Well, we're back now from our first true unsupported family trip, all intact.
I'm happy to report that it is possible to take a four day trip with an 11 month old, even if it involves a flight, a three hour drive, and a wedding at a winery. We kept Marlo up past her bedtime for three nights in a row, didn't bathe her once, and fed her almost exclusively from Happy Baby pouches, and she seems no worse for wear. In fact, she came home with an expanded vocabulary and capable of taking steps unassisted. I think the change of scenery was fun for her. Good for her, even.
It was definitely good for Mama. It felt almost like some sort of final exam before her first birthday. We knew she would do all right on the two hour flight, but what about the three hour drive? No sweat. What about the wedding? How long would she last? Why, she let daddy stay until almost 9 before he had to get out of there with her. Even the thing I was most anxious about, taking her wine tasting, turned out to be no biggie. I was really worried that I would be That Lush Who Brought The Baby, but even if somebody was thinking that, I didn't notice. I was having too much fun and getting too many compliments on my beautiful and well behaved child.
All in all, a great success. So successful, actually, that we spent the drive back to the airport Monday talking about when to have the next baby. It was totally depressing.