Monday, June 17, 2013

Disney Day 1: Air Travel

We had scheduled our Disney vacation where we would be gone from Friday, February 1st until Saturday, February 9th. Of course, the first and last days of our trip were travel days to get to and from Florida, and we had park tickets for five of the other days. That left us with two "rest" days while in Orlando, and that worked out perfectly for us.

I had mentioned in my previous post that I was most nervous/anxious about the air travel portion of our trip. We were scheduled to fly out of Tulsa at 11:00am on Friday, February 1st. Although Chris and I are both very experienced air travelers, I pretty much insisted that we get to the airport about 1 1/2 hours before our flight was scheduled to leave. I didn't want to feel rushed at all, and wanted to have plenty of time to work out any snags that may come up. We live about 30 minutes from the airport, so that meant that we had to leave our house at 9:00am. 

We packed three large bags that we checked, and Chris and I each packed a backpack as a carry-on. Always before (before kids, that is) when we would travel, we would both take a large roll-behind style carry-on (and often wouldn't even check baggage). However, we both knew that we needed to have our hands as free as possible when flying with two littles, so we opted for the backpacks this time :-). Mine was full of snacks, books, and other activities for the kids to do on the plane, as well as diapers, wipes, and changes of clothes for the kids. Chris's had his laptop, Brianna's Innotab, Brenson's blanket, and sippy cups. We definitely felt like the kids had taken over, haha!

Once we got to the airport, we parked our car and took a shuttle bus to our terminal. Brianna was so excited for each step of the travel process . . . even the shuttle bus! Brenson was pretty sober and just taking it all in. Very typical behavior for each of them. 

We were able to check our baggage, get our boarding passes, and take a potty break in record time. I think it only took us like five minutes to do all of that! We even zipped through security without hardly any waiting at all! Brianna walked through the scanner on her own, and I carried Brenson through. Our stroller (we had the double with us) was too big to put on the conveyor belt so they took it aside and scanned it with a hand scanner. Even with all of that (including taking off our shoes, bagging up our small cosmetics, taking out the laptop, etc), we made it through security in about 10 minutes. While this was GREAT, it meant that we were left with well over an hour to waste before our flight boarded! Oh well, I'd MUCH rather have too much time than not enough, that's for sure!

Brianna was excited to watch an episode of Dora while waiting at the terminal. 

Here's a sweet video of her telling me all about our trip :-).

Brenson loved watching the planes land and take-off. Really, he just loved standing at the big windows, even when there were no planes in sight.

Here's a video of him interested in anything but talking to the video camera :-).

Our plane was small (as are most planes going to and from Tulsa), so Chris and Brianna had seats on one side of the aisle while my seat was on the other side. Chris also volunteered to hold Brenson during the flight, so I was solo! This was Brenson's first ever flight . . . 9 days before his first birthday. 

Brianna did come visit me (I was just directly across the aisle from her) a few times. She socialized a lot with the lady sitting next to me (kinda talked her ear off, actually) until I made her go sit back in her seat. I'm sure the lady next to me did not want to be bothered by an overly-excited toddler!

We did not have a direct flight to Orlando. Instead, we flew to Atlanta and boarded a connecting flight, so this flight was just over an hour long. Since this was right during Brenson's morning nap time, we were hoping that he would sleep during the whole flight. He did sleep, but just for about 20 minutes. He was waaaaay too excited to waste time sleeping! 

Our layover in Atlanta was just long enough that we didn't have to rush to board our connecting flight. We did have to change terminals when we arrived in Atlanta, so we rode the subway thing. Again, Brianna was beyond excited to be riding something "new". It took us a while to get on and off the elevator and train since we had the double stroller, so I was thankful that we had plenty of time. This was also right around lunchtime for us (really, a little later since we had gone through an hour time change), but we didn't have time to stop and eat. Luckily, I had packed a ton of food in my backpack, so we were able to feed the kids on the go. 

Our flight from Atlanta to Orlando was great. We all got to sit together and the kids slept just a bit. But, they were both so good and quiet, and several people commented to us that they didn't even knew there were kids sitting there until we got off the plane. I was very proud of them. 

It was about 5:30pm (local time, so 4:30pm to us) when we landed in Orlando. We were all pretty exhausted and hungry for real food, but felt like things were going great. We had to wait a bit for our checked baggage, then we had to take a shuttle to our rental car place. We ended up waiting for 45 minutes for that shuttle! It was pretty frustrating as the sign said a shuttle would come every 15 minutes. We even called the place and they said one was about a minute away (which was actually another 15 minutes!) When we got to the rental car place, it was so busy that I had to wait outside with all of our luggage and our two restless, hungry babies. It took forever to get our rental, and when we got it, all of our stuff wouldn't fit inside! We rented a small SUV and it was so aerodynamic that our double stroller would not fit in the hatch. So, we ended up waiting for another 20 minutes for a different small SUV that would fit all our stuff. 

I'm not gonna lie, by this point I was over it. It was a little past 7:30pm (EST, so only 6:30pm to us), we were tired, hungry, and just ready to be settled for the night. I was a bit grumpy with Chris about getting food, so we ended up stopping at the first fast food place we came to. It was a Taco Bell, and we scarfed that mess up! 

I forgot to mention that for the first few nights of our trip we stayed at a Hampton Inn about 15 minutes from Disney World. We later moved to our suite at Saratoga Springs (on Disney) as we only had it for 5 nights. It worked out fine as our room had two queen beds and we had a reserved a pack-n-play for Brenson. I thought since the kids had minimal naps and with all the travel they would go to sleep easily, but that didn't happen. I ended up laying with Brenson in one bed until he fell asleep while Chris was with Brianna in the other bed. Had we been at home, that never would have happened, but our goal on this trip was for them to get good, solid sleep so we would have a great time, and we were willing to break some of our personal rules to make that happen. We did move Brenson to his bed after he was asleep for a bit, and then Chris and I zonked out in a hurry! 

Tomorrow . . . all about our visit to Epcot!


Justin and Marcie said...

Can't wait to see how the rest of the trip went! Carter's never been on a plane and I have always wondered how he'd do with it. He's 18 months now and very active so I don't think he'd do well with sitting in the same spot for very long :( Can't wait to see more pictures!!

Anonymous said...

Chelley you are one awesome mommy. And I love you for taking great care of my grandbabies