A very literal take: our flight from Hong Kong to Chicago. We sat on the tarmac in China for an hour and then made it into Hong Kong about 5 minutes before that flight was departing. Long story short, it was a fiasco. 20 people or so missed the flight, most of them people with young children. They were able to get our luggage off the original plane and reroute it to our new destinations but refused to hold the plane for the 20 or so minutes it would have taken us to get on board. We got vouchers for lunch and were told we would be informed at 1:00 how we would get home. At 1:30, people started getting antsy as no one from the airline had said anything. People started going up to the ticket desk and noticing the paperwork that was lying around. Someone realized that they were booked on a flight that left at 2. Mind you, it is 1:30 and they have not be instructed about what gate to be at or anything. Ten minutes pass and the ticketing officials take a small group off to meet the 2:00 flight. D and I were left with two other people from the original group, two men who were flying together. Mr. Salmon was dressed in salmon, hence the name, and was hot from the get go. He continued to be a jerk pretty much the entire rest of the time and actually ripped up his boarding pass because they reticketed him in a seat that was not an aisle seat. We flew out of Hong Kong at 4 to Los Angeles. Mr. Salmon ended up on our flight, in the bulkhead with lots of leg room, in an aisle seat. Our 3 tickets were not together at all and no one wanted to really fix it (not the ticket counter or the gate personal) so we had to have the stewardess try to find us seats together. The flight was not full but no one wanted to give up their seats because the only available seats were middle seats so all we could manage was 2 seats together with Zeke on our laps. For about 12 hours. Fun times. We flew the rest of the way LA to Denver then into Omaha and arrived at a bit after midnight. We ended up having to do security 4 times. More fun times. None of our flights had us sitting together so every flight we had to ask at the gate then ask a stewardess to try to put us together. And the last fight had Zeke in an exit row with me which was a no go.
Thank heavens our luggage all made it to where it was supposed to be, including our stroller which we really needed at LA and Denver. We had checked it in China because we were afraid if we gate checked it, it would slow us down when we got off the plane in Hong Kong if we had to wait for it. We knew we had a tight connection and didn't want the stroller to slow us down. Our plan was to pick it back up in Chicago when we picked up our other checked baggage at customs but then keep the stroller with us for the other flights. When we arrived in LA and claimed our checked baggage, our stroller was no where to be found. The attendant basically told us we were going to have to wait until we arrived back in Omaha to file a claim. Not what I wanted to hear, espcially since we had been rerouted. But just as he was saying that, it showed up. Praise the Lord because we had to get to the United Terminal in LA which was basically as far as way as possible from customs. No stroller would have been awful.
Zeke really did pretty good considering that he didn't get a lot of sleep and that it was a crazy day. We were not "those people" with the crying, screaming, poopy baby.
A few people (really very few) looked at us with a two year old and were extra kind. Like the man who let me cut in front of him in the pretty long bathroom line on the international flight. And someone else who let us board ahead of him instead of us going to the end of another long line. Most people, especially on the international flight, were just very worried about themselves. And the flight attendents were not all that worried about us.
Loved flying into Denver and seeing Cinch jeans and cowboy boots. Definitely a Midwest crowd with Midwest smiles and personalities.
When we originally left, we had planned for several friends from church, my mom, my aunt, my cousins, my kids, and friends whom were babysitting our car to be at the airport. When our flights got rerouted, I didn't think anyone would be there to meet us nor did I expect it. When I called my mom from LA, I was overjoyed to find out that she and my grandma and cousin were planning to be there. (They had dropped my brother off for a flight to Chicago earlier that night so they were already in Omha.) And when I talked to my friend, Heather, who was in charge of calling my "change of plans" list, she said our church friends were planning to come as well since they were going to be in Gretna watching their grandkids. And my friend, Beth, who was babysitting our vehicle at her house in Omaha, was also there with her husband. While I didn't "need" their presence, I really did "need" their presence.
Getting home at 2 a.m. was not high on my list but I loved coming home to a full house as my aunt and cousins had stayed at home to watch my kids. I peeked in on my sleeping kids and showed Zeke the kids but didn't wake them. But Conleigh woke up to voices around 2:30 and stumbled out. And Kenson woke up around 4 when he heard me fumbling with my laptop because I couldn't sleep. Love seeing their faces and being home with them. And I loved waking up (after a brief two hour nap) to a full house, even if it was chaotic.