Today I flew. Or actually, I am flying right now. But I won’t post this until later.
Thanks to my husband’s cousin and his fiancé, I am on a plane, child-free but with my husband, heading to a wedding in St. Louis. Ahhhhhhh. The joy.
Don’t get me wrong. I love traveling with our children. I really do. But today, the idea of sitting on an airplane with my husband and not being asked to do anything for anyone and not having any responsibilities for the next two hours is kinda making me giddy.
I just keep looking over at him and smiling. Of course this is also after a wee catnap while we waited to take off. And a margarita at the airport before that.
I sure don’t mind a delayed flight while I am already sitting on the plane and therefore don’t have to do anything but sit with just my husband and no kids and wait. I’m just happy to be here.
Getting ready to travel with my husband always gets me a bit giddy. I love taking extra care in deciding what to pack. It’s almost like we are dating again… Except there is that overnight in a hotel thing (even better!). I try to pack the clothes I know he likes. I take a little extra time primping and today even took the time to really blow dry my hair properly. I’ve re-applied lipstick and lip gloss a few times (this seldom happens in my day to day life. I’m doing well to just get an initial application at all most days!) I am ready to relax and enjoy just being together.
And of course breezing through the airport with a tiny carry-on bag (didn’t even check luggage!) and my purse instead of keeping track of all of my Children’s backpacks, books, DSi’s, snacks and just them in general is liberating. It’s just us for a few days and I love it. I love him. I think I’d better stop typing and let him know that. We have a fun, relaxing weekend ahead. And with it being a holiday weekend, we plan to head home Sunday night so we still get all of Monday to hang out with the kids. This is going to be a great weekend!
Thanks, cousin, for inviting us to celebrate with you and encouraging us to leave the kids at home. What a perfect opportunity for us to get way and fall in love all over again.
Or what I think I’m packing…
Blissdom 2010 will be my first blogging conference and I am really looking forward to meeting so many amazing writers IN REAL LIFE!
And, truth be told, I must confess that I am also looking forward to the motivation to look like a grown up for a few days in a row.
Because here is what I am wearing right now, as I type:
I know a lot of ladies are concerned about what to wear and how not to look like an idiot. But, really ladies… we are all in that some boat. I doubt any of us have stylists picking out our every wardrobe piece making sure we look perfect all the time. And unless you REALLY make a statement, everyone is going to be so worried about what they look like themselves to scrutinize your ensemble.
But if it will make you feel better, and if you have any suggestions for me, I present
The Blissdom 2010 Wardrobe Packing Roundup
Post on your own blogs what you think you might be packing, ask for input and link back up here so we can get to know each other and stop being so nervous about what to bring.
So… what am I bringing?
Here’s what I have planned right now:
Most likely for the airplane:
(Note the easy-to-remove shoes for the security line. Follow this for more tips on sailing through security.)
Another ensemble for casual comfort.. or to be jazzed up by the super-fun shoes:
(I’m hoping to score some scarf how-to’s from Jen of Balancing Beauty and Bedlam while there.)
For the conference days:
(Do you think my pink plaid skirt outfit is too dressy?)
For Saturday’s Harry Connick, Jr. cocktail party and concert:
(I’m not sure if I’ll wear the sweater or not, but I loved the idea when I saw it on Musings of a Housewife.)
So… what about you? What do you think? And what do you think you might be wearing?
Please do tell and do link up.
And then check out my post on strategies for overcoming shyness at Blissdom, or any situation where you feel like you don’t know anyone and want to make a good impression. It’s tough to enter a room filled with people you don’t know. I’ll give you some survival tips to take you from scared to scintillating. Or at least not so scared.
But back to that wardrobe… Please be sure to link to your post and not your home page so we can find your post easily. And please be sure to link to this post on your own blog so everyone can see just what you are talking about.
Thanks for joining in the fun… See ya soon!
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Click here to enter your link and view the entire list of entered links…Trips without the kids | Comments (17)
Somtimes I feel as though I am so defined by my role as a mom that I forget my pre-mom days. This is one adventure I’ll never forget, however…
I remember watching a show about people safely flinging themselves off bridges when I was in grade school. The idea sounded appealing to me then. But, of course, I was in Texas and the sport was only in New Zealand. The idea of me actually doing it was so remote that it was safe to be excited about it.
Fast forward 16 years…
I am in New Zealand at Kawarau Bridge, that very place I saw on television, watching people take the 142-foot plunge at the world’s first commercial bungee-jumping location. They are regular people you might meet anywhere in the world… except they are now becoming bungee jumpers. Except one girl. She stands on the edge, looks down and changes her mind. She had the opportunity to do it, but couldn’t. A few moments later I see her surrounded by friends consoling her. Tears are flowing and I know she will always regret not taking that chance.
I didn’t want to be that girl and have one ounce of regret. I wanted to reach in, take what life was offering and relish every moment.
“I want to do it,” I said to my husband. “I want to jump.”
We went to go sign up, but they told me they were booked. I would have to come back the next day. I knew I had to do it then.
“Isn’t there any way I could do it now?” I asked. The girls radioed the jump coaches on the bridge. They would take one more.
I signed about four releases and filled out what they called a toe tag without reading a word. I didn’t want anything to hold me back. They weighed me, wrote my weight in bright red marker in my hand and sent me up to the bridge.
My fear of heights somehow left me. I felt bold. I could do it. I would do it. I would live that (ever brief) childhood dream and jump off that very bridge I was so impressed by on television in grade school. Then they began to rig me up.
“This is it?” I asked. “Isn’t the strap a little too loose? Will it pull my shoe off?”
“No. It’s good. And it won’t slip down your leg to your shoe.” my jump coach told me.
“Are you sure?” I said as I stood and inched toward the platform. “You’ll be great,” he said in his New Zealand accent, which I liked at first, but wasn’t sounding so cute anymore. I was trusting this man, this boy, with my life. I reminded myself that he had done this too many times to count and that I would be safe. I followed his instruction and slid each foot forward and closer to the edge. Then I did what they tell you not to do. I looked down. Everything in my body screamed “LEAN BACK! DON’T LET GO! HOLD ON TIGHT!” But I knew I had to do it. I had to fly.
“Promise you won’t push me,” I said.
“I won’t push you. You can do it.” He said.
My husband encouraged from behind me. (He bungee jumped near Victoria Falls in Africa two summers prior. I had asked him not to do it on this trip because I couldn’t take watching it. And here I was, the crazy one this time.)
Time was crawling. I couldn’t do it. But I didn’t want to be that girl that walked away from the challenge. When would I have this opportunity again? I had to do it.
My knees were shaking. My mouth was dry. My fear of heights was gripping me. I could not let it win.
Finally, without thinking, I did it.
I jumped off that bridge and plummeted towards the river, soaring through the air at a speed I had never experienced, free-falling and screaming in delight. The hard part was over. The fear was gone. I was flying! Boulders seemed to sail by me and finally I noticed that I was climbing back up, floating in air. The ride was much smoother than I had anticipated. I was filled with an exhilaration I had never experienced. I had conquered a fear… and felt what it was like to fly (almost literally and figuratively).
I began to giggle as a raft drifted over to retrieve me. I grabbed onto a long stick and was lowered onto the raft. There my ankles were released… and then they began to really shake. I still couldn’t believe what I had done. I climbed the trail up the side of the river and joined my husband and the others in my group. And I felt like a conqueror. I was a conqueror.
And that was just the beginning of my New Zealand adventure… I was still signed up for a glacier heli-hike, hang-gliding, white and black-water rafting and a jetboat ride through a narrow stream. (Unfortunately the hang-gliding trip was cancelled due to winds. But the rest was still breathtaking.)
Have you ever bungee jumped? What are some of your more daring adventures… that you’ve done or that you dream about?Filed under New Zealand, Trips without the kids | Comments (14)
A few tips on traveling solo and enjoying it…
I know a whole bunch of ladies who are getting excited about a trip away that will take them away from their traditional families but to a new type of family for a few days… their blogging family.
No, I don’t know which pair of jeans you should pack with what heels or which top is the cutest, or even how it is ALL going to fit in your suitcase, (Okay, I have some ideas there. But that might need to be another post.) but I do know how to sail through the airport and get onto your flight hassle free and ready for fun.
First of all, let’s talk luggage.
Most airlines now charge a fee for each piece of checked luggage. (Thank you, Southwest, for holding out on charging that fee!) Some airlines, like Continental, allow you to pay a discounted rate for checked bags by paying in advance online. Paying this way does not allow for refunds, though… so only pay for what you know you’ll be bringing. Check your airline’s site to see what the fees and potential discounts might be.
Checked luggage typically has one fee for luggage up to 50 pounds and a much heftier price tag for a heftier bag. Weigh your packed bag at home so there aren’t any surprises at the airport. And consider your luggage: a really big suitcase begs to be filled to the brim. But then will it weigh too much?
If you are going to a conference, consider bringing a bag a bit larger than what you need so you’ll have room to bring home freebies. Just be sure you factor in the extra weight you’ll be adding, too.
I like to travel with a suitcase that has a nice set of wheels. In addition to just making your way through the airport, you will be lugging this bag into and out of taxis or shuttles and potentially also through the halls of the hotel. Get the wheels so you aren’t struggling.
Check in in advance
Typically you can check in and print your boarding pass for your flight 24 hours before the flight on the airline’s website. If you are hoping to swing an exit row seat (more legroom) check in sooner rather than later to see what is available. To see your airplane’s configuration and seat features, click over to SeatGuru and enter your airline and airplane information.
Almost time to fly!
On to Packing your carry-on items
Typically, carry-on regulations allow you bring one bag of up to 45 linear inches (L + W + D) and 40 pounds and one personal item such as a purse or laptop case. Any liquids or gels you are carrying must be in quantities of no more than 3.4 ounces. All of those containers of liquids must then be placed inside of one quart-size clear zip-top plastic bag. Lipstick and lipgloss are considered liquids, so they must also go in the zip bag. You are allowed one such bag of liquids per person.
Yes, there are specific exceptions to these rules, so check the Transportation Security Administrations (TSA) guidelines if you believe you need to carry something that might be exempt.
Although you cannot bring liquids through security, you can pack an empty sports bottle in your carry-on bag and fill it with water or your beverage of choice after you’ve cleared security. Even though most flights have beverage service, you never know if turbulence might delay or prevent the beverage service.
You can pack food. Consider the time of your flight and whether or not your flight offers meals (and at what cost) when determining if you should bring a snack. I typically throw something in my purse as a backup. Flights are often delayed and, in some cases, you might be stuck on the plane for longer than you planned.
Do you get cold? Consider throwing in a light sweater. Are you going to wear shoes without socks? Consider bringing a pair of socks to wear on the airplane. I usually slip out of my shoes and into a pair of socks after I’m settled in my seat.
Now that you are all packed, it’s time to head to the airport. Your vacation is about to begin!
When to go to the airport
Consider how large your community airport is and what time year you are traveling when you plan when to arrive at the airport. A busier travel time means more travelers going through security. On a solo trip from a major city not at rush hour, I like to get to the airport an hour and fifteen minutes before my flight so that I’m not in rush dropping my bags and making my way through the security line. Traveling early in the morning or late afternoon/ early evening on a weekday when a lot of business travelers might be flying? Add in a little extra time to be safe.
After dropping your bags and/ or checking in at your airline’s counter, it’s time for security.
Making it through the security line
When it is your turn to enter the security line, be ready to hand your government-issued photo ID (typically a driver license) and your boarding pass to the TSA agent. She will check the two and hand your documents back to you. You can put your ID away, but keep your boarding pass out until after you have passed through the metal detector.
While you are waiting your turn to place your things on the security tables and conveyor belt, start unzipping any bags you’ll need to open and be sure your pockets are empty.
When it is your turn, slip off your shoes and any jackets or coats and put them in a bin on the conveyor belt. If you are carrying a laptop computer or DVD player, remove it from your bag and put it in its own bin for scanning.
Next, place your purse and any other carry-on bags either in a bin or directly on the table or conveyor belt. Then put your liquids zip-top bag on top of that for easy screening.
With the exception of your boarding pass, which you must carry, you may not carry anything with you as you walk through the scanner. All of your belongings must go through the X-ray machine.
Once all of your items are heading into the scanner, walk through the metal scanner or body scanner as directed by the TSA agent. Only one person may pass through at a time, toddlers included, so just watch for instruction.
After you walk through, collect all of your belongings as quickly as possible so as not to delay anyone behind you. Consider moving aside with your belongings and putting everything away properly out of the way of the crowd.
Then head for your flight and get ready for the fun of your vacation!
For more tips on making it through the security line faster, check out the story on the TSA website.
Some of you may groan about sitting in tiny quarters for a few hours on your way to your destination. But, as a mom, I love my solo time in the air. Bring a book, bring some headphones (whether you want to listen to music or not), sit back, relax and maybe catch a nap. Your vacation begins now!
Do you have any travel tips that have helped make traveling solo easier for you? Please share!
This post is also linked to Unfinished Mom’s Tips & Thoughts for my First Blissdom.Filed under Travel tips, Trips without the kids | Comments (4)