Friday, April 29, 2011

The Lucky and the Jinxed

You know that whole comment I made about our luck with flying over driving?


Okay, so we had the faux airport security "breach" on the way up to New England, but the way down was borderline torture.
Yup, that's me with unshowered hair at almost 2am sitting on the tarmac of a random airport in Columbia, South Carolina.

You see that boy there next to me?
That's Miles.
And guess what? We didn't land in GA until after 4am.
His first all nighter.

As I am sure many have heard over the brouhaha of the royal wedding (which is amazing, may I add), but the southeast was riddled with storms that killed over 300 in Alabama and a few dozen in Georgia.


In no way am I trying to compare the awful nature of our trip to the sheer devastation that so many endured--lives are not replaceable like sleep, and bottom line--we are safe and back in our home. THAT'S what matters.

But please let me just express how hard it was to be on the road for 12 hours with 2 small children between the hours of 4pm and 4am. Luckily, both boys were amazing (outside of a major freak out from Miles on our final descent into Atlanta during some insane turbulence). Kids thrive on routine--and taking them out of routine and thrown into the unpredictability of flight travel can be hard--especially when your flights don't take off until just about their bedtimes.

The bedtime travel normally works great since they both just go to sleep, but this time, we were not so lucky.
  • We left at 5pm for the airport in Boston.
  • Flight was delayed just by about 45 minutes. No biggie.
  • We got up in the air, and found out half way through the trip that the Atlanta airport was shut down due to severe weather some tower was hit by a tornado (maybe on in AL?).
  • We circled and circled and circled. No biggie, but it was way past 10pm, the time we were supposed to land. Again, no biggie, thanks to Toys DVD, snacks, and Felix falling asleep.
  • All that circling meant one thing--lack of fuel. Eh, kind of a biggie.
  • Diverted to Columbia, South Carolina to an airport that wasn't equipped to deal with planes our size. Meaning, the airport was kinda shut down for the night. The flight attendant said that he thought the last plane departed at like 9pm there. It was a ghost town, except for one other plane that was refueling there, too. But we were not allowed off the plane. So, we watched DVDs, ate trans fatty airplane biscuits, and honestly did a lot of praying and planning--how do we get to a hotel without car seats if we have to bunk in SC? What do we do if we get in so late that we cannot get any sleep? Do we take more time off of work? How are these kids going to stay quiet for a few more hours? Does anyone have any kiddie valium or twilight anesthesia we can administer to them?
  • We sat and waited to get refueled as well as waited until the Atlanta airport reopened . Okay, it's one thing to sit on the runway for hours, but it's another thing to sit, be told not to go in the aisles, and have 2 small kids under three awake at 2am. Biggie.
  • We get up in the air finally, and are told "tighten those seat belts, it's going to be a turbulent 45 minutes."
  • Miles Fuh-REAKED out. Like, he kind of went ballistic (like, I think he was in a daze/nightmare/etc). Oh, and the plane was being tossed around, which never makes me feel particularly optimistic about surviving to see grandchildren someday.
  • We got in past 4am. Scheduled arrival time was 10pm. You do the math. Biggest biggie.
  • The airport train that takes you from the far away terminals to baggage claim was CLOSED. Apparently so was the AC.
  • We walked for 30 minutes holding 3 carry on bags, 2 sweaty passed out kids, and an umbrella stroller.
  • We got home close to 5am, and everyone was up for the day at around 8:30am to go to school and work.
By some miracle of nature, the boys had rock star days at school.

No rest for the weary...but with an unscathed return...and boys with short memories, I'm leaving this whole situation feeling, well, LUCKY!

(And wanting to move up North)

More vacation stories, sans travel trauma, are in the works--stay tuned!


  1. Oh good lord you poor thing. That happened to us when EJ was a baby and by some miracle we decided at the last minute to leave him with my mom. The entire time we gushed about how bad it could have been had he been with us.

    Hope you've caught on rest!

  2. Even having heard this all before, it makes me cry - for all of you, and for all those whose lives were being destroyed as you battled your way home. It's quixotic, the juxtaposition between the devastation and troubles you faced as opposed to the joy of the Royal Wedding today. Life is amazing.