Summertime Fun 2013

It’s been so long, oh it’s been so long. Let me show you how much fun Avery had last summer before we even think about diving into this summer. Let’s envision this as a flashback, the kind you might see on an episode of Family Guy.

We found a neat waterpark not far from us.

And we explored our neighborhood playground. 

It was also the summer of Elmo. I can’t tell you how much time we spent listening to Elmo’s albums on Spotify.

Bee-Doodle-Dee-Dum indeed.

Vacation Story: CA Uber Alles!

We recently had the pleasure of doing our first two-family family vacation. Bean’s “Godparents”—for lack of a better description—Jen and Jeremy, along with their two adorable children G and A, traveled with us to California to check out the Redwoods. This was a brilliant idea that Jen herself birthed, and she and Jill did most (if not all!) of the legwork in making this happen, including finding wonderful accommodations, planning the details of the trip, and booking the tickets. As always we have pics to share with our tale, but we were asked not to include ones of their children (which is also why we only provided initials), so all the cuteness will be Bean’s and her moms’. If you see other children, it’ll be their backs or too far away to identify properly. 

We lucked out on both legs of the flight. We flew direct (no crazy worries about missing connections or anything here), and we booked the aisle and window seats in the hopes that if anyone did book the middle, they’d turn tail and run when they realized a toddler was involved. It worked out. Bean had her own, unpaid for seat in both directions. It allowed her to play one of her favorite flight-time games:

I don’t know what she’s singing. Continue reading

Bermuda, Baby!

The Clarkwell went on an awesome trip this past week to Bermuda. We were joined by Grandpa and Grammy, so you know good times were had by all. You know, when I told people that we were going on a vacation with my in-laws, the response was pretty much unanimously a wide-eyed, open-mouthed, “Oh, really? Wow.” Their faces would kinda get this sad, sympathetic glaze to it. I would reply, “No, it’s okay, really. They’re actually cool to hang out with.” It’s just funny how different in-law—spousal relations can be.

Before I can tell you all about the fantastic fun-times we had, I have to share the pre-game travel stress. Just so you can appreciate the goodness that came thereafter, of course. Our flight out was at 8am, so we had to be at the airport at 6. We bundled the babe up in a blanket, and hauled her to the cab groggy and still in her pajamas. We got to the airport with our 2 suitcases, carseat, backpack, and diaper bag and prepared to check in.

We forgot the passports.

It had been so long since we’d traveled out of the country that it simply wasn’t part of our traveling mindset. Seriously, these days if it wasn’t Indiana or Cleveland we pretty much weren’t going. Poor Jill had to jump back in a cab and jet to the house to retrieve them, while I stayed behind in the airport with Avery and changed her into actual clothes and a fresh diaper. Luckily since we’d gotten there a full 2 hours ahead, like good little international travelers, it worked out and we got to the gate with a little time to spare.

We’d reserved the window and aisle in the hopes that no one would want to take the seat between us. No sooner had we gotten settled than an agent came onboard demanding to see Avery’s ticket. He asked if we’d purchased one for her and we answered no, we hadn’t…because we hadn’t. He told us we had to buy a ticket, so we had to get off the plane and go back to the gate counter.

Now, two things at this point. Firstly, we’d purchased the tickets online, and at that time had indicated that we’d be traveling with a child under 2 years of age. It did not prompt us to buy a ticket, but let us designate her as an “infant-in-arms” passenger—just like countless domestic flights before. That was the first failure of communication from the airline. Secondly, when we checked in at the airport we actually had to talk to an agent because the self check-in wouldn’t let us do it for some reason. So, we actually spoke with an agent, who looked at us all and looked at Jill’s ticket which had INF printed on it (for Avery) and sent us on our merry way, and never said anything about us needing a separate ticket for her. Shenanigans!

We were understandably annoyed (I was actually livid, but what else is new), but the gate agents took care of it, albeit not without a lot of confusion. They too were baffled that the agent who’d checked us in hadn’t caught that. The cost of her ticket was $17 (just taxes and fees or something). For some reason they weren’t able to print out a real ticket, so they literally gave us a dot-matrix style printout with her record locator (I was immediately transported back to my time as a travel agent). I guess they felt bad because there was someone slated to sit in the sit between us, and they shuffled him around so that we retained an empty seat. I mean, they were kinda “look what we did for you” about it, while I was thinking more along the lines of “look what you did to us” but, you know…tomato, tomahto.

On to the good stuff. Continue reading

Bean the Dancer

Did you know Avery can dance? Oh really? Well, check this out:

So, she’s not as good at dancing as she is at singing. Oh wait, you don’t know about her singing? Well, scroll on down to the previous post then.

Bean the Singer

Did you know Avery can sing? Oh really? Well, check this out:

Honestly, she carries a tune pretty well for an almost-two year-old, dontcha think?