When the time came to board, I sent Will on to get the carseat strapped in and stow what luggage he could carry and I waited by the gate, figuring that the less time spent aboard the plane, the better. I made our plans known to the agent at the gate, and Will did the same with the stewards/stewardesses on the plane. Even so, a stewardess came running up to the gate and said "Your husband is waiting for you on the plane". "Duh" was my thought. "You'd better board now, we're about to close the doors". When I got on the plane, Will said the steward had loudly pointed and Will and remarked "Well everyone's on board except we're waiting for HIS wife and kid". Thanks for the advance notice guys. It wasn't like I was just standing inches from the gate waiting for the final boarding call or anything.
The flight was quick and easy, although I discovered that despite the shortness of limb, a child in a carseat can easily kick the seat in front of him or her, and does so with reckless abandon unless the child's mother spends the entire flight desperately distracting said child or holding down their legs. I am a bit of a psycho about making sure Emily's ears pop on ascent and descent, so she got all-you-can-drink apple juice during the flight, and I was only irritated a LITTLE bit about the fact that it was not organic, as we were limited to whatever was available after security.
One of the things that made the trip easier (in my opinion...you'd get a different response if you asked Will) was the Sit 'n' Stroll 5 in 1 carseat/stroller that I purchased before our trip. Emily had fallen asleep the minute we hit the ground, and we were able to get her out of the airplane seat, deploy the wheels, roll her down the airplane aisle, through the airport, and to the car rental desk without waking her. That is amazing to me! And now we can use it as a backup carseat, although the way it straps into the car is a bit annoying.
We more or less enjoyed our stay in Rochester. Since we had Emily with us, we spent more time at the hotel than we usually do. We tried out the pool and Will and I agreed that the last time we actually stayed IN our hotel long enough to swim in the pool was quite awhile ago. We ended up with a jacuzzi suite (not as impressive as it sounds) and Emily quite enjoyed mounting the one step up to the jacuzzi and throwing food into it.
It was nice to see Will's mom's side of the family, especially the cousins that are around our age, although I felt badly for not being able to help out much due to being responsible for a toddler while in a decidedly non-childproofed house. There also wasn't nearly enough Sara-friendly alcohol to be had...when Will and I went to the liquor store he bought quite a bit of beer (there are tons of microbreweries in upstate NY and I think Will felt it was his duty to sample them all) and I bought another local specialty, icewine. This showed little forethought though, because icewine is good for sipping after dinner, but a very poor choice for drinking throughout the day at a family get-together. So while everyone else was enjoying their beers, I was drinking extremely diluted and spaced-out spritzers so that I didn't get sick from drinking too much sweet wine. A little buzz would have been very welcome while dealing with extensive picture-taking by people who seem to think 14-month-olds enjoy sitting still for long periods of time.
The best part of the weekend though was watching Will's grandparents renew their vows. His grandfather had a stroke and several other medical issues last year, and while in the hospital they had to cut off his wedding ring. Being very religious people, he felt that even though they had the ring re-made, he didn't want to wear it until it was blessed by a minister again. So on the occasion of their 60th anniversary, their minister blessed the ring and they exchanged vows again under a big old tree in their backyard, surrounded by their 4 children, 8 grandchildren, 1 great-grandchild and various spouses and significant others. The whole trip turned out to be more enjoyable than I thought it would be, but I am very glad I was there to see that because wow! 60 years together and every member of your family there. That was definitely worth celebrating.