One of the things we want our kids to grow up with is a spirit of adventure. I’m finding my own a little depressed lately, what with the achy leg and the consuming responsbilities of the job necessary to provide for said kids, but we’re working on that. The kids have no such constraints, and I want them to know that this whole globe was given to us by our Creator to claim dominion over! He gave us a beautiful gift and we want them to grow up with a passion to explore it.
So we were very excited to bring them on their first flights — despite the challenges of dragging three kids (including a baby!) and all their stuff through three airports, across the continent and 3 time zones! Despite post-9/11 airport security. Despite jet lag. Despite a stomach flu that spent a day with almost each of us.
And really, we can’t complain. The trip was funded for me by my employer, and for my family mostly by Delta Rewards miles. We did have to buy one ticket — a first class one, since no others were available (even though there clearly were coach seats available!) — for Nicole, and meals for the family on our own. But all told, we took a week-long trip, driving a nice rental van, staying in a 2 bedroom hotel suite (with kitchen!), and eating out occasionally, for shy of $800.
Once jet lag was addressed, and in between puking, Nic and the kids managed to do a little shopping and visit a museum. I was there for an exhilerating week of work, during which I would write my Theological Foundations 1 exam, proctored by my manager during compete reviews, and managed to pull off almost all the required activities fairly succesfully. Nic and I were able to attend the annual Christmas party, while the kids were babysat, and had a really nice time with some west coast friends.
The kid’s traveled like pros: obedient in the airports, quiet on the planes, polite and charming to the various air-service employees we interacted with. They handled the jet lag and the flu fairly gracefully — although the first day there, as all 3 of my girls broke into tears (and some puking from one of them) in a grocery store, I was a little worried! We saw mountains (in the distance), explored the Redmond library, learned to get around without the GPS, and had a couple swims in the hotel pool.
We’re glad we were able to take them, and so grateful I have a job that made that easy. The kids fairly shook with excitement in their seats waiting for the plane to “blast off” and Abi was excited to visit the “airport where daddy lives.” Now we’re looking forward to the next trip… a long drive, but a much warmer location!