Aaralee's First Flight!

Oct 24, 2013

Standby travel is arguably the best perk of a job as a flight attendant.  Sure, it takes patience and flexibility, but few crew members that I know would ever pay full fare for a flight.  Do you know who has it even better than flight attendants? Babies. Babies are free.  
As aviation geeks, Aaralee's first flight has been an anticipated event for Ryan and I since long before her birth.  The weekend was approaching and for once we had no plans.  We made the spontaneous decision to fly to Vancouver... a short flight, a familiar city, and warm enough weather to spend the majority of the day outside with a baby.  I checked the flight loads, listed us for standby, packed our bags, and found a friend to take care of Niko.  
On Saturday morning we woke up bright and early and headed to the airport. When traveling with a baby, leaving the house takes careful planning.  Wanting to ensure that I was able to shower before we left meant waking up extra early.  When the time came to leave the house, Aaralee was still fast asleep. We put her into her carseat in her pyjamas and made a mad dash for the car. She was very cooperative that morning, letting us check in for the flight before waking up and screaming for food and a diaper change.  We happily went through the family line at the security checkpoint, grabbed ourselves breakfast and then sat down to feed the baby and wait to board.

I hadn't been on a plane since June, which by my standards is an extremely long time. I can't tell you just how wonderful it was to fly and no longer be pregnant.  I only had to use the lavatory once, as opposed to every 10 minutes.  It was a far more enjoyable experience. As for Aaralee? As it turns out she is an amazing flyer. Perhaps I can credit this to the 7 months of my pregnancy that I worked. She slept almost the entire time. Armed with years of experience listening to babies scream in pain, I tried to force her to eat during take off and landing to help with the pressure in her ears. She was too lazy for that.  My own ears were popping and she didn't even flinch.  

We landed in Vancouver and took the sky train to the city. It was still too early to check into our hotel, so we dropped off our bags and headed out for a day of walking, eating, and taking photos. 

The only difference between traveling with a baby versus our usual Vancouver trips was the extra stops to feed our hungry child. She'd cry, and we'd head for the nearest coffee shop. Lattes for mommy and daddy, milk for the baby.  On one occasion we had to resort to feeding and changing her on a park bench. When Aaralee is hungry, she means business.

We headed to Granville Island for lunch. Aaralee slept the entire time, but that didn't stop us from taking her to the kid's market... who are we trying to kid? We were happy to finally have an excuse to browse the fun shops. 

On the way back towards downtown we stopped for a few photos. British Columbia is fortunate to experience autumn in all of its glory for more than the 2 weeks that we are teased with in Alberta. 

Aaralee loves fall, I'm sure of it. 

Since this was her first vacation, Ryan and I decided that Aaralee needed a souvenir to bring home.  What better gift for a little Canadian baby than her very first hockey jersey? Ryan has been an Edmonton Oilers fan for many years. I cheer for the Calgary Flames. Our dog, Niko, is told that he is a Winnipeg Jets fan based solely on the fact that his middle name is Jett. (Yes, our dog has a middle name. ) Obviously it was only fair for Aaralee to have her own team as well. We made the controversial decision to raise our daughter as a Vancouver Canucks fan. 

Next on our itinerary was to head to English Bay for a little ocean dosage. Us landlocked Albertans don't get to the beach very often. Our baby did what she does best, and slept through it.


I was starting to get rather hungry by this point, so we set off in search of dinner while we still had a sleeping baby.  I've improved my skills of eating while nursing a squirmy baby, but it's still far easier to enjoy a meal while she sleeps.  Being in Vancouver and no longer pregnant, our dinner choice was easy... delicious. fresh sushi.

We continued on walking through a busy downtown, passing by groups of people dressed to the nines, preparing for a Saturday evening full of partying.  We were a stark contrast in our grubby clothes, pushing our stroller. My, how life has changed! We searched for some beer for Ryan, and a slice of pizza for me, and we were both thoroughly satisfied.  
Tired from the early morning, we retreated to our hotel room for the rest of the evening.  Aaralee slept cozy in a makeshift crib... my suitcase.  

We left for the airport early the next morning, crossing our fingers that there were seats available on the flight.  Luck was on our side, and we flew back home with our baby.  Once again, she was great on the plane. What a proud flight attendant mama I was!
It was good to be home from another wonderful weekend with my amazing little family.  I'm already looking forward to our next adventure! 


Just Another Mummy Blog said...

I can't believe you even find a cafe to feed! I just plop myself down on any ol' stoop and give her the good stuff. I am far more impatient than you! lol.

Looks like Aaralee had a great first trip!!

Krysta said...

Well, in fairness it was Vancouver so we were usually only 10 feet from the nearest coffee shop! Haha.

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