Now we're on our way home from Florida, and it's going to be wheels down in Stockholm in about two hours from now. Sadly enough I won't be able to post this from the plane since Boeing now definitely has shut down its Connexion service for an indefinite future. It worked just fine on our way over on the 29th (except a little slow since it was for free), so I guess they really shut it down by New Year's as they said they would. It's kind of spooky being all cut off from the world again ;)
We've had a great time, and managed to go to Manhattan, stay with friends and celebrate New Year's in Philadelphia, briefly visit Washington, spend almost a week down in Fort Lauderdale (with nice temperature records), and round it off with trips to Disneyworld and Kennedy Space Center.
Traveling with kids is a form of art. It is not easy, especially not if you want everyone to have a great time. A few lessons learned from the experience traveling with a three-year-old and a baby:
* Focus 100% on your kids' experience. If they have a good time, you will have a good time too. The contrary is more obvious: If they do not have a good time, you will MOST CERTAINLY not have a good time at all. This might seem like a no-brainer, but sometimes it has been easy for me to forget it.
* Leave the unread books and yet-to-be-seen DVDs at home. You'll be giggling with joy if you get the opportunity to lie down in the bath tub one or twice reading your favorite magazine for a few minutes.
* Double all time estimates made from past experiences. If a short visit to Kennedy Space Center used to take four hours, then you probably won't get away with less than eight hrs with kids. Suddenly you'll spend hours playing and running around for an hour or so in a shuttle model, or run forth and back several times under the Saturn V rocket.
* MINIMIZE your hand luggage. That means a maximum of one laptop, two phones, two portable computer consoles, one camera, one mp3 player and not more than one travel case of DVDs. Just kidding ;) But seriously, that, TOGETHER with a bunch of books and magazines, has always been my minimum hand luggage. I skipped everything printed now on my way home (carrying only the gadgets), and my bag feels much better now considering that I've played hide and seek and chased Max around on three different airports today.
It's going to be really nice to get back home, catching up with work, politics and all the friends I haven't been able to get back to lately. I also haven't watch Steve Jobs' MacWorld keynote yet, but I'm really looking forward to watching it. The iPhone seems SOOOO perfect! Yet another example of a gadget that will make Apple laugh all the way to the bank, and make me happy all the way until the next upgrade.
Friends and Steve, Take care!
PS. The focus on kids and sleep has made me unable to upload my previous post in real time... I'll post-post it anyway.
PPS. Steve: If you read this, please excuse "Friends and Steve". Of course I consider you to be one of my very best friends, too!