Happy Friday, friends! Would you believe me if I told you that I’m writing this blog from New Hampshire instead of Washington? I hinted a couple weeks ago that I had made an impulse decision, and this was it. After Ryan left for his TDY, I wanted to do something with the kids, and we’ve been blessed to have the health and opportunity to travel, and I decided to take the kids and visit home in the mountains of New Hampshire. It wasn’t a decision I made lightly. While I purchased it quickly, we’d been talking and thinking about traveling for weeks after quarantine was lifted. All of us are healthy, COVID-negative, and the kids and I are free to travel. But was it good? Was it okay? Could we do it? I really need this family time back East on a soul level. Desperately.
So, we decided to do it, and we’re here, and it’s good. It’s already filling my proverbial cup and, though I wish more than anything that Ryan could be here with us, this is just what I needed to feel some semblance of normalcy while we’re here. Flying in the time of COVID was a special brand of crazy, as you might have seen on my instagram though, so today I’m sharing five things we about our trip and our plans back East!
1 // The airlines are hurting
Honestly, this isn’t a secret, and I think everybody knows that travel, in general, has been decimated by the COVID pandemic. The airlines weren’t immune to it and, though air travel is allowed, it’s clear that people are still being wise, taking precautions, and laying low. I’ve never seen SeaTac so empty. TSA took us 15 minutes, and most of that time was just emptying and repacking our carry-on bags after security. And yet, the airlines are doing a great job. The planes are immaculate, much like the terminal. Our JetBlue flight was pristine. They had a strict facial covering policy, and I was so proud of my boys wearing their masks the whole time – only removing them to eat or drink.
2 // Flying with three kids was almost easier?
Selfishly, the lack of people in the plane and airport was so much easier for me. The middle seats are blocked out, and the boys sat in one row with a seat between them, and I sat right behind them with Mieke. There were maybe 40 people on the whole flight. We had literal breathing room, and it was nice to be able to lay Mieke down on the seats to relax and sleep. Moreover, the flight attendants went above and beyond to help me as I flew solo, sitting with the boys when I had to change Mieke, and giving me extra bottled water as needed.
3 // Flights are bottom dollar right now
This one is a no-brainer. Airlines want you to fly. They need fares to continue to employ flight crew and maintain their aircrafts. The kids and I were able to fly roundtrip, nonstop from Seattle to Boston for what is normally the price of one ticket. It’s insane. Like I said, it’s not a decision we made lightly though, but I’m grateful for that financial burden of flying being lifted to make this possible.
4 // We’re going to meet our nephew!
My sister, Nikki, had her son, Rhett, while we were in South Africa this December, and we’d originally planned to visit the Fort Drum and NH areas in early spring to visit our friends and meet Rhett. Obviously that didn’t happen with quarantine, and I still haven’t met our nephew. Moreover, the kids haven’t met baby Rhett, who they pray for every night. He’s their first cousin on my side, and it’s so special that they’re going to meet while we’re here. I seriously can’t wait.
5 // A sort of homecoming
The last time we were here was when the kids and I hopped a Space-A flight to get home for my sister’s baby shower. That was 10 months ago, and I’ve been missing home for so long. In the military, home is a strange thing. What is home? Where is home? Home is where my family is, and I’m so glad to be able to hug these people for real for the first time in nearly a year.
I’ll be honest and say that I wasn’t sure I was going to share that we traveled for some family time back East. There is a well-deserved panic in the world today, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to place myself anywhere in the middle of it. But here’s the thing; we quarantined. We listed to the recommendations. We took every precaution. I believe travel is a choice if healthy and safe now, and I believe that if you take all recommended precautions, we should be able to make that choice for ourselves. So, here we are, and I’m grateful for this time.
I hope you all have a beautiful weekend, my freinds!