The Cowfam took a trip down to Atlanta in July so that J could take yet another exam. The trip was a great success, and quite monumental for little E. It marked the beginning of her love affair for Airplanes!, Fish! and, oddly enough, Tunnels! Especially Fish Tunnels!
We had lots of time at the airport to wait for our flight, thanks to J's last minute "Let's fly carry-on!" epiphany. Flying carry-on with a toddler...who knew? Not having to wait in an endless baggage check line-up with an ants-in-pants-E: Priceless. But when we got to the gate an hour early, I thought we were pinched for sure. Our mission was to try and keep the girl awake and happy, when at this point it was already a couple of hours past her nap time, so that she would sleep through take-off and maybe even the whole flight. (Isn't the wild optimism of first-time parents sweet?)
Mission accomplished. Dada brought her over to the window to look at our airplane. And for the next - oh, 4 days - it was "Airplane! Airplane! Up! UP! UP!!!" And by some divine miracle, I put her in the Ergo about 5 minutes before we boarded and she was out like a light. Unfortunately, we then sat on a stationary plane for an hour, and she woke up about 5 minutes after take-off. Can't win 'em all.
Of course, now we're those people. The people with kids. The ones no one wants on the plane at all, let alone seated beside them. The look we got from the woman seated by the window as we took our seats was chilly at best. With an attempt at levity I quipped: "Cross your fingers that she sleeps the whole way!" The response, from a disapproving frown set in a very thin line, was "Trust me. I already did." Grrrrreat.
The good news is that when she did wake up, she was the world's best behaved child. Heck, she was better behaved than most adults. She opened her eyes, looked out the window and said "Airplane! Airplane! Up! UP! UP!!!" and then smiled and giggled her way through the next 10 minutes as she realized she was actually inside an airplane. Then she lunched her way through the next half hour, thoroughly enjoying everything mom had to offer. After that we went on a little stroll up and down the aisle, repeat ad nauseum, charming all of the other passengers with our cuteness. And lo and behold, the flight was an hour shorter than it was supposed to be, and we landed! When our disgruntled neighbour broke her stony silence long enough to say "She's a really good girl", well, I can't tell you how nice that sounds. Take that, grumpy old hag.
We spent 3 days in Atlanta, and didn't plan to do a whole lot as the primary goal of the trip (after the exam) was relaxation. But we did manage to go to the Georgia Aquarium. The Georgia Aquarium is a utopia for fish-o-philes. It is gigantic, there are a whole lot of fish, many of which you can touch, and it houses the world's largest fish tank in which you can scuba dive if you feel that way inclined. J is a fish-o-phile. And the apple did not fall far from the tree. Me? I like fish. They're great. But I kind of get the idea after the first half hour or so. Also, being surrounded by fish tanks kind of makes me feel a little woozy and nauseous. But to see this girl's face light up the way it did that day I would turn our apartment into a giant aquarium and live underwater. Or maybe just buy a really big fish tank.
Back to this world's largest fish tank. It's enormous. You can walk around it, and there's a huge tunnel through the middle that you can walk through. Hence, the Fish Tunnel! that E is still talking about to this day. It really was impressive. There's a moving walkway through it so people don't just set up camp. J totally would have set up camp.
Other than that, we did a little sight-seeing, ate some seafood and bbq, and spent a lot of time sitting in our hotel room by the airport, watching planes and yelling "Airplane! Airplane! Up! UP! UP!!!"