The kids and I are jetting to California tomorrow to visit the Groovin' Grandparents. Yep, we're going to be leaving Casa de 'burbs for Casa de Papa-and-Grammy for three weeks. We'll do a lot of fun stuff, see old friends and have some In-N-Out!
We've been looking forward to this visit for a lot of weeks and the kids are about to crawl out of their skin with excitement. We're pretty much packed. I say 'pretty much' because I'm going to do my usual re-packing of my stuff into another suitcase when I realize I need more square footage.
I have all our identifications and I've told Will he can't bring any of his plastic, pretend guns with us. No, you can't just put one in your suitcase. No, you can't put it in your backpack and just take it on the plane. Because they look in your backpack. To make sure no little boys bring pretend guns on the plane!
And now I'm nervous. About seeing my parents? No. I'm nervous about the flight.
I'm a nervous flyer. I use an herbal anxiety reliever and make sure my reading material is light. It worked very well when we went to Las Vegas last summer, but I'm going to have both kids with me this time. Will was on a plane as an infant, but this will be his first plane ride that he can remember.
We have new coloring books and drawing pads along with colored pencils and crayons. The kids know that they will be able to get a soft drink and a bag of peanuts. We're flying Southwest, which is very family friendly. Since they board in groups instead of assigned seats, I can sit with the kids as far up front as we can.
We'll change planes in Phoenix, because you always change planes in Phoenix on Southwest. You could be flying Austin to Dallas and you'd still have to change planes in Phoenix. This makes our first leg about 1 1/2 hours in the air. A doable amount. We have a nice break in Phoenix for lunch and running around before flying 45 minutes to Ontario California.
This lets me get off the plane with the kids right around the time they'll start to complain in earnest if we were traveling straight through.
Everything is in place for a smooth, non-dramatic trip.
I'm still scared though. And I feel stupid about it. I've flown a bunch. To Hawaii, England, Mexico, Canada and between a whole gaggle of states. I took the San Jose to Ontario flight when we were living in the bay area I lost count.
When Zoe was about 3 she and I flew down to California from Vancouver. I dropped her off with my parents and flew out to meet Scott at a music convention in Ohio. I was fine for a while but was gasping and clutching the arms of my chair on approach. My trip to the Midwest was horrid. I missed my connection and had to take 2 more planes to get to my destination. On the flight back to California we took off in a storm. We landed in Chicago in a storm. We took off from Chicago in a storm. I changed planes in Denver. The Denver to Ontario route is always bumpy going over the Rockies. I almost had a panic attack between Denver and Ontario and had the guy sitting next to me had not offered to talk to me, since that's what worked for him mom, I'm sure I would have had a full fledged panic attack.
No, I had the panic attack 2 days later in my parent's formal living room, where I jammed myself between a wall and a large, wooden, ornamental bird cage. My mom took me to Urgent Care where I received Ativan and was able to get back north.
Since then, I've been scared about flying. I know I'm not alone. I know I won't be the only person on the plane who feels the way I do. I know how very safe airplanes are. I know that I like Southwest Airlines and if I tell the happy person assigned to our section that I'm a nervous flyer they'll be sure to check on me.
So, good thoughts for the Hip Housewife who will be in the sky starting at 1:30 pm Central time for about five hours, including lay over time tomorrow.
See ya on the west coast!
Amanda's beauty tip of the day: If you have dry skin, moisturize before, during and after your flight. The airplane trip will dry out your skin.