Blanche the Traveler

Ten days, four cities, three flights, two weddings and an entire wardrobe of bagged, pooped-through outfits: that puts Blanche’s first vacation in the right perspective. We learned many things about her traveling capabilities and needs. Most of what we found out was fantastic: she was incredibly flexible, usually cheerful, and all her meals were free. But there was one tiny drawback.

Blanche has incredibly bad timing. That’s B and Grandpa Pete in the Minneapolis airport, 5:30 a.m. Of course, as we approached the security screening, we sensed it. I delicately plucked her from her car seat and tried to figure out the best way to pass through the metal detectors without smearing green poop all over the only shirt I had with me. (No airport carry-on lecture please.)

“Just hold her like you’d normally hold her,” the TSA officer said to me, noticing my fumbling. I turned her around. “Got it.”

This became a theme. I changed Blanche on bathroom floors, airplane tray tops, and a random bench as the bride’s father gave his speech. There must be some evidence or at least a Wikipedia page on the link between traveling and other-worldly blowouts. It’s a good thing babies are tiny, because we needed all 20 outfits we packed for our ten-day journey to Olympia, WA via Seattle and Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA via San Francisco.

Now, for the wonderful things we learned about Blanche’s travelability. This is critical, because travel is the rare passion that Kristie and I share, and it would be devastating if Blanche turned out to be little miss crabby on planes, buses, airport shuttles or any other local travel specialty. As it happened, not only was Blanche well-behaved on the airplanes, but she actually enjoyed parts of the experience. She loved the attention (especially from one over-the-top, hairspray queen flight attendant) and showed an environmentalist’s interest in the world outside the window. Plus, mom and dad get to be the first on the plane! What a tool this baby is turning out to be.

The next obstacle: hilly terrain. Both Seattle and San Francisco are full of steep hills. I guess this was more of an issue for the adults on the trip. The hills actually provided Blanche with her most upright view of the city. Unfortunately, no picture exists to prove how Everest-like Kristie’s and Grandma’s terrible six-block walk to the hotel in San Francisco really was. They painted quite the picture. Maybe it looked something like the picture at the bottom, but we’ll probably never know.

More pictures of the West Coast trip to come soon!

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