Friday, April 29, 2011

East Coast Easter

As acceleration pins us to our seats and the cabin tilts upward, Luke’s eyes widen and turn plaintive. “No up, no up, no up” he says in a panicked voice. I explain that this is just like the birds we watch and point out some pretty clouds, but he isn’t reassured. Then we hit a patch of turbulence, a common encounter as you head east over the Sandia Mountains. I cringe, expecting it to push Luke’s tone from quiet and concerned to loud and hysterical. Instead the little boys says, “Bumpy!” and turns to me with a smile. “Up down, up down, up down!” It turns out that a little turbulence was the perfect take-off distraction!

On our next three take-offs, Luke was more interested than intimidated. And last night we touched down smoothly in the ABQ Sunport, thrilled to reunite with Erik. This trip to NC marked three firsts: Eleanor’s first flight, my first with two children, and my first big trip with a child and without help from Erik! It almost didn’t happen though. On the morning of our scheduled departure, we got a call from the airline saying our flight was cancelled because of tornado damage at the St. Louis airport, our scheduled connection. It first crossed my mind that this news might be the perfect excuse to postpone our trip to a time when Erik can come and/or Ellie is a bit older. But my parents’ eagerness to see their grandchildren spurred me on, and I rescheduled for a slightly later flight through Orlando. The palm tree and water-feature studded views during our four-hour layover in that airport turned out to be a mini-getaway in and of itself. And the happy families toting Disney pirate hats and sporting princess hairstyles left me dreaming of a family trip to D-world when our kiddos are a bit older!

This time our final destination was another magical place: Papi and Nika’s house in North Carolina! Especially when Auntie C, Uncle Jack, and Uncle Sam are all there too for a special Easter celebration. Luke and Elzabel loved all the attention, and Luke also bonded with Papi and Nika’s puppy dogs. We all enjoyed going to church together and then there was Easter egg hunting, science museum visiting, playground romping, and new outlet mall shopping.

Unfortunately I didn’t manage to take any photos, but here are a few from Auntie C. My dad took some too, so I’ll add those to this trip gallery if he puts them online.

Nika & Luke on a bench in the yard:

Papi & Eleanor:

Luke & Easter, the dog:

Male bonding with Uncle Jack & Uncle Sam:

Luke & Auntie C, see how green it was!

Luke on a train at the science museum. This one went fast!

Three generations of lovely ladies:

Luke & Ellie still have NC on their minds, as their east-coast time zone wake-up times this morning evidenced. But it was wonderful to reconnect with my family and take the kiddos to a few places that hold special memories from when my siblings and I were young. We’re already looking forward to going back for Christmas! I should go now and think about unpacking, but hopefully I’ll write again soon with my thoughts on plane travel with kiddos. It can be fun!

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