It had been five years since I had returned to New England after graduating. I was long overdue for a trip and after lots of planning and saving, I was able to make it back with Lily in tow. It was exactly what I needed. It was energizing, recharging, refreshing, and so, so full of love.
I was terrified to travel with a toddler and debated long and hard about having her as a lap baby or purchasing a seat for her. In the end, I decided to bite the bullet and buy her own seat. I think it made all the difference for our trip. She likely would have been a nightmare if she had been a lap baby. Plus, I felt safer having her secured in the car seat on the airplane AND it made it easy to figure out the car seat situation upon our arrival.
We flew out of San Antonio at 5:30am and almost missed our flight due to a combination of factors. Primarily, it was poor planning on my part. I didn't expect there to be much of a crowd at the airport at 4:30am, but there was a relatively long line that held us up. Then, to top it all off, my hands testing positive for fucking EXPLOSIVES at the security checkpoint. You've got to be kidding me... right? So we had to go through the screening and getting patted down and all of that bullshit. We made it to the plane with about ten minutes to spare before take off. Phwew.
We transferred planes in Baltimore and, after a short 45 minute flight, we were in Hartford. The lovely Hannah picked us up from the airport. After a brief struggle with the car seat installation, we were heading to Northampton, MA. Back to the Pioneer Valley we went!
The weather couldn't have been more spectacular. Everyone claimed it was cold, but Lily and I basked in the glorious cool, crisp winds and the sunny days. Afternoons were spent on sprawling greens, evenings were spent by fires. Five years had passed since I had seen these women and yet it felt like no time had passed. That is true friendship. The women I met during college are, to this day, some of the most inspirational, empowered, intelligent, and kind women that I have met in my entire life. Words cannot express how much I cherish them, so I will let the pictures do the talking (photo credits go to a wide range of lovely people).