Friday, October 31, 2008

Good Ol' Fashioned Family Vacation

The first vacation we ever took with Avery was when she was two months old -- to Key West, Florida.

We planned this trip before she was born, thinking it would be easy to schlep her on a plane when she was that young. (People without kids are so charmingly, ridiculously naive.)

The first two months of her life were a total blur, and suddenly we found ourselves with vacation plans. We seriously considered cancelling the trip because we were way more overwhelmed than we thought we would be. Ultimately, though, we made the decision to go.

She was great on the flight to Miami. In Miami, we rented a car to drive through the Keys down to Key West. (We remembered this as a two-hour drive from a trip to Key West that we had taken ten years before -- it's not -- it's four.) And traffic was awful, and the sun was blazing and Avery's rental car child safety seat was not at all comfortable for her. It was a lllooonnnng four hours.

And, while we were making our way south, we kept seeing vehicles with "Fantasy Fest" and "Fantasy Fest or Bust" signs on them. We thought nothing of this until we arrived in Key West and got a quick education. Fantasy Fest, it turns out, is an annual celebration much like Mardi Gras. There is pretty much 24-hour drinking in the streets, lots of costumes (many of which are simply painted on), and lots of debauchery. This is usually held in October, but thanks to a Hurricane that year, it had been re-scheduled to December -- the exact same weekend we were visiting.

So, for the three days we spent in Key West, we were the only people with a tiny infant in a baby carriage walking through the streets. It was somehow a perfect introduction to parenthood. We learned early that things never go exactly as planned once you have a child.

Other great parts of this experience:

1) The people in our B&B who were up til all hours of the night were not disturbed by a crying baby because they could not hear her over their own commotion
2) There was A LOT for Avery too look at and listen to -- lots of bright colors and loud music
3) The priceless pictures I have of appropriate new father Tim standing next to a woman with nothing on her top but nipple rings


dilettante07 said...

By the way--it was this trip that made me realize that stinkin' kid wasn't gonna cramp your style.

And it also gave her some serious early street cred.

JenBC said...

I know what you mean! I knew a mother of 3 who flew with her newborn overseas! She (the babe) was "one of those" -- slept peacefully, never cried, looked like a doll but wasn't.

I figured that's the kind of stuff we could do too, but I was just thinking about taking him to the movies with us, not Thailand or some gol darned place. We were in the same "first two months were a blur" boat that you were -- except without the nipple ring safari plans. Thanks for the laugh.

Dilettard07 said...

Ah yes. This reminds me of the time I was on the first leg of my Beirut-Casablanca-Dakar flight, sitting in the first row and directly across from a couple with two kids. One had to be only about 4 to 5 months, the other two years or so (we won't call them Irish twins; maybe there's an Arab equivalent?).

Fortunately I can handle the crying. But I noticed the the 2-year old would cry once the little one did. Regression, clearly. They slept for a good part, but man were they going at it for a while.

And as an aside, were I to fancy myself the monarch of a North African country and had a national airline, I would want it to be top noth were I to include "Royal" in the name. Note to His Highness mohamed VI: just tell them to call it "Air Maroc" until they shape things up.

Another note: don't check small bags if you transit Casablanca. They end up on top of the baggage cart and fall off. Once I saw them stop to pick it up, the other it was just left there in the driving rain. Fortunately I carried everything on.

Final note: folks here in Dakar (and from around Africa a this here conference) are just wild at the idea that Obama could win. It would be worth it for him to win just based on that.

Kathleen said...

Dilettard -- nothing makes me happier than when you comment from remote areas of the globe. Who's this Obama fellow you mention?

dilettante07 said...

I think being able to comment from yet another remote outpost was one of the things dilettard was most excited about going into this trip.

He nearly forgot and was quite upset about that!

Dilettard07 said...

Indeed. I forgot to do so from Beirut. Sorry about that.