This is the non - Disney version of Christmas 2010.
It got off to a bad start....I should have known. I will preface the post by saying that our Christmas visit this year was not horrible at all, there were just horrible moments (most not in any one's control), it just made me swear off flying at Christmas, almost swearing off flying ever again, and vowing to never, EVER, step foot in the Denver airport for as long as I live.
The first x on our Christmas holiday was before we even got on the plane. Security. Man, that line was slow. Who only has one security line open the week of Christmas?? Let's just say, even if it looks to be the shortest line in the airport, it's not always the fastest. When we finally made it through, we took off down the concourse hoping our plane was still there, as I turned the corner into the gate, the ticket agent looked at me and said' "Smith family?" Bad sign. Last people on the plane. I am sure everyone was thrilled when we walked on with our two kids. But we made it on. We took off about 15-20 minutes late (thanks de-icing), so our now 45 minute layover in Denver became 25 by the time we landed. There were 50+ gates between the gate we landed at and the gate our next flight took off from, plus an escalator. We made it, but with 4 minutes to spare. I had to call the husband back from trying to get us some lunch so we could get on the plane. We got to our destination and all was good. We were glad to be there.
Then the sharing came. The annual sharing of sickness. One kid down...and then better. Phew, an isolated incident! Nope, not the case. Two more kids, one adult....ugh! The culprit family leaves (hoping the last remaining member stays healthy - she does). Days go by, no more sickness. Yes! We have escaped the Christmas illness curse! Oops, spoke too soon. Down goes Miss T. After 2 days, back to business. Awesome, everyone is healthy in time to go home! Oops, spoke too soon again. Morning of departure, hubby has the sickness. Great. Call airline, earliest we can switch flights to is Jan 5th. No thanks, he will motor through. Off to the airport, check in, feed Little T, get in security line, take off shoes, Hubby gets phone call...flight cancelled. WHAT??? Put shoes back on, off to stand in line with every other passenger to try to find out what's going on. Call airline while in line. No flights for us until January 4th. Unless, we want 3 layovers, or fly to San Francisco (with one layover) to catch a flight back. Um, no thanks. January 4th it is.
Back to the house. Luckily Grandma and Grandpa were thrilled to have us back for 4 more days. Well, thrilled to have the grandkids at least! :o) This at least gives hubby time to recoup. Everyone is now happy and healthy and we have more time to visit with family. I even had my first pedicure. (Not sure it will be a monthly thing, but maybe a time or two in the summer). Just as we're thinking things are looking up...crash! Little T goes down with the sickness. So sad. Miss T was never sick as a baby, so I never had to deal with it, but man, sick babies...not fun. Thankfully he didn't have it more than a day and that it didn't happen while we were on a plane! One day left, can I make it without losing my cookies? Yes!!! Glad to say the sickness sharing did not hit me (knock on wood it doesn't hit me late!). So our departure day 2.0 arrives and we are off. We check the status before we get there and see the flight in is delayed, so our flight will be delayed. Luckily we have a 2 hour layover in Denver this time! Riiiiight. We take off over an hour late. Should be fine since we still have about 45 minutes to catch our connecting flight. Of course nothing goes as it should, Little T is not a happy camper on the plane. I lucked out and had no one sitting beside me so I was able to take both seats and try to get him to sleep, but man is that kid a screamer!! When we do finally land, our gate is occupied. As we sit and wait, Mark pulls out his phone and has a message from the airline saying we have been booked on the first flight out in the morning. Not a good sign. After about 5 minutes we taxi in and head off the plane. In at gate 82, departing flight leaving from gate.....49. Awesome. I pack Little T and a bag and take off running while hubby and Miss T gather the gate checked bag. I have never been so happy to see a moving walkway in my life....until I discover it is not working. Are you kidding me??? I am booking it through the concourse when I finally see the sign for gate 49 and a ticket agent standing in front of it. He yells down, "Smith family??" I nod furiously since I have no breath left in me. I rush to the ticket counter and the man goes to take my ticket, but I tell him my husband and daughter are on their way. A lady says he has 2 minutes. So I try to call him, but there is no answer. The agent man who yelled down the concourse at me, is standing out there watching...and then turns to me and says, "does he have a kid with him?" Me:"YES!", Him:"I see a little kid's head bobbing up and down on the walkway, is that them?" I look, and almost burst into tears because it is them!!! I yell to the gate agent that they are coming just as they run in...we made it!!!!! I did not think we would make it, and if we had not of made it, everyone would have seen the biggest meltdown of their lives. Then of course as we wait for our bags, we realize that all the bags are out already. We might have made the flight, but our bags didn't. No worries, they will be on the first flight of the morning and delivered to our house. That's fine with me because I am just glad to be home. Until I realize the next morning that the cameras are in the suitcases, so I have nothing to take pictures with as the kids open the gifts we left behind. Oh well. At least we made it home.
Long story, I know, but I just had to let it out one more time. Lessons I learned on this trip:
- the Denver airport is not my friend (even with a 2 hour layover)
- a screaming child is much more stressful and annoying to the parent of that child than to the surrounding passengers. And I don't mean a 2 year old, I mean 5 month old who can't tell you why they are screaming, who won't eat, won't go to sleep and just won't stop screaming. So please don't give me those backwards glances that indicate you would like my child to stop because it's not like I pinched his leg just to make him scream and disrupt your 5PM nap.
- illness knows no "good time" to hit
- baby vomit is much easier to deal with than toddler vomit.
- frozen yogurt will always make things better
- Just Dance is a lot of fun with 4 people
- no matter how much I hate the carpeting in my house, there really is no place like home!