A note from Staci: One of my favorite posts of all time is by Carly, my wife of 28 (!!!) years. We LOVE the occasional guest post, so if you are interested in participating, please drop us a line! Not only does it give us a day off, it is nice to have new perspectives around here every now and then. Neither Jen nor I have kids (unless you count our cat boyz), but Carly has a beautiful daughter, and I love reading her stories about traveling with Fiona. They are hilarious, and they are REAL. No basic mommy bloggers here!
And now, without further adieu...enjoy!
Brianna has probably been more places than you.
Have you sat on an airport bathroom floor? What about a plane bathroom floor? What about the floor of the Bright Angel Lodge in the Grand Canyon Village?
“Who is Brianna?” you might be asking. She is my daughter’s baby doll, and now she goes everywhere. Staci asked me if Brianna has dreads. She didn’t come out of the box with dreads, but that is just what life has done to her hair.
I’d like to take you through our latest family adventure: Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon, featuring Brianna (and the Ornstein family).
Thursday afternoon, the flight to Las Vegas: Four hours with a toddler who won’t sleep and who also will only sit on Mommy’s lap. Daddy got to watch "Wonder Woman" while I contemplated going out the emergency exit. Brianna Status: wedged in between Mommy and Daddy’s seat.
Thursday evening: I can’t with the secondhand smoke in Vegas. Maybe it is the fact that "lung cancer" is in my job title or that I spent the majority of my childhood begging my family members to quit smoking, but I have ZERO tolerance and a headache. I find solace in the Bellagio gardens which are beautiful. Brianna stops to smell the flowers.
Thursday evening: Due to the time change, this day won’t end. Luckily, earlier in the day, we drove around so Fiona could sleep and made the amazing choice to get In-N-Out Burger. For dinner we went to Momofuku, and it was delicious. Brianna stayed in bed while we ate noodles.
Friday morning: We scrounged for breakfast and then headed to the aquarium at Mandalay Bay. It was pretty cool, and Fiona is just now starting to give a shit about fish, though the highlight of the trip for her was seeing baby humans. Brianna enjoyed the sharks.
Friday afternoon and evening: We drove about four hours to the Grand Canyon. Fiona slept the whole time to the tune of the world's longest podcast about Jeffrey Dahmer. Sweet dreams, Fiona and Brianna! We had dinner at the historic El Tovar Hotel. Honestly, it creeped me out a bit, but it got the job done. Fiona lost her mind at dinner, so her aunt Joellen volunteered as tribute to go back to the room with her.
Saturday: We strapped Fiona on our backs and told Brianna to stay home. We weren’t going to risk losing her in what is a essentially a giant hole in the earth. We tried hiking into the Canyon a bit, but it was icy, and Joe was worried about falling into the giant hole wearing our child (legit). So we ended up walking around the rim and it was even more beautiful. Like Staci, I am what some might call an “indoor person” but the Grand Canyon is astounding and totally worth the trip. Takeaway: People are dumb, and I am sure deaths have increased since Instagram was invented.
Sunday: We loaded up and drove the four hours back to Vegas. This trip’s lullaby was a podcast about Dr. Death (what is wrong with us?). We boarded our flight back, forced Joellen to give up a good seat to come sit in steerage with us, and made it home at around 11 p.m. I Lysoled Brianna, and we all fell asleep opting for white noise this time instead of a murder podcast.
Moral of the story: Traveling with a toddler is hard. Really hard. After the trip, I felt like Brianna -- hair matted, stained, disheveled, covered in germs...but it was so worth it. The sights were beautiful, the company was great, and we all grew a little bit.
Stay tuned for our next adventure: Trying not to lose Brianna in the middle of the Pacific Ocean!