We hadn't taken Ben on a plane since he was 3-months old. We weren't sure how it was going to go and we were a little scared. We talked with him a lot about it before hand. He mostly did OK, though there was a few points on the trip down where he screamed out in pain or frustration. They were short-lived, but I still worried about what the other passengers would think. He also would throw his head back into his seat a lot and I worried about the passenger behind me spilling his drink or just getting mad.
Flight attendants said things like "Inside voice!" and "Would it help if we got him some crayons?" but all they were doing was making it worse.
I found that some good strong squeezing helped him calm down quickly. There was a point where I was able to close my eyes and might have fallen asleep because I opened my eyes and he was laying over with his head on my lap. He wasn't sleeping, but it was at least a period where he was calm.
But, my worst fears weren't realized - we weren't escorted off the plane by U.S. Marshals in Portland.
After landing in L.A., we got in our rental - a Dodge Durango - really nice. Actually, let me stop for a moment to declare Enterprise Car Rentals in Los Angeles a secret that everyone should know about. First off, they have kiosks where you can handle most of the rental or confirmation process, including renting car seats if you forgot to bring one (yeah). And then when you go out get your car, it's waiting under a shady cover and there's someone to help you get all checked out (I think they just keep a few of each class under the cover and then when you take one, they bring another one.) It's awesome - the best experience by far. Followed by Thifty, Payless and Fox (and then everyone else probably) and then Hertz in Los Angeles as the woorst. My two experiences with Hertz in 2000 and 2015 were identical - long, long, long lines. Hertz bad, Enterprise good. So... yeah.... we put an offer on a house.
After we got our rental car, we drove by the four houses and immediately eliminated two of them. The remaining two weren't super-great, but they were the only choices we believed we had out of all the properties for sale in Los Angeles. One was at the end of a sketchy drive next to commuter rail lines (and in a number of years will also have a high-speed train as well - if they don't tear down the house to put it in), the other was in a neighborhood we also didn't like. For the two that were left, one was in an OK neighborhood and one was in a neighborhood we really liked.
The next morning, we put an offer in on a house. (Watch for the next post.)