Thursday, April 21, 2011

The first 8 hours (part 2)

I made it to the ticket counter in a haze of craziness and yes, praise the Lord, my wallet was there. I didn't even bother checking to see if it all was there, because  I was nearing close to 20 minutes before our scheduled flight. Having flown Southwest before, I have just missed a flight because when they close their doors, they are closed. I didn't want to be stuck in an airport with three little kids. ha!
We went through the security line again, this time with a lot of grumbling and complaining from Payge and Haydee about having to take their shoes off again. We made it to our gate, can I just say at that moment I was grateful for small airports?
Hmm, no lines of people waiting for boarding. Do I have the right gate? Yep, right gate. Well, okay. I guess we will find a small out of the way corner and try to make sure all is accounted for and wait for the boarding call.
Soon, the first announcement over the speaker system consisted of something like; "Well, folks, maintenance is having a quick look at the AC, but don't worry, we will only be 10 minutes late and will not affect any connecting flights." I chatted a few minutes with a nice grandpa who lived in Franklin, TN which was our final destination too. Still no boarding call and I started to get worried. Then came the next announcement. "The maintenance crew needs a little more time to take care of the issue, but we still will make those connecting flights. We'll let you know as soon as we know something." I started texting family since the drive to the Nashville airport for my parents would be around 45 minutes and I didn't want them to have to wait around unnecessarily. Of course, it had been enough time that the girls really wanted to get into their backpacks and see what special prizes I had put in there for the plane ride. I had kept it simple of course, since it wasn't a long flight, I wasn't going to need that much to keep them entertained. Myles wanted down to crawl, ew gross, airport floor, but hands are washable, I guess. Then he wanted to eat, bummer, I had wanted to be able to do that on the airplane. Then the girls were getting hungry, my throat was getting more sore, my toe was throbbing, the girls had already torn through the new "toys" and the trip began to quickly unravel. Announcement after announcement came. They (Southwest) were clever though, gradually letting us down bit by bit to the moment we would find out the flight would canceled and the next airplane  wasn't going to be available until 8:45. We had planned to eat with my parents in Tenneesee, I had planned to have our bags with Haydee's medicine before we ate, I had planned that one Veggie Tales DVD would be enough. Of course, I couldn't plan that there would be a foul odor in our plane's AC that would require them to take the whole thing apart only to discover, that they couldn't figure it out. So, I limped around chasing Myles trying to figure out if I should go out of the secure area to get our luggage for Haydee's meds and some dinner for our empty bellies. Small airport meant no food options within secure areas, don't like small airports so much anymore. I had debated about calling the whole thing off, and having Spencer come get us, but for many reasons, I couldn't just "give up". Finally, the whining of hunger pains won out and we ventured out to find food. Payge and Haydee didn't like all my answers for "why it was taking so long", but I tried hard to remember they are just 3 & 4 and I felt like whining waaayyy louder than them. After Payge spilled her cup of ice water all over the floor, and some shared cold, expensive pizza, we headed back to wait for the new plane. We were security line pros now, I even endured the "pat down" with a smile. The nice man from Franklin we had spoken with at the beginning saw us on the plane as he was boarding and told me, "I didn't look as tired when we started out 4 hours before." If you only knew. The plane ride went well. Only two temper-tantrums and one crying fit from Myles because of exhaustion. I tried not to join him. Of course, we got into Nashville and our gate was the furthest one away. I half-carried, half-dragged all 4 of us to my parents where I practically fell at their feet. We were here though. We made it. Once we got to their house, it had been over 9 hours of travel. Gosh darn it, I could have driven there in that amount of time!
Oh yeah, Payge and I had strep throat and that toe needed meds too. At least, I had lots of help and we had an amazing time of memories. Yes, I guess I would do it all again, but really, I pray that won't be necessary.

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