Understandably, Jacob and I were very nervous to travel such a distance with our baby. We fret enough over just taking her to the grocery store. But we each were assigned jobs - mine to never lose my death-grip on the stroller; his to never let go of the boarding passes and ID's. He wasn't so good at his job. :-)
But, like everything else so far, Zoey led us through the experience. She was fussy at the appropriate times, and usually just vocalizing what all us adult travelers were feeling: "let's get this f@#$ckin' show on the road!" When you would normally think a baby would bust out the screaming - at take-off and landing - she didn't; those were the times she felt the most relaxed.
Her very first take-off in her very first plane. One of those 2-seater things. If she'd start to feel uncomfortable - for any reason - she'd shove her thumb in her mouth and suck away. The only times it didn't really work were in the beginning, as the plane was boarding. With it hot and stuffy in the plane before take-of, she was the fist the vocalize how uncomfortable things were getting. But for how much I've heard people complain about crabby, crying babies on airplanes, everyone was extremely helpful, understanding, and nice. We didn't encounter anyone who wasn't willing to switch us seats, let us cut in line, or smile at our wailing child, and even comment on what a good baby she was. But I'd like to think that if anyone were annoyed, it would disappear as soon as they saw her; and it usually did. We received a few comments of the "oh, that was you making all of that fuss!" variety.
The first time Jacob flew since he was 9 years old was to Florida to pick me up. He gets pretty nervous with each flight we take - as do we all - but I know he ends up liking the actual experience. He's lucked out with the window seat (and a semi-claustrophobic wife who doesn't like the window seat) every time, and even if I wanted to look out the window at any point in the flight, I couldn't; his head takes up the entire frame. Now he got to show Zoey the cool parts of flying.
She was the epitome of perfect baby on the first flight. As soon as she was the slightest bit uncomfortable, in would go her thumb. It was only about an hour flight (as were they all), but she fell asleep shortly after take-off.
And stayed asleep for a good portion of the flight.
She woke up slightly before we started to descend into Denver. But she just chewed on her foot while calmly sitting in Daddy's lap.
I like how I take up most of the picture. I apologized to Jacob but he said he really liked the picture, so I kept it.
We got a lot of comments on our new teeth! :-D
Jacob making a bottle on the go. In reality, we had almost 3 hours to spend in Denver. If I ever have a layover in Denver longer than an hour, my BFF's, Jessica and Liz, will often come to DIA to spend it with me. Yeah, I'm as surprised as anyone that I lucked out with such awesome friends. But, ultimately, it wouldn't have worked out so well. For starters, Liz is currently swamped with med school. Jessica is always a busy bee with her art and various creative enterprises. And we would have had to go back through security, something I was SO glad we only had to do in the smallest of international airports. But we'll be going to Denver a lot this summer so we'll have a lot of opportunities to see all of our friends.
Some very precious cargo. She took an hour-plus nap in DIA, really helping her get through the rest of the day. She still screamed the entire flight from Phoenix to Tucson, however. We - as well as the other passengers - were very glad it was only a 20-minute flight. No kidding.
The ridiculously expensive Oscar the Grouch puppet we just had to buy for her at DIA because she grinned from ear-to-ear when we presented it to her because we're totally sucker new parents like that.
Having a little playtime before boarding the Denver to Phoenix flight.
She was such a spectacular baby, she even let Daddy have a Crown and Coke in the Smokers Lounge and Mommy have a real kicker of a bloody mary! Hey, it's our vacation too! :-)
*Ultimately, this first flight led to our first vacation as a family. Those pictures will be forthcoming in a shake of Zoey's tushy.