layovers it was!
  • On the way there we went through Houston with an 1:10 layover. That is too short, but luckily our inbound flight was a bit early so we had enough time to grab some lunch to eat on the plane. For some reason we thought Nick would take his morning nap on the 45 minute flight to Houston; this did not happen, but both kids took decent naps on the second leg, so hooray!
  • We bought seats for the kids and so weren’t sure how to carry two carseats + all the other stuff through the airport. Luckily my sister recommended this carseat backpack which worked like a charm – I’m really not sure what we would have done without them! They are huge so you have a huge turning radius while wearing one, but they’re light and easy to open. (I was hoping we could somehow fit two carseats in one backpack, but sadly that wasn’t possible)
  • But I was proud of us for getting by with only two suitcases and two carryons (one of which was a diaper bag) for the four of us!
  • Perhaps because of the backpacks (or maybe just because we had two young kids in tow) we got several random compliments on having our act together. Yay, I think?
  • When we were driving from the airport to the beach house, everyone was a bit tired from the travel day. But Vanessa and Nick were closer together than they are in our car, and for a while they were sort of playing together and passing toys back and forth! It was so cute!
  • The beach was a big hit with Vanessa and Nick! Vanessa enjoyed playing in the sand but also went in the waves a little bit, which I was kinda surprised about. Nick enjoyed the sand (and didn’t eat too much…) but we did dip his toes in the water 🙂
  • Vanessa and Nick also had a good time playing with their cousins. (cute pictures coming soon!)
  • The first day I wore my shorts to the beach instead of my swimsuit, thinking I wasn’t going to get too wet. The waves had other ideas! I also brought my phone and was not too careful with it, and I got enough sand in its charging port to make it not charge. I was getting increasingly frantic until David reminded me that he had a similar (non-sand-related) problem and cleaning it out with a toothbrush had helped a lot. One toothbrush later and it would charge again!
  • The sand was pretty hot, so Vanessa wanted to be carried for most of the walk from the beachhouse to the ocean. Every time I would do this, she’d say “It’s hard to walk in the sand!” which I guess made me feel better 🙂 (it was hard!)
  • Vanessa got some kind of nasty bites on her feet that didn’t show up until the night before we left. This meant she basically didn’t want to walk the whole day we traveled back home, which made it kind of a rough day. Word to the wise: don’t leave shoes outside!
  • We had an 1:45 layover in Chicago (and we even arrived a bit early) so it seemed like plenty of time to eat lunch in the airport. It was not! We grabbed food quickly and ate, but Nick basically takes one person’s full attention to help him eat, and he’s a slow eater. We were one of the last people to board the plane, which was unfortunate because it takes a while to install both car seats while balancing kids :-/
  • The last flight was a bit of a debacle. Vanessa took a medium-length nap, but Nick refused to nap and instead screamed because he was tired. At home he almost always screams for 5 minutes before he falls asleep, but that’s in his crib in a dark room, alone. After a while a woman (who was a grandma) came by to help/check that Nick was OK (she told him that “people were worried about him”), which was kind of helpful and only a little insulting. I walked with him in the aisle for a few minutes which at least made him not scream, and a flight attendant gave me a free snack pack in case he was hungry. (we still had snacks in our bag but I accepted the gift) Eventually he calmed down enough to take a nap. I’m honestly not sure what we could have done differently. But I guess having a screaming kid on an airplane is a parental rite of passage?
  • We literally bought a “family iPad” with this trip in mind, and used it for a total of like 15 minutes on the last flight. Vanessa was surprisingly good about napping, but was also very into a book of 5 minute Peppa Pig stories, so we read a loooot of those 🙂 She also liked looking out the window (kid in a car seat = window seat!) for a little while on each flight. We had a ton of stuff for her to do that we never pulled out!