As a new mom, I had battled the first few months of Winter with a baby - the hats, snowsuits, blankets, so when my mom invited me down for a visit, I was more than happy to take a break from the cold and duck down to the Sunshine state for a few weeks.
Yes, that's right, "weeks." With a little baby, I had no schedule to keep or school to worry about, so why not?
The good news is that my daughter's temperament was always very easy going, relaxed and mellow, which made her a pleasure to take anywhere.
We couldn't have asked for a lovelier day to fly!
I had opted for a separate seat for Gianna so that I could set up her car seat, rather than hold her on my lap for the entire flight, knowing that would be more comfortable for both of us.
Security was a bit of a challenge. I never realized until I had a baby, just how rude most people are when you are trying to negotiate your way through doors, lines and other public places. I'm not sure what it is, but my experience in the airport was not much different.
Everyone is in a rush and there I was, pushing a stroller with a diaper bag and a shoulder bag. Security was the worst. Trying to maneuver the baby, take off my shoes, put all my belongs in the bins and then to make matters worse, folding up the stroller and moosing that and the car seat through the x-ray machines was one royal pain in the rear!
By this time, my little girl was hungry and I so I quietly fed her until we were ready to board.
I have to say, I was having a blast! I loved the idea that it was a "mommy & me" adventure!
However, motherhood will slow you down for a few years and during this trip, I just put it in my head that I was going to take my sweet time as I was in no rush and had no schedule to keep.
And it was the best decision since I was able to stay calm, smile more and enjoy this experience with my little dumpling.
But, it was only a short walk to our seats and then it was clear sailing.
Because of her age, I had to secure the carseat in place "backwards" facing the back of
the chair, which was great since I got to look at Gianna the entire flight.
That's why I timed her bottle for both of these times. She sucked away during takeoff, played a bit in her car seat and then fell into a peaceful slumber for most of the nearly three hour flight to West Palm Beach airport.
I had her pacifier all ready for the descent. She was so quiet and well behaved that the people behind us didn't even realize there was a baby on board until we were de-planing!
Being parents too, they were worried about my traveling alone with the baby, but were thrilled to hear what a pleasant experience we had.
What happened though, was a quite a surprise to me.
With a bedroom all to myself and Gianna, we fell into a nice routine. We'd wake up early to a gorgeous warm breeze and together, the two of us would go for a leisurely morning walk around my parents' development.
Gianna was quite the attention getter with her stylish baby fashions as I pushed her along in her stroller.
As for me, I was loving the nice long invigorating walks each morning, which were not as enjoyable in New York with the cold weather and necessary layers of outerwear. I was quite literally, falling in love with Florida and the life of a snowbird!
Well, when all was said and done, my daughter and I managed to spend six weeks in Florida during the Winter of 2005!
To this day, it was one of the best trips ever, with so many memories of time spent with my little girl!!