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Our Trip to Nantucket Part 1

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We recently took a family trip to Nantucket, MA. This is part one of our story.
Our Trip to Nantucket Part I

For a few years, Matthew and I had been foregoing a vacation due to the struggle of starting a new business. After a few years of ups and downs things had finally stabilized enough to the point that we were ready to hit the road. We had tossed about destinations in the years that had passed such as California, Quebec and, of course, Europe. One of the places that we had been interested in is Nantucket, MA. I had always been interested in Martha's Vineyard but our good friend Noel had suggested Nantucket. Since she had grown up there and knew us well she thought that it would be more our style. So that is were we set our destination too.

Around July I contacted our friend Jahnele Williams who also happens to be a travel agent. She had never been to Nantucket but was excited to plan a trip for us there so immediately set about to plan the perfect vacation. She researched the area and suggested the North side of the island since that was where the town actually was. Our desire was to be able to walk where ever we needed to go. She gave us a few options and we decided on The White Elephant Hotel. So we had our accomodations. We chose this week in October because the rates had just dropped. Jahnele booked our flight and we were ready. So October 15, 2007 we headed to the airport.

I would be remiss if I did not mention one important fact about this vacation. This was the first vacation that we had ever taken as a family of three. Yes, ten months prior to this our family was joined by Charles Alexander, who we call Alex. So not only had he never been away from home for more then a couple of hours he had never been on a airplane. I had no idea what would happen.

So on Monday the 15th we left for the airport around eight in the morning. Since our flight was not scheduled to leave until eleven and we only live ten minutes from the airport I thought we had ample time. It turned out I was correct. Since we did not purchase a ticket for Alex but were planning on having him sit on my lap we were unable to use the online checkin. So we headed to the airport and unloaded our bags at the curbside checkin. Anyone who has traveled with an infant knows that the amount of baggage triples not doubles. It is amazing the amount of items that the smallest person in the family requires. I had one entire suitcase filled with food from a can of formula to jars of baby food. Along with the two bags of clothes we had an umbrella stroller, a car seat, a bag full of food, a garment bag and a large duffle bag (the kind that is so big it has wheels on it) that contained all the items we might need while enroute. And of course anyone who knows Matthew knows he goes no where without his laptop. Being the kind person that he is he volunteered to carry mine too so he also had a bag that contained two laptops and various books. So all of this was dragged up to the curb side checkin. We were flying on USAirways, so I had checked out their policies on baggage online before packing. I did not want any surprises along the way so I had researched FAA regulations about baby formula and other liquids on airplanes. The USAirways site states that each ticketed individual is allowed two checked items and one carry on bag. It also states that you can check one infant item. That may be true but not at curbside checkin. We were informed that we would be required to checkin at the counter if we were to checkin a total of more the four items. We would have to check the carseat in inside. Matthew, not wanting to stand in another line opted to take the garment bag as carryon and therefore we could checkin the three bags and the car seat. So we get checked in and head to security.

Security actually was one of the easiest parts of the travel. The looked at our ID and tickets. We took off our shoes, unloaded our bags and stripped to our underwear and passed security with flying colors. (I added that last part as comic relief.) So the part that had kept me up at night was the smoothest event of the whole trip. Since we now had 90 minutes to kill we decided to get our morning coffee at the Starbucks that conveniently happened to be located almost directly across from our gate. I stood in the very long line while Matt and Alex found a table. The beauty of Starbucks is that you aren't just buying a cup of coffee but you are purchasing a consistently, reliable experience, usually. Unfortunately, the Starbucks at the airport does not meet that criteria. As happens at many airport restaurants the menu is abbreviated and altered. This was the case with Starbucks too. Matthew likes the marble loaf and since we had not had breakfast he asked me to purchase him one along with his dobio espresso. The airport version of this item is not Starbucks quality. Along with this, the employees were airport employees and not Starbuck employees. As I was standing, waiting for our drinks, and three people after me received theirs, I began to wonder if the lady making the drinks knew how to make espresso. She finally got around to making the espresso drinks but clearly was disgusted that she had to go to the trouble of making an espresso drink. Not the usual Starbucks experience.

After killing 30 minutes standing in line and 15 actually drinking our espresso we decided to head to the gate since boarding should commence soon. I checked at the desk at the gate and we were not given seats next to each other. So the attendant reassigned us and we waited for advanced boarding. Now the purpose of advanced boarding is to give those who need some extra time settling in to get settled before everyone else gets on board. Evidently this is not common knowledge. This being the case by the time we got on board one of our seats had been taken. Since we were traveling with a baby the lady occupying the seat was nice enough to move across the isle and actually sit with her boyfriend. Alex of course draws attention where ever his is and this time was no exception. So as we are getting situated the previous mentioned lady reaches into her purse and pulls out a pack of chewing gum and hands a piece to Alex. She was foreign to America but I doubt that even where she comes from is it common to give a baby chewing gum. We thanked her and I added it to the collection at the bottom of my purse.

We were on USAirways flight 3632 to LaGuardia. It was a regional jet which means it holds 50 people. Well our seating snafu turned into a chain reaction. Two people were assigned to the seat I was sitting in and so from there on there was always someone without a seat so people just started taking empty seats. Finally the airline attendant had to step in and find seats for everyone. It was of course a full flight but fortunately there were enough seats. We finally get in the air and by about 10 minutes into it Alex is asleep. He sleeps for the entire flight and it turns into a pleasant trip.

We knew our connecting flight to Nantucket was not scheduled to leave until 3:40pm. Since we would be arriving just before noon we knew we would have a few hours layover. Halfway through the flight the airline attendant started announcing connecting gates for passengers. We knew we were in trouble when she said, "And for those passenger going to Nantucket your flight has been delayed until 5:10". Not what you want to hear. We get landed and discover that our gate is only two gates down from where we came in so I start looking around. I purchase some books, feed Alex his lunch and then look for a place for Matt and I to eat. There was an Italian restaurant in the terminal so I recommend to Matt that we check it out. As was the Starbucks experience, it was also an airport restaurant. They did however allow us to hangout and since we had no where to go we were grateful. Finally we decide to stroll back to our gate. The time has not as yet changed on the monitor. As the time gets closer though there is no airplane. So as we wait it out we are joined by another family who are also waiting for the same flight. They had arrived in NY the day before from England. There four year old was attracted to Alex and once his mom broke the ice the little boy entertained Alex for quite a while. (This was alright by me since Alex had just discovered that if he threw something on the floor someone would pick it up for him.) This lasted for a while but since the other little boy had been waiting quite a while and was jet lagged too he soon proved a challenge for his parents. Our plane finally arrives around 7pm. Now since Nantucket is not big enough for a jet our plane was a 12 passenger propeller. Since this terminal was not designed for small planes we had to walk out the gate, down the stairs, over to the plane and up the stairs. Usually this wouldn't be that big of deal for us but each of us having a carry on, a stroller and Alex it was quite a challenge. Fortunately, the staff was very helpful. By this time it is dark. The plane finally takes off and we are on our way. Alex of course falls right to sleep since it is his bedtime already. Now this flight doesn't go straight to Nantucket but stops first in a place I learn is Cape Cod. So after landing and half the passengers disembark along with their luggage, a new pilot gets on and we take off for Nantucket. Fifteen minutes later we are landing in Nantucket. We are the last passengers off the plane and find that all of our luggage is in a pile by the front gate. Now when I say the front gate we are not talking about an airport gate but a literal chain link gate. The attendant, standing by a pile of luggage, looked at us and asked if this was our luggage and we said yes. She said "ALL of it?" "Yes, ALL of it." So we pulled our luggage to the curb and there was a taxi to take us to our hotel.

So at 9pm that evening, thirteen hours after leaving home we are arrive at our hotel. The hotel staff was waiting for us with smiles. I wondered how anyone could smile after today but they were. Upon entering our room, I discover everything that I had requested for Alex was there. I was so exhausted that I put Alex to bed and climb in myself. Only one problem, Alex and I couldn't sleep. After about fortyfive minutes of trying to sleep, Matt sticks his head in and says he is hungry and is going to order roomservice. Since I hadn't had dinner and Alex wasn't sleeping, I said I would join him. So we order two angus burgers and fries. They were really good. They came quickly and were juicy and hot. We ate them rather quickly and then all climbed into bed and were soon fast asleep.

Created by nikic
Last modified 2007-12-18 10:27 AM
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