Monday morning we were up at 3am and to the Des Moines airport in plenty of time. Since there is only one terminal, it was incredibly easy to find our gate. Security had to test Topher's formula and sippy cup full of water, and they seized his ice packs, but other than that we got through just fine. The plane was smaller than we expected, but Topher seemed alright for awhile. Unfortunately, time slowed to a crawl up in the air and Topher became more and more aggravated until the last hour when he finally just started screaming. There was no room for him to move around, his ears probably hurt, and he was just sick and tired of being held. After an in-flight diaper change (which made me realize exactly how small the bathrooms in planes really are) we finally landed in Salt Lake and got off as quickly as possible. The second we were out of the cabin, Topher was perfectly fine. We grabbed our luggage and rental car and took off for Bear Lake, stopping once in Logan to get the groceries for my family's dinner night. Compared to the flight, the drive was a total breeze, but with the lack of sleep and less-than-stellar plane ride, we all had pretty short fuses. . There's only a very curvy 2-lane highway leading into Bear Lake, but the drive was really beautiful, especially when you reach the summit and see the bright blue lake in the middle of all the mountains. It was a very secluded locale, but I have to admit that it was a stunning view.
Topher, getting ready to board...he looks scared
On the plane, before the screaming began
Topher's first view of the mountains
Our family (51 people) rented 2 houses, a "fun" house and a smaller "quiet" house. Both houses were enormous and lavish (5 ovens and 3 refrigerators, anyone?) We were in the fun house where every room was a themed suite with a private bathroom (we got the "safari" room) and it was great because there was always someone to talk to, play ping-pong with, or to play with Topher. The only problem was that night, after a Pickleville Playhouse dinner (don't ask, let me just say that it was the kind of place where shoes were apparently optional), we came home to crash into a much-needed sleep. But when the rest of the gang came home around 10:30pm and then fired up the karaoke machine on full blast at 11:30pm, we could hear EVERYTHING. Our room was somehow central to all the noise in the whole house, and we had to be the party poopers and shut down the music (but I mean, come on, it was almost midnight and we'd been up since 3am.)
The "fun" house, aka Party Central
The rest of the fun house, since I couldn't fit it all in one photo
It was a truly exhausting day. I now have immense empathy for people traveling with babies, because let me tell you, it's not easy. Just imagine us walking through the airport: TJ is holding a whopper of a diaper bag (stuffed to the brim) across his shoulder while carrying the car seat in his arms with a huge duffel bag in it. Meanwhile, I'm dragging the rolling suitcase that has another case strapped to it with one hand while pushing the umbrella stroller with the other hand (and if you think it's easy to steer an umbrella stroller with one hand you are wrong...I had to keep apologizing to people as I would steer across their path or run into them.) That first day was tough. And as much a relief as it was to finally arrive at our destination, we couldn't help but dread the fact that eventually we would have to go back home.
Topher, soon after arriving
Check back soon for days 2, 3, and 4! :)