We didn't buy him a ticket for any of our flights, but for two out of the three flights we were able to snag an empty seat for him so he could fly in his car seat, and on both those flights he slept for many hours and was awake only for takeoff. In one case we actually had to wake him up when it was time to deplane. On our flight back to Denver from Raleigh-Durham, however, he did have to ride on our laps and it was extraordinarily unpleasant, mostly for us. 28 pounds of active, curious, thrashy baby in an already cramped seating situation is not ideal. He did sleep for an hour and a half of the flight, which was good, except that he did it sprawled across our laps, so by the time he woke up our legs were asleep and our backs were killing us and we were ready to get off the plane rightthissecond.
But! Two out of three isn't bad, and really, he was so well behaved that even having him on our laps was tolerable. Still, I think the next time we fly with him we will splash out the cash for his own seat, partly because it's safer anyway, but really because nothing beats peacefully reading your book and eating your snack from your tray table with nobody trying to pour your juice all over you or pull your shirt off so you flash the whole plane--and instead, your baby is sleeping peacefully in his car seat next to you. Given that our kid is the SIZE of your average two-year-old, I think it's about right that he should be given his own seat as is required at age two.
Anyway! The trip itself was fantastic. The ocean water was a little cold and had some jellyfish in it, so we didn't go beyond the edge, and Callum was already pretty dubious about the tiny waves that crashed on his legs. He loved the sand, though, and ate less of it than I was expecting, and he enjoyed the hotel pool, and he spent quite a bit of enjoyable time playing with his toys on the hotel balcony.
And you can only imagine how much he enjoyed a week of grandparent time. He got all the attention his little heart could desire, and many amazing, thoughtful holiday gifts. He watched a menorah lighting for the first time, and crawled around with his cousin, and had his first Christmas dinner (Yorkshire pudding, peas, and roasted root vegetables were particular favorites). He met friends and crawled around my childhood bedroom and chased after my parents' dogs and cuddled with Grandma and Grandpa and generally had the time of his life.
Oh, and he said his first word. "Doggie" ("dah-GAH!"), followed shortly thereafter by Mama and Dada, and then "meh" when he wants more. The jury is still out on whether he's trying to say "more" in English or "mehr" in German, but the meaning is clear. This kid is talking. And even when he's not saying discernible words, he is chattering and babbling constantly. He has a lot to say. And we are happy to listen.
Cousins! In matching outfits! If only they'd been willing to sit still side by side and smile at the camera. Oh well.
It was such a wonderful vacation, with the two most perfect traveling companions imaginable. What a great way to start off the new year.