Who’s still recouping from all the shenanigans that is Hanson Day 2016? I’ll raise my hand to that. Although I kind of want a re-do so I can relive the moment, fix my hair that I swear hates Tulsa, and hang out with people whose paths I crossed only for a brief moment. I need the minutes to be hours and the hours to be like days in order to see all the people and do all the sightseeing… and eat all the food.
Since I’ve been in recoup mode (Hanson Day detox is terrible) and writing reviews on events is taking longer than planned, I thought that I’d share our group dynamic changes for 2016 in the interim. This isn’t our usual sisters’ bonding trip anymore.
The biggest game changer for us this year was planning for travel with a baby and getting a babysitter to join in on our Tulsa travels. I wanted my sister to attend Hanson Day this year if she truly wanted to go, and if it meant that the newest addition to the family needed to come with us, then that’s how it was going to be.
While striving to fit every Hanson experience possible into my life schedule, I also strive to be the coolest aunt ever. My baby niece is too young to remember anything from this trip, but through stories and pictures for her to look back on later, she’ll know that she started off life full speed ahead in the experiences department. I want to be a part of that. It may be me being nieve with not having children, but when I told my sister “just bring the baby and we’ll figure it out,” I really had no idea what we were walking into. I was going to roll with the unexpected and make it as memorable as possible.
We totally lucked out with a baby who slept on every plane ride and during much of the constant line waiting. She did happen to wake up and be super cute right before our turn for band photos, so not only did she photo op with the band, but she worked her adorable magic on Isaac when we walked in and got his attention. (She fulfilled my high school life goal at four months old – lucky!) Then she immediately fell back asleep while we waited in line at the I Heart Hanson store. She clearly knew she had an important moment to wake up for between naps, and timing was a win for us.
My niece got lots of love from fellow fans. Many were so sweet with their compliments and wanted to meet her. There was even baby holding. Big thanks to Heather for not only giving us her rain coat to put over the stroller while in the rainy registration line but also for rocking and singing the niece to sleep. And to Ashlee for tips and offering to bring baby things that wouldn’t fly well. Isn’t this fan community the greatest!?
My niece also scored with new merch. She beat out all of us adults with two shirts and two headbands from the Blue Dome Arts Festival. (https://www.etsy.com/shop/SteveCluck and https://www.etsy.com/shop/918made) In addition, before the trip she had custom Route 66 and music note print dresses made, custom More To Love and Tulsa Or Bust onesies made by yours truly, and she had a special delivery of a heart Oklahoma onesie from Ida Red. Sorry, Hanson. The $28 onesies weren’t happening.
All of this along with attending her very first concert and music festival in one weekend, it’s starting to look like she won this trip! Baby goals. Cool aunt status.
As a FYI for those with little ones who have never flown, you may be able to inquire with the airlines regarding goodies for first time passengers. I usually fly Southwest, so after much research online and not sure where to go from there, I ended up just tweeting them which connected me to a customer service representative who mailed me a first flyer certificate with my niece’s name and date of her first flight. I gave it to my sister as a surprise shortly before the trip. It’s a cute keepsake, and we took a few photos with it on the plane.
Traveling with a baby comes with planning baby logistics, and we needed a babysitter for certain Hanson Day events. My sister has one of the best friends on the planet who volunteered to travel with us to Tulsa. Pretty sure she was mostly okay with it since she lives out of state and was being paid in baby snuggles and hanging out with us for five days. She was an awesome sport standing in the usual, crazy Hanson lines and witnessing the wide variety of fans. Definite eye opener. I was quite impressed that she knew more about the band than I thought she did – their Take The Walk compaign, partnering with Toms shoes before they were popular, and all their local community efforts. She also sometimes had to deal with a crying baby all on her own and walked back and forth from the hotel in the crazy Tulsa humidity that she is not accustomed. Remember here, she thinks #theyseemlikecooldudes, but she’s not a fan. Doesn’t she sound like the coolest, most supportive friend ever? She’s our MVP. We love you, E the Pretty.
Where’s the love? Right here in our little travel group and the fan community.
Next time lets chat about all the Hanson Day events, the highly recommended Tours of Tulsa, and new eateries we tried. I’d love to hear your thoughts and recommendations.