Thursday was the final day of our trip, and also happened to be our 4-year anniversary. Four years...actually three years and then we think this last year should count for quite a few (with the flood and baby and all.) I'm happy to say that we're still completely in love and we truly relish any moments we get to spend together. Since it was departure day, there really weren't any activities planned. We packed up in the morning and said our goodbyes and we were going to tourist-shop around Bear Lake until we realized that people were lining up for the Raspberry Days parade. Since there is only one road out, we decided to leave before we got stuck behind some humongous walking raspberries. :) Our plane wasn't scheduled to take off until 7:30pm, so we drove into Salt Lake and used the opportunity to visit Temple Square. It was beautiful, even with some construction going on. We joked that there was a bride every 10 feet, but really that was not an exaggeration...everyone seemed to be getting married that day. We ran into my brother and his family there, so we were able to walk around with them for awhile in the visitor's center. We were very grateful for the chance to see the Salt Lake temple in person together.
Downtown Salt Lake, approaching Temple Square
Family photo in front of the temple
Topher in the visitor's center
Isn't that a magnificent building? It took the pioneers 40 years to complete (1853-1893)
Salt Lake wore our little monkey out
Around 4pm, we decided to make our way the airport, stopping once at the strangest Walmart we've ever seen. It was in downtown Salt Lake, and it had its own parking garage, like an airport would.
After stocking up on diapers, we made our way to the airport in an effort to give Topher as much time as possible to get his wiggles out before the flight. We found a pretty empty boarding gate and just let him crawl around to his heart's desire (which is probably why he came down with a cold the day after we got back, but it's not like we could sterilize the entire floor for him.) For about 3 hours he entertained passersby with his scooting antics. He also found enjoyment in my vitamin water, and in examining his stroller piece by piece. I would say that he has a possible future as an engineer except for the fact that he is so prone to destruction (he'd build something and then just knock it all down again). Maybe he'll be one of those engineers that demolishes old buildings with dynamite.
Anyway, it was finally time to board our plane and we were so nervous. We decided that one way or another, it would all be over in 3 hours time, and we had to get home somehow. So after waiting for most people to board, dosing Topher with some baby Tylenol to help his ears, and saying a slient prayer, we started our descent down the Jetway (in my head it was to the tune of the funeral march, come to think of it.)
Ahhh...here's hoping for a miracle!
When we sat down, I almost wanted to apologize to everyone around us in advance for when the screaming would commence, but I didn't. I would wait until their ears were bleeding first. We were happily surprised that Topher took a bottle right as we were taking off (which helped his ears to normalize) and then relieved when he fell asleep shortly after. He slept on me for the first hour, then the second, and--miracle of miracles--he just kept on sleeping. A few times he would whimper or scrunch up his face like he was about to wake up screaming, but each time he would relax again. And let me tell you, our prayers were answered because Topher did not open his eyes until the pilot came over the speakers saying that we were starting our descent and that we would be on the ground in 15 minutes. We managed to keep him entertained during that time and when we finally did land, Topher had literally not made a single peep through the whole flight. When we stood up, the people around us said they didn't even know that we had a baby, and I felt like I had won the gold metal of parenting (even though I technically didn't do anything at all.) We were so, so, so proud of Topher and we promised him some good toys for his upcoming birthday (yes, I think we're going to be the type of parents who bribe.)
We made it home just fine, and I was still on cloud nine for having the best airplane baby. We're very glad that we went to this reunion. It was a lot of work, but someday we'll be able to tell Topher about his first trip to the Rockies. And every reunion from here on out will just get better and better. A big thanks to Topher's guardian angels for helping him sleep, and to the Berbert clan: we'll see you in 2011 in [location TBD]!