Sunday, March 15, 2009

Where to start...

So- we packed up all our bags and had a friend drive us to the airport 7:00 Friday morning. We were ready for our trip to Georgia!!! We had been talking about it for at least a month and the kids were so excited.

Here's the catch. We were flying standby. We have flown standby before- several times. In fact, we have even flown standby with the kids. It has been slightly annoying, but never that big of a deal. Well- this time was different. Obviously the airline we chose has made lots of cutbacks, and every single flight was overbooked. Not to mention the fact that is was Spring break and everyone was leaving Phoenix! What were we thinking?!?! We didn't make it on the first flight (9:04). We decided to wait it out for the 12:04 flight. Long story short, we didn't make that one either, and they said the next flight looked even worse. The kids were not too happy. Hazel could not understand why we continued to NOT get on our plane. Owen was pretty laid back, but he was starting to get a little restless too. We decided to leave and try again the next day. We were able to make an adventure out of the remainder of the day. We took the new light rail ("the train") back to town, and ate at Applebee's for a late lunch. We still had all our carry-on luggage, even though our checked bags had flown to Georgia without us and been picked up by my father with no questions asked. Can you say SECURITY RISK?! I guess if a certain person wanted to put a certain something on an airplane they could just fly on a buddy pass and then not get on the plane. Their luggage would do all the work for questions asked. Although there's always that killer security check.

Back to the story...WAIT! Let me interrupt myself again to tell about these quacky ladies in Applebee's. So- Nathan eats and then puts on his tennis shoes to run the mile and a half home, get his car and come back to pick up us and our bags. Right after he left, the kids started to melt down. I decided I would walk them outside to wait for him. I threw three backpacks, a purse and a laptop bag on my body, and everything else in the stroller. Then I walked out of the restaurant pulling the stroller backwards behind me. It snagged on something and fell over. I stood there just looking at it for a moment hoping that the handle would float back up into my hand. I just didn't think I had the energy or balance to lean over and get it. Then I asked Owen to help and he yelled at me (still mid- meltdown). This whole time these ladies are staring at me in disgust. When I finally sigh and lean over to pick the stroller up, one of them asks "Was there a baby in there?"

Seriously. It was possibly the most asinine question I have ever been asked, so I just looked up at her in surprise and said, "YES! Where did it go?!?!?!" and then walked out of the restaurant. Give me a break. I get so tired of middle aged women that look at us young mothers with judgement written all over their faces. I probably have it together way more than you did when you were in my place just 20 years ago, ma'am, so please wipe that appalled look off your face and offer a little sympathy instead! Or perhaps even an offer to help. Wouldn't that be generous of you?

Then that night (after a LONG nap was had by all), we took the kids to the theater to see Race to Witch Mountain. Even though "The Rock" played the starring role, we were quite entertained, and I think Owen and Hazel forgot all about the disappointment of not getting on a flight.

The next morning we were up bright and early with a whole new set of hopes, a new victim to drive us to the airport (thanks Cyndi!!!!), and some clean clothes. We had been told that Saturday looked much better for standby travel, yet somehow overnight everything had changed. We missed our 9:00 flight yet again. We picked everything up and moved to the next gate to wait for the 12:04 flight. It wasn't looking hopeful. There were 13 standby passengers in line ahead of us. We had nothing to do but wait. During all the waiting, there was this stupid (good thing my kids don't read this and see me cursing!) kid that was desperate to cause a scene. He was obviously drunk and obviously a frat boy who needed some attention. he started yelling things to the crowd "Who knows about the Varsity?! Georgia Tech!!!" and other unintelligible things that everyone chose to ignore. Then when they started announcing flight delays, he started yelling obscenities and was eventually (after a couple of warnings) escorted away, thus robbing us of our entertainment. The plane was delayed due to fog in Atlanta. They pushed the departure time back by about 30 minutes. Then when that time arrived, they pushed it back a little more because of weather conditions. Once they were cleared to leave, the pilots had timed out for the day and we had to wait for new pilots to arrive....pushing our departure time back another 30 minutes. Then they finally started boarding and were told, once again, that there were weather issues. They took people off the jetway and told them to sit back down and wait a little longer. Then about 20 minutes later they continued boarding. Once everyone was cleared, I inched my way to the desk to listen for standby names. She called several names as I held my breath in anticipation. Then I heard the blessed words " of four?" WAIT! Was that us? Was that the flight attendant or the restaurant next door to our gate? I said "Are you saying we might get on this flight?" and she nodded. I asked if I could kiss her and then started to tear up. I told the lady next to me that was giving me questioning looks that we had been attempting to get to Georgia for about 36 hours. I was a little dramatic, but rightly so! In the two days we spent at the airport, we spent about $100 on food and toys to entertain the kids. We drank 20 cokes (between Nathan and I). We went to the bathroom 25 times (with all four of us). We arbitrated 72 fights/arguments. We jogged along the moving walkways 8 times. We watched the same CNN reel on the airport television 7 times. We laughed at 139 different people. We said 18 prayers. We talked to 13 different customer service agents (hoping to receive more promising news from each one). We emptied and reorganized the contents of our carry-on luggage countless times. And then we finally sat down on a plane. Granted, there was one more delay once we got on the plane, due to a brake failure signal (SCARY!), but we didn't care. In fact, I'm pretty sure we were the only people on the plane who were still smiling at that point. This 12:04 flight didn't leave until 4:30, and we were ECSTATIC! Hazel couldn't stop talking excitedly and looking out the window. Then she fell over and took about an hour nap, then she sat straight up and started talking again. She was coloring in her Sleeping Beauty book and singing at the top of her lungs. I didn't tell her to be quiet once. I was just so thankful that we were actually in the air...flying...and that she was happy. I wasn't taking any chances on ruining any of that! I did, however, write down the words to the song she was singing/composing in no recognizable tune.
"You'll always be my friend
Until I'm mad at you
I'll never see you
and the night and the days and the days
It's not in the day, It's in the morning
All these words, All these voices
They're in my mind.
I said Ok
Okay, OKAY!
All of the night and the day in the nest
I'm in the nest where you'll find me in dight (I stopped her here to ask what dight was and she said it means when you are out of state)
It's not the night, it's in the day
Where I feel a different count
I'll never see you
I can't get you anytime
I'll never feel it"

Sheer genius. I'm totally going to tweak that and see if I can make some money off this kid.
So, anywaaaayyyyy. Here we are. We made it. We are in Georgia. We met little Kyle. We are playing our hearts out with Avery, and anxiously awaiting the arrival of the rest of our family. And we got to FLY! Here's a clip for your viewing pleasure. Pictures of our trip and experiences to arrive shortly.