A Weekend Trip to WI & Brantley's 1st Plane Ride

I'm finally catching up on all the blog posts that have been saved--either in my memory or as a draft!  Seems my energy/ambition is returning!  Good thing, because there are some parts of our lives that just shouldn't go un-documented!  Here's one... 

Early in September, we traveled north to Wisconsin for the wedding of one of my high school besties.  Said bestie lives outside of Madison in a quaint little town called Sauk City.  This was also the location of the wedding.  (Rumor has it, Sauk City was home to the very first Culver's restaurant.  It has since been remodeled, but still exists.)

Our plan was to split the 8-hour drive to Sauk City between Friday night and Saturday...and then make the long trek home on Sunday.  Then, the hubs realized he needed to be in Chicago mid-day on Sunday for a work conference.  That threw a wrench in our plans.  There was no way I wanted to make the 8-hour trip home on Sunday, with a toddler, sans hubby, and then go to work on Monday morning.  (While, of course, being a single mom for the next three days.  Call me a baby, I don't care.)  So...we decided to drive a rental car to Wisconsin so that we could each take a quick, direct flight back to KC.  On Sunday morning, we drove 3 hours from Sauk City to Chicago.  Brantley and I said our good-byes as we were dropped off at Midway; the hubs returned the rental car and headed for his work conference until Wednesday.

It worked out pretty well.  Minus the fact that Craig left his favorite Royals cap in the rental car.  The same cap that took 2+ years to find.  (He's picky about fit and has a large head, apparently.)  Oh, and we went through the wrong lane of a toll booth (the I-pass lane) and, consequently, didn't pay the toll.  So then there was that stress of figuring out how to pay so we wouldn't be fined.  Silly Illinois roads/construction! 

There were also some stressful moments in the airport.  I was trying to push Brantley in the stroller, keep him happy, and steer my luggage.  Which was quite the challenge.  Getting rid of my suitcase (i.e. checking it) was the best thing I could have done!  But still, the line was ridiculously long and super slow-moving.  I was getting really nervous about catching (more like not catching) my flight.

They also needed identification for Brantley.  Who knew!?  He didn't require a ticket, but still had his own boarding pass in order to be accounted for...which I guess requires ID.  Luckily, I happened to have an old immunization card in my wallet.  Not up-to-date, but included his name and birthdate, which was all they needed.  I'm not sure what they would have done had I not had ID...

After going through that ordeal, we headed for security.  Another looooong line.  The butterflies in my stomach were worsening as our flight time neared closer.

Turns out, since I had a kiddo, we got a free pass to the front of the line!!  Score!  Perhaps the best part of flying with kids!  And those passengers in front and behind us also had kids, which made the proceess a little less stressful since we were all in the same boat.  Between my purse, diaper bag, iPad, shoes, stroller, etc., I think I sent about five bins through the x-ray machine!  Whew!  Flying with a kid is exhausting!  (As is everything with a kid, I've learned...)

Once we were through security, we had about 45 minutes to spare.  Just enough time to grab some Micky D's and eat. 

Another perk of flying with a kid?  Permission to board the plane early!  And since we were flying Southwest, that was a major plus.  We chose a window seat and Brantley did AMAZING on the flight home.  I fed him a bottle as we were taking off and landing.  He didn't at all seem bothered by the pressure.  En route, we read books, watched Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, played games on the iPad, and looked out the window.

First flight was a success!

As we were unloading, a few passengers around us commented on how well-behaved Brantley was.  The guy in front of us said his 14-month old would never have lasted like Brantley.  The mama in me was very proud!  (Granted, it was only a one hour flight....anything more and I may have agreed.)

As for our time in Wisconsin, it was short-lived, but very nice!  We visited with old friends, swam in the hotel pool, and, of course, attended the beautiful Calhoun/Mann wedding.  The bride was gorgeous, as was the vintage decor, wedding, and reception.  It was a tad on the warm side, especially for Wisconsin.  Early September temperatures average around 70 degrees, but on this particular day, it was 90!  Not exactly what they had hoped for for their outdoor ceremony under the bur oak tree, but it could have been way worse.

This was also the weekend we shared our Baby #2 news with my parents!  Brantley was wearing his "Only Child Expiring" shirt when we got there.  On the back, it read "Big Bro".  My mom immediately saw it and said, "Ummmm....is this a hand-me-down or are you trying to tell us something?"  "No, Mom, it's not a hand-me-down!  Surprise, you're going to be a grandma again!" :)

It was great to get out of KC for a weekend.  We wished we could have spent more time in Wisconsin.  We really would have liked to visit Madison, but I guess this gives us an excuse to go back sometime!

Congrats to Mr. and Mrs. (Calhoun) Mann!  Thanks for including us in your special day!

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