One of Joe’s groomsmen got married over the weekend and so we took that as an opportunity to take a quick family trip to Springfield, Illinois. This was Jake’s first trip on an airplane and let me tell ya, I was so nervous. You always hear horror stories about babies screaming for the full flight so when Jake decided to skip his afternoon nap, my hopes seemed dashed. So we headed to the airport hoping for the best.
TSA was a breeze, even with a car seat, but Joe got flagged and had to get everything he touched swabbed and then taken to a back room to be privately patted down. In the meantime, Jake befriended the Chief TSA officer and earned his Junior TSA badge sticker. With a 6:50 PM take off time, we had a few hours to kill in the terminal so we grabbed dinner and showed Jake around the DFW Airport (did you know that they have a private nursing room!!!???). The kid was super social and made tons of friends. Then with 2 minutes before boarding I decided to change his diaper. He promptly peed all over himself and then puked all over me. (Thanks, kid. Thanks.) Jake had stayed up for about 6 hours since his last nap at this point, so I cut him some slack. We boarded the tiny plane and settled in. I had planned on feeding him during take off (this apparently helps babies’ ears pop) and it worked like a charm. The sweet babe was asleep in my arms. PRAISE GOD. With a 2 hour flight time, Joe and I got comfy and got our cokes and peanuts. Jake had other plans. He woke up after a 30 minute nap and was ready to play. Thankfully, our fellow passengers were more than willing and everyone had a grand time.
We landed at Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport, hopped in our rental car, and checked into the Quality Inn. Finally. Sleep….. NOT. Jake, again, had other ideas. With no crib or pack n play, Jake slept with us and decided that this hotel bed needed to be bounced on and proceeded to bounce and play until almost midnight with no relief for his exhausted parents. But finally he tuckered out.
Saturday: With a wedding at 1:00 PM and the reception at 5:00 PM, we had plenty of time for naps and adventure. We spent our morning visiting the home of none of than Abraham Friggin Lincoln! Y’all. I honestly didn’t realize that Springfield was Lincoln’s hometown until we flew into the airport and saw his face everywhere. So I was a very happy history buff.
Joe and I had fun exploring the National Historic Monument but Jake was not impressed by Ranger John’s tour. His favorite part was eating the grass in Honest Abe’s backyard. My highlight was the kid who got his knee stuck in the railing only to be freed by a tub of lanolin. The Rangers told us it was a first and so we considered ourselves honored to have witnessed his escape.
After a quick nap, we headed to the church for the wedding. It was a sweet service with a ton of kids so Jake was in good company. Joe got to catch up with one of his college friends and other groomsmen, Nate, and Jake ate some more grass.
We then headed to the Walmart across the street from our hotel to buy some swimsuits to take advantage of the hotel pool. We let Jake pick out his own and he decided upon Baby Shark swim trunks. I picked a suit that I didn’t hate and Joe grabbed a classic blue number all for under $10/piece. Way to go Walmart. Jake and I took a nap while Dad and Nate caught up some more and we all went to the pool… which Jake thoroughly HATED. We slowly waded through the water as daddy splashed around to show Jake how fun swimming can be. But after about 10 minutes, we decided to call it and get ready for the reception.
The reception was fun and Jake enjoyed eating green beans and roast beef but his favorite part was crawling under all the tables and, you guessed it, eating more grass. We said goodbye to the bride and groom and headed back to the hotel.
Sunday: We woke up at 4:00 AM to make a 5:45 AM flight and this time, Jake promptly passed out and slept the entire time. Overall, taking a baby on a plane was nothing to stress about and we had fun on our super short adventure to the Midwest. Word on the street is we will be going to Iceland next year for the World Geothermal Conference so Jake will hopefully be a seasoned traveler by then!