I think I’ve finally recovered enough to write this post: We (the kids and I) flew to New Orleans all by ourselves a few weeks ago. I’m still alive and so are they, now I feel like I can do anything. I am superwoman. Not really…we’ve been home for three full weeks and I think I’m just now recovering, seriously. Here’s how it went:
Albuquerque to Houston
Our flight left at 6:00 A.M. on New Years Day. Happy 2016! The airport wasn’t too crowded and Patrick was able to come through security with me. If you think you might need help getting through security with twin toddlers, you’d be right. It was pretty awful. But…it was super easy to get a pass so that Patrick could come through with us. Even with him there, it was bad. The kids were not excited about watching the dark machine slowly swallow their most prized possessions: stuffed animal owl, stuffed animal dog, and borrowed umbrella strollers. You’d think those strollers were their freaking kids the way they were attached to them!
We had some “help” boarding from a pilot of another airline who was a passenger on our flight to Houston. I probably would have been better off on my own but he was nice enough to offer…but pretty much gave up when the kids started screaming because, you guessed it, we had to leave the strollers at the entrance to the airplane. Total hysterics, especially from Neala.
I also borrowed these straps from another twin mom and they were an absolute god send. Once I got the kiddos strapped in and settled with their snack cups, stuffed animals and a few books we were good to go! They were super good on the first flight and Rylan was being entertained by a 9 year-old across the aisle. Nea couldn’t have cared less about the other people, noise, or me…she was in her zone! Pretzel delivery from the flight attendants was the highlight of that flight.
Getting off the flight proved to be a bit challenging with two toddlers who’s max speed might earn them a gold medal in a race against a snail. These little things walk super duper slow, unless they’re running, and then I can’t catch them. I had everything packed in a backpack so I had two free hands, and they each had a little backpack with water, milk, and snack cups. A super nice dad helped me unfold the strollers and get out of the jetway where I clipped the strollers together and found our next gate.
Side note: we have some friends that we rarely see and aside from a wedding in the summer the last 3 times we’ve seen them has been at an airport in another part of the country. We ran into them in Houston and I was SO glad to see some friendly faces!
Houston to New Orleans
Boarding the second flight in Houston after a walk around the airport and a snack went relatively smoothly, without too many hysterics when we said goodbye to the strollers again. We had some help from a nice man who folded the strollers with such ease that he must have had several of his own kids. He also helped us when we got off the plane, yay for nice people! Rylan actually fell asleep on the flight while Neala contently read her books.
There were a few minor hiccups with the borrowed carseats and borrowed pack n’ plays when we arrived, but nothing we couldn’t handle after flying from the Land of Enchantment to the Big Easy.
We spent our time in New Orleans with my sister and brother in law and their two girls, who live full time in Portugal. They are AMAZING with the kids and it was sooo much fun to see them interact. We had picnics on the living room floor, made the slide into a couch, and did lots of dancing to our “special music.” Again…here’s a link to the ever growing playlist.
We took a long walk up and down Magazine Street where I was able to enjoy a bloody mary while walking down the street–Thank you very much, New Orleans. We had a brunch and a playdate with a friend we met back in August…the cuteness was unbelievable. And we visited the Grow Dat youth farm in City park. This was the highlight of the trip (for me), as my VERY talented sister in law is the founder and the executive director at the farm. It was incredible to see all the work she’s done to unite different communities and put the land to good use. Her vision, passion, and determination were evident at the farm, even though we were there at a time when no one else was there. If you’re ever in New Orleans and looking for something unique to check out, I highly recommend stopping by Grow Dat. The kids loved stomping around in the tall grass and weaving in and out of the kale patch chanting, “Kale! Kale!” My kids know what kale is…raising ’em right…right?
The Trip Home
On the morning of our departure we packed up and said goodbye to Ancho (Aunt Jo) and the girls and uncle Brad accompanied us to the airport and through security. Thank god. The kids screamed all the way through security and then ran, jumped, pooped, sang, watched planes, watched trucks, pooped some more, ate snacks and then we boarded our first flight…headed for Dallas. No one helped us on or off the plane and it was a bit of a mess, but we were old pros by this time and made it ok.
When we arrived in Dallas, much to my dismay, our flight was delayed. I had booked our travel so that we’d be boarding our second flight right at naptime, in hopes that the kids would sleep on the plane. The airline had other ideas. Luckily, the Dallas Love-Field airport has a little play area for kids and we spent some time in there. We had some snacks and then I could see we were moments away from meltdown. I strapped the kids in the stroller and started walking and didn’t stop until they were both asleep…which was about 15 minutes before we boarded the plane.
Of course, they woke up while we were boarding, despite the fact that a VERY helpful off duty flight attendant helped us board and de-plane. Yay! About 30 minutes into the flight, Rylan started laughing and said, “FART!” and then, “Big poopies!” I didn’t want to change him in the seat because one never knows exactly what “big poopies” means. And so, I had to leave Neala, with the flight attendants keeping an eye on her, and change Rylan in the bathroom. There were no big poopies but he had peed through his diaper, onesie, and pants. Awesome. We returned to the seat where Neala was absolutely hysterical. She settled and I had to change Rylan’s entire outfit in his seat. Mom fail. Should have changed the diaper one more time in Dallas. Live and learn. The rest of the flight was fairly uneventful with lots of singing of the ABCs and happy birthday–two of their favorites. When we landed, Neala clapped and yelled over and over, “WE MADE IT!!”