Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Gulf Shores

We had a fun little opportunity to tag along with Russ on a work trip to Gulf Shores.
I was so nervous to take Lila on an airplane for her first time as a new baby.
My mom came over as I was getting ready and we put together little care bags for those sitting around us. It was basically just a bag with a granola bar, pack of gum, some hi-chews and other little things with a note that explained it was Lilas first time flying and she is a great baby, but in case she has a hard time, here is a goodie bag.
I made enough for 3 people to have one per flight, there and back.

We got to the airport and took a 3.5 hour ride over to Atlanta. She did great! We were excited since we only one more hour long flight and then an hour drive.

Im watching TV, Lilas sleeping...this is going better than we thought.
We were super scared because Lila does not like to be held when she is tired.

We got on our next flight to Florida, got all situated, handed out our bags and took off for our short flight. We are in the air, and in the air and in the air when the Pilot came on and said that there was a bad storm below us, they circled it as long as they could but we were running out of gas and had to go back to Atlanta.
We were bummed.
We go back to Atlanta and tell us to stay on the airplane.
We stayed forever until they finally said if we get off, we cant get back on until we check in again. Russ decided to get off and of course made friends with the pilots (he makes friends with EVERYONE) and they went to see what the storm was going to do. I fed Lila on the plane and 2 hours later they are ready to take us back to Florida.
We get on the plane and they let us know they put extra fuel in case we needed to circle again.
We flew, and circled and circled and circled for HOURS.
Finally they said they had to take us back to Atlanta, the weather is still too bad.. GRRRRR.
We get back to Atlanta and sit and finally our flight is canceled!
Russ hurries and books us on a flight near the other airport. At this point, Lila is being a super good baby, buts its late and she is getting tired.
We get on another flight to another airport, get up in the air, circle, circle, Lila has a blow out but its too bumpy they wont let Russ up to change her and wipe the poop off his pants.
AND WOULD YOU BELIEVE OUR LUCK, the storm followed us and was directly above this new airport. BACK TO ATLANTA we go for the THIRD time.
We got back to the airport, its now midnight, we had been flying all day, I am out of baby food, I only have a few diapers left.
I was in the process of weaning her off of nursing so I didn't have any milk, she wouldn't nurse from me, she didn't have any teeth to eat, I had enough formula for one bottle left..
Tired, so tired. Oh but Lila..we were blessed with an AMAZING baby!
It was loud, it was midnight and it was cold! The airport ran out of blankets, luckily some very nice woman came and gave Lila her blanket because all flights were canceled and we were spending the night at the airport.
We had called all the hotels nearby and there wasn't a hotel available for 17 miles and we had a super early flight to hopefully get out of there the next morning.

So we finally somewhat fall asleep, its 1:30 am and all the alarms go off in the airport.
Russ and I had gone down to the very end of that part of the airport to hopefully get some quiet.
Alarms are going off and telling us an emergency had been reported in the building. How sad that we live in a world where my very first thought was...there is a shooting.
Where do we go?
What about Lila?
We are at the very end so if someone is coming toward us we have no where to go!
My heart was about pounding out of my chest, Russ and I got up and peeked around the corner and there were some employees looking at us and then letting us know that the middle of the night was the only time to test the alarms, so don't worry, nothing is wrong.
Right then, they came by to wash the floors. Im guessing we wont be sleeping.

We set our alarm for 5:30 so we could run to our next gate and make sure to catch the flight. Russ was supposed to be working and had meetings all scheduled out.
We wake poor Lila up and go to our gate.. FLIGHT CANCELED.
Turns out, they had record breaking rainfall with over 20 inches of rain over night.

Airport is closed, and not only closed, supposedly underwater.
We tried to get our bags so we could just drive, but they said that would take 4 hours to get our bags.
Really, 4 hours?
Do you have emergency stash of baby formula? No
Do you know where all of our bags are? We are missing one of your bags.
That bag turned out to be her car seat.
I was in the bathroom changing her SECOND blowout, so now she doesn't have any pants.
I will tell you what though, besides the middle of the night, she didn't make a peep.

We were stuck there until 5 oclock that night. So we made the best of it!
We went and made friends

We found a jamba juice for Lila and lunch for us.
Took naps..well, one of us did.

Played games...
Long story short? We had to fly to Mississippi after 30 hours in the airport and drive to Florida. It just so happened when we landed in Mississippi there were 13 reported tornados.

I don't think there is any way possible to travel light with a baby.
Can I just take a quick second to say how amazing this baby is?! She did SO great staying in the airport, no more food, pooped through all of her outfits, no sleep...and she was as happy and content as can be. After being in an airport for 30 hours, 4 flights later, stopping for fresh fish on our way to the hotel and then settling in to a new place, in a new bed and she did GREAT. Slept all the way through the night, didn't make a peep.

I had actually been to this exact place the year before for my work, so I was familiar with the town and what there was to offer me and a baby while our man went off to work.
However, Lila was super ready to catch up on her zzzz's.

So Russ went off to work, we lounged, had breakfast in deck, and she was ready for another nap.

Because of this CRAZY storm the last few days before, the town was pretty much deserted. Lila and I went to a restaurant, one that I had been to the year before and there wasn't a soul in there.
The owner, who was about mid 50's fell in love with Lila and we pretty much had lunch- the 3 of us.
He said it was the worst storm he had ever been in, and that in like 30 years, that day was the slowest for his business.
We had a great time though and munched on a Calzone and colored. 

Some of the destruction from the storm...
Lila and I then went to the beach and sent Russ pictures to make him jealous- He used to do that to me all the time when he traveled with me. Felt good to pay back ;)
Side note- This one of my favorite phases Lila went through. If she was happy, sad, mad or indifferent, she would scrunch that nose!

We decided to keep her for good when we found out she loves the beach as much as we do!

And...she was ready for another nap.

She woke up,  and Russ was home! We went back down to the beach and then headed to dinner with some of his clients and co workers. They invited Lila and I to tag along so it was fun!

If you only knew how many pictures I have of Lila adoring her Dad...Heart- Melty.

As we were coming back from dinner with his clients, she cuddled and fell asleep on my shoulder. This is a record. This girl HATES to cuddle.

The next day Russ went to work in the morning and then was done. We had booked our trip to stay an extra day and Im glad we did since we had spent half of our trip in the Atlanta airport. I was getting Lila ready in her swimming suit and noticed just in her bottoms she looked awfully familiar..

We love a good beignet. Russ is a pro at them, but these weren't so bad. If only we would have gotten more (sarcastic).

I pretty much love everything about the South.

No- we did not plan our outfits and we didn't even realized they matched until we got home and saw the pictures :)

This poor business was under water.

Back to the beach!

We headed over to grab some lunch while Lila napped. This BBQ joint was amazing!

After lunch we headed to a big pier. We walked along the pier and Russ thought it would be fun to take the stroller and walk on the beach. I told him that a cheap umbrella stroller and sand don't mix. He insisted that we try so I told him if he could go down there and roll it, I would follow.
He didn't even get 2 feet and had to pick her up and carry her.
But Russ....oh Russ. He is always up for an adventure. Sure enough, after he got passed a good hundred yards it rolled right along the water.
Russ always makes things fun.


As we were leaving the pier/walking on the beach, we saw this cute little turtle. Russ had an idea to hold Lila behind it. There were tons of people walking by watching, and laughing.
Russ, "Can you see me?"
Me (laughing under my breath" Nope! Stay riiiiight there. Just a second longer"
Also, look at Lilas alien face- LOVE her.

He caught on, ducked a little lower, and we got it.
Russ went out and got dinner that night, we put Lila to bed and ate out on our patio listening to the ocean. It was wonderful!
The next morning, we woke up, looked at the pretty sunrise and headed back to the airport!

We got home no problems!

I think if we survived that ordeal, we will pretty much be good to go. And we all still love each other which is a bonus.
And I leave you with my favorite picture of the trip!


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