My husband's motto is "procrastination always pays off now", so, after a frantic day of packing, we arrived at his parent's house to get 5.5 hours sleep. We woke up at 4:30am and headed to the airport bright and early at 5:30 am. After a bit of a false start where the bag with C's DVDs and cookies was left in the car, we finally got our bags checked and headed for the gate. As we walked up to the gate, we noticed a sign "This gate has no restrooms, food or drink available." *boggle* We immediately detoured to go to the restroom and change C one last time before going through security.
After we got all that taken care of, I explained our situation to the security guard, pulled out our giant bags of liquid medications and had an incredibly helpful TSA official help us fill our tubs with stuff. I was allowed to wear C through the metal detector and since we didn't set off any alarms, they let us carry on without having to let him down to walk on his own. That was HUGE, if I'd let him walk, he wouldn't have wanted to get back into the carrier. TheMan was randomly selected to have his bag searched, it was all really laid back and they were all super helpful. The trip through security was completely painless and they even helped us repack what we were required to pull out.
Pre-boarding began soon after we got into the gate area. TheMan went ahead of us and scrubbed the walls, seats and trays with clorox wipes, then he installed the car seat (rear-facing!!). We followed the advice of some fabulous travel gurus over at the BabyCenter Traveling with Children board and purchased a Cosco - Scenera
for our trip. I hung back and talked with the person manning the gate until all the other people were settled, then C and I came on board and sat down.
C panicked a little bit when I put him in the car seat. Our fellow fliers were treated to 10 minutes of whining and a repeated chorus if "All Done!" and "Milk!" before we were finally in the air and the fasten seat belt site was off. I was able to nurse C into a better state of mind and then we gave him the tablet. Between those two activities we were able to keep C happy for the remaining 2 hours and 34 minutes of the flight. As soon as we landed, I worked to get C back into the carrier to ensure he wouldn't want to walk through the airport (terribly concerned about viruses/germs still).
We found the baby changing room, got C into a new diaper and headed down to the baggage claim where our bags were just coming around on the conveyer belt all grouped together. We grabbed them and asked a very nice driver standing holding a sign where we would go to find our driver who was waiting outside in the "limo area". He told us which doors to head out and we were on our way. Our driver had no trouble guessing who we were. No one else was walking toward the area with a toddler. We installed the car seat and headed off to the Yawkey Family Inn. We were a couple of hours early for check-in so we decided to hang out over in the quiet room until our room was ready.
When we arrived we were delighted to find we had 2 full beds and a bathroom in our area. We were able to link the beds together and get enough space to safely cosleep with C. We were exhausted so we made it an early night.