As you may have figured out if you checked the September Pictures of the Day in the last post, we went to Colorado at the beginning of last month. It was the first time that our baby had been out of the country…well, not counting the countries he visited while in the womb (which would be five, which is a pretty good showing for a fetus). As such, we weren’t sure how things would go, but we were pleasantly surprised. A few people asked questions about the logistics before, during, and after the trip, so I thought I’d write about them here. So it’s not the most fascinating blog entry ever, but at least I can use it like a journal in case I wonder how things went when I’m old and doddering (i.e., in about 5 years).
The flights, which had been our biggest worry beforehand, turned out to be no problem. At the time he was only about five and half months old, and I’ve heard that they’re actually easier at that age, since once they start crawling, walking, and moving around, they have no inclination to stop, not even if they’re on a plane…and not even if they’re on a big pretty white plane with red stripes, curtains in the windows, and it looks like a big Tylenol.
But I guess we’ll find out about that in our future trips, since he was really good on this one. He mainly just sat in our laps, ate when Angela fed him, and slept. He was also really good on the layover in Houston in both directions, and that actually seemed a bit better than a direct flight, since it gave us a chance to get out, stretch our legs, and see new things. Otherwise it would have meant 6 hours in a plane, and that would be a bit much for him perhaps. But he was charming as usual and wasn’t one of the crying babies–thank God! On the flight from Denver to Houston the flight attendant even gave him some wings, which was a nice touch!
One thing we had no idea about was “lap babies.” That’s what he was, technically, since he was sitting in our laps. If it’s a domestic flight, they fly free, but for international flights you have to pay a fee that’s 10% of the cost of a normal ticket (basically, 10% of the ticket cost for the adult holding the baby). We didn’t know if we should get a seat for him or take him as a lap baby, since we’d heard very strong arguments in favor of both sides, but in the end it worked out very well. We reserved the window and aisle seat of a row, and three times out of four, when the person in the middle got to the row, I offered to change seats with him or her (on the fourth time it was just us in our row). That way, Angela and I got to sit together with Will by the window, and the person who thought they’d get stuck with a middle seat also came out on top, since they wouldn’t have to be sandwiched between the two of us.
Another cool thing about a lap baby or any traveling infant is that they give you more free luggage. We were able to check a stroller for free, as well as a whole suitcase for Will, and on the way back the agent didn’t actually charge us for any of the three bags we checked. I’m still not sure why he did that, but it may have had something to do with the fact that he was a jerk when he first came to assist us, so maybe he was repentant. But probably not. He may have just forgotten.
The issue there was actually about passports, since we only had Will’s American passport at that point (his Costa Rican one arrived to our house while we were gone, so we couldn’t travel with it). In any case, when traveling back to Costa Rica, the airlines ask you for proof of a return or onward ticket (or residency), but of course we didn’t have one since we live here. So I had to explain that to the dickh… to the man at the check-in counter. We had an entry and exit paper for Will, but no Costa Rican passport or other evidence that he’d not stay here as an illegal alien, I guess. But in the end I guess he just accepted it, since Angela and I also had Costa Rican passports, and it was obviously our baby. Who knows.
Once we were in Colorado, we had a great trip, although it wasn’t like we were tourists or anything. We were mainly visiting family and friends, but he was good for basically everything we did. We also liked going for walks with him, which isn’t really possible where we live because:
- The roads here are narrow and terrible and people drive like maniacs (someone actually got hit by a bicycle here in Berlin and was nearly killed)
- The only road/s in Berlin is/are steep, like runaway-truck-ramp steep
- It’s been raining a lot lately
- There’s nowhere to go even if you did want to walk
But we had a great time walking around in my parents’ neighborhood, and Angela said she felt like she was “playing house.” And of course my family was very happy to see Will!
So that’s the story of how we set up the trip. Like I said, I only decided to write this because a lot of people asked questions about passports and stuff. But now that I’ve written it, I realized that I’ve apparently not written a post about the trip, including pictures, so maybe I’ll have to do that in a day or two. Maybe keep your eyes open for that one!
Thanks for reading!