It feel like forever since I’ve written you, dear bloggy audience, probably because it has indeed been quite awhile. I always go off on vacation with every intention of dutifully posting our adventures while I relax at the end of a fun, but action-packed day – or possibly during the afternoon while I’m keeping my mom entertained. But it never seems to work out that way. Instead of slowing down and enjoying a break, vacationing always seems to pull me in even more directions than “normal” every day life. And so here I am, finally catching you up on the highlights of the vacation that almost wasn’t.
Yes: almost wasn’t. Because we almost missed our flight.
It was a 6 a.m. flight to begin with. Well, 6:20 a.m., but at the crack of dawn, those 20 minutes don’t seem to make much difference. You’d think the early flight would have made me more nervous, but to be honest, we always seem to end up on the early-early flight and so I didn’t think much of it. Got the kids to bed, set our alarms, triple checked the alarms, and didn’t even cry all that much when they went off at 3:30 a.m.
We got up, dressed, and I shooed my children away from me so I could finish getting ready (bless their overly excited selves; they plastered themselves to me as soon as they were up and kept. asking. questions. At 3:30 a.m.!)
We actually made it out the door a few minutes early and headed off on our adventure…and once the car started rolling is where the morning started falling apart. I decided to take the highway instead of the backroads. I never take the highway to the airport anymore because it’s been under construction for the past two years. But I decided that at 4 in the morning, it was unlikely there would be many people in my way and I could make sure I was following all the signs. HA! HAHAHAHAHA! So it turns out that the highway – well, two highways that meet right at our exit and then split a ways down – recently switched the lanes for the split, which I know doesn’t make sense to any of you, except it’s how I ended up 30 minutes out of my way when I realized I was over by the racetrack and NO WHERE near the airport. Whoops.
Thankfully, my entire city is made up of highways and interchanges (it seems) and so we made it to the airport only 20 minutes behind schedule. I maneuvered us into express parking with a sigh of relief and everyone piled out of the car. We gathered our luggage and waited. And waited. And waited some more. Now, in express parking, it’s supposed to be car-to-gate service. It’s a tiny bit more than remote parking, but for the amount of luggage we were taking and the fact that it adds up to only $20 more for the trip, I was willing to splurge. The problem was that express parking seemed to have abandoned us. We walked to the end of our row and saw a few other families congregating as we waited some more. I tried calling the number listed, but of course no one answered – it was 5 a.m. We now had an hour until our flight and we were all starting to panic. The other families and I tried flagging down other van drivers (who insisted they could only drive folks to the other terminals) and some of them radioed in to let them know we were stranded. We were just about to shanghai a van of our own when ours finally showed up.
So we make it to the terminal with exactly an hour before our flight. Thank god there was no one in line to check-in or ahead of us in security. Still, it takes time to shuffle two kids and a clumsy adult through the process. We had five minutes to go before boarding…and they had changed our gate to one that was allll the way across the terminal. Of course. So we were dead-out sprinting Home-Alone-style, me with my purse and a backpack and Bee’s hand, Gracie with the other backpack, all of us trying to avoid people around us, which we were managing to do just fine. So of course I tripped when my shoe wobbled and I went sprawling full out on the floor. I mean, total wipeout. Everyone turned to stare…possibly because I yelled as I was going down…and I assured everyone I was fine. And then we were up and sprinting again. We made it just as they were calling the last group. Thank god I had packed snacks for the girls because there was no time for breakfast or coffee or anything else!
But we made it!
Of course, after we were all settled, we had taken off, and I had caught my breath, I looked over at Bee-girl and realized she had on her short, bronze cowgirl boots. Because of course she did. I asked her what happened to her sneakers and she told me she couldn’t find them. “Bee! They were ON TOP of the clothes you put on!” “Oh,” she replied. All I had packed for her were flip flops, so sneaker-shopping got put on the schedule.
But we had made it. The flight was fantastic, and our breakfasts – cheese plates and pringles (because, hey, vacation) were comped. We knew one of the pilots flying us and he had been concerned when he didn’t see us on the flight earlier. The girls were supposed to go up to see the cockpit and talk to the pilots beforehand – you know, when we got pre-boarded and given the royal treatment – but instead they got to check things out afterwards.
How cool is that? A pretty awesome way to start your vacation, all things considered!