Melanie Jeanne

Far Far Away…

The little one and I traveled far far away. We went on a glorious adventure, that took us across country, through airports, on car rides and on what is sure to be the first major adventure of my little ones life. It is often true that something inspires travel, someone, an itch if you will, a desire. In my case it was all of the above… I had an itch to get away, I had a desire to take Avery to my best friends house for a little introduction, I needed an escape and of course I wanted to show Avery the world… Even her little 4month old self needs adventure. So, we packed up and we flew across country, just the two of us, to Pennsylvania. We spent a long weekend at my best friends house… Avery meeting new friends, feeling fall weather and exploring. Me escaping, rejuvenating the soul and connecting with my best friend.
The trip started on a lovely Thursday afternoon after a half day of work here in Arizona. We made it through security with flying colors and with as much ease as a mother traveling alone can muster. I will say for all intents and purposes, we did wonderfully. The security team was exceptionally nice and helpful as well. We got to the gates to discover that the flight was delayed about an hour. What was unfortunate turned into a strike of good fortune. Grandpa’s plane landed and deplaned at the gate right next to ours, what a magical moment to see grandpa before our first flight. We also had the opportunity to clap for 25 WWII vets that were also deplaning at a nearby gate. And then, moments later, we were off. Another strike of good fortune – the flight was not full, my sleeping baby could remain in her car seat and have her own seat.
4 hours, that is all it took. 4 hours to be inspired by my little beauty. From the moment the plane took off, this adventure felt different. First, I had the most important human in my life by my side… There was a sense of fear (what if the plane crashed) and pure joy (my baby was experiencing the world)… Then her complete peace through take-off, in-flight and landing. But, it wasn’t only Avery that inspired me. It was the flight attendants, it was the man I sat net to, it was the entire plane of people who all took the time to treat us with courtesy and respect. I had a fear of the human spirit being that of which was not comfortable for a mommy traveling alone, that where we were a burden and in the way… The human spirit instead prevailed and we were treated with kindness and concern, with help and love.
We arrived in Pennsylvania and it was cold, it was late and travel did not feel easy. Baggage claim was a smooth process and then the drive began. In the first moments of travel I saw a deer on the side of the road and was instantly reminded of East Coast car accidents and deer. I had heard of the issues and the dangers and in that moment they seemed oh so real. The drive was easy enough until we hit Hershey, then things went south. We were pulled over for speeding and then got lost… Finally, we were sitting on Bethany’s couch and Avery was enjoying a bottle, it was 3am. We tucked into bed and awoke to children laughing and the house stirring.
For the next 3 days we enjoyed the simple pleasures of home. Time with good friends. And the joy of new experiences. We went to the mall and shopped around. We ate fish sticks and mac and cheese. We headed up north to Towanda and spent time with Bethany’s parents. Avery rolled over for the first time. We had car rides of communication and chatted over coffee and wine. Avery met new friends and I made new acquaintanceships… All-in-all we had a magical time.
Our travels home started at the crack of dawn or at the turn of day (depending on time zone) and took roughly 12 hours. But, we managed and we made it through with flying colors again. Security was a breeze and a kind fella sought me out in the airport to tell me just how impressive my trek through security was (that is the most rewarding compliment a mother traveling alone can receive, especially on my first trip alone). Two plane rides and two more opportunities for Avery to have her own seat while traveling… Life was good and we were home.
It was an adventure, we had fun, there are experiences that will last a life time and the journey was well documented.
Thank you to Auntie Bethany for having us, thank you to the traveling community for being such a wonderful support, thank you to the human spirit for proving just how amazing we all can be when we put others first, thank you to Southwest Airlines for remaining my favorite airline (your kindness and free seats were greatly appreciated) and thank you to my Avery Grace for being the magic and dream of my life – I cannot wait to provide you many more adventures!

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