If you know Doug and me at all, you know that we travel. We started traveling internationally before we got married (we both spent a year traveling with Up With People before that), and almost every year in our 15-year marriage we've taken one or more big international trips. We'd always hoped that we could continue traveling with a child, and so far we've been able to make that happen.
This year's trip is 2.5 weeks in Chile and Argentina. We've been to Santiago many times -- our first time here was on our honeymoon -- but this is the first trip with Carter. We decided to invite Carter's nanny Michelle along on the trip to hang out with him while we tour wineries (one of the most fun things we do in Chile) and enjoy the nightlife. She was excited to come along!
Michelle, Carter, and I flew to Miami on Thursday and spent the night there. Doug joined us on Friday from New York, and our flight to Chile was Friday night.
Here Carter is hanging out in the Admiral's Club in Austin on Thursday.
He's really used to airplane travel, and is an amazingly great traveler. He knows what to expect and generally goes with the flow. Of course, everything is easier when you fly business class. Yay, frequent flyer miles!
Here he's hanging out in his business class seat, wrapped up in his blankie and playing a game on his iphone (Michelle's old one that she gave him). This was what people saw while they boarded the plane. I had a moment of, OMG, I'm that parent, aren't I? :-P
Happily, he fell asleep right after takeoff and slept until we landed. This makes the flight incredibly relaxing for me! I read an entire magazine, without interruptions!
We stayed at the airport Hilton in Miami and spent most of Friday morning hanging out at the pool.
The afternoon was hot, and we hung out in the room. I love how Carter is so at home in hotel rooms. He piled all his toys on the bed, climbed under the covers, and sat there and played.
Doug arrived mid-afternoon. Our flight wasn't until 11:30 pm, so we had a while to wait. Michelle took this one of Carter and Doug, and even though it's blurry, I really like it!
We headed to the airport around 9:00 and waited in the Admiral's Club, which had a great kids' room. Unfortunately, our flight was delayed until 1:00 am, and by the time we finally got on the plane, Carter was getting to that frantic tired-kid stage. He kept curling up in his airplane seat and saying, "Airplane take off now. Carter go to sleep now!" (He knew I wouldn't be able to recline his seat until after takeoff.) He did pretty well considering how late he was forced to stay up! He fell asleep immediately after takeoff, and then slept for the entire flight, much to my relief.
We landed in Santiago, and because our flight was so late we had an easy time at passport control and customs. Out flight had missed the morning airport rush! We took a cab to the hotel Doug had selected for us here, the W. It's a brand new hotel, and reportedly one of the best hotels in all of South America. American dollars go a lot further here than they do in Europe and Asia, and so we can get the kind of room here we'd never be able to afford in New York. The lobby of the hotel is really stunning. We walked in and I felt myself relax almost instantly! I need to take some pictures down there.
Doug got us a suite, and it's really gorgeous! These photos are all a bit weirdly lit, but I think you still get the idea. This is the view of the main living area from the door. You can see Carter on the sofa.
The same room from the other end. The decor is really modern and funky.
We have a big balcony, which Carter was really excited about.
The view from the balcony. You may not be able to see it, but right across the street is a playground, which I'm sure we will make good use of.
Here Carter is posing on the bed for me. He fell off right after I took this picture!
The bathroom is gorgeous!
Here is a view of the bedroom from the bathroom. It's hard to really capture it all in photos, but this place is about the size of our first apartment.
Carter made himself right at home. I don't know if he'll always be so easy to entertain, but right now we're definitely enjoying it!
After showers, we met up with Michelle and had lunch in one of the restaurants in the lobby. The waiter asked if the chef could make something special for Carter, and we requested pasta with cheese sauce. ("Just cheese sauce?" the waiter asked, as if this was an odd request. Maybe mac & cheese isn't standard kid fare in Chile?) They brought Carter the spaghetti dish you see in the picture below. It was really good!
He'll be trying far more adventurous things in the next two weeks, not to worry!
After lunch we returned to the room to nap, and that's basically what we've done today. Doug and I will probably go out to dinner tonight, but otherwise, this has been a day to relax and hang out. It's winter here, though the winters are fairly mild -- highs in the low 60s -- and this hotel is very cozy! We've got winter clothes on and packed coats and scarves, and so far I'm enjoying a break from the heat back home. It's just nice to have a chance to relax, of course. That's what vacations are for. :-)
We'll probably venture out tomorrow to do some sightseeing, and we'll take lots of pictures of Carter. We're in Santiago until Thursday, when we head to the wine country for a few days. Check back in a few days for more pics!