For Bonnie’s first Memorial Day weekend, we headed to Atlanta to meet up with some of Steven’s family. The last time we saw them was October 2014, just before I found out that I was pregnant with Bonnie. Since then, Jeny adopted a little girl, Halla, had a little girl, Ivy, and we had Bonnie. Crazy to go from 2 kids to 5 kids in just 18 months! God is good.
Steven and I were a little nervous about Bonnie’s first flight, but she handled it like a pro. I had lots of helpful tips from my friend Amanda (thank you!) so the packing went as smoothly as possible. It’s actually really nice to fly with an infant, because you get to board first, and go through a special, shorter security line, and everyone is friendly and pays more attention to you. I highly recommend it. I do not, however, recommend flying out first thing in the morning. Steven and I are used to getting the earliest flight, because it means you maximize your time in the city and the airport is less crowded. However, we did not think about the lack of sleep the night before, the extra time needed to get up and going in the morning, and then the added exhaustion of keeping Bonnie on a normal sleep schedule. Oops. Plus, we had bad weather driving from GC to Wichita, so what should’ve been a 3.5 hour drive turned into a very stressful 6 hour drive. We checked into the hotel at midnight, woke up at 3, and were out of there by 3:30. Not exactly the most efficient use of our funds. Bonnie, of course, slept in the car, so when we arrived at the hotel, she was ready to play. Steven stayed up with her until about 2, and then she was blissfully zonked out for all of security and breakfast and boarding and the first hour of the flight. Sweet little stinker. On the way back, we had an afternoon flight, and I was hoping she’d take a nap with me after our full weekend, but she fell asleep in the airport instead of the plane and wanted to play for the entire 2 hour flight. Of course. Luckily, she was fascinated by opening and shutting the window shade, the button on the arm rest, the reading material in the back of the seat, and Steven’s sunglasses, so we got through it with only a little bit of screaming. Naturally, after all that excitement, she fell asleep as soon as we got to the car.
Despite the lack of sleep, we had a great time in Atlanta. Steven’s friend Nathan picked us up from the airport on Friday and took us to the World of Coke museum and the Aquarium and out for delicious Southern food. We stayed in a very cool old house near Grant Park that was huge and remodeled and had the bookshelf of Steven’s dreams. The other kiddos arrived on Saturday morning and they had a great time playing with blocks and toys and dancing and getting to know each other. On Saturday afternoon, we went to a Braves game at Turner Field. It was my first ever Major League Baseball game (and Bonnie’s too!). Steven’s first game was also a Braves game, back when he lived in Georgia. We had great seats (in the shade!) and Bonnie had a wonderful time. She’s started to get a little scared of loud noises recently, so when the Braves took the lead and there was a lot of cheering, she freaked out, much to the glee of the Marlins fans behind us. Luckily she calmed down quickly. I don’t know how we’re supposed to train her out of that. She likes being startled most of the time, but the past few times we’ve been around cheering, she has really disliked it. The Braves won (yay!) and we took lots of pictures and walked all around the stadium. After the game, we went down to The Varsity for dinner – a giant diner that looks like it used to be an old bus depot. On Sunday we drove out to Peachtree, Georgia to listen to one of Jeny and DJ’s friends preach at their church. We got Steven some sushi (a travel staple) and headed back for naps and walks and a relaxing Sunday afternoon at the house. On Monday morning we walked down to a coffee shop and had our first celebrity sighting! It was very exciting, but not as exciting as the coffee and croissants. YUM. My favorite thing to do when I travel is go to coffee shops and bakeries, so I’m glad we got to do a little bit of everything on this vacation.
We were advised to get to the Atlanta airport 3 hours early, which made our morning a little hectic, but our time in the airport much less stressful. We had time to get lunch and Jamba Juice, play with Bonnie and generally slow down as we headed home. It always feels nice to be back in Kansas after spending some time in the city. We had clear skies the whole way home, and Bonnie seemed more relaxed as soon as we got back into the wide open spaces. City vacations are definitely out of my comfort zone, but I’m so grateful for the opportunity to spend some more time with Steven’s family and get to know my nieces. The kids had a great time playing with each other and were constantly vying for Bonnie’s attention. Bonnie proved yet again that she is an amazing traveler – so content to just hang out with us and go along for the ride. We are hopelessly spoiled by her.
It turns out that traveling, like everything else, is more fun with Bonnie. Sure, there’s a little more planning involved, and a lot less sleep, but it’s also a great opportunity to spend more time with her. I didn’t watch anything on my iPad, or read a book, or listen to a podcast. We didn’t even bring a laptop with us. Instead, we made silly faces at each other and snuggled and head butted and read stories and sang songs. On the drive home, Steven read her Mr. Brown Can Moo and she laughed harder than I’ve ever heard her laugh. Traveling forced us to slow down and give her more undivided attention and I’m so thankful for that because she is really great company. Babies! They’re the greatest.