Friday, April 24, 2009


The mission: see if we can manage a 4 month old on a tropical “vacation”
The participants: Emily, Jonathan, Ben, Grammy (Ronna) and Pops (Les)
The location: Hollywood, Florida
The timing: just when Mommy was about to lose her mind from the nasty Chicago weather—also known as April 18th through the 21st

Jonathan was supposed to be travelling to Seattle, a place I (Emily) have always wanted to visit, for work this quarter. I felt brave and suggested that we all go—all, as in the “let’s bring the baby!” After a few days of deliberating, we decided to take the plunge. Then Jonathan’s work plans changed and he wasn’t needed in Seattle this quarter. Oh well. But Jonathan, the travel enthusiast, had the bug. He suggested that we take our travel bravery and transfer it to another location. I wanted a relaxing, beach-y type of place and we decided on Florida. After an aptly timed New York Times article extolled the virtues of Hollywood, we decided this was the place. Flight: booked. Hotel: booked. It’s a go!
Uh, but what if we BOTH wanted to frolic in the ocean together or go out for a quiet dinner? Guess those days are long gone, we thought. Unless…we called up the Jacobson grandparents and pitched our idea to them. Would they care to join us and spend oodles of quality time with their most favorite (and only) grandchild? There was hemming and hawing, to be sure, but the ultimate answer was yes! Hooray! All of a sudden it seemed exponentially easier to hatch this plan with four adults rather than two. We might actually have some fun on this trip!

The days leading up to our departure were a mix of excitement (Jonathan) and anxiety (Emily—is anyone surprised?). Gosh, a 16 pound baby sure requires a lot of stuff! We packed and unpacked, made lists and crossed items off lists until the very last second when it was off to the airport. Note: great time to fly out of Midway Airport = early on a Saturday morning. No traffic and happy airport security people.

How would Ben do on his first flight? Would his ears bother him? Would he sleep? Forget that—how would Emily do on the flight? Would she panic or would her peaceful Buddha baby son inspire her to calm down? I’m sure (insert sarcasm) Jonathan was eager to find out.

Suffice it to say both Ben and Emily were VERY well behaved on the flight, and there were no less than 15 babies under the age of 4 flying with us. No snotty business-people’s delicate ears to worry about offending. Flight went off without a hitch, although it was packed to the gills and Ben had to ride on our laps. Not too bad now but I can’t imagine doing it when he gets bigger.

After we landed, we collected our gear and rental mini-van (question: since we were just renting the van and don’t actually own one, can we escape the inevitable labeling that goes along with said van?) and headed off to find our hotel.

Wow. This is becoming long. To speed things up, here is how we spent the next few days, in pictures:

Walked (and slept) along the wonderful Broadwalk

Went for a (windy) canal cruise in Ft. Lauderdale

Spent quality time with the grandparents
Sat up in a big bed
Hung out at the beach
Got the chicken pox
Flew home

All in all, a very successful trip. It was wonderful to spend so much time with the grandparents and it was also nice to get a good airing out in such great weather after the harsh Chicago winter.

Ben was a stellar traveler, even through his illness, which is a good thing because Jonathan’s already talking about the next trip…

Can’t wait!

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