Observations (or What I Learned on Our Trip to Denver)

My post at 5 Minutes for Parenting today shares my best not-so-common tips for navigating air travel with your kids.

(Wow. That was a complicated sentence.)

If you’re planning a Thanksgiving or Christmas trip, check it out and learn from my mistakes.

Travel is on my mind these days because we just returned from a five-day trip to Colorado. I collected a few observations to share on the blog. (I know! Can you stand the excitement?) These are the things I would tell you if we sat down together for a pumpkin spice latte. (Which I guess I wouldn’t drink, because to drink a pumpkin spice latte is to usher in fall, and my kids don’t go back to school until next week; ergo, we aren’t in fall yet.) (Also, I echo Heather’s thoughts about the seasonal shift. Fall, I love you. But you always bring your ugly cousin, winter, when you visit. Which makes me quite conflicted about your time with us.)

So buckle up and make sure your carry-ons are safely stowed. Here we go.

------ 1 ------
I have decided that the unspoken rules of airplane etiquette dictate that you should not talk to your seat mates until you are landing. As the plane nears touchdown, conversations break out all over the plane. People who didn’t even look at each other 30 minutes ago are now chatting it up like long-lost friends.

I theorize this is because people are afraid to start a conversation with someone next to them at the beginning of the flight because, hello, what if that person turns out to be a lunatic? At the end of the flight, it feels safer, because we know we’re all getting off the plane in 10 minutes anyway.

------ 2 ------
Airport food can rival ballpark food as the most overpriced junk on the planet. On our flight out last Thursday, we stopped for lunch. Two hamburgers and one children’s order of chicken strips set us back $35. And it wasn’t even that good.

------ 3 ------
My Southern friends will be happy to know I experienced my first Sonic stop last week. (There are a few Sonics in the Twin Cities, but none near us. Ergo, I’m a Sonic virgin.) We managed to stop during happy hour, and I decided upon a cherry limeade, since it seems that’s one of their iconic drinks.

So imagine my surprise when my first sip revealed a carbonated drink. Since when is limeade or lemonade carbonated?

I don’t like carbonated drinks, so I was disappointed. Tell me, those of you who are Sonic lovers: Where did I go wrong?

------ 4 ------
Corey mocks me for this, but I will say it anyway: Embassy Suites creep me out. They are usually too dated, too big and too 80s-prom-ish for me to enjoy our stay at one of those huge, patio-centered monstrosities.

But when you have three kids, a guaranteed suite is a huge bonus. So for our trip last week, we booked a room at the Embassy Suites in Colorado Springs.

And I have to admit: I was pleasantly surprised. Its d├ęcor wasn’t teal and rose, and it didn’t have nine stories of rooms around a dusty and fading courtyard. It was stylish, comfortable, clean and up-to-date. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay.

------ 5 ------
I also love a hotel that makes me laugh. The paper cover on the top of the glasses in the room said, “Because sometimes you need a cup of coffee to go down and get a cup of coffee.”

Amen and amen.

------ 6 ------
We did a fair amount of driving between Colorado Springs and Denver last week. After about 15 minutes in the car, Teyla would start whining and fussing in a very unpleasant manner. Or, even worse, she would start playing her new favorite game: Let’s see how loud I can screech at a pitch you didn’t know was possible for humans to hear.

At one point, Corey looked at me and said, “And you want to drive 15 hours with that at Christmas?”

I’ll be booking our holiday tickets today.

11 comments:

  1. I've never had Sonic either. The shame.

    And I don't want carbonated limeade.

    Also, it's SO true about people talking on planes only at the very end. Except for the occasional chatty person that won't stop talking even if your face is buried in a book. God love 'em.

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  2. i'm a sonic virgin too! i know! its awful.

    i just traveled 8 hours in a car with a 16-month-old with the exact same hobby!!! can't wait for thanksgiving!!

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  3. My 10-month-old seems to have learned that trick as well (insanely crying after about 10 minutes in the car).

    Flights to Philadelphia, anyone?

    I love Sonic cherry limeade and I'm not sure I ever realized it was carbonated. Ha! But it's definitely not pure limeade. Pretty sure they mix it with Sprite.

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  4. Yes, Sonic Limeade's are carbonated... I love them but I love anything fizzy!

    Next time get a lemon berry fruit slush! Heavenly.. and not carbonated!

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  5. I, too, have never gone to Sonic. So I'm no help. But in Britain, if you order lemonade, you get something like a very lemony Sprite.
    And I never sit next to chatty people on planes. I never talk to anyone. I can't understand people that have long conversations on planes--it has never happened to me and I have flown a lot. I did meet a woman in the bus at the Paris airport--does that count?

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  6. I, too, have never gone to Sonic. So I'm no help. But in Britain, if you order lemonade, you get something like a very lemony Sprite.
    And I never sit next to chatty people on planes. I never talk to anyone. I can't understand people that have long conversations on planes--it has never happened to me and I have flown a lot. I did meet a woman in the bus at the Paris airport--does that count?

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  7. I plan to stay a Sonic virgin after the reviews I've heard from other Minnesotans. Virtually everyone who has gone to one said it's basically like a glorified Wendy's. Pretty much the only fast food I ever eat is Culver's and Raisin' Cane's (or sandwich/sub places if you count that). Both, in my estimation, trump anything else out there as far as fast food (except maybe 5 Guys).

    I have yet to travel via plane with Anja, so now I'm off to check out your travel tips!

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  8. I know nothing of Sonic, so nothing to add there. But, YES, your theory is spot on about the last-10-minute-of-plane-talking!
    As for the Embassy Suites, "too-80s-promish"....you have an unrivaled descriptive gift. That is EXACTLY it! (Glad the CO one didn't creep you out too much, though).

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  9. Sonic. Yummy. I totally miss that. Glad you had a good trip!

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  10. When you mentioned Embassy Suites, my first thought was of Prom 1989, and how terribly rainy it was, and how I had to ask my date to the prom. And, yes, it WAS at that very same Embassy Suites. I wore a lovely pink dress with matching gloves. :o) Good times, good times.

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  11. Sonic overrated? No!

    Like a Wendy's? Wha?

    Wendy's doesn't have foot-long coneys, chili Fritos wraps, chocolate cream pie shakes, pineapple Dr. Pepper...

    I can't wait to hear more about your trip.

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