If you've been around me at all in the past couple of weeks, you've probably heard about my trip to California. 

"So, how have you been?"
"Oh, good, just thinking and planning for California."

"What are you guys doing this weekend?"
"I'm cooking and freezing meals for when I leave for California."

"Will that be cash or credit?"
"Credit.  But the real question is to check bags or not to check bags.... for California."

I didn't mean to be obsessive, but the lengthy trip required a lot of thought and organization, so nearly all my free time went to planning and preparing.  And now, I'm here.  So hopefully I thought of everything we might need for the next 3 weeks!

My biggest concern had been the flight itself and getting through the terminals and security with 2 stuffed suitcases, a stroller, personal items, and a 2 year old.  Just before leaving, though, my mom insisted that she pay the additional fees to check our luggage and I accepted.  (There will come a day when my mom no longer needs to come to my rescue, but today is just not that day!) So, with just a few personal items and Annika in a stroller, we leisurely made our way to the terminal with an hour to spare.  We even got two seats together by the window, despite our open seating booking.

Thankfully, we were comfortably secured on the plane before trouble happened.  Apparently, the friendly TSA agents at our fancy schmancy Arkansas airport decided to go home early, leaving 14 passengers stranded outside of security and unable to board.  We waited an hour while someone tried to contact the missing "TSA folks", but to no avail.  We eventually had to leave without them.  (The whole situation reminded me of a recent 30 Rock episode with Matt Damon.) But Annika was lil' Miss Congeniality, turning around in her seat to talk chattily with the young women sitting around us.  She practiced all of her conversational skills... "Hi, my name's Annika. Whats your name?"  "I'm 2 years old." "I'm going to Caleefornya to see Roomie."  "Roomie has a lil baby in her tummy named Gemma!" "Look at my shoes!" "Look at my frog!" "I have a lollipop!" They seemed to be happy for the entertainment, and any time I looked around, someone was watching her with an "isn't that just so sweet" expression.  And I have to admit, she was pretty adorable buckled into in her big-girl seat with little pigtails and a lollipop.

She really was a champ, despite the fact that she refused to sleep nearly the entire flight.  She was sweet and hyper, but obviously running on empty. She finally surrendered to the exhaustion about 5 minutes before the final descent, and was not happy to be awake 20 minutes later.  Thankfully I was able to get her in the stroller and wheel her zombie-self to baggage claim where Josh's friend Ravi and his fiance Manjula picked us up.  We drove an hour to Manjula's house and quickly crashed into bed a little after midnight. 

I wondered if Annika would still feel grumpy and overstimulated with the new faces and new place, but when I awoke at 7 a.m. to a smiling chubby face looking over me, saying "Mommy, wake up, its morning!!"... I knew my girl was back. :)

Today we are hanging out at Manjula's house, and being spoiled with nice beds and good food.  I don't think Annika realizes that this is California, though, since she thinks Roomie and California are basically the same thing.  In a few hours, though, we'll officially have arrived in Roomie's California... and all we have to do is wait for Gemma!


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