My brother says that sometimes we have bad days just so we have good blogging material. We are now in Utah but it was a miracle -- like Moses-parting-the-Red-Sea-type-miracle.
We planned to leave three hours early for our flight. On the way we planned to stop of at my brother's apartment to pick him up so he could drop us off at the airport. He only lives a few minutes from the airport.
Right away we knew traffic was bad. Like really bad. After an hour we had only gone a few miles. After two hours we started to get really stressed, but traffic was starting to pick up a little. We had 45 minutes until takeoff when we rolled into my brother's parking lot. He hopped in and we thought for sure we'd make it. However, we didn't expect to sit on Airport Road for 50 minutes. Let me run the calculations for you: Our flight was to depart at 6:25 and we arrived at the airport at 6:30.
In the meantime, we made three calls to the airline to check if our flight was running on time. We were told it was and even though we were stuck in the worst traffic jam known to man a mere .5 miles from the terminal, we were encouraged by the customer service folks to try to make it.
Also in the meantime, Buddy decided he had to go to the bathroom. Bad. We were stuck on the road, so not only did we have no time for a pit stop, but we had nowhere to stop anyway. So after a few panic attacks and some yelling, crying, and negotiating, we finally convinced him to open up the door and pee out of the car onto the street. He still hasn't gotten over that trauma.
As soon as we arrived at the airport at 6:30, G sprang from the car and ran right up to the front of the line at the airline counter. The woman rudely told him that even though he was missing his flight, he needed to get in line. I left my brother and the kids in the car at the curb to run inside to find out what G was working out. I was super annoyed to see him at the end of a moderate-long line.
I returned to the car and shortly after I arrived I noticed a teenage girl in a car behind me honking up a storm. She was gesturing for me to move forward, so I inched a little bit forward SUPER annoyed because let's get real here: I had no more patience left. And why in the world did she need me to inch forward? Then, to make matters worse, she moved from the curb and pulled right up along side of me AND STARTED TO UNROLL HER WINDOW. Poor girl had no idea what was coming next. I unrolled my window and she started to tell me I can't park there and so of course I followed up by asking her if she works there, who made her in charge of where I park, etc, etc, etc. She started to get flustered and said she just wanted me to pull forward so she could get out of the pedestrian lane, then peeled off before she had a chance to get more of my wrath.
Meanwhile Buddy was in the backseat upset to the point of tears that he was no longer taking an airplane to his vacation, as he put it.
Just when I thought hope was lost, G came tearing out of the airport with an airline employee trailing behind (interestingly enough, the same lady who told G to wait in line). A few seconds earlier when he got to the front of the line, the employee checked the flight and for some unknown reason, the flight had not yet departed. We dashed into the airport and employee quickly checked our bags and sent us on our way telling us she'd take care of the rest after we left. Poor woman broke her back to get us on that flight. She warned us three times that our bags wouldn't make the flight, but that was the least of our concerns. Have you ever heard of an employee helping get bags out of the car? Even though G was cursing her name, I thought she was awesome.
When we arrived at the security screening there was a line, of course, so G talked with the attendant at the express/business lane and told him we were missing our flight. He kindly let us through, but we still had the routine of emptying pockets, taking off shoes, folding the stroller, etc. When we got through security, G suggested I sprint to the gate to try to hold the plane while he gathered the kids and followed behind. I have to say it's been a long time since I've ran that fast. When I got to the gate, to my utter astonishment, people were still waiting in line to board the plane. So since we were traveling with children, we were able to walk right onto the plane. No one was able to explain why the plane was delayed. That's why I call this a miracle.
It took the entire plane ride for all of us to decompress. The kids were outstanding, though. Buddy looked out the window and commented on all the natural landmarks all along the way. I had no idea we were going to fly over the Gobi Desert (Idaho) or the Arctic (the salt flats) -- and either did he, apparently. It was a very exciting flight. Then every time we tried to tell Sambo we were on an airplane, he'd say "oooh" and point to the ceiling of the plane. Because every baby knows you point straight up when someone mentions an airplane. So even though we were famished because we had to eat an early lunch so we could all be ready for our flight, we all did OK.
We finally arrived, got our rental car and made our way out of the airport at 10:30 PM. Just in time to wheel into one of our favorite hamburger joints before it closed for the night.