For the first time in a long time, we traded our local adventures for something a little more lofty (literally) and embarked on our first family travels in a long time. Like most people, we’ve been pretty grounded this year due to COVID, and while it’s been admittedly hard in a long of instances, we’ve also turned it into an opportunity to explore our local PNW area, hike beautiful mountains around JBLM, and really take this weird year and turn a lot of it into a blessing in disguise. But we also booked tickets to visit home very early in the year, and we made plans to re-evaluate as we got closer to the holidays.
And here we are. After ensuring we were all healthy and cleared for travel, we decided to pull the proverbial trigger and head back East to see family since we don’t know when we’ll be able to visit – or if we’ll be able to visit – again before we PCS this coming spring/summer. I won’t lie; our first family travels in a long time exhibited marked differences (as it should be in these weird times), but I was so grateful that Ryan was actually home for this one, and we could do this trip together.
Traveling during a pandemic has never been on my bucket list – of that I can assure you – but I’m also grateful my kids are wonderful with their masks so we can do this. Also, thankfully, despite how insanely crowded the airport was, we were impressed by the vigilance by the airline’s staff and crew, as well as the fact that we were lucky enough not to see a single belligerent passenger. Everyone was masked, and the two people we saw with vented masks willingly put an additional mask over the top of it to ensure the health and safety of others…or just to fly…doesn’t matter which, really, because it worked!
The boys did so great with their masks and washing their hands, and riding their JetKids through the airport helped ensure they minimized contact with other things. Likewise, we just tried out a product called the Lugabug for Mieke, which attaches to our suitcase and keeps her from going to crazy in highly trafficked areas. While we let her run a lot, we also sat her on that at certain points to ensure we minimized the excess, and it was good! Our WAYB Pico car seats traveled with us, and the handy travel bags also ensured nobody touched them or hand contact with the seats, themselves, so that was an added layer of security for us post-trip.
We plan to quarantine together as a family when we return, and we’ll be limiting our exposure to other people beyond our immediate family whilst here, but I’m eternally grateful for the opportunity to do this. To be here. Watching my littles run to their Oma and Opa fully-masked outside the airport reminded me that all the hassles of travel are completely worth it, and it raised my spirits for when travel resumes in earnest again. Hopefully soon.
Tell me – what sort of plans are on your holiday agenda this year?