Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Travel Deets

Ok, so maybe this will be the most boring post ever, but, eh. I just feel like sharing.

So, I was very proud of myself for being all packed and ready to go last Wednesday night. I even put the suitcases in the car so that there would be no delays in getting us to the airport by 5am. I didn't get much sleep, but I figured that I'd catch up during the two plane rides.

On Thursday, I was up at 4, got myself cleaned up and dressed and then did the same with Playette. We were a few minutes late leaving, but such is life with a three-year-old and a very sleepy mama.

Our airport is close by and teeny tiny so I didn't anticipate any problems.

That was my first mistake.

As I dragged our luggage through the doors, I realized something.

The line was long. Really, really long.

And it wasn't moving.

The plane wasn't there. It never landed the night before, due to fog, apparently.

And that fog? It was still lingering.

After about an hour, we made it to to the counter. The hope was that we could still make the connection, but it was already looking bad. Just in case, the agent saved us seats on another, later, flight that would take us though two different cities, adding another leg of travel and several hours.

I really wanted that original plane to show up.

I had packed a lot of snacks, but still.

Fast forward 5.5 hours, two itinerary changes, another hour in line, a Signing Time DVD on the laptop, two calls to United customer service, two trips through security, and zero planes landing and I was D-O-N-E. So were the snacks.

Playette was doing remarkably well. Since I hadn't packed enough pull-ups in the carry-on to get us through such a long day, I was making sure to take her to the bathroom regularly and she was doing great.

There weren't many breakfast choices, so we shared a croissant, which did not please my companion. I tend to forget sometimes that so many things are firsts for her. I don't think she had ever had croissant before and to have it all smashed and butter-drenched was not exactly appealing to her. Too bad my brain doesn't work the same way.

So, yeah, I was done there. I ended up calling to get on the same 6am flight the following day that we had originally been booked on and when I confirmed the details, I was informed that, yes, I was on the flights, but Playette was not. There was no room for her.


That wasn't gonna work.

So, my next option was to come back that night and take 3 planes to Wisconsin. It had to be done. There was no way were weren't taking this trip. But even though Playette was in good spirits, she looked awful. She was getting sick and I welcomed the break from the airport.

After retrieving our luggage, a friend came to get us and brought us home. On the way, I called the pediatrician and made an appointment to get the Littlest checked out. The last thing I wanted to do was take a sick kid to someone else's house and get all their kids sick. I at least had to know what I was working with.

After the doctor's office, we got scripts, lunch, and came home for much-needed naps.

At 7pm, the fun started all over again.

This time, though, the plane took off. Late, but still. We left.

When we landed in LA shortly before the flight to Chicago was to depart, I noticed that the carseat dolly thingee was broken. I had made the mistake of gate checking it and they were not gentle.

That, frankly, sucked.

So not only was I loaded down with carry-ons, but now I had the dolly, Playette, and the carseat to get wayyy across the airport to a flight that was already boarding.

I didn't have enough hands.

And no one at the gate was offering any form of assistance.

Until this one pilot became my hero.

He took Playette and I grabbed everything else and we ran. I mean RAN. I was soooo grateful for my tennis shoes and all the miles I've been putting on them lately because we were on a mission. Missing another plane just did not feel like a viable option.

When we got to the gate, I was a sweaty mess and they were waiting on us. Like, "Really? Where have you been?"-type waiting on us.

I grabbed our outstretched boarding passes (thankfully, they thought to change our seats so that Playette and I would now sit together), thanked the pilot profusely, and walked onboard.

There were about 7000 people on that plane. And they were all giving us that same "we're waiting for you" look.

I try not to get embarrassed about things like that that are out of my control, but I could feel my face getting hot. I was already sweaty and loaded down with stuff and we had a long way to the back of the plane. I didn't have the hands to keep Playette close, but, thankfully, she makes friends quickly and was saying "hi!" and waving to everyone she passed.

So, as I fumbled in first class, I looked up and saw a familiar face. When I see famous people, I always first think that it's someone I know personally. It took a second to register that, no, this was not my 11th grade History teacher, this was Smokey Robinson. "Tears of a Clown" and "Quiet Storm" and a million other songs Smokey.

Suddenly, I perked up. I looked at him and quietly said, "I'm a big fan," and then shuffled down the aisle, after Playette, feeling good and humming songs.

We had a pretty long layover in Chicago, close to three hours, so Playette and I hung out in the frequent flier lounge (free snacks!). Guess who else was there? Mr. "Cruisin'" himself.

He made eye contact and I said, "Hello again." He got up from his seat and greeted Playette, who did not happen to be at her friendliest. We talked for a couple of minutes (He said that Wisconsin is beautiful - true!) and then we said goodbye so that he could get back to resting. Playette offered an "I yuh oo" as we walked away.

I was too tickled. I really like him.

After breakfast, we made our way to the other side of the airport (thank goodness for luggage carts!) and boarded the last, short flight to our destination.

It was a long beginning to a great weekend. All worth it in the end.


Lacia said...

I'm wiped out just reading that!!! I hate flying, and I had the plane trips from hell last year and will never do it again! Cool that you saw Smokey though. Now do you still have all his songs in your head?

Cindy said...

Oh my gosh, that was not boring at all...but I'm completely stressed now!! Ha! Thanks for sharing!!

krlr said...

I love bad travel stories. I had a pilot once announce (more or less) mid Atlantic that we were "running out of gas" so had to make an unscheduled stop in, I think, Greenland. Gas? Usually a good thing. Someone else stole my blanket from me. Best was when I put my boy's change of clothes in the wrong bag, he had a nasty diaper, then IMMEDIATELY dumped sprite all over himself. Which... well, no need to be graphic. But no other clothes. So I had to haul my naked diapered baby thru DFW looking for someplace, anyplace, that sold baby clothes. Ended up with a $60 Cowboys track suit.

sheree said...

and this is why you are famr more brave than I.

Michelle Z said...

I'm so glad you braved all that to come see meeeeeee :)

Now, please come back!