Friday, May 18, 2012

'Bama Graduation and Pensacola

Last week the fam and I headed out to Tuscaloosa Alabama for my stepbrother's graduation from college. Unfortunately Adam was not able to make it out due to work scheduling, so poor hubby had to fend for himself while the rest of us took off for warmer weather. To be fair, the weather in Washington was gorgeous that week and he enjoyed the evenings on the deck with the doggies.
Penelope is a natural flyer. She did so great on the plane! I followed a few other mamas advice and was sure to nurse her at take off and landing, to make sure her little ears were able to acclimate to the pressure changes. She pretty much nursed, slept, and during the times she was awake she was so happy and chatty. No fussing or whining when she was tired and ready to sleep. It was so surprising and pleasing.
We flew with Southwest and a nice thing I learned about them is that strollers do not count towards your 2 checked luggage allowance, and (although this is probably not limited to SW) when you bring the baby's carseat on board if there are extra seats you can take advantage of the empty seat and baby can sit in the carseat. All of our flights were full, but with her being so small I didn't mind holding her on my lap, and in fact enjoyed it. It was easier to nurse her when she needed, or to play with her when she was ready.

Since our trip to Europe (during pregnancy), I have opted out of the metal detectors / scanners at security. Call me a little overly paranoid, but I don't like the idea of waves passing through me. We've learned too often (and too late, rather) the effects of things we / the goverment deem to be "OK" / "safe" and turns out that it causes some kind of adverse effect. So, in cases where I am able to opt out, I do. During pregnancy I wasn't really questioned, and in SeaTac I wasn't either, but in Birmingham I did get some questions on why I didn't want to go through. I just explained that I didn't want to expose my baby to the waves and that was that. They do a physical pat down, and Penelope was patted down in SeaTac, but not in Birmingham. That's one thing that I learned about TSA is that there seems to be a total lack of consistency. This blogpost from Anktangle: TSA X-Rayed My Breastmilk put me on high alert on any sort of interaction with them, and made me decide to forgo pumping during the week.

The traveling days were long though. On the way there, we left the house at 6a, an hour to the airport, took off at 9:30a and eventually landed in Birmingham AL at 8:30 CMT. Then it was another hour drive to Tuscaloosa, and graduation was at 9:00A the next morning. It proved to be an exhausting way to start the trip but being the mother of a newborn, I am really accustomed to functioning on lack of sleep ;)

It was a quick visit in Tuscaloosa, we only stayed for the day of graduation and the next day we drove to Pensacola. We stayed at this cute cottages on the beach (military rentals) and spent the week lounging in the sun, walking the beach, visiting Pensacola beach, and just some good family time together. NAS Pensacola is also where the Blue Angels are stationed, so Tues - Thurs between 8-9a they are practicing right over the beach where we stayed. Pretty neat the first morning, but it did prevent any hopes of sleeping in the following days ;)

Dressing Penny was so much fun on this trip! Since it was warm, she got to wear her summer dresses a little early!

I'm trying out this slideshow option from Shutterfly - here's a few pictures from the trip.

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