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Monday, January 24, 2011

child leashes, confiscated toiletries and snap dragons

If any of you have ever wondered (as we used to) why such an inhumane thing as the child leash was invented I can now lay all your pondering to rest.

Busy airport + running Maya + arms heavy with bags weighing down your chase response = need for a leash.

We haven't flown in a while and, despite our efforts to educate ourselves about the rules, we ended up with a bag that (although we weighed it on our home scale and it said 38 pounds) was 66 pounds.  This meant a $50 overweight charge in addition to the $25 checked bag fee.  (I did the bulk of my flying in the days when kids could visit the cockpit, you got meals and movies on the planes and the smokers sat in the back.  Paying $25 for a bag is nuts to me, but $50- well, forget it.)

In a moment of serious focus, I pared our overweight bag down by putting some heavy things into the carry-on (an LLBean tote holding only 2 light booster seats, intended for easy navigation with 2 kids through an airport) including the toiletry bag.  I got the bag down 20 pounds (!), saving the extra fee but making for an ergonomically incorrect tote bag that now weighed 30 pounds and had to be carried all over when we changed planes and took off a layer of skin where is was slung over our forearms. Clearly, a barrier in a Maya chase.

The upshot, though, is that we then had our toiletries in our carry-on and our sunscreen, Maya's detangler, and Oil of Olay put us over the allowable liquid threshold and so Sandi had to thrown them away since our checked bag was already gone.  (Ironically, the man "helping" us was the Carver's former Schwan's man who now works security at the Bangor airport.  And, while he is a nice guy, he did not offer us any frozen chicken with the news.) For a family who doesn't waste much, throwing $25 worth of brand new toiletries doesn't sit well.

Overheard from our girls first air travel:

Ella, regarding the airplane toilet: "This is the coolest bathroom I've ever been in."

Maya, upon descent into Philadelphia, said to Sandi: "You pinched my ears! Yes you did!"

We were beyond thrilled to see snowless palm trees and green everywhere when we landed.  While I can't say it is summer here (mornings starting in at 28, but 60s during the day) I truly can't believe that our home is sitting empty and shivering in below zero frigidness and that 3 days ago I spent 90 minutes digging our driveway out of a blizzard.

As a one time extravagance, we rented a convertible- a gorgeous, sleek, silver mustang.  I said it was for the fun of the kids, but Sandi knew better and gave just a few sighs of disapproval when our luggage wouldn't fit in the tiny trunk.  I mean, how ironic is that?  How much a reminder that the free flying days without kids is no longer?  We can't even FIT into the smokin' car of singlehood.  Sandi had to ride with a giant suitcase on her lap.

We put the top down as we rolled out of the airport (in the brisk 54 degrees) but the squeals coming from the backseat were worth it.  I knew everyone passing us was shaking their heads and thinking "Northerners" as they bundled up for what they considered cold here in Florida. Crazy mainers.

So we traded snow shovels and wool socks for lush green grass and blooming snap dragons (FLOWERS people! There are FLOWERS down here!).  And, of course, Minnie and Micky...

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