Friday, May 20, 2016

Flying Part 2

Flight #1:

Just about the time my family left, the airline began calling for passengers to board. No one made an announcement for handicapped or car seats flyers to go first, but Alex went up to the counter and asked anyways. 

Never know until you try. 

And fortunately for us, they gave my family the go ahead to board. 

Here we go, here we go!

I grabbed Buster, the diaper bag, my purse, and the small suitcase. 

Alex had the backpack and 2 car seats. 

Landon was sandwiched between us.

An accurate representation of us boarding the plane.

When we got to the plane door, a nice flight attendant offered to valet check our small suitcase as well as take one of the seats and install it in our seat. 

That was helpful. 

The plane for this leg of the journey was approximately the same size as the mini van we had just rented the week before. There were around 32 rows of four seats with an aisle separating the chairs into groups of two. 

This was NOTHING like I'd pictured. 

I was going off dozens of movies and television shows that had plane scenes. 

With those kind of references, it's a wonder I even wanted to get on a plane. 

Our seats were the second to last row. Right by the bathroom. Or what the airlines call a bathroom. 

I'm pretty sure Harry Potter's cupboard under the stairs was bigger than that thing. 

We put Evie next to the window in her car seat, and I sat next to her. Alex sat in the aisle seat across from me with Landon next to that window. Buster was crammed below Landon.

There were two nice ladies in front of us who talked just a little too much and a nice guy behind us who was formerly in the service. Everyone seemed fairly interested in our life and current adventure. There was lots of explaining what we were doing and requests to see Buster in his cage. 

Takeoff came pretty quickly. The crew on this flight wasn't wasting any time. 

My biggest surprise of flying came at the beginning. I didn't realize takeoff was so FAST. 

I knew we had to gain altitude and speed very quickly, but it just never dawned on me that we would transition from driving, driving, driving, to speeding, speeding, speeding. And then to rising, rising, rising. 

It reminded me of a roller coaster on its journey up a track. 

Luckily for me, I didn't have any issues with the altitude change. My ears popped easily enough and the sour patch kids Landon was treated to prevented him from noticing. Alex, on the other hand, had a hard time getting his equilibrium right, but he told me that was common for him when flying. 

The flight itself was short and uneventful. It was just long enough for Evie to make a huge mess and require a wardrobe change. (Something I was fully expecting.) Since the bathroom was right behind us, Alex just propped the door opened and we performed a switcharoo. I grabbed the messy clothes and handed him the clean one. 

Easy enough.

An hour after we were in the air, we were descending towards our layover location. 

Gathering everything, I left Alex to unbuckle the seats and carry them off the plane. 

The biggest hurdle for that leg of the journey came upon debarking. Instead of one of those accordian hallways some flights have for getting into the terminal, this flight just had a ladder-like staircase we had to go down. 

So there I was, balancing Buster on one shoulder, the diaper bag on the other, Evie in the Ergo on my chest, and Landon holding my hand as he climbed down. 

I was just terrified Buster would slip and hit Landon or I would miss a step since I was unable to look down past Evie's head. I don't know how I would have managed that if Landon had been any younger. It was only pure luck that he was old enough and experienced enough with stairs to manage that descent. 

Once inside the airport, Alex and I had about fifteen minutes to get to our next gate. The building had the gates spread out in a U shape, and we got off at the tip of one of the legs and had to get to the center of the letter.

So. Could have been worse. But it sure felt long and hellish. 

Alex didn't want to shell out the 5 dollars it would have cost to get a cart. Not for that short a time. So we made the journey with all our junk on our backs. Landon, bless his heart, was a champ and listened perfectly during this portion of the trip. He held my hand, followed close to my side, and never once protested how fast we were walking. 

That was, by far, the worst part of the trip. My shoulders were aching from the weight of Buster and all the kids' toys/food. Evie was a little furnace on my chest so I was hot and sweaty, and the dawning realization that I hadn't eaten or drank anything since breakfast about 6 hours beforehand all added up to me feeling pretty gross. 

Alex and I made it to our packed gate and threw everything on the floor for a few minutes. Landon found another boy and girl to talk to for a moment while Alex ran over to a food kiosk and bought 2 sandwiches, 2 waters, and a milk.

For 36 dollars.


We'd planned on eating at a restaurant inside the airport, but we didn't have the time. Even with the sandwiches we had to keep them in the bag and wait until the plane to eat. 

Flight # 2:

The airline began calling for the first group to board and like last time, Alex went up and asked if we could board with our car seats. 

Their answer.

We had to wait until our group was called.

We were the last group. 

What that meant?

Alex and I got the pleasure of walking to the back of the plane with our seats and bags bumping into anything and everything that was sticking out in the aisle. Poor Buster hit a ton of shoulders, the backpack caught a head or two, and Landon insisted on saying hello to EVERYBODY. 

People glared, and we felt bad, but what could we do? It wasn't our fault the airline wouldn't let us avoid the cluster. 

A nice lady ahead of us in line carried one of our carseats for us, thankfully, and a guy in a row behind us put our suitcase in an overhead bin. They were little gems of compassion in the midst of so much chaos. 

This time around the seats were 2 sets of 3, so poor Alex had to crawl into the row, hook Evie's seat up, set Buster at her feet, back up to the aisle seat, put Landon's seat together, hold his hand while I crawled into the middle seat, and then load Landon into his spot. 

They had Alex in the middle seat across the aisle.

When he first asked the guy sitting in the aisle seat if he would move over, the guy's response was, "I prefer the aisle."

And Alex's was, "Well, just understand I'll have to crawl over with my backpack."

I guess the guy took a better look at the situation and decided to move. 

That was a blessing, because Landon got a little antsy on the flight and Alex had to talk to him quite a bit. 

There was a bit of a delay taking off due to some rain, but the pilot made up the 40 minute loss by doing some fancy smancy flying, and it resulted in us only getting to our 2nd airport twenty minutes behind schedule. 

The time by then was about 5:00pm. 

Total traveling/flying time: 6 hours. 

We were halfway done with the journey!

Up Next....One Final Flight.

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