Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Planes, trains and automobiles

Over the past month or so, our little Q has become quite the experienced traveller.  M and I have (bravely?  foolishly?) taken him on a number of adventures to see family and friends, and things have generally gone pretty well.  Here's what we've been up to lately:

Plane:  Just this past weekend we returned from a week-long visit to see my family out east.  Q finally got to meet my niece, who was also crazy excited to meet her baby cousin.  It's a three hour direct flight, which meant we got about an hour's worth of down time while Q napped and then had to entertain him for the other two hours, which wasn't too bad.  The worst part of the entire thing had nothing to do with travelling with a baby, and everything to do with the fact that Air Canada sucks donkey balls.  They've started charging for a checked bag, which is stupid but fine, whatever.  But for some reason, when we checked in online it wouldn't let us pay for the bag we were bringing and kept insisting that we had to go to "check-in assistance" at the airport.  Again, fine, whatever.  We got to the airport in plenty of time on the morning of our departure, only to sit in an unmoving line up for almost an hour until it was getting too close to flight time for our comfort, and we managed to flag someone down to get us through and onto security.  Where we waited in another unmoving line up.  My stress levels over travel are pretty bad at the best of times, but they were off the charts here.  We finally managed to board as the very last passengers on the flight, and I've made a personal commitment never to fly Air Canada again if I can help it.  My next trip home in October (Q and I will be going solo as M has a three-week business trip) I've already booked with another airline.  As M is fond of repeating, Air Canada should really just change its slogan to the following:

Train:  The week before our trip out east, I had the opportunity to meet up with the lovely Daryl, her husband and daughter as they travelled to Ottawa for some visa processing prior to their move overseas.  Q and I rode the rails since Ottawa is about 5 hours from Toronto and I knew from previous experience (see Automobiles, below) that Q wouldn't be able to manage a stretch that long in the car without someone in the backseat to entertain him and M, like a sucker, had to work and couldn't tag along.  I was a bit nervous going it alone with a baby, but needn't have been thanks to the fact that I took M's advice and booked a business class ticket.  It gave me loads of extra room and there was no one sitting next to me, so I was able to put Q in his carseat either on the floor or the seat beside me to play with him or when I needed some hands free time.  Also, business class = free booze so you can bet mama took advantage of that on the ride home later that evening.  

No, YOU'VE got a drinking problem!!*

Meeting Daryl was awesome.  We hooked up for lunch at a small Italian restaurant after her family's visa appointment and between the two of us flashed more boob than I think that establishment has seen in forever.  It was my first in-person bloggy friend meeting and I can attest to the fact that not only is she NOT a crazy serial killer, but she is in fact a warm and wonderful person whose baby girl has the most gorgeous eyes on the planet.  I'm so glad I braved the trip there to meet her and wish her and her family all the best in their new life across the pond!

Automobile:  This one was the most ambitious and definitely the most challenging.  Ever since we've been together M and I have joined his parents as often as possible on their annual beach trip to Maine at the end of July.  We missed it last year due to our trip to Prague and a friend's wedding in Vancouver, plus this year we were eager to bring Q along for his first ever ocean vacation.  The drive from Toronto to Maine is just over 12 hours, depending on how long you get stuck at the border, so we knew we'd have to cut the drive into two days (we usually just take shifts driving and power through) if any of us were going to survive it with our sanity intact.  The going was pretty slow.  One of us had to be in the back seat with Q at all times to keep him entertained.  Unfortunately he was on a half-hour napping kick, so we were pretty much only able to drive in 1.5 hour stretches as follows:  first half hour pleasant but growing increasingly tired and grumpy until he dropped off to sleep, second half hour napping (seriously, you could set your watch by this kid), third half hour awake and pleasant at first but increasingly cranky and impatient to be out of his carseat.  Then we'd find somewhere to stop for a coffee or lunch and give him about a half hour to stretch his legs and look at some new scenery, before getting back into the car and doing it all over again.  I wish I could say it was worth it, but as I mentioned in a previous post Q wasn't sleeping great while we were there so it ended up being a tougher week than anticipated.  He didn't even really like the beach or the water; he seemed afraid of the waves and howled when his toes were dipped for the first time, which was pretty disappointing for his beach-loving grandparents.  I'm sure next year will be a different story as we frantically try to chase him down and stop him from eating sand, but this year was a bit of a wash.

I will wear your lobster onesie, but I will not like it.

Anyway, that's all the doings and happenings around here lately.  All the travelling and the lack of nap-taking has made me a terrible commenter, but rest assured I'm still reading along.  I just usually have to do it on the go on my phone, which is horrible for commenting.  I promise to do better!  

*Glass was empty and previously held only water.  I am not an incompetent parent, just one who gets creative with her iPhone camera when bored.


  1. Wow Q is quite the traveler! I think that it is good to get infants out and about early so that they can learn to be flexible.....or just annoy other passengers for hours on end. :-) It sounds like all of the various travel carriers went well (other than Air Canada of course)!

  2. Those captions under your pictures were hilarious! That's definitely some traveling you've been doing. So sad he wasn't a fan of the beach or the water :( And Air Canada just sounds like loads of fun. But glad you got to meet another blogger! So fun!

  3. I'll see your Air Canada and raise you Spirit Airlines. I think Spirit's slogan is: We seriously could fucking care less. Oh, there's Florida. You're welcome."

  4. We're taking A on a trip from NC to Chicago, which is around 14 hours. We can't decide if A will be old enough (5 months--so just about the same age as Q) to just do the 14 hours straight or if we'll have to break the trip into two days. I'm leaning towards breaking up the trip, B wants to just get it over with. I suppose we'll have to wait until we're closer to the travel date to decide. So fun that you got to meet up with Daryl!

    1. It totally depends on how A is napping and what he's like in the car. We knew going in that Q would do a max of 1.5 hours napping, but more than likely much less, and that he wouldn't be super happy just sitting in his car seat while awake. That said, we met another couple with a young baby at a rest stop and they had driven 5 hours before needing to stop. We also considered the option of leaving around 7pm, putting him in the car seat before bedtime, and doing the bulk of the drive in one go overnight. Good luck!

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