Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Then the trip happened

What a ride! I tell you, I live on the edge!

As in literally, I was on edge every moment of our travels fro the last 24 hrs. I know you're dying for the nitty gritty details so have no fear, I am about to unveil them all.

Our trip started off okay, it took double the time it should to get through ticketing because their computers went down and then they had a very difficult time figuring out how to get me, my sons and our luggage all through 4 flights in a row. Thanks to my good friends at united my baggage fees were waived and my sons and I were bumped up to economy plus.

If you read my post on travels past then you'll know that I consider the seats next to the bathroom to be the airplane sweet spot.

Not anymore.

Have you flown economy plus? Say hello and welcome to extra leg room. Side perk, we were right next to the front of the plane bathroom, you know the one no one uses? And that bathroom had a drinking station built into it's door. It was an entirely new definition of airplane sweet spot.

The only downer on this first flight was our seat cushions. You know how they can be used as a flotation device in case of emergency blah, blah, blah...?

Yeah, well mine and my oldest sons were floating already. They were unattached to the rest of the seat for some reason and annoyingly made you float right out of your seat on a regular basis. This in itself would not be that big of a downer except that when I asked a flight attendant for assistance (quite kindly I assure you) he said, "well ma'am I'm not an engineer."

Because it's my fault he assigned me broken seats I guess? No apology, no help, just an irate statement. Besides that we all mostly slept.

Fast forward to arriving in San Francisco at 4 in the morning. It's a wild time of day! I had to wake my kids up and haul them off the plane. Then they played happily with their new toys until we got on the next plane. This part of the trip was probably my favorite because my sons slept through most of it and because the flight attendants fell in love with my sleeping sons and kept gushing over their amazing behavior. I beamed and patted myself on the back tthen dutifully pointed out that they were just sleeping and everyone might be afraid if they were awake. But no, these lovely ladies assured me that they could just tell I keep my kids in line (hahahaaha). Then we discussed my ridiculous flight pattern and they gave me all sorts of extremely helpful advice that made it possible for me to maneuver sea tac without stress. It was a minor miracle.

But oh the next flight! First off I should mention that i have never flown American airlines before. Their customer service was beyond outstanding and they were always a step ahead Of any request I thought I could possibly make. I felt like they rolled out the red carpet. Little did they know that their red carpet led me to a dark dark place.

We were loaded onto a small plane and escorted to what will never ever be my sweet spot ever ever EVER again. And it's not just because economy plus spoiled me. Oh no. First I realized that I would have to seat my sons together and I would have to sit across the aisle. This was concerning and had me way past on edge. I got them all settled and shushed them the standard 20 times, issued 15 knowing glances and finished them off with an empty threat. Because I'm a good parent that keeps my kids in line remember? Then I glanced at my seat.

Or should I say my half of a seat. A larger than me lady was sitting in the middle seat and had spilled over into half my seat. The flight was full and I needed to be by my sons so I tried to squish myself in. I am not small and amply fill an airplane seat myself. So just picture a lot of squishy spillage from a variety of people. This lady that never talked to me once in 4 hrs and I got way to intimate. And so did her boyfriend. Every time he put his arm around her it went around me too. He would try to rub her back or arm and rub me too. I felt trapped in a Love triangle minus the love plus an added circle of awkwardness. Ewwwwwwww.

Oh, but wait. Did I forget to tell you about the cats? There were no less than 3 yowling cats in carriers placed Strategically throughout the plane to make your flight as awkward and weird sounding as possible. Lest I miss out on the fun, the lady next to me was One of the cat owners. She didn't warn me. Instead I bent down to store my luggage to find no space because there was a carrier. It actually didn't register instead I was just pouty and pissy that I had to put my bag in the overhead bin 4 rows up. But then I tried to stretch my legs and bumped the carrier and the carrier bumped back! The cat then whined. And generally sounded pissy the rest of the trip and i gave the carrier the evil eye and stayed as far away from it as I could in my half seat.

But the fun doesn't stop when I travel. I need to explain what ruined my sweet spot. It was two things really:
1. A small plane meant no standing or waiting room around the bathroom. it was literally my back resting on the bathroom wall and the door slamming open and closed within inches of me.

2. I didn't come prepared to meet so many butts and genitals.

Do you realize where your head is located when you are sitting on an airplane and others are standing in the aisle next to you?

Dead level with the inappropriate parts of their front or back side depending on what they choose to grace you with. Now picture two people trying to fit into the aisle that is already partially filled by a poor soul with half a seat and you can understand why I feel personally violated.

It wasn't just a few times either. I've spent a lot of times around airplane bathrooms and they are up rarely bustling with activity. Most people would rather hold it than fold themselves into the cupboard they call a bathroom.

Not on this flight.

I got up close and waaaaaaaaay to personal with no less than 50 people.

In addition to all the fun I was having there was also the fact that only one out of three of my kids slept on this flight so we exhausted every trick, secret toy or activity that I had Up my sleeve for the entire Two weeks. I began to pray fervently for a minor sickness to strike them like lightening. Just enough to exhaust them, not enough to wreck the trip.

God likes specifics I think.

We got off this plane and wandered through the craziness that is the dallas airport. Scarfed food, realized phone died at some point earlier and that we never checked with anyone to say we were still alive and then we hustle off to the next and final flight.

I am typing this while on the final flight on the day. A 3 hr trip. One child is sleeping, one is ten steps past restless and one has zero volume control. although he is well behaved he is still drawing stares of contempt due to his constant rise in volume. Apparently everyone wasn't interested in the full story of Ben 10 or a run down of every superhero squad members powers and evil nemesis. Geez you'd think people would be thankful for the free education he's providing!

We're almost done. I hope we're not too tired to have some fun with the Virginia family tomorrow. Can't wait til my husband joins us and the whole being on constant edge because the world will crumble if I can't keep my kids in check feeling ends.

Also I like him and he makes vacations more fun.

I am pretending not to remember that i have to do this all again in 11 days. I am also now fervently praying that God could please erase my earlier request because he missed the necessary deadline and now it would be an inconvenience. I sure hope he checks his messages.

What do you think when you see the overfilled seat, the people flying with animals or any one of a host of other flight time annoyances? Are you gracious or incessantly peeved and perturbed?

I was less than my usual gracious self, I am not going to lie. At least I kept it all in my head....unless I talk in my sleep. Oh crap!

1 comment:

  1. This all sounds kinda fimilar...our trip from Oahu to DC this summer. Not as many characters but many of the same incidences. :) I am so excited about you blogging while on your trip!!! Can't wait to see what adventures await you and your family! The boys are going to love it there. Nico still talks about it all the time. Enjoy, smile and pray a lot!!! :)