It took us 26 hours to get from Seattle to Memphis.
We were delayed two hours at a time until we’d been at the airport for 8 hours in Seattle before finally taking off for Atlanta. A tornado warning in Atlanta delayed a lot of flights, leaving thousands stranded in the Atlanta airport. Our flight was delayed until the next day. We tried getting a rental car but they were all out. Finally at around midnight I found an empty section of wall (not far from a family with two kids sleeping in the corner) at the airport to slide down against and breast feed my baby seated on the floor.
Then a miracle mixed in with a bit of money brought about our escape. An SUV driver (who works as a professional driver) was too tired to drive anymore but he called a couple friends and found someone willing to drive us to Memphis!
We drove all night, thankfully with our seven week old sleeping most of the time and me figuring out how to breast feed while keeping us both safely strapped in. This turned into an 8-9 hour road trip between a couple extra stops when she just had to get out of the car seat and a two hour delay on the highway at 3am when there was a bad wreck that shut the roads down to a standstill.
Finally, 26 ish hours later, we made it! We stayed at the hotel we had booked for the night before, napping for a couple hours until the mandatory check out time.
We went to Graceland (home of Elvis Presley) then hit Beale street. We didn’t go into any of the bars but it was fun to people watch and we went to a late night diner with amazing southern food.
That food wasn’t all for the two of us, by the way, my parents are the ones that took us on the trip so they helped 🙂
The next day we hopped on our river boat, the Queen of the Mississippi.
Relaxing in the sun while heading down river was exactly what we needed.
We got to learn a lot about slavery, the civil war, and cotton. We also got to learn about the river itself. Onboard were two riverlorians, Mike and Kate (they have the coolest jobs). We bought their book (and got it signed / dedicated to our little adventurer) so I got to read most of it while on the trip. We really enjoyed going to their educational talks on board and their walks on land.
We also took a boat swamp tour and saw some alligators (we kept our bite size baby fully inside the boat).
Later, playing bingo on the boat (we were the youngest on the boat by a few years), I won one of the rounds and picked out an alligator stuffed animal.
Overall we went to ports in Mississippi (Vicksburg, Nachez) and Louisiana (St. Francisville, Baton Rouge, Oak Alley, and New Orleans). We disembarked at New Orleans.
We again explored outside the bars, on Bourbon street, and didn’t even have to go inside to hear the music. It was either loud enough to hear from the street or it came to us!
We were told by a few people on the trip how “brave” we were. I found river cruising to be a very luxurious way to travel with a baby. We got to unpack once, didn’t take many cars (mostly busses and shuttles) on land so we didn’t have to worry about the car seat often, and lazily floating down a river doesn’t need any bravery to me! Besides the price tag it’s the best way to travel with a baby. And everyone on board loved her (except for one grumpy man who didn’t appear to like anyone). After all, we were traveling with a 100 grandma and grandpas!
The only thing I didn’t get is… I thought you got beaded necklaces for exposing yourself in New Orleans, yet I didn’t get a single one despite multiple breastfeedings… better luck next time?