"Oh, babe. Don't be silly. Making a point of telling people implies that I would assume someone might notice."
It appears I wrote my last post 10 days ago. Unacceptable. I have missed it terribly. But with Christmas and holiday travel and trying not to lose my mind, I lost track of time.
A few days after Thanksgiving, I channeled my inner idiot (which is not difficult to do) and decided to book tickets for us to fly to Texas to visit family ON CHRISTMAS DAY. Airlines like to stick it to the consumer around the holidays and make it all but impossible to afford air travel. Unless you travel ON the actual holiday. We have done this once before, and I didn't remember it being too horrible. But as I was rushing around on Christmas Eve trying to get laundry done and suitcases packed and the house cleaned and the last of the presents wrapped, I remembered that we, as human beings, tend to block unpleasant experiences from our memory so they can be sure to be repeated at a later date. Childbirth being an excellent example of this remarkable capability. Also included in that category - holiday travel.
After a rapid-fire present opening, Christmas morning breakfast, and wrapping paper explosion clean-up, we were out the door and on the road by noon.
45 minutes into our trip to the airport (it is an hour and a half drive), we found out our flight was delayed an hour and 20 minutes. Too far to turn around and go home, we decided to stop for lunch. Our choices included: McDonalds. Where we were met with a staff that was positively delighted to be working on Christmas Day.
Long-term parking was full. We were told we must go park at the international terminal (which we aren't familiar with), so we go round and round the airport until we find it. Then we walk at least a mile from the international terminal to the domestic terminal with 2 kids, 2 (giant) suitcases, and 6 various-sized carry-ons because we are morons and didn't think to use the tram.
I chose to ignore Charming's incessant commands to "Hurry up!" (which only makes me want to go slower) and instruction giving (since I obviously have no clue how air travel works as I've only done it a thousand times, usually alone with 2 children), and also made the decision to go through a separate security line. It was a necessary step in avoiding an embarrassing scene at the airport. What are these plastic bins for again, oh wise one?
We made it through security (without being violated by TSA I might add), took our pre-flight bathroom breaks, and got situated at our gate. Twenty minutes later the gate attendant came over the intercom announcing our flight was canceled due to a freak snow storm in Dallas. If you don't know anything about Dallas, Texas...it rarely snows. And when it does, it shuts shit down. Period.
I kind of chuckled at the news because OF COURSE IT IS CANCELED WHY WOULDN'T IT BE and also at the speed at which a line of 50 people formed at the gate counter. These people were not sitting there a minute ago. Where did they come from? So we skip the gate counter and go back to the ticket counter. After a brief discussion of which agent we think looks the least pissed so we really hope we get that one, it was our turn to attempt to get re-booked on another flight. Charming turned on the charm (also know as ass-kissing) by wooing said ticket agent with corny jokes and being overly-complimentary of her festive light-up Christmas sweater. In doing so, he scored us a 6 a.m. flight and a one-day later return trip with no change fee. Win.
We quickly did the math and realized that a 6 a.m. flight meant we would have to be at the airport no later than 4:30, meaning we would have to catch the shuttle at 4:00, meaning we would have to get up by 3:30. Yippee. We utilized Priceline like a boss and scored a fairly cheap deal on a nearby not-so-crappy hotel room to spend the next 8 hours. I won't go into detail of how our 3:30 wake-up call went, but you can all be assured that we are a real fun bunch at that time of day.
We've now made it to Texas and are on day 4 of our trip. It has been great to see our family over the holiday. Despite the royal pain in the ass it was to get here, I truly treasure the time we spend together and feel fortunate that we are able to do so.
But if I suggest we do this shit on Christmas again, I hope someone punches me square in the face.