Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Our Adventure Home

Here's our little adventure of going home and finally making it back to Virginia...

Our plane left Vegas around 4:30 and was supposed to get into Florida at 11:55 PM. I didn't think it would be that big of a deal, so I had chosen the flight with the night layover and our next flight left at 7AM to go home to DC. I was very prepared with pillows, blankets, etc. and just thought we'd campout for the night, get up early for our flight and go home. Well, here's what really happened: Our flight getting into Florida was late, so we didn't get there until almost 1 AM. I didn't think the kids would be that tired considering it was only 9:30ish Vegas time. But they all fell asleep during the last hour on the flight. And then Baron screamed his head off the last half hour and kept grabbing at his ears because I'm assuming they didn't pop and were hurting him. After we finally landed everyone kept telling me how great my kids were and how amazing I was and blah blah blah.... don't get me wrong-it was nice of them and I'm glad I have pretty good kids overall, but I was so sick of hearing it. I just wanted to go HOME at this point. After everyone de-planed I tried to wake up my kids for the next 10 minutes and they all just started bawling. Except Laylah. I don't know what I would have done without her. She was carrying as much as she could and I was carrying the rest, including Bear because everyone else was a crying mess. And Baron was pretty much screaming and hysterical. I'm sure they were all just exhausted and had had enough.

We got off the plane and I started to set up beds right there at the gate. The potty was close, they all ran and went, and then I had them all laid down and they were almost asleep when a security guard walked by and asked me what I was doing. I told him I had a layover and was putting my kids to bed. He told me they locked up the gate area at night and that I had to go out into the lobby to sleep. I almost lost it right there. Tears just started leaking out and I almost started sobbing. My poor body had had it, I was SO tired, my kids were SO tired (not to mention alseep already!!) and I didn't want to do it anymore. I slowly woke up the kids, packed up our stuff, and headed out to the lobby, only to RE-SET up their beds and our little area. The kids fell asleep fairly quickly, and then I called Andy and told him all about it. We talked for bit and then I plugged my phone in a few feet away and tried to sleep for a bit.

About an hour and a half later a girl nudged me and said my phone had been ringing. I checked it and it had been Andy. I called him back and he immedietly said "I have bad news. Your flight has been cancelled and they want you to wait 24 hours and take the Saturday morning 7 AM flight." I couldn't believe it and thought he was joking. I just wanted to go home so badly that I would have done just about anything to get there. He told me he had called every customer service # he could find and they just kept telling him they were sorry, but there was nothing they could do. They said I would need to go talk to someone at the check-in desk and work it out with them. He tried telling them I had 4 sleeping children with me, but they didn't care. Andy was so furious and said he had already looked up several other flights, and even looked into driving down to get me himself. Of course that was impractical, he was just trying to rescue me. I love that guy. Cute sleepy heads

He told me to go up to the desk and demand a flight home, even if they had to put me on another airline. After we hung up, I said a little prayer to be able to find someone to watch the kids for a few minutes so I could go talk to someone at the desk (which was about 500 feet away around a corner, but of course there was no way was I going to leave the kids by themselves) I waited awhile and finally spotted an older couple. I went up to them and explained my predicament. They were so sweet and so graciously came and sat by the kids while I went to talk to a lady at the check-in desk. I explained to her I was on the cancelled flight and that I was 6 months pregnant and that I had 4 kids with me and that there was absolutely NO WAY I was staying here another day. Andy had told me to pretend to cry, but by this point I didn't have to pretend... I was in tears before I started talking. The lady was SO nice and told me I would be first on the list to be taken care of and that her supervisor got in at 5AM. She took my phone #, gave me a food voucher for breakfast and told me she'd call me when she and her supervisor had something figured out. I went back to my kids. It was getting busier in the airport though and was kind of loud. I was surprised my kids were sleeping through all of this, but they slept on. I got a call around 5:15 AM and it was the lady from the desk saying they had several options. I chose a flight that left at 11:30 AM that went straight to D.C. I called Andy, ecstatic, and told him the good news. I was finally able to doze off for a bit. I guess Laylah woke up and took this picture of all of us:

I guess we were a pretty funny sight because people kept walking by and pointing at us and smiling. Someone even asked if they could take our picture-I said no :) I dozed off and on until about 7 and the rest of the kids woke up by 8. We got breakfast, cleaned up a bit in the bathroom and packed up all our stuff. We headed to terminal 3 from terminal 4 (the other airline wasn't even in the same building) and got checked in. We got through security and into our gate with an hour an a half to spare. There was actually a hurricane going on outside and the weather was crazy. They announced the flight would be delayed due to the weather, which I kind of expected. The kids were pretty good, but acting a little crazy by this point (hey, they all got a decent nights sleep!) and running around a lot. I kept getting dirty looks from this crusty old guy and I wanted to yell right in his face "Do you know what I've even been through?! NO!! So stop looking at me you idiot!" I restrained myself, but if he would have said one word, I would have let him have it-seriously. I cannot remember ever feeling more worn out, tired, or exhausted than I did at this point. I just sat there and didn't even care what the heck my kids were doing. I don't think I could have moved out of my chair for anything short of a natural disaster.
We finally got onto the plane and took off around 12:30. It was a 2 1/2 hour flight and we all slept almost the entire time. When we landed, I was so excited to see Andy I could hardly contain myself. I was rushing and telling the kids to hurry up. We made it out and there he was-my Knight in Shining Armor. He had food and drinks for us, and flowers for me. What a guy. He took me into his arms and I just melted. Or collapsed. Whichever :) The kids were beyond thrilled to see their daddy and we sat and ate and talked and then decided to brave the Friday afternoon DC traffic and headed home. It took 2 1/2 hours and I slept the entire time.
So there you have it. My insane trip home from Utah all by myself with my 4 little kids. I know, I know. I'm crazy. I never think it'll be that bad and after I do it I think "What is wrong with me?! What was I thinking?" And then a week after it's over I think "It really wasn't THAT bad... I could do it again."
Haha.... we'll see :)


Travis and Cristan said...

Oh my gosh!!! I am at the verge of tears just reading it! I KNOW I couldn't have done it! That is one of the worse flight stories I have ever heard! I know Heavenly Father was watching out for you and your kids. Andy...what a great husband! I hope it doesn't prevent you from coming again!!!!

Tara and David said...

You are awesome!!!!!! Could you have imagined going through that with my kids? HAHAHAHA!!! LOL!!! There might have been words said to that old man!! It was so good to see you! Love ya!

Lisa said...

You are the wonder woman! I can't believe you've done that flight twice this year and by yourself - with all those layovers, etc. I love how you write your stories too - so entertaining! Glad you made it home and the best part is, you are right, you'll forget how extremely hard it was and you'll probably do it again. : )

Just Joanie said...

Isn't that kind of like pregnancy? We think .... 'aah, that wasn't so bad...and we end up with 19 kids?' *wink* I have had one of those flights too...glad you survived.