Almost exactly a year ago we took our first cross country trip since Lexi was born to attend a trade show. It was nerve racking for many reasons and looking back I have a mix of emotions about it.
Going into it, we had no idea how it was going to work. We had never done anything like that with Lexi and her reaction could not have been guessed.
On one hand I was excited to fly with her for the first time, to show her the sights, to experience it with her for the first time. One of my most favorite things about have a child is seeing the world through their eyes and finding things that brings them joy. At the same time, I was completely lost at the idea of how she would tolerate a 5 hour non-stop flight considering we just barely got a handle on 3 hour car rides. We were also getting into what I consider the most challenging age (18-24 months), so it was a complete shot in the dark for us. Not knowing whether I’d be able to be away for most of the day when she normally doesn’t let me out of her sight, not knowing how she will tolerate the flight, and airport waiting times and waking up early to catch the flights…
I was hopeful. If there is one thing that Lexi got from my personality it is thirst and excitement for new experiences. They drive me. They drive her. Newness is what we need to stay alive. So as I was excited and concerned at the same time, I hoped that this trip would be more fun for our daughter than stressful for us.
I was partially right. She was just absolutely excited about the “happening” atmosphere surrounding travel: the early wake ups to catch a flight, the airport wait, the boarding, arriving to a hotel. The 5 hour flight was manageable with lots of toys, attention,an iPhone and a nap.
The trade show was tricky. Lexi wanted to be with mommy. Lexi needed to be with mommy. So there was a little bit of stress on all of our part due to that. However looking back all I remember are the few days we spent together as a family exploring whatever family friendly options Las Vegas had to offer.
So here we are again. A week from leaving for Vegas for the same tradeshow, but this time well prepared. I know what to pack for the plane, I know that she will be just fine, but unfortunately there probably won’t be a nap during the 5 hour flight. I know she will be awesome with daddy while I spend the day at the show, because there are days when I work where she spends all day with daddy and while she is crazy excited to see mommy, she isn’t upset.
I also know that this time we are staying in town 3 extra days, so I can actually relax at our hotel and enjoy the destination with my family. That I am very excited about.
And then we are driving across the Mohave Desert to visit Santa Ynez mountains, Santa Barbara and LA. This time I am more prepared to create memories, armed with a plan of sights to see, enough time to do it, awesome new gear, traveling in comfort and planning everything top to bottom.
So I am excited.
Looking at these photos from last year made me realize how much fun we did have despite the minor stressors. How beautiful the area was and how different it is from where we live.
I am not sure how much actual blogging will happen during our travels, but you can always catch updates on my new dedicated blog Instagram account: @prebabyblog
And as always photos from our last trip:
THE TRADE SHOW
Below: One of our favorite toy manufacturers: HAPE
Below: Nursing break at the end of the day. Andrew had to bring Lexi to the show periodically, because she was still breastfeeding every 3 hours or so at that age.
Below: My all time favorite dress by Biscotti and Kate Mack
THE TRAVEL BITS
All photos below: The natural beauty of Red Rock Canyon